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Captain Hybrid

EV Battery Maker A123 to Focus on Micro-Hybrids

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Rob Spiegel
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Micro-Hybrid market
Rob Spiegel   10/15/2013 8:35:28 AM
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Nice article, Chuck. Interesting that for short-term growth, it's the micro-hybrid market. I wouldn't be surprised if that works for long-term growth as well. It's also interesting to hear the comment that CAFE standards won't be met without hybrids.

Charles Murray
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Re: Micro-Hybrid market
Charles Murray   10/15/2013 11:07:10 AM
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I agree with you about long term growth, Rob. The micro-hybrid market is growing now, and will continue to grow for a long time to come.

far911
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Re: Micro-Hybrid market
far911   10/15/2013 2:01:38 PM
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I dont see start stop  to fuitful for hybrid vehicles, on the contrary excellent for vehicles totally on gasoline or diesel etc.

far911
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Re: Micro-Hybrid market
far911   10/15/2013 2:04:03 PM
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I completely agree with the growth and if rate and quality is appropriate i expect its growth even faster then mobilre phones.

Jerry dycus
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Re: Micro-Hybrid market
Jerry dycus   10/16/2013 9:04:01 AM
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A123 is a great battery line, I just wish they were lower cost.

 

Start/stop is just a short term thing, 5-8 yrs at most, but a market is a market.  And unless battery compnies find some markets, they are doomed.

 

I'd not use a 12vdc battery here with the 48vdc one  as just more cost, complication especially since you need a DC to DC anyway to keep the 12v battery charged!! 

The most important thing is these/lithium batteries can be left not fully charged, in fact they like it, unlike lead acid which needs charging till full or it dies.

But if one were to plug their SS battery in at night a couple times./wk, lead would do this for much less.

Another is for the same price, putting the starter, alternator in the flywheel saves so much weight, cost, parts plus can be used to boost power I can't figure out why they don't do it that way for another 5% economy boost for less money.

etmax
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Re: Micro-Hybrid market
etmax   10/17/2013 2:51:19 AM
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Nice article Chuck, the CSIRO pioneered using lead acid batteries in conjunction with super capacitors to get around the problem, I wonder which path will win in the long term? Certainly the weight savings in Lithium will save some small amount of fuel as well.

GTOlover
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Platinum
Did A123 get more government money?
GTOlover   10/15/2013 9:44:03 AM
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I thought these guys filed for bankruptcy after taking over 249 million grants from stimulus? They must have re-organized:

http://green.autoblog.com/2013/05/22/a123-systems-now-b456-wins-court-approval-to-exit-bankruptcy/

Ok I see what happened! Hope they are going this route and will make money without taxpayer help!

Charles Murray
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Re: Did A123 get more government money?
Charles Murray   10/15/2013 11:05:11 AM
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Yes, they did file for bankruptcy. They restructured and were acquired by Wanxiang Group. The restructured company is definitely adopting a different direction.

Nirajrk
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Iron
Retrofit Micro-hybrid Systems
Nirajrk   10/16/2013 5:42:09 AM
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Interesting discussion here and thrilled to know awareness about Micro-Hybrids..We have developed our own Micr-Hybrid device that can be installed in any car as an off the shelf product..We have tested our system on 7-8 year old cars so as to know impact on old batteries & starter motors and result are just astonishing..we have got 15-20% fuel saving in those cars without hampering any of the existing components..presently we are only offeting auto stop/start and regenerative breaking woulb be introduced later as it requires Li batteris as mentioned in the article.

we are very small gourp of youngsters and don't have huge budget for marketing & promotions so looking for suitable tie-ups worldwide..kindly get in touch to discuss our proposal in detail..

Thanks

Measurementblues
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Silver
A123
Measurementblues   10/16/2013 9:12:16 AM
Ah yes, A123. The company that got lots of tax breaks from Massachusetts to get started, then couldn't make a profit and is now a foreign-owned entity. Well, at least the previous management is gone.

Ockham
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Gold
Oil, Lithium, and EV hysteria
Ockham   10/16/2013 1:42:50 PM
Yep... A123 gets more than a quarter of a BILLION Government dollars, but just can't make it work. No problem - the Chinese swoop in and buy the whole shebang - AND at fire sale prices. Smart move, Zenmasters! China links A123 to their abundant and highly controlled access to the prime raw material - Chinese controlled Lithium. A nice economy of piracy, IMO. Score US 0 / China 1

Meanwhile, in a tacit admission that current EV designs are market failures, A123 debuts their "new line of batteries" tipping their hat to the start/stop designs, which might actually make a modicum of engineering sense. This announcement conveniently happens even as GM announces they are going strongly towards micro-hybrids! Hmmm... GM + A123 + microhybrids. That's an even less than tacit admission that the EV scam is a failure as a business model, no matter what its tree hugging merits might be. If GM is ready to write off the volt, you can figure that micro-hybrids are going to carry the next half decade.

