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'Extreme' Battery Aims to Shock EV Market

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naperlou
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where's Elon
naperlou   11/10/2014 8:36:13 AM
Chuck, this seems like just the type of thing Elon Musk should be jumping at.  If there really are concepts, like this one, that change the game for EVs, then this is where Musk should be putting the billions he is amassing for a factory. 

On the other hand, we have heard such claims before.  So far, there has been nothing substantial that scales up. 

patb2009
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Gold
Re: where's Elon
patb2009   11/10/2014 12:58:32 PM
it's 5 years from the Lab to product  if you catch a tail wind,

however, it's a good step.

 

Charles sometimes is very skeptical of battery EV cars, and based upon current

performance numbers there are reasons to be, however the trends are incredibly

promising.

 

Sadoway's lab is claiming 1300 WH/L, and i suspect 160 WH/KG,  at$130/KWH

that's a very good number.

 

I have said by 2020, the median electric car will be better and cheaper then the median gas car.  I don't doubt certain people on this forum in 2018 will be saying "But can I drive 500 miles, towing a camper, at 70 MPH through alaska and refuel in 10 minutes and drive another 500 miles"  but the market is happening.

 

it's a very exciting time to be in renewable energy and Electric cars.

 

Subnormal
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Silver
Re: where's Elon
Subnormal   11/11/2014 9:40:14 AM
Extended battery range is good, but you still have to solve the problem of charging times.  That is always going to be the problem with electric cars that use batteries for energy storage.

If you triple or quadrupple the size of the battery, you are also doing the same to charging times.

Right now Tesla is the only one that offers a dual 10kw charging system.  The other limiting factor is house hold current capability.  There are a lot of houses out there that only have a 100 amp service.  This will also limit how quickly a car can be charged up.

patb2009
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Re: where's Elon
patb2009   11/13/2014 12:53:37 AM
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you only have to resolve fast charge if you are going long distance.

If you are commuting locally, you need to remember to plug in at night.

 

 

patb2009
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Re: where's Elon
patb2009   11/13/2014 12:53:37 AM
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you only have to resolve fast charge if you are going long distance.

If you are commuting locally, you need to remember to plug in at night.

 

 

Charles Murray
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Re: where's Elon
Charles Murray   11/10/2014 5:23:09 PM
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You're right, naperlou. Unfortunately, history has taught us not to take battery predictions at face value. There have been too many inflated claims. That said, Sadoway's lab is as good as it gets. So , who knows, maybe this time we really will see a big jump in battery performance.  

patb2009
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Re: where's Elon
patb2009   11/10/2014 11:29:12 PM
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There are inflated claims but the key is never to bet on where things are but

where things are headed.

 

Battery is racing upwards fast.

 

I'd say the limits now is high speed chargers and public chargers.

 

 

irishmuse
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The real issue is ...
irishmuse   11/11/2014 9:43:31 AM
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Where is all this electricity coming from.  IF Lockhead actually does make Fusion power practical, then batteries will be more practical.

Lockhead's smaller size reactors, if accepted by the public could be huge as power generation could be distributed better, reducing the impact on the grid of all this new electical demand for cars, truck, and everything else we distribute fossel fuels for.

Without the ability to quickly recharge millions of large battery arrays, electric cars as a national fleet solution will disappoint and fail.

patb2009
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Re: The real issue is ...
patb2009   11/11/2014 11:46:27 AM
"Where is all this electricity coming from"

"Without the ability to quickly recharge millions of large battery arrays, electric cars as a national fleet solution will disappoint and fail."

 

 

If you do the numbers, and an engineer has to do numbers,  

you need 2 KW of solar to charge the average car.

tha'ts 7-8 solar panels.  

 

You also seem to think that a car is good, only if it charges every car to full range within 10 minutes.  the reality is the average car spends 8 hours a day parked at night and 8 hours a day parked at work and several hours a day parked while you are running errands,  as long as you can charge every night and charge while at work, that will cover 90% of the needs.

High Speed charging is only important if you are a taxicab or if you are on a road trip.

