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Captain Hybrid

Video: EV Battery Maker Aims for 1,000 Miles per Charge

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GTOlover
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I was sold on the EV until...
GTOlover   6/6/2014 9:12:20 AM
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I was sold on the possibility of purchasing an EV with the thought of 1000 miles per charge. I mean, woo hoo! But then I read down to the part about not being rechargable. Bummer.

Guess I will keep driving the 1968 Pontiac and the 1984 Oldsmobile.

Now if the cost of the replacement battery is on par with the equivalent 1000 miles of gasoline, and the battery is easily changed. Then I am still on board for the EV revolution. But at the curent costs and limitations, as good free market guy, I will pass.

naperlou
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Re: I was sold on the EV until...
naperlou   6/6/2014 9:43:23 AM
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Chuck, I had the same reaction as GTOlover.  It seems like there are so many different chemistries that have been tried, but none are ready for prime time. 

I would assume that one would have to replace the Al battery when it was depleted.  How will this work? 

This sounds like my neighbor who works for a Government Lab.  He said that there was a program to get the battery price way down and the range way up over five years.  Then, as he says, it's game over.  Well, how many Government programs have we had with a goal than was never met.  The one that comes to mind for me is nuclear fusion. Another is the cost of spacecraft launches.   I am sure that other readers could come up with more.  What I have heard you say, after talking to various scientists, is that we are something like 20 - 25 years away from having an alternative.  This does not sound like one.

Charles Murray
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Re: I was sold on the EV until...
Charles Murray   6/6/2014 11:09:41 AM
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Yes, naperlou, Argonne got $120 million from the DOE in November, 2012 with a "5-5-5" goal. Five times as much energy, five times cheaper in five years. If we assume the specific energy at the time was 150 Wh/kg and the cost was $400/kWh, that means 750 Wh/kg at $80/kWh by 2017. I'll let our readers assess the possibility of that.

Charles Murray
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Re: I was sold on the EV until...
Charles Murray   6/9/2014 7:02:37 PM
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Yes, naperlou, a lot of chemistries have been tried over the past 40+ years, with "mixed" results. Battery chemistries often look good before the automakers start testing.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: I was sold on the EV until...
Cabe Atwell   6/10/2014 2:40:52 AM
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@ Charles- Theory often looks good on paper, but it doesn't always transition well over to real-world testing.

Charles Murray
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Re: I was sold on the EV until...
Charles Murray   6/10/2014 7:59:54 PM
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You're right, Cabe. Batteries always look better in the lab. In 1993, Ovonic founder Stanford Ovshinsky wrote in the NY Times that his company's nickel-metal hydride battery could go "250-300 miles" on a charge and could be "recharged in 15 minutes." Real-life is different than the lab.

Cadman-LT
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Re: I was sold on the EV until...
Cadman-LT   6/10/2014 8:28:08 PM
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While I have never been sold on EVs. I do see all of the work going into it. There might be a day within my lifetime that I could buy an EV. Just have to wait and see if that day ever comes. I like everything about EVs as probably everyone does, except the batteries. Gas is gas. Batteries run out or fail prematurely. Not great if you're four-wheeling in the back woods. One day everyone will own one, just not sure if I'll live to see that day.

Bunter
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Re: I was sold on the EV until...
Bunter   6/11/2014 10:57:30 AM
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Hi Cadman,

Since the zealots don't seem to be here to admonish you I will give it a try.

(Set hysterical tone: On)

WHAT!!! You take your evil 4wd out in the pristine wilderness?  Don't you care about the (fill in selection: 1. environment, 2.favorite critter {specify}, 3.global whatever it is called this week). Naughty, wicked, evil Cadman!  You must be punished...

(Hysterical tone reset: Off)

So, did I get it right?

Prefer a dirt bike myself.  ;^D

Enjoy.

Dennis

Bunter
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Re: I was sold on the EV until...
Bunter   6/11/2014 10:48:09 AM
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Hi Charles,

Was Ovonic the company featured in "Who Killed the Electric Car?" (The answer was "Physics".)  Chuckle.  

These folks are the "Fish Carburetor" of today.

Take care,

Dennis

Charles Murray
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Re: I was sold on the EV until...
Charles Murray   6/12/2014 8:40:26 PM
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Yes, Bunter, Ovonic was the company featured in Who Killed the Electric Car?. They did some good things (they developed nickel-metal hydride) and had some really smart people in the company, but they also had a well-known penchant for overstating their case.

