HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
REGISTER   |   LOGIN   |   HELP
Blogs
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.

Return to Article

View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 2/8  >  >>
DanielJoseph
User Rank
Gold
Re: safety-safety-safety
DanielJoseph   4/9/2012 10:45:23 AM
NO RATINGS
Electric vehicles have an advantage over gasoline vehicles in that during an accident, the lithium ion battery is not going to throw a highly flamable fuel that spreads to the occupant compartment. 

More than one person dies every single day from a vehicle fire and roughly a quarter a million vehicles catch fire every year in the US alone.  Obviously there is a scale issue here as there are more than 270 million vehicles in the US, so about 0.1% are involved in a fire annually. 

Certianly I agree that accidents are an area to keep an eye on for EVs.  That is when catostrophic things go wrong.  To date, I am not aware of a single EV fire resulting from a moving accident.  At least one got caught in a house fire, but that was shown to be an issue with the house wiring.

I have a Chevy Volt.  Fantastic vehicle.  I charge it in my garage with all doors closed.  Maybe that sounds strange, but folks charge their laptop, ipad, iphone, etc. in their bed these days with no ill effects.  There are no fumes from the charging process.  I would support a different headline.  EV batteries; getting better all the time.

Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
Re: safety-safety-safety
Nancy Golden   4/9/2012 10:57:44 AM
NO RATINGS

I see your point, DanielJoseph, just not sure I agree. I think batteries are among the least understood of common every day products that are used by consumers. Frankly, I am not asking for a comparison of gasoline vehicles – every vehicle should stand to the bar of safety on its own merit – and the results simply aren't in yet regarding EVs – there is not enough data to reflect any sort of scale. I am not against EVs by any means and I am glad you are having great success with yours, but as with any new technology it takes time for the larger picture to emerge and in the real world sometimes marketing gets ahead of itself. I choose to stick with my original headline...

DrGamma
User Rank
Silver
Re: stale gasoline ?
DrGamma   4/9/2012 11:00:28 AM
NO RATINGS
I have a Volt. It keeps track of gas use and burns it up to prevent it from getting stale. Love the car btw.

DrGamma
User Rank
Silver
The Volt and other EV's
DrGamma   4/9/2012 11:13:19 AM
NO RATINGS
I have driven a Chevy Volt in the Chicago area for the past 4-5 months. During this time I have used at least 400 less gallons of gasoline than with my previous car (most miles were electric.) That's less imported oil than I have used for that time period in Decades!

Feels great to me to do this, but the multi trillion dollar per year oil industry would not be so happy if there were a lot more people adopting this technology. I am sure they are spending a lot of money on the PR to criticise these and other vehicles that would dent their income stream.

 

 

tcvaughn
User Rank
Silver
Re: New battery technology?
tcvaughn   4/9/2012 11:15:54 AM
NO RATINGS
The energy density issue is not going to be solved by doubling or tripling using aluminum-ion or other battery technologies.  The energy density of gasoline is two orders of magnitude greater than lithium-ion.  The energy in the 432 pound battery in the Chevy Volt is equivalent to eight-tenths of a gallon of gasoline, weighing less than five pounds.  Although I am sure that battery technology will gradually improve, it is going to take something of a quantum leap before all-electric or hybrid automobiles will be truly competitive with gasoline power.  Until then, they will remain playthings for wealthy car-buyers laden with carbon-guilt.

DanielJoseph
User Rank
Gold
Re: safety-safety-safety
DanielJoseph   4/9/2012 11:18:29 AM
NO RATINGS
Your logic is puzzling me.  A mode of transportation that replaces another mode of transportation has to be compared to the status quo - in terms of fires, at least, as this is what we are discussing.  You can't simply dismiss the fact that main propellent found as the cause of death for so many americans is absent or significantly reduced in all EVs.  There is no liquid propellent found in an EV battery.  There is no battery acid (as with traditional batteries).  To say we have to create new standards without regard to previous standards is a cost death nail.   I am saying EVs will save lives of folks in accidents that would have started a fire if they had been in a gasoline vehicle.