 

irishmuse
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Re: The real issue is ...
irishmuse   11/11/2014 12:15:59 PM
Oh come on

Solar (blah blah blah) , Wind (blah blah blah), wait ... I think I hear birds chirping and beavers farting .....  no, that is not it.

Think PEAK.  PEAK demand and recharge time is what matters.  We drive our cars over distance more that you want to consider, and under less than ideal conditions that increase energy consumption beyond the best case numbers used for electric car range.  For many, maybe most, their car must be multipurpose.  So even if it does not need to quickcharge everyday, it must be able to quickcharge at need.

Average usage numbers are pretty useless.  You need to be able to closely duplicate the function filled by gas stations, at least for expressway travel.

Solar is fine for some applications.  I am not opposed to it, may even put some at my home, but it is not realistic for recharging multipurpose autos.  It might be fine for a dedicated commuter car* , but we don't need 400 mile range for those either.

You mention 7-8 solar panels to charge a car.  Is that what you are going to do with those panels?  How many will you use to power your home?  If you put in panels to meet peak demand for all of it, forget putting them on the roof, will your roof and yard together be large enough?

It is entirely possible that hydrogen cars might turn out to be the ticket.  Using electricity to crack water for hydogen at the refueling station.  Who knows, I don't have a technology that I am in love with, but you can't get anywhere oversimplifying the problem or expecting that you can bend usage patterns to meet the limitations of your technology. 

Remember Al Gore and friends have been trying to cram people into mass transit with VERY limited success.  People who like it, REALLY like it, people who don't REALLY don't!  If your chosen approach requires people to alter lifestyles to make it work, you should not count on much success.

* probably not though, since those commuter cars are probably going to be charged at night.

CharlesM
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Silver
Re: The real issue is ...
CharlesM   11/11/2014 1:53:13 PM
Average usage numbers are pretty useless.  You need to be able to closely duplicate the function filled by gas stations, at least for expressway travel.

Why? If EVs have a range of 400-500 miles, how do you have to charge up quickly, even when traveling?  You may have to limit the distance you can drive conveniently in a day, but why would that be so onerous? Would you rather force your children to horrible, new-normal storm cycles and trillions of dollars in economic damage? In 50 years the world will not support the everyday wasteful frivolities that we're hooked on today, no matter your politics or how libertarian your views.

Regarding capacity, keep in mind that the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) did a study some years ago that showed there's (at that time) enough excess power on the grid overnight to support some 1 million EVs being recharged. That would now be a bit lower with coal being less dominant as a fuel, but having cleaner fuels that are less baseload is not a bad problem to have.  Also, there theoretically could be limits to electrical feed capacity into neighborhoods due solely to EVs. But both of these issues will allow many more years and hundreds of thousands more EVs on the road before they manifest themselves as problems. We have plenty of time to solve them before they occur.

Talk about your chicken-little "the sky is falling!" reactions accused of enviros...

irishmuse
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Gold
Re: The real issue is ...
irishmuse   11/11/2014 2:01:00 PM
Now we have gotten to the crux of it.

   Don't you see? We can't go on this way!

   You are so selfish!  The world can't support this!

   I don't understand why can't you just live the way we want you to!

   You don't NEED that! You must lower your expectations!

etc.

So, put all the talk about engineering asside.  We are talking about your religion, and your desire to force others to live as you prefer.

All that lithium would be more productive in your medication.

CharlesM
User Rank
Silver
Re: The real issue is ...
CharlesM   11/11/2014 2:09:22 PM
I could say exactly the same about you; that's what you fail to see. You don't care what costs there are to your "freedom" to conveniently exceed 400 miles of driving per day, even if there are plenty of advantages that you too will benefit from by not insisting upon that being a basic right of yours. It's not.

You are just wrong, and you can't justify your views. I can and did.

Trenth
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Gold
Great news if they can pull it off.
Trenth   11/11/2014 4:21:14 PM
Even though gasoline has about 10-20 times the energy of modern lithium batteries, ecars have only a 2-4 disadvantage over hydrocarbon cars.  

