HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
REGISTER   |   LOGIN   |   HELP
Comments
View Comments: Threaded|Newest First|Oldest First
naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Waiting for chemistry
naperlou   5/17/2013 9:08:45 AM
NO RATINGS
Chuck, good article and good points.  The battery chemistry problem is one that will be with us for a long time.  It may not be solvable in a device we would recognize as a battery. 

I like that you brought up the history of this thing as well.  I have looked at the old magazines myself, and there are some other ideas that might be necessary to solve this problem.  First, though, we have to understand that no new technology will be adopted unless it fills the need and is as convenient as the one it replaces.  Think about what that entails when you are planning to replace liquid gasoline.  If my car runs out of fuel I can walk to a gas station, fill a gallon container and then walk back and get going again.  A can that is light enough to be carried by just about anyone will get me from 10 to 40 miles.  The station where I fill that can (or my vehicle) up is relatively low tech.  Now consider charging stations.  The ones that can charge your electric vehicle quickly are realtively expensive.  You still need to spend some time there.  And they have to be just about everywhere.

One concept we see occasionally, and the is very old, is the quick replace station.  That is, the battery would be replaced at a "filling station".  This concept was developed when NiMH was the battery technology.  The battery in the Tesla cars costs $40K and weighs about 900 pounds.  This is not something you could easily replace.  The cost and liability problems are not really solvable with current technology. 

Frankly, I don't see Tesla being able to move to their mass market target unless they can move the technology needle on energy storage.  Who knows?

Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Waiting for chemistry
Cabe Atwell   5/17/2013 4:33:27 PM
NO RATINGS
200 mile battery in a $20k car, I would buy it instantly. When will this happen?

As battery materials become more scares, will prices really drop? It seems like battery tech is going the way of gasoline. A commodity with price fluctuation. At least the materials use in the battery are..

C

ttemple
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Waiting for chemistry
ttemple   5/17/2013 8:59:40 PM
Cabe,

I'll sell you a golf cart with a trailer full of spare batteries for $20k.  You could go 200 miles, real slow!

kenish
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Waiting for chemistry
kenish   5/20/2013 2:06:02 PM
NO RATINGS
Even slower...a Duffy Boat full of spare batteries:

http://www.duffyboats.com/

Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Waiting for chemistry
Cabe Atwell   5/30/2013 12:51:34 AM
NO RATINGS
Ttemple,

Funny...

Or maybe a great idea.

I saw one of those "Doomsday Prepper" shows where a guy had a golf-cart that could go quite far with dozens of batteries. He seems happy that he could get around in the "end of the world."

C

Pubudu
User Rank
Platinum
Tax 350%
Pubudu   5/20/2013 1:39:56 PM
NO RATINGS
Cabe, I will be right after you to buy the $20K car if taxes not matter for me,

Normally tax rate will be 350% and the India it will be within 350% to 450% of the original price of the vehicle. I believe that government should provide a tax reduction at least for the hybrid vehicles in order to promote those over the gasoline vehicles. 

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Waiting for chemistry
Charles Murray   5/17/2013 6:16:58 PM
NO RATINGS
Good point about the history, naperlou. Over the past 25 years, virtually every promise has been overstated and broken. If we want, we can take the history all the way back to November, 1911, when The New York Times published an article saying that the battery was here and the electric car was about to make a comeback. What's the old saying about ignoring history? Those who ignore it are bound to repeat it?

CharlesM
User Rank
Silver
Re: Waiting for chemistry
CharlesM   5/21/2013 3:09:54 PM
NO RATINGS
Once again, Mr. Murray has not missed an opportunity to bash and spread skepticism on a new, sustainable technology that may represent the biggest cultural and economic revolution since the cheap gasoline boom arrived 100 years ago (which has ended but succeeded in locking in the infrastructure we now have). You seem to pretend that Tesla car introductions are standing still or going backwards from, say, the GM EV-1. Maybe the progress of EVs is slow, but it is happening.

So OK, we got it: Battery technology is improving at a slower pace than ICs. That is so not profound. You will look silly and oddly pessimistic--especially for a technology writer(!)--when EV prices inch down toward more mainstream transportation and their range creeps up to be practical even for people who inexplicably think they need hundreds of miles of range instantly on tap. (How many people really need to drive more than 200 miles/day, anyway?) This is happening at a pace that is accelerating, even if slowly.