The next move? Well, for one, expect more climate change hysteria as the juggernaut of "oops..we found more oil" announcements both in the US and Australia impeach the main candidate for pure EV ascendancy. That will make it even more incumbent upon EV acolytes to fall back to their secondary strategy of climate change hysteria, e.g. "sure we have lots of oil, but we can't USE it anymore!"

 

Charles Murray
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Blogger
Re: Oil, Lithium, and EV hysteria
Charles Murray   10/16/2013 6:47:11 PM
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I agree with you that start-stop makes some engineering sense, ockham, especially give the looming 54.5-mpg mandate. Even though 2025 sounds like a long way off, it's not that far away when you consider the development cycle of a vehicle, and the even longer development cycle of new technologies.

bobjengr
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Platinum
START-STOP
bobjengr   10/16/2013 4:57:11 PM
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Excellent article.  I have a client working towards providing a device that will use the very same start-stop process you describe in you post.   I agree completely in that this technology will become extremely important as manufacturers strive to meet the fuel requirements mandated by the "FED".  It's good to know my client is basically on the same page as others.  Again, excellent post.  

William K.
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Platinum
Re: START-STOP
William K.   10/18/2013 12:56:03 AM
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First, this is indeed an interesting posting, and informative as well.

But stop-start can save a lotmore than the fuel burned waithing stopped for the light to change. Start stop can easily provide a 15% reduction in fuel consumption if coasting is added to the operation. Just consider how much more fuel can be saved if the engine switches off for coasting as well as when stopped. BUT that would require steering that did not get harder with the engine switched off, as well as brakes that did not need engine power for the boost. Solving those two problems would allow a real improvement.

Charles Murray
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Re: START-STOP
Charles Murray   10/21/2013 6:07:08 PM
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Good points, William K. As I understand it, it's also quite a challenge to synchronize the starter motor to the powertrain's spinning ring gear during deceleration.

William K.
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Platinum
Re: START-STOP
William K.   10/22/2013 8:04:07 AM
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Charles, that is why a constantly engaged system like the E-Assist woulld be such  a logical choice. But if it could be done with a 12 volts only system instead of needing the higher voltage batteries then it could be much simpler. And store the excess regenerated power in a supercapacitor, since a regular battery is not able to accept charge at such a high rate. 

And don't forget the  challenge of running things with the engine off. That will be the limiting  factor for stop-start operation.

Charles Murray
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Re: START-STOP
Charles Murray   10/22/2013 7:04:47 PM
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Another good point, William K. If you live in the north, interior heating could also be a problem when the engine is shut down. Suppliers are talking about using an electric pump to circulate coolant to a heat exchanger in order to keep drivers and passengers from freezing during cold January nights.  

William K.
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Platinum
Re: START-STOP
William K.   10/25/2013 8:37:43 PM
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Charles, if the windows are closed the drop in temperature during two or 3 minutes waiting for a light to change would not be noticable. And if it were ever found to be a problem a layer of urethane insulation sprayed on the inside of the body sheetmetal would drop heat loss by at least an order of magnitude, but it might add a dollar to the cost of building the car, so they could make it a $50 option. My point is that in a reasonably closed vehicle temperature change is not that fast. And of course there should be a means of inhibiting the automatic part of the stopstart system, since a computer is never able to handle unanticipated exceptions correctly.

g-whiz
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Gold
Reduce the number of start/stops through engineering
g-whiz   10/17/2013 11:03:25 AM
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    "Up to 15% fuel savings"? I always knew all those start/stops are killing fuel economy, thus the reason for different city/hwy mpg ratings. Why is there never any discussion on engineering our cities to reduce start/stops? All we seem to do is add traffic lights and traffic engineers are lazy and allow each traffic light operate independently as if they all were the only traffic light in town. Not all towns, but most. In my CA town, its takes 20 minutes to go 4 miles, due to the ridiculous number of start/stop/wait traffic lights.

    Years ago, I had the pleasure of visiting Grants Pass, OR where all the traffic lights on the main drag are synchronized so that if you go the speed limit, you can drive all the way through town without ever stopping. Think of the fuel savings we could capture as a country if traffic engineers gave some thought on how to keep people moving through the system instead of adding start/stops.

Charles Murray
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Re: Reduce the number of start/stops through engineering
Charles Murray   10/17/2013 6:22:53 PM
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Yes, start-stop makes a big difference, g-whiz. By itself, it's probably 5%; with regenerative braking, about 15%. In the din of all the electric car and hybrid news, start-stop often gets forgotten. Even so, it's still going to be big.

lcormier
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Bronze
Re: Reduce the number of start/stops through engineering
lcormier   10/21/2013 3:16:53 PM
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I agree thta smart lights could save more energy. Here in NC, it seems that more than 50% of many of the light cycle time is spent with no movement through the intersection, while many cars are waiting.

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