The Gasoline needs an engine that weighs a lot more pr HP than the electric motors 1 lb per HP or better. Then you have to multiply the thermal energy in the gas by the efficiency, between 15-25%.  

What we need to do is step back and put the entire energy storage to drive system in a box and compare different systems that way. 
So you compare, gas tank, engine, transmission system, to a batteries, and motors system.  When you do that you get only about a 2-4x range advantage for IC, as the Tesla proves.  


NAS
User Rank
Iron
Re: The real issue is ...
NAS   11/11/2014 6:52:54 PM
"You may have to limit the distance you can drive conveniently in a day, but why would that be so onerous? Would you rather force your children to horrible, new-normal storm cycles and trillions of dollars in economic damage? In 50 years the world will not support the everyday wasteful frivolities that we're hooked on today, no matter your politics or how libertarian your views."

 

More <i>Population Bomb</i> nonsense. Remind me how the Ehrlich/Simon bet worked out again. Remind me how real the mass starvation that was predicted in India and even the US by the enviro doom cult was.

What horrible new storm cycles? Storms are driven by thermal gradients. Even if the world were to warm according to your end-is-nigh scenario, the higher lattitudes will warm more leading to <b>lower</b> thermal gradients. So much for your disastrous storm cycles. What trillions of dollars in economic damage? Using the GAO's <b>mandated</b> 7% discount rate and not the 3% games played by the EPA, the price of a ton of emitted CO2 today ranges from a few dollars positive to a few dollars <b>negative</a>, i.e. there is net present benefit to emitting <b>more</b> CO2. The Stern report has fundamental flaws (like having a 0% discount rate) and isn't close to being credible. Next disaster please.


If you want to believe in your doomsday, that's your business, but don't impose your lifestyle on me, and I won't impose mine on you. Deal? BTW, not electing to live a poorer life according to your standards is <b>not</b> imposing my lifestyle on you.

William K.
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Platinum
Re: The real issue is ...
William K.   11/12/2014 11:06:50 PM
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In case you missed it, I think that doomsdat happened back in 1968. But many folks did not notice it.

patb2009
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Gold
Re: The real issue is ...
patb2009   11/13/2014 12:55:33 AM
Irish Muse,

Where are your numbers?  Where is your analysis?

 

You are waving your hands in the air, screaming Peak, Peak, Peak.

That's nice, but, please provide a numerical analysis to support your claims.

NAS
User Rank
Iron
Re: The real issue is ...
NAS   11/11/2014 6:42:19 PM
"If you do the numbers, and an engineer has to do numbers,  

you need 2 KW of solar to charge the average car.

tha'ts 7-8 solar panels."

 

Yes, an engineer does need to do the numbers. Unfortunately you didn't. Using average values of Cd and area a car travelling 60mph needs about 1.7kW just to overcome air resistance. Rolling friction is generally 2X air drag, but we'll call it equivalent, so now we're up to 3.4kW. And we haven't accounted for running accessories or additional system losses. Let's call it an even 4kW (~6hp).  So your 2kW estimate is off by 2X to begin with. Next you perform the slight of hand and neglect the element of time. It is energy we're interested in ultimately and you've only counted power. For every hour of your 2kW system charging (you don't think you get peak from solar for more then 2-4hr/day, do you?) you get 30min of driving time, so you're talking a significant amount of time just waiting around for your vehicle to charge.

Now you can make the argument that it's just sitting at work or at home for significant amounts of time, but it still requires you to plan your life and alter your lifestyle more than for a conventional ICE. You seem to think that imposing that lifestyle change isn't a big deal. Isn't it a bit presumptuous to think that your lifestyle choices are more important or valid than someone else's?

CharlesM
User Rank
Silver
Re: The real issue is ...
CharlesM   11/12/2014 11:42:38 AM
...Let's call it an even 4kW (~6hp).  So your 2kW estimate is off by 2X to begin with. Next you perform the slight of hand and neglect the element of time... 

You are wrong.  I have 2kW of solar panels in a grid-tie system, and they produce an honest 19-20 miles of EV range day in and day out, including losses, shade, etc. I actually have a lot of shading, so let's say it's 20.5 miles.  That means that a 4kW array would produce enough energy to power an EV 41 miles per day or about 15k miles per year.