If EVs were to stop progressing entirely, we would still have an American made sedan that will outperform virtually any European sedan at comparable purchase cost and a fraction of operational costs, and with very little infrastructure tweaks can do so without using hardly any non-renewable or hydrocarbon fuels. And it's outselling those cars! But of course all the right-wing nuts on this board will jump in with various non sequiturs, such as stating that no such car is "practical" and that there's no transportation problem that can't be solved simply by more drilling everywhere, if Obama would just let them.

RogueMoon
User Rank
Platinum
well said, Charles
RogueMoon   6/12/2013 1:04:22 PM
NO RATINGS
it's not bashing when the points made are true.

it's in the battery.  Moore's law is irrelevant.  a step change in electrical energy storage performance is necessary to make EV's more useful.  why must people politicize this?

On that fine day, when battery tech makes that leap, great, more EV's will likely be sold.  in the meantime, the market for EV's will remain open to the niche buyer and the incremental improvements made by Tesla will help satisfy them with their luxury item purchase.

 if Tesla and others can drive the cost down of an EV model with operating features (like range and reasonable recharge time) that make sense, they'll have more buyers and more EV's to justify the infrastructure changes necessary.  let's wait and see.

like it or not, the average buyer will ultimately decide if an EV is worth having and there are plenty of fossil-fueled options to contend with.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: well said, Charles
Charles Murray   6/17/2013 7:29:58 PM
NO RATINGS
You're right, RogueMoon, the average driver will make the ultimate decision, largely on the basis of his or her pocketbook. When a consumer sits down at a dealership desk and makes the decision to lay out $25,000, it tends to focus the mind.

Nuvation
User Rank
Iron
Agreed!
Nuvation   5/17/2013 5:05:30 PM
NO RATINGS
There's are some pretty cool battery technology developments in the works, but it's not happening fast enough.  I want a $20K Tesla!

far911
User Rank
Silver
Re: Agreed!
far911   5/18/2013 3:17:09 PM
NO RATINGS
Being able to compete with serious cars like Mercedes, BMW and Audi is certainly an impressive feat for Tesla S. Unfortunately, the chemistry behind all of it is still lacking behind the technology which powers the whole thing, like others have eloquently put in this blog post.

a.saji
User Rank
Silver
Re: Agreed!
a.saji   5/18/2013 11:22:35 PM
NO RATINGS
I don't think it's a good idea to match it with brands like Mercedes , BMW , etc since they have been in the market and know what needs to be done when or before the need arises.           

Pubudu
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Agreed!
Pubudu   5/20/2013 1:49:32 PM
NO RATINGS
Exactly a.saji, in the Mercedes S class 2013 which is launched in 15th of this month has a unbelievable features.

Best one would be the self drive function driver only need to place the hand on the steering that is also only because of the legal issue. 

a.saji
User Rank
Silver
Re: Agreed!
a.saji   5/23/2013 10:27:33 AM
NO RATINGS
@Pubudu: Awesome. It will be something like the knight rider movie isn't it ? Anyway what is the technology behind it ?        

Pubudu
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Agreed!
Pubudu   5/24/2013 1:52:35 AM
NO RATINGS
a.saji, it will use lane keeping assistance system (If the vehicle going out of the lane without driving,  steering will vibrate and come back to the lane) and the two radar system to maintain the distance between other vehicles. 

a.saji
User Rank
Silver
Re: Agreed!
a.saji   5/24/2013 11:09:20 PM
NO RATINGS
@Pubudu: Sounds good pubudu, does it also involves AI as well ?     

Pubudu
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Agreed!
Pubudu   5/25/2013 1:07:36 AM
NO RATINGS
a.saji I would say Yes and No

Taking a small decision like keeping on the lane, maintaining distance, identifying live object through heat sensors is an AI up to a some extend.

But if it has a Fully AI vehicle should be able to overtake the other vehicles without driver involvement. 

a.saji
User Rank
Silver
Re: Agreed!
a.saji   5/27/2013 11:12:59 AM
NO RATINGS
@Pubudu: OK now I got it. Its something like a semi AI featured vehicle. Anyway still a cool option to have.                           

Pubudu
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Agreed!
Pubudu   5/20/2013 2:08:42 PM
NO RATINGS
When it comes to energy savings in the automobile industry I believe that the Mercedes BlueEfficiancy tech is the best which focus not only the fuel consumption but also aerodynamics, weight, and much more. They were the first to introduce the eco start/stop function for the vehicle. 

