I didn't mention surpressing battery development but since you brought it up they did just that selling the NiMH patents to Chevron which forced companies to stop making EV size ones quailfies for that.
But as I've said, they have never been able to build an EV battery as they screwed up both Lead and NiMH ones vs other makers worked well. I think they realize EV's are coming and just slow walking them in as forced to by CAFE standards .
You do realize in 1911 they had 100 mile range EV's don't you?
As for what reason they would and been caught many times surpressing EV's is EV's are so simple, their main profit center is selling parts at 2,000% profits as has been proven but EV's need few and don't wear out cutting this cash cow 50% of more.
Next they don't like composites as competitors can get into the auto business for far less than in steel. Plus compoite cars don't rust away, thus not needing replacements as often. Also why few Alum cars are out there.
You can say what you want but obvious EV solutions to any 'problems' are already here to make unlimited range reasonable cost EV's with tiny unlimited range generator for $12k but they refuse, No?
It's the car we need so much yet they won't make them, Why?
I use these every day under 1,000lb EV's pickup that tows a trailer for lumber, etc I might need. It costs 25% to run including everything compared to a used gas version. Soon others will figure this out and big auto is going to have some serious competition on their hands.
Quicksand, eh Chuck. Everyone is waiting for a breakthrough that will allow auto batteries to be safe and long lasting. Seems like battery technology does not have its own Moore's Law. Maybe the breaktrhough won't come.
@Jerry: What possible reason would GM have for suppressing battery developement? None. What reason do they have to build this huge lab? Easy, they are doing it with our tax dollar. Everything is a conspiracy against EV's. Companies have built EV's for decades and they have never progressed much beyond golf carts and warehouse lift trucks. Oh if only it wasn't for the mythological conspiracy. True they have billions invested in ICEs, but look at the tangible results. Gas mileage is up. Maintenance is down. Total vehicle life is up. Safety is up, while EV's continue to be an outrageously priced niche vehicle.
It is all a conspiracy. Just like the carburetor that tripled gas mileage before Standard Oil bought the patent just to keep it off the market. Now there is no Standard Oil and carburetors are only on lawn mowers, but the conspiracy lives on.
As Naperlou said earlier, perhaps automakers realize that EV's will only ever be a second car and they need to proceed towards that as an end goal. I just wish they would do it on their own nickle instead of digging in the government's tax pool all of the time. Better GM should pay back their government loans and try to make their stock worth more than scrap paper before they build a multimillion dollar test facility for batteries. 2025 is a little more than a decade away and ever since I became interested in cars in the early 60's, developement of a viable electric car has been only a decade away. It must be conspiracy.
Chuck, I agree it makes sense for GM to leave battery development to suppliers. This may be especially wise given the cold shoulder Toyota has given to the notion of EVs. I'm still half expecting that breaktroughs in ICE efficiency could leave EVs and hybrids in the dust.
Based on what I've read, we're running out of Plutonium 238 used in power sources like the Voyager spacecraft. It was a byproduct of weapons grade production and we're not making them like we used to.
I guess we'll have to go with vacuum energy, I remember reading somewhere they are thinking lasers can be used to separate the spontaneous particle and antiparticles apart. Not sure it that would work or fit in a car. :-)
Well this is a good step forward in terms of pouring investment money into solving the EV battery problem, but as you point out, Lou (and as we mentioned in comments in another story), this problem is far from being solved. But you're right, it's good that the manufacturers are seeing the need to work on this technology themselves and not leave it up to other researchers to solve.
You're right, Rob. GM is smart to do it this way. They're letting the battery companies develop the cells and they're developing the cooling packs. Cell development would be a huge economic drain for GM, which already has to committ funds to development of e-assist vehicles, hybrids, plug-ins (like the Volt), and EVs (like the Spark).
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