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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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