Greg M. Jung
User Rank
Platinum
Moore’s Law for Batteries
Greg M. Jung   5/19/2013 3:12:28 PM
NO RATINGS
The article mentioned that battery technology is not growing as fast as computing performance in the electronics industry.  It would be interesting to see the slope of the battery performance curve and the projections of when predicted battery performance would become economically feasible compared with existing fossil fuel technology.

TJ McDermott
User Rank
Blogger
$90,000 = niche market
TJ McDermott   5/19/2013 6:58:19 PM
NO RATINGS
At that price tag, it might as well still be a concept car.

I'm not sure I buy the trickle-down theory for technology  in this case either.  There isn't a revolutionary technology in the car this time (unlike the examples given in the article).  There isn't anything to trickle down.

I like the idea of battery swapping, but that is going to require industry to settle on a standard.

It's to their advantage to do so, but in recent history getting companies to do so turns into a brand-name battle.

 

NadineJ
User Rank
Platinum
Re: $90,000 = niche market
NadineJ   5/19/2013 9:55:34 PM
NO RATINGS
The Roadster started at about $100k.  The Modesl S starts at only $63K.  That's on par with the compettion-Audi, BMW, etc.

For Tesla, it's not about trickle down technology.  It's about creating an alternative luxury car brand.  THey've succeeded at that.

Now, it's up to VW, Toyota, etc to step up with more for the masses.

TJ McDermott
User Rank
Blogger
Re: $90,000 = niche market
TJ McDermott   5/19/2013 10:05:21 PM
NO RATINGS
The car doesn't offer anything revolutionary that is worth trickling down to the masses.  All are hampered by the same limitation noted in the title of the article.

Someone is going to earn themselves a Nobel in chemistry for the eventual breakthrough.

Or maybe physics, if that person comes up with something REALLY revolutionary.

Mr. Shipstone, we really need ya now.

Contrarian
User Rank
Gold
SSDD
Contrarian   5/20/2013 11:11:17 AM
NO RATINGS
 Back in the '90's the GM EV1 was by all rights a very good EV and loved by all who were able to get a lease for one.  Fast forward 20 years or so and here we have another arguably better but still really expensive EV.  One thing that can be said for the Teslas is they're less likely to be recalled and crushed.

Just because you can make something really well for a lot of money doesn't mean it will be a success as a retail product.  In this case even if the car were free, the cost of the battery alone exceeds what most people pay for an ICE car.  The question is if their business model can outlive the development cycle of a cost effective battery.  There's only so many of these cars they're going to sell before they've saturated the $100K a copy EV car market.

Pubudu
User Rank
Platinum
Re: $90,000 = niche market
Pubudu   5/20/2013 2:18:05 PM
NO RATINGS
NadineJ, I think that they are in the market too. Toyota prius is doing well now which has about 30Km/l

And Toyota aqua is doing about 40Km/l. 

a.saji
User Rank
Silver
Re: $90,000 = niche market
a.saji   5/23/2013 10:24:27 AM
NO RATINGS
@Pubudu: Yes mate you are right. They have captured the market in the recent past after their downfall during the last few years. I think it's a good sign for the market itself.      

apresher
User Rank
Blogger
About the Battery
apresher   5/20/2013 2:44:52 PM
NO RATINGS
Chuck,  Excellent article. But Tesla has still accomplished something very noteworthy, gaining this much attention to their technology. A more practical goal will probably be to move their price targets down to the $70,000 level and continue their quest.  But I agree, ultimately battery performance will be the most important factor. Thanks.

Debera Harward
User Rank
Silver
Re: About the Battery
Debera Harward   5/20/2013 8:25:31 PM
NO RATINGS
Apresher i agree with you that Tesla has done a wonderfull job in development of this car but obviously $90,000 car is not affordable by everyone because its a luxury car , The most important thing done by Telsa will be to reduce the charges without having impact on battery and milage covered .



Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Today's robots should be respected, and humans should be wary of their growing skills and sophistication. Quite simply, robots are better than us in a lot of ways. Here are 10 of them.
3D printing has met up with drones in a 3D-printed UAV. University of Sheffield engineers printed the prototype drone in 24 hours from ABS plastic using Fused Deposition Modeling.
Product design is changing with advances in technology and outsourced manufacturing. The Art of Product Design spells out the future of design engineering.
AMD is set to launch the industry's first 16 GB workstation graphics card -- the W9100.
Samsung's 5th-generation Android-based Galaxy smartphone includes a fingerprint scanner, updated camera and display, and water/dust resistance.
More:Blogs|News
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