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Big Battery EVs Under Fire
10/1/2012

Light plug-in hybrids, like the Prius PHV, have a better near-term outlook than pure electric cars with big batteries.   (Source: Toyota Motor Corp.)
Light plug-in hybrids, like the Prius PHV, have a better near-term outlook than pure electric cars with big batteries.
(Source: Toyota Motor Corp.)

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Brian Keez
User Rank
Bronze
EV-fear
Brian Keez   10/1/2012 11:12:39 AM
The CBO report on federal tax credits and electric vehicles is incomplete and relies on poor assumptions.  They use no actual statistic from the 40,000 PHEV and BEV's (AEV) that are mentioned in the report. - It assume that the average range of an all-electric is 55 miles (pg. 32) - It assumes that EV's are only be charged once per day (pg. 7) - It assumes that EV's are driven fewer miles than an ICE would be by the same driver The report was obviously written by people who are only academically familiar with electric vehicles.  Who chose not to use available real-world data and instead chose "CBO assumptions." Toyota just does not want to build an EV, they stated that they were focusing on hybrids-only a couple of years ago. With the failure of the EV Project, the slow roll-out of infrastructure has hindered the demand of the cars. Constant misinformation supported by very deep pockets is another challenge. However, as I continue driving my Nissan LEAF in my daily commute alongside the gas-burners, people will realize that there is a lot of money to be saved by owning an EV.

naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Scientific breakthrough
naperlou   10/1/2012 9:56:55 AM
Chuck, the situation with battery packs seems to be following the trajectory of nuclear fusion.  Let me explain.  The situation in fusion is that we know we can generate energy from it, but can it be sustained and can it be better than break even.  There is even a big international project underway.  It took them something like ten years to decide where to put it.  The point is, that while we think it can be done, the uncertianty is so great that no commercial venture would approach it.  In fact, it looks like no single government has the funds or will to do it alone either. 

Battery technology is the same.  There are commerial companies working on it, but most, if not all, get direct government subsidies.  There is still no guarnteed way to get to a battery cost and density that would make all electric vehicles a true competitor.  Sometimes these scientifc breakthroughs don't come along, or come along too late to "save" a particular industry.

The final piece of the puzzle is charging time.  What happens when you are running low on charge.  Even if there is a high voltage charging station nearby you are talking a couple of hours.  If you are running low on gasoline, you pull into a gas station, of which there are many, and in a few minutes you are on your way with a "full charge".  There has been talk of having battery swap stations for decades.  I mean decades.  Ever since the first electric vehicle mandates in California this has been a solution discussed by the industry.  What that would require is a standardized battery pack.  Perhaps you could have a small number.  Just think of that in terms of the EV car industry today. 

So, as I have been advocating on this site for a while, we need to look to solutions that improve our efficiency while keeping total cost of ownership at current levels or better. 

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