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Captain Hybrid

Don't Hold Your Breath for Volkswagen's Lithium-Air Battery

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tekochip
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Hero or Dog
tekochip   3/21/2014 10:53:49 AM
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This is going to be one of those hero or dog stories.  If Toyota fails they will be seen as fools, and if they succeed they will hailed as geniuses.  I guess the big question is what volume of air is required for a charge, since that will determine what will be required for a desiccant.

bbix
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Re: Hero or Dog
bbix   6/11/2014 9:08:08 AM
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Tekochip: What does Toyota have to do with this?

Charles Murray
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Long haul
Charles Murray   3/21/2014 5:32:46 PM
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I believe that Volkswagen may get this technology to work...eventually. To their credit, they didn't release this as a news item, and made no statements about it, other than the one that was picked up by the press at the Geneva Motor Show. This is going to be a long haul, and I'm sure Volkswagen knows it, which is why they're saying so little about it.

TJ McDermott
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Re: Long haul
TJ McDermott   3/22/2014 3:01:40 PM
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Charles, it's already been a long haul - we've been hearing about lithium / air batteries for quite a while.  I wonder if, instead of a long haul, in fact it's a dead end.

I DO hope they make it and come out with an industry-changing battery.

Nancy Golden
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Re: Long haul
Nancy Golden   3/22/2014 10:24:02 PM
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I am also wondering about its practicality - how does the volatility of lithium-air compare with what is currently on the market?

taimoortariq
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Re: Long haul
taimoortariq   3/23/2014 1:22:55 AM
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Nancy Golden, from the looks of it, It is still a long way to go because of the unstable nature of the electrode. I guess only time will tell how it will turn out to be. Looking forward to it.

Pubudu
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Re: Long haul
Pubudu   3/26/2014 1:11:13 PM
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Yes taimoortariq, since this is a new technology it will take some more time to test and put as a final product to the market. 

taimoortariq
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Re: Long haul
taimoortariq   3/31/2014 11:20:37 PM
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Yes Pubudu,

But the attitude of the company seems to be right about it, lets hope that it they will keep on their research and would give the results on it faster. I am excited to see what innovation this technology can bring.

mrdon
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Re: Long haul
mrdon   3/23/2014 11:38:09 PM
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Nancy Golden

I agree. With new technologies some form of risk and uncertanity is involved. It will be interesting to see the test data validating the potential of lithium air as suitable replacement for traditional car batteries of today.

Nancy Golden
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Re: Long haul
Nancy Golden   3/23/2014 11:47:46 PM
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I am guessing that test data will initially only be aimed at a workable chemistry and safety data will come later...they may not yet worry about potential issues that will need to be addressed until they know they have a feasible product.

mrdon
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Re: Long haul
mrdon   3/24/2014 12:07:08 AM
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Nancy Golden

I agree. Once the product seems viable, only then will the test data substantiate's the product's technology as been feasible for manufacturing. Very good point.

Pubudu
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Re: Long haul
Pubudu   3/27/2014 8:17:56 AM
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Yes mardon, I would like to add more to your point which is efordability, cause that, when it come to marketing the product if it cannot afford by the target group it will only be just an innovation.

mrdon
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Re: Long haul
mrdon   4/14/2014 9:12:54 PM
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Pubudu,

I agree. If a company overprice the product, the consumer will not be willing to pay for it. Wth this business practice, sometimes innovation will get lost.

mrdon
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Re: Long haul
mrdon   4/14/2014 9:40:08 PM
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Pubudu

If the product is not affordable, the innovation used in to create the device will never come to fruition for the customer.

Charles Murray
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Re: Long haul
Charles Murray   3/24/2014 11:17:48 AM
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You guessed it, Nancy. Lithium chemistries, especially those with energy levels like this one, have to be engineered for safety.

taimoortariq
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Re: Long haul
taimoortariq   3/26/2014 12:23:02 AM
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You are right nancy, first thing they need to worry about is making the chemistry work. It is the biggest challenge that is yet to over come. Other non functional issues are relatively not much of a challenge.

Nancy Golden
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Re: Long haul
Nancy Golden   3/26/2014 12:30:28 PM
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While I agree with your first statement, taimoortariq, I do disagree with your second. While obviously you can't move forward with a product if it is not functional, non-functional issues can be very challenging - especially in regards to safety or even size/weight/environmental limitations. Sometimes getting it to work is the easy part, getting it to work within the requisite non-functional parameters that are required for a given application is the hard part.

Pubudu
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Re: Long haul
Pubudu   3/26/2014 1:21:53 PM
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Nancy Yes if it is workable all the other issues can be address later and fine tune the product with the existing technology. 

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Long haul
Cabe Atwell   3/26/2014 4:35:11 PM
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New battery tech is like graphene applications - the tech is there but implementation is years away.