Charles Murray
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Re: I was sold on the EV until...
Charles Murray   6/6/2014 11:03:38 AM
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I understand your skepticism, GTOLover. In the 26 years that I've been writing about electric cars and batteries, there have been many, many battery chemistries: sodium-sulfur; zinc-chloride; nickel-iron; nickel-metal hydride; lithium-ion; lithium-sulfur; lithium-air; aluminum-air, just to name a few. And some of the claims have been way over the top. This new battery is an extremely ambitious undertaking with targeted performance numbers that are virtually off the scales. That's why it should be viewed with caution. I think Lux analyst Kevin See made a logical statement: It's a long-range concept.

http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1366&doc_id=271945

GTOlover
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Re: I was sold on the EV until...
GTOlover   6/6/2014 11:07:17 AM
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Fair enough Charles. I know we need the science to get to the manufacturing. But the over the top claims always seem to have a caveat.

Charles Murray
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Re: I was sold on the EV until...
Charles Murray   6/6/2014 12:47:23 PM
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I agree with you, GTOlover. It's a long hard road. And history shows us that cliams by battery makers have often been way over the top.

Bunter
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Re: I was sold on the EV until...
Bunter   6/9/2014 8:52:02 AM
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Hi Charles,

Thanks for the article.

One thing that tells me this is a long shot is the comment section so far.  The passionate fans of EVs have not charged in to laud this as the next step that will finally make it all work for everybody.

I may well have an EV someday, but today is not that day and tomorrow does not look promising either.

Take care folks.

 

Dennis

Charles Murray
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Re: I was sold on the EV until...
Charles Murray   6/9/2014 10:19:51 AM
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I noticed the same thing, Bunter. It's also worth noting that three battery experts contacted by Design News declined to comment.

Nancy Golden
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Does air quality matter?
Nancy Golden   6/8/2014 10:57:01 PM
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Since this chemistry is dependant on ambient air - does extremely polluted environments affect its functionality - such as a crowded freeway with a lot of exhaust?

bfrank
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Iron
Serious issues yet to be resolved
bfrank   6/9/2014 9:18:46 AM
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It's a start, but . . . . .

The average consumer is not going to want to pay to replace his battery every 1000 miles - the service interval is too short and he has come to expect batteries used in this type of application to be rechargeable.

IMO it will not be a market success unless they come up with a way to economically and non-invasively recharge the pack without replacing it or removing it from the vehicle.

oldjimh
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Silver
Re: Serious issues yet to be resolved
oldjimh   6/9/2014 2:19:11 PM
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The aluminum-oxygen bond is so tight that the metal  was "precious"  until electrolytic refining came along shortly before 1900 .It's energy intensive which is why  aluminum refineries are  concentrated near hydroelectric power as in our Pacific Northwest(Bonneville dam) and Tennessee Valley  (Alcoa, Tn). That so much energy  has to be put in to separate the atoms  suggests  considerable should be  available by letting them recombine. 

I'm not enough of  a chemist to make such a battery

but intuitively  aluminum-aluminum oxide would be better chemistry for a lightweight  vehicle than lead-lead sulfate.

When they package the battery pack as a plug-in that you swap out in a couple minutes at the 'filling station'  is when the EV  becomes practical,  IMHO. 

I daydream about  tossing  a few  crushed soda-cans into something that resembles Doc Brown's  "Mr Fusion" on the Delorean.



old jim

 

 

naperlou
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Re: Serious issues yet to be resolved
naperlou   6/10/2014 8:59:28 AM
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oldjimh, you make some good points about aluminum.  Another is that recycling it takes only 5% of the energy of refining it from bauxite. 

The concept of swapping out batteries at a "filling station" appeared in Popular Mechanics (or Popular Science) decades ago.  Tesla is talking about doing that, but the economics of the swap are not good with the lithium ion battery.  They will sell "filling stations" the same device that they use to attach the battery in the factory.  The problem is that the batteries cost Tesla about $20K each.  This aluminum air battery would be much cheaper, I assume.  In the old concept of swapping, the "filling station" would charge the battery and then put it in another vehicle when it was ready.  That assumes a complete standardization of battery pack design.  This is also a problem, but is could be overcome.  I assume these aluminum air batteries would be recycled rather than recharged.  If that can be a reasonably priced process, it just might work.

Charles Murray
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Re: Serious issues yet to be resolved
Charles Murray   6/10/2014 8:01:11 PM
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Yes, naperlou, the battery swap concept has been out there for awhile. Most recently, it didn't work well for Better Place, despite mountains of adoring publicity.

Charles Murray
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Re: Serious issues yet to be resolved
Charles Murray   6/12/2014 8:46:37 PM
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It's interesting that you bring up Back to the Future, oldjimh. In Part 2, Marty McFly travels to 2015, where flying cars and Mr. Fusion are commonplace. Funny, we're only a year away from 2015 now, and we don't seem to be making the progress that the movie's creators envisioned.

Charles Murray
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More on the Phinergy battery
Charles Murray   6/20/2014 4:49:50 PM
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A more recent story is now calling it an 1,100-mile range. See link below:

http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/06/17/israels-phinergy-tests-1100-mile-range-electric-car-aluminum-air-battery-system-video/

 

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