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Captain Hybrid

Big Battery EVs Under Fire

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Dave
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Gold
Plug-ins may not be not very practical, either.
Dave   10/2/2012 10:49:42 AM
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The vehicles that I am wary about the most are plug-in hybrids. Let's say that your commute is just beyond the max distance of all-electric propulsion. Your car's engine needs to run for all of one minute or perhaps not at all for a month. How do you think this would affect the life of the IC engine? Our "standard" hybrid covers this issue by ensuring its IC engine runs often enough to keep the oil free of harmful moisture/sludge, but an extended range plug-in is far more likely to consume very minimal IC use time.

 

 Instead of replacing batteries, prematurely, folks would be replacing their IC engine! I have seen arguments that this is unlikely to happen but I am not convinced.

emachado
User Rank
Iron
Re: Scientific breakthrough
emachado   10/2/2012 10:51:05 AM
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The replaceable battery pack solution is so obvious to me that it hurts not seeing more effort being put into it. Is there any work at all being done by the powers that be (ISO, IEEE, etc.), along with the car industry, into looking at creating a standard (or standards) for battery packs?

One could think of specifying a few different platform form factors, energy content, voltage output, cooling requirements, and so on. New industries would then pop up providing (selling, leasing, renting) the packs, leaving the car companies to innovate on "content", which would immediately decrease the price of a EV car, making it a lot more attractive.

Pack replacement could be done by small robots in a 5 minute job and charging done in the background. The incentive would be there to improve the quality of packs (chemistry, use of super capacitors and other energy storage solutions, improving reliability, repair), thereby increasing the profits for the provider and allowing for price/rental reductions.

It is, however, a big infrastructure transition, where things have to come together at the same time: No point in having these stations if there are no cars, and it is very limiting to have cars without these stations.

Do we have to wait for the military to take the first step?

 

ScotCan
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Scientific breakthrough
ScotCan   10/2/2012 11:00:39 AM
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40 odd years ago Mallory/Duracell Canada produced a primary D cell with an energy density which matches the Lithium  products of today. It was difficult to manufacture, but significantly outperformed anything on the market at that time. The application that it was designed for was highly specialized so its commercial viability was limited, and an alternative solution to the cold weather application was cobbled around existing product so the project was shelved. It was called the 10K63; it had a specialized anode and a development was in works to make a specialized cathode to further improve its performance. Admittedly it was a primary cell, BUT, the chemistry and structural changes did make it the most powerful D size cell in the world at that time. Perhaps if our States side cousins ferreted around in the Duracell archives they would find what it was all about and perhaps, just maybe, advance battery technology courtesy of the Canucks...how about it eh? (humour)

yars
User Rank
Iron
Re: EV Batteries
yars   10/2/2012 11:06:50 AM
1,000 miles isn't the problem.  120 reliable all-weather miles is.  That gasoline "bomb" in a traditional car explodes at a statistically insignificant rate, while inadequate battery storage is a problem 100% of the time.

When somebody produces a cost-competitive electric car that reliably can deliver 300 miles of all-weather range on a 30-minute charge, I'll give serious consideration to buying one.  Until then, common EVs are useless to me, and I object to my tax dollars being used to subsidize the manufacturing of them or the purchase of them.  The handful of people who want them already are buying them, and not one of the buyers I've met made his/her decision to purchase dependent upon a tax credit.  Not even one.  Driving around on local hops in an EV just makes them feel superior.  There's nothing wrong with that.  But neither you nor I should have to pay for their self-indulgence.

kyleafdotcom
User Rank
Silver
Re: EV Batteries
kyleafdotcom   10/2/2012 11:26:29 AM
@yars

 

I like the "here we go again" title of an earlier post.  Anyway, tax dollars subsidizing oil drilling and the war in the middle east to allow us to have cheap oil are not worth mentioning, but a tax reduction that doesn't come out of your pocket is "self indulgence?"  Okay, so we know where you are coming from.  A Nissan Leaf with more than enough winter range enough for my wife's 38 mile RT commute that never needs to stop at a gas station on a cold, rainy day, yes, that is her self indulgence.  I'm guessing you drive a 1985 Dodge Colt, because anything else would be self ingulgence, oh, wait!  You ride a bicycle, becasue you don't want my tax money protecting your oil.  Thanks a million for your concern!  I'm glad you are not wasting one penny of the many thousands of dollars I pay in federal income taxes every year.

D. Sherman
User Rank
Gold
Re: Urban transportation
D. Sherman   10/2/2012 11:38:15 AM
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The main problem with EVs is the ones that try to be like regular cars. There's a nice little niche market for "NEVs" (Neighborhood Electric Vehicles), which are licensed for use on streets and arterials but not on freeways and other high-speed roads. They are basically enclosed, comfortable electric golf-carts. They don't pretend to be suitable for inter-city travel, but they're great for in-town shopping and commuting. The main thing electrical vehicles, and their marketeers, need is humility. Don't try to sell a million units the first year by claiming that they're just like a regular car, but more green. Market EVs of modest capability and modest cost for the niche where they're really good (the NEV niche). If at some point in the future it becomes feasible to make them go farther or faster, then evolve them in that direction. Meanwhile, let them do what they're good for, and stop trying to pretend they're something they're not.

D. Sherman
User Rank
Gold
Re: Urban transportation
D. Sherman   10/2/2012 11:40:51 AM
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The main problem with EVs is the ones that try to be like regular cars. There's a nice little niche market for "NEVs" (Neighborhood Electric Vehicles), which are licensed for use on streets and arterials but not on freeways and other high-speed roads. They are basically enclosed, comfortable electric golf-carts. They don't pretend to be suitable for inter-city travel, but they're great for in-town shopping and commuting. The main thing electrical vehicles, and their marketeers, need is humility. Don't try to sell a million units the first year by claiming that they're just like a regular car, but more green. Market EVs of modest capability and modest cost for the niche where they're really good (the NEV niche). If at some point in the future it becomes feasible to make them go farther or faster, then evolve them in that direction. Meanwhile, let them do what they're good for, and stop trying to pretend they're something they're not.

tekochip
User Rank
Platinum
Valid points
tekochip   10/2/2012 11:48:33 AM
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Nothing lights this board up faster than an EV story.
 
This is a excellent article and makes a valid point about the battery size versus cost, and why a hybrid is really the only EV running right now.  The low range of an all electric vehicle would be fine for me, but of course our family could use my wife's car for long trips, since a full EV couldn't go the distance.  That means that the consumer would have to be willing to pay a much larger price-tag for a vehicle that was capable of much less, and that simply won't happen.


Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Valid points
Rob Spiegel   10/2/2012 11:56:47 AM
I think you nailed it, Tekochip. There are still a good number of people who want to see a big move toward environmentally friendly cars. But they're a minority. Most of us really want a good balance between cost and performance.

Brian Keez
User Rank
Bronze
Re: EV-fear
Brian Keez   10/2/2012 11:59:53 AM
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naperlou, I own and drive an EV every day.  I don't think that anything that you have posted before will convince me that what I do everyday isn't really happening.

I drive 2,200 miles per month at a cost of around $120.

It's true that without the state and federal rebates the car would not make as much financial sense.  With the amount of driving that I do and the current price of gasoline, even with the unknown cost of the battery - I am saving quite a bit of money.

I take longer trips and since the charging infrastructure is so poor, I cannot drive an EV, however, that is slowly changing.  Some EV owners are working on directly building-out the infrastructure because it makes sense for us to do financially vs. buying gasoline.

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