C

Charles Murray
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Re: Long haul
Charles Murray   3/27/2014 7:13:38 PM
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You're right about the implementation, Cabe. Elton Cairns, who is quoted here and has designed batteries for GM's early electric cars and for NASA, likes to say that it takes years to fully appreciate what the real problems are with any battery chemistry.

a2
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Re: Long haul
a2   3/27/2014 10:21:08 PM
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@Murray: So this proves that technology did exist from the early stages itself. All it needed was some sort of a push as well as a methodology to make things a bit easier.    

taimoortariq
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Re: Long haul
taimoortariq   3/31/2014 11:51:47 PM
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Cabe, from the looks of it even to prove that the technology is in working condition it might take couple of years. The working chemistry of the battery still needs alot of research.

Pubudu
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Re: Long haul
Pubudu   3/26/2014 12:41:25 PM
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True Charles I also agree with you on this, I am also pretty sure that Volkswagen will do a difference with this as a market leader.

naperlou
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another far out technology
naperlou   3/21/2014 5:56:17 PM
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Cap'n, this is another possibility, that has been talked about for a while, that is not ready for prime time.  As you have pointed out, there are lots of technologies that are probably ten years out.  In the meantime, the car companies have to sell cars and meet standards for fuel economy. 

taimoortariq
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Re: another far out technology
taimoortariq   3/23/2014 1:28:22 AM
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I agree, for now it seems a bit far fetched, almost making the current battery power four times as strong seems a bit ambitious for now.

mr88cet
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-Air Batteries Not Rechargeable?
mr88cet   3/24/2014 9:18:22 AM
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I don't claim to be a battery expert, but a while back I read an engineering text on EVs (Electric Vehicle Technology Explained by James Larminie and John Lowry - somewhat old, but still largely valid).  My understanding from that book is that <x>-air batteries, although they have very high specific energy, they are not rechargeable.  Arguably they're better characterized as "refuelable."  That is, you can replace the electrodes, conceptually at least.

Thinking_J
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interesting....
Thinking_J   3/24/2014 6:41:19 PM
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Good points being made.

My thought:

Is WV becoming a basic research facility? (not something I thought they "did").... I have no knowledge of this company's view on their involvement in BASIC research. Most Automotive companies don't spend much on this. They generally take basic research from other sources and apply additional engineering to bring to market. Basically they have very few scientists, lots of engineers.

Do they know something about a version of this technology (that the rest of us don't) to believe it only requires manufacturing issues to be resolved?

For us.. for now... it is all speculation.

 

Charles Murray
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Re: interesting....
Charles Murray   3/24/2014 6:53:03 PM
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I don't know if VW would classify this as basic research or applied research, Thinking J. But I do know that in the past couple of years the company hired 400 electric car and battery experts. They're committed to EV technology. GM and Ford have expanded their battery research, as well.

AnandY
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Re : Don't Hold Your Breath for Volkswagen's Lithium-Air Battery
AnandY   3/25/2014 5:12:35 AM
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@ Charles Murray, I have the same feeling that they might eventually succeed in making it work because of their attitude. Saying little about something that has a long way to go is the right way to go. There is no point in touting something that is still in the experimental and development stages. They will avoid the pressure that is often created by being in the news.

Charles Murray
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Re: Re : Don't Hold Your Breath for Volkswagen's Lithium-Air Battery
Charles Murray   3/25/2014 6:15:21 PM
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AnandY, your comment reminds me of a statement made by a professor at Texas A&M, who blames reporters' zeal for much of the misinformation about electric cars. "Here, we are dealing with media sensationalism," said Mehrdad Ehsani, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Texas A&M, in a recent article. Ehsani says that reporters are derelict because "they are not really responsible five years from now for what they've said about electric cars."

Nancy Golden
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Re: Re : Don't Hold Your Breath for Volkswagen's Lithium-Air Battery
Nancy Golden   3/26/2014 12:35:23 PM
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Charles, I think there is a fine line betweeen journalistic responsibility for ethical reporting and the enthusiasm and vision that often propels technological advances. As long as the reporter is making it clear that what they are reporting are goals that are being worked towards - a thinking person should be able to distinguish between reserach and development and all that it entails and actually reaching a goal. It reminds me of the space race really - we need to dream big but we need to understand the "bigness" of the task.

taimoortariq
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Re: Re : Don't Hold Your Breath for Volkswagen's Lithium-Air Battery
taimoortariq   3/26/2014 12:30:47 AM
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Good point Andy, generally the news tend to create unnecessary hype about the technology that makes people curious about it. Being quite about it is a good sign.

Pubudu
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Re: Re : Don't Hold Your Breath for Volkswagen's Lithium-Air Battery
Pubudu   3/27/2014 12:50:50 PM
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Taimoortariq, I do believe in other way around cause I think that make people curious will do the hidden marketing for the brand which will have a positive image in long run. 

AnandY
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Re : Don't Hold Your Breath for Volkswagen's Lithium-Air Battery
AnandY   3/27/2014 6:48:04 AM
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Putting aside the challenges of lithium air, it is good to see that the technical problems surrounding it are being taken heads on now. Notwithstanding all the challenges, lithium air batteries hold great promises for the future especially for electric vehicles. I wish them luck however long may be the road ahead.

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