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Captain Hybrid
EV Batteries: Solid Concept, but Not Ready for Prime Time
4/6/2012

The Prius PHV looks like a conventional Prius, except for the charge port near the left front wheel.
The Prius PHV looks like a conventional Prius, except for the charge port near the left front wheel.

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Beth Stackpole
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Patience is the key
Beth Stackpole   4/6/2012 8:06:31 AM
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As with any innovation of the size and scope of EV technology, patience and time is what it's all about. There's no doubt that EV technology in some shape and form will eventually take root, but just because these first real generations aren't flying out of the show rooms doesn't mean that over time, with engineering refinements and an eye to cost reduction, they won't.

TJ McDermott
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Re: Patience is the key
TJ McDermott   4/6/2012 10:03:50 AM
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The end of the article said we'd see $397 / kwh by 2020.  Wasn't there a Design News article or comment on one within the last two weeks that said $400 / kwh was already achieved in Sweden or Norway?

Jon Titus
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New battery technology?
Jon Titus   4/6/2012 11:28:14 AM
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The car makers might look at rechargeable aluminum-ion batteries that, according to Oak Ridge National Labs, offer a higher energy density than rechargeable lithium-ion batteries: 1060 Wh/kg vs. 406 Wh/kg respectively. ORNL has an information sheet at: http://www.ornl.gov/adm/partnerships/factsheets/10-G01216_ID2383.pdf.  I'm surprised we haven't heard more about this type of battery chemistry.

naperlou
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Re: New battery technology?
naperlou   4/6/2012 12:39:47 PM
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Jon, who knows.  There are lots of things in the lab that don't work in application.  Argonne National Labs is near me and so I talk to neighbors that work there on a number of energy technologies.  One was working in fuel cells a few years back.  That is another one I have heard about again recently.  No EV power system will be as easy to use as petrol for transportation.  They will all be hybrids of some type (the Leaf and the Tesla are the only pure EVs I know of).  I prefer the Volt approach.  IN the long run it will be more reliable, I would think.

naperlou
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Re: Patience is the key
naperlou   4/6/2012 12:42:43 PM
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Beth, you are right on there.  These vehicles are following the standard new technology adoption curve.  The first purchasers were the early adopters.  Now that the technology is going more mainstream, at least in expectations, a whole different type of person is looking at them.  They have different expectations and the manufacturers need to take those into account.  In some places that is called jumping the chasm.

Jerry dycus
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Gold
Re: Patience is the key
Jerry dycus   4/6/2012 4:59:15 PM
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  Yes TJ.  It's likely a friend of mine you are talking about leading the Li battery charge there. He was so fed up with bad, high priced  battery suppliers he built his own factory there.   It took him a yr to learn and another to build a producton line/factory.

 DN, Charles  seems to seek out those with the highest price quotes they can find yet I buy Li batteries RETAIL  for $250/kwhr for same small Panasonic cells Tesla uses and $450kwhr for bigger ones by multiple others.  So much for $400 in 2020.

  EV's are expensive because they make them that way.  My EV 2seat sportwagon using lead batteries get 100+ mile range and do 100mph though not at the same time, and could be made profitably at $15k in 10 unit lots and for $10k in 10k lots.

 It does it because it's light, aero which cuts the price by 50%.  For another $5k it can be lithium and about 125 mile range.  It's the same materials and labor as 3 golf carts gives a idea.

 I like alum/air batteries where you get 1000+ miles and change out the battery when it gets low and the tech is already done, here.  Getting Alum  to play nicely in a rechargable one, like with Zinc and silver, are great but few cycles. They grow dendrites? that short out the plates is the big problem.   Let's hope but plan on what we have.

 

jmiller
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Re: Patience is the key
jmiller   4/7/2012 2:49:03 PM
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I agree that patience is necessary before we put a fork in this and call it done.  However, I also believe by putting something out there and learning, the industry will go faster and farther in the next 3 years than it would have had they not jumped in with both feet.  Occasionally you have to start doing something so you can find out what's wrong.  I know most people, and engineers especially would like to introduce the perfect product.  However, sometimes you have to pick something and go with it.  That's the only way to start getting an idea of what's really going to happen.

Nancy Golden
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safety-safety-safety
Nancy Golden   4/9/2012 10:01:51 AM
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I want to go back to the volatility issue here. I am wondering what the testing criteria is for these vehicles in case of an accident. I see these little EVs (Smart Cars) out on the road and I cringe because of A. Their vulnerability and B. Their potential to have a fire because of an impact. The average consumer may be unaware of the risks because marketing will naturally focus on the benefits. The Volt incident, while unfortunate, has gone a long way in raising public awareness which is a good thing.

GlennA
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Gold
stale gasoline ?
GlennA   4/9/2012 10:04:28 AM
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I like the idea of the ICE extending the range of the Volt, but I also wonder about stale gasoline.  If a Volt doesn't use the ICE for 6 months because it is driven purely within the electric range, will the ICE start ?  Will the gasoline have gone stale ?  I wonder if propane would be a better back-up fuel.  Does anyone know if there is a built-in function on the Volt that it runs the ICE occasionally, or on some regular schedule,  just to be sure it will start when needed ?

mmunroe
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Iron
Re: Patience is the key
mmunroe   4/9/2012 10:06:34 AM
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We are on our second Prius since 2005. (first 2005 second 2010) We have had no problems to speak of and certainly no problems with the EV battery. I remember during congressional testimony when the automakers said it would not be possible to advance their EV offering. The resale on the Prius is great too.

 

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