So he's 2x off if you're talking about 15k mi./yr, but if you have a 20 mile commute he's spot on.  If your work location also has a 2kW solar charger for your use, then you're set even for 41 miles per day. The rest of your comment is ridiculous.

patb2009
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Gold
Re: The real issue is ...
patb2009   11/13/2014 1:06:07 AM
NAS,

You have done some numbers. Good.

Unfortunately you have done them Badly. 

The Average EV is getting 3.5 M/KWH travelling,  the averagecommute is some 20 miles.  People who have a Chevy Volt which only uses 10 KWH of it's battery in routine service regularly get 40 miles of electric range.  A fixed solar array is good for 5 hours a day, minimum, so with 2 KW on the roof, you are looking at getting 10 KWH, which is more then adequate to power an EV.

The Next thing you leave out of your analysis, I'm assuming you live in a civilized part of the world not in some mud hut in the hills, is that we have an electrical grid. If you have 2 KW on thr roof of your house, it is able to push power out the meter, through the grid and to where your car is parked and plugged in.  This is called living in a civilized society.Now the details of that is accounting and bookkeeping, subjects, i will leave to others.

Perhaps when you learn how to do a little research and how to do a little analysis, you will be invited to sit at the adult table for a meal.

 

NadineJ
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Platinum
Re: where's Elon
NadineJ   11/11/2014 1:19:36 AM
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@Charles - I like the optimism but, I'm skeptical.  To naperlou's point, Tesla hasn't made an announcement about using this technology but doesn't mean something isn't in the works.

Who knows.  Tesla, similar to Apple, knows how to keep things close to the vest until they are ready to reveal.

Elizabeth M
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Re: where's Elon
Elizabeth M   11/12/2014 5:12:44 AM
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Indeed, Chuck, having written about some of this stuff as well, I know better than to be more than cautiously optimistic when companies or researchers make claims about developing a ground-breaking battery that will change an industry. But you're right, this looks like as good a chance as any that we've seen for truly disruptive battery technology in any field, but especially for EVs. Looking forward to see what happens next.

William K.
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Platinum
Re: where's Elon
William K.   11/12/2014 11:13:45 PM
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E.M., it is interesting that a breakthrough that sounds so intuitive, at least to me, was not found a long time ago. What would be valuable to us now is to watch this company for a while and see if the concept can be moved into practical commercial  reality. I have seen quite a few wonderful sounding ides that some non-obvious flaw prevents from being useful or workable. In fact, I once designed a whole machine for my employer (of the time,) which used a process that did not work as described. The concept sounded good, but the reality would never work.

And, it would also be handy to watch and see if the announcement is being made just to raise stock prices so that insiders can get rich quickly. I have seen that happen as well. And it may not be legal.

J. Williams
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Re: where's Elon
J. Williams   11/14/2014 3:06:15 PM
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This is just a plea for VC.

patb2009
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Re: where's Elon
patb2009   11/15/2014 3:01:03 PM
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"The company, is hoping that batteries using the chemistry will be in production for consumer electronics in the first half of 2016 and in electric vehicles (EVs) by the second half of 2016. The project has backing from Vertex, the venture capital arm of Singapore state investment group Temasek."

 

patb2009
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Re: where's Elon
patb2009   11/15/2014 3:01:03 PM
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"The company, is hoping that batteries using the chemistry will be in production for consumer electronics in the first half of 2016 and in electric vehicles (EVs) by the second half of 2016. The project has backing from Vertex, the venture capital arm of Singapore state investment group Temasek."

 

Charles Murray
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Re: where's Elon
Charles Murray   11/17/2014 7:14:54 PM
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I read the same thing about 2016, patb, but was unable to confirm it in my story. We asked Donald Sadoway about it and he could not confirm. We tried reaching the company's executives for verification without success. The 2016 claim seemed soon to me because many 2016 and 2017 models are already deep into their design cycles. We don't know if the number is right, but we decided not to use it without proper verification.

patb2009
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Re: where's Elon
patb2009   11/17/2014 7:54:10 PM
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i found it in the bloomberg investing snapshot

 

htt p://i nvesting.businessweek.c om/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=248788067

 

i'd include links but your site doesn't allow that.