Maybe you are saying there is some other gotcha waiting to be discovered...

My opinion is that the surprises will have more to do with reliability, long term life, end-of-life disposal or reycling processes, etc.   Safety will be a huge benefit of EVs over traditional vehicles.

Jon Titus
User Rank
Blogger
Re: New battery technology?
Jon Titus   4/9/2012 11:32:55 AM
NO RATINGS
I didn't say that a battery of any type would displace gasoline, just that a different battery chemistry might increase energy density. If someone wants to buy a vehicle that includes a large bank of batteries, that's fine.  They should aim for the highest energy density available when balanced against cost. For me, a gasoline-powered vehicle is just fine.

DrGamma
User Rank
Silver
Re: New battery technology?
DrGamma   4/9/2012 11:36:58 AM
NO RATINGS
Spoken like a true oil industry representative. Stay stuck with the past. These cars are used differently and do not require the same energy density as gasolie to be useful. As in my post on this site, I have used 400 less gallons of gasoline from imported oil in just 4 months driving my Volt. That alone is worth it to me.

Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
Re: safety-safety-safety
Nancy Golden   4/9/2012 11:47:37 AM
NO RATINGS
"To say we have to create new standards without regard to previous standards is a cost death nail."

That is where priorites can differ...engineers in the battery industry that I am acquainted with are very concerned about safety issues and in that industry (as in any other)  it is often a battle of priorities. Battery technology is different, so their standards are going to reflect those differences. I am not calling for different safety bars - but safety bars that are reflective of and make sense for the technology being used.

You make valid arguements but I personally don't think that safety is adequately proven, because nobody has shown me that it is. I am hearing about doubling the density - how does that affect volatility? The scenarios for manufacturing decisions and safety are endless and I understand the need to define reasonable limits. I have a horse (which is the ultimate gas saver!) but of course every time I ride, I put myself at the mercy of a 1200 lb. prey animal with a mind of its own. But there are habits that I have formed that give me the best chance for a safe ride. While we can't control everything, we can be as thorough as possible in our design which includes extensive safety testing. 

I have reached the limits of my knowledge on this subject, but as a consumer, this is what I personally am concerned with.

Rigby5
User Rank
Gold
No Choice
Rigby5   4/9/2012 12:08:18 PM
The main point forgotten is that we have no choice but batteries.  We have less than 20 years of oil left, and it is foolish to waste it on cars.  Alternative biofuels compete with food so also are not viable.  The only sure thing is electricity, whether hydro, nuclear, solar, etc.  And that means batteries.  So stop trying to sell batteries as an alternative power for normal cars.  The whole world has to switch to understanding batteries are all that matter, and the car has to change in order to fit that.  So cars have to be light, aerodynamic, plastics or aluminum.  Batteries have to be in a standard module for rapid replacement instead of slow recharge. Everything else has to change as necessary, in order for batteries to work.  There is no other option. 

<<  <  Page 2/8  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs from Captain Hybrid
A pure electric car with a lithium-ion battery can lose as much as 57% of its range when the temperature dips and 33% when the mercury rises, a new AAA study says.
Volkswagen AG is developing a lithium-air battery that could triple the range of its electric cars, but industry experts believe it could be a long time before that chemistry is ready for production vehicles.
After reading all the recent news reports about Tesla Motorsí proposed ďGigafactory,Ē itís hard not to wonder about the future of battery-electric cars, and how low their costs can really go.
Californiaís plan to mandate an electric vehicle market isnít the first such undertaking and certainly wonít be the last. But as the Golden State ratchets up for its next big step toward zero-emission vehicle status in 2018, it might be wise to consider a bit of history.
Tesla Motors plans to build a huge battery factory in hopes of making electric cars affordable for the general public.
Design News Webinar Series
3/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
2/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
12/18/2013 Available On Demand
11/20/2013 Available On Demand
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Apr 21 - 25, Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: April 29 - Day 1
Sponsored by maxon precision motors
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service