Unfortunately, the big battery breakthrough still isn't on the horizon. In June, Musk was quoted by Bloomberg News as saying, "There are few industries with more BS than the battery industry. It's really quite remarkable."
That hardly sounds like a vote of confidence in battery technology.
Maybe Musk sees a breakthrough of another sort on the horizon. If there is such a breakthrough, though, it's going to have to happen soon for automakers to reach 50 percent in 15 years. Kevin See, an analyst for Lux Research Inc., told us:
We do expect innovation and there are things that you can't predict. But when it takes six years to develop a new car and get it to the market, it's hard to see how we could get to 50 percent so fast. For that to happen, all of the major automakers would have to dive in wholeheartedly, and they'd have to do it soon.
Forecasts of massive EV success have been frequent since the late 1980s, of course. During the 80s and 90s, battery manufacturers were notorious for saying that we were on the cusp of an EV revolution.
Musk is different, though. He has built electric cars, worked closely with battery makers, is acutely aware of the unfulfilled promises of the past two decades, and has succeeded anyway. He has to be taken seriously.
His prediction could easily be written off as a bit of hype. Or it could simply be interpreted as overstatement during the thrill of the Model S introduction. Then again, there's always the other possibility: Whatever Musk is seeing isn't visible to the rest of the auto industry. It wouldn't be the first time.
For a close-up look at GM's Chevy Volt, go to the Drive for Innovation site and follow the cross-country journey of EE Life editorial director, Brian Fuller.
I am still working on the legal protection so it can be presented properly. I have only shown it under confidential disclosure.
It has a mechanism where the actual movement of the pistions, and cylinders are perfectly balanced circles, but the relative motion between them is linear and conventional. No, it is not anything like a Le Rhône. Real sweet!
True, the concepts haven't been strong enough. Now, when I'm sure I have a strong concept, the interest and money has dried up. I'll keep looking for money though. Maybe this post can find a few with money who still beleive.
If I remember right, Chuck, theat pretty much ended the concept of the rotary engine. As for the inefficiency of the piston engine, I wouldn't think that the non-productive return movement of the piston consumers significant energy.
Yes it does seem like we gave up, ChasChas. That's why I'm wondering whether the troubles were because of a weak concept or a weak execution. And is there an alternative to the rotary engine and the piston engine?
I'm no expert on the Wankel, Rob, so I'll take Mirox's word for it that the apex seal problm was solved long ago. I do remember hearing stories in the old days about Mazdas getting their engines rebuilt every 50,000 miles because of the apex seals. I'm sure Mirox is right, though: That was a long time ago.
Well, the literature says we are still wasting 35% of our gas moving the pistons back and forth (normal driving). True rotary engine research sure seems like a must do to me. Like the long range battery, we gotta have it. And it seems like we gave up.
Yes, in business, there are great rewards for successful competition. It brings out some extraordinary effort. I'm not sure it always brings out the best -- sometimes noncompetitive research brings out the best -- but it does spur effort, and that often produces extraordinary results. The moon landing was the result of competition.
A half century ago, cars were still built by people, not robots. Even on some of the country’s longest assembly lines, human workers installed windows, doors, hoods, engines, windshields, and batteries, with no robotic aid.
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