 

 

Charles Murray
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Re: where's Elon
Charles Murray   11/18/2014 5:17:15 PM
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Thanks, patb. We'll check that out.

Ralphy Boy
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Re: just a plea for VC
Ralphy Boy   11/17/2014 6:50:02 PM
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My thoughts exactly.

If the tech is solid and results are reproducible in the lab, and in small scale production runs, the money will show up without begging... and without large government handouts (tax incentives all day, but no BILLIONS for testing glitzy ideas). Lots of money wants to be in on the ground floor for something like this. So long as it's real and not just theory.

Meanwhile, good luck to them. This would go a long way toward advancing free roaming robots. I'm sure they will like the evolutionary leap forward in range and power.

 

Battar
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Scaling
Battar   11/11/2014 9:06:11 AM
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Why start by scaling up? There must be a huge market for inproved energy density batteries for phones and laptops. This would be a sustainable market even if they don't scale up to EV power levels.

EngineerOnTheFringe
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Iron
Do the Physics Work?
EngineerOnTheFringe   11/11/2014 9:56:24 AM
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Lithium metal is very reactive.  I do not see how one can achieve both stability of a lithium metal electrode and accomplish efficient charge transfer at the same time from an equally efficient electrolyte chemistry which is hungering to oxidize the electrode.

zgr81
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Iron
Did we consider...
zgr81   11/11/2014 12:09:24 PM
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All for it, in fact, working on converting my own vehicle from petrol to electric. However, I am curious about the following:
  • What about the potential for Lithium battery fires?
  • What will the oil lobby in Washington have to say about this?

Anyone?

 

p.donohue
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Iron
New EV Batteries
p.donohue   11/11/2014 3:37:54 PM
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Great article. One can sense change is coming soon. For the overall rate of technological change is geometric in its progression. Most of us are too busy to notice the pace picking up and if we do it is most likely happening faster than we realize.

Regarding batteries, there are many "labs" working on this as I write, about 40 in Silicon Valley alone. The most promising seems to be QuantumScape, which rolled out of the Stanford labs and is now hiring production engineers. Their claim to fame is the "solid state" battery/capacitor. Powered by old Valley VC money, they are hiring the best.

Some of QuantumScape's patents list Wes Hermann, a name we see on many of Tesla's battery patents. JB, the CTO of Tesla, has worked as a consultant to Kliner Perkins and one or two other Tesla people now work at QS. So, there is a connection to Tesla other than just Stanford.

But Tesla is not sitting idly by waiting for the knock on the door, as they have posted a job for an EE to search the world over for the next great leap forward in battery technology. As they don't want to build out the Gigafactory only to hear that it just became obsolete. For they know that things will most likely change quite soon.

This nut will get cracked and it will probably be anytime now judging from the literature regarding advances in materials science, batteries and patents filed. 

Consequently, the halcyon days of the internal combustion engine are begining to sunset as science marches on. 

AREV
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Platinum
Batteries
AREV   11/11/2014 5:44:18 PM
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Too funny. What is at issue is that eletrics need to create a market. They have been trying to power cars since Henry Ford's wife drove one. With the advent of this "new" technology instead of saying more distance why not smaller batttery with the same power? Why not say with 15 lb battery(that looks like a brief case) I can power this vehicle (that is slightly larger than a sitting person) 25 miles. The battery is removed set in a office near a outlet to be charged for the trip home? This is the trip that is harmful and inefficiant for a car. Two 15# battteries will take you twice as far. That would give batteries an inroad where cars don't do well. Then if they talked the cities into making narrow roads that supported these litttle vehiles where car are not allowed then another advantage. Give up on the 4 person ev (for now).

Hank-4
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Silver
'Extreme' battery
Hank-4   11/24/2014 2:40:45 PM
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It will indeed be interesting to see if they can move the theory from the lab to the (large-scale) production floor. I don't think I'll get very excited about this "development" .... yet.

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