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Batt Observer

Batt Observer
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  • It's Time To Kill The Electric Car, Drive A Stake Through Its Heart And Burn The Corpse [View article]

    I enjoy your well written provocative views - thanks for authoring and publishing them. However, I see possible flaws in your argument:

    1) Metal Availability for Batteries - I see no accounting for cycle life in your metal availability analysis. When a 96 kWh battery can be reused over 1,000 times (10,000 is possible) then why doesn't this factor dramatically change the effectiveness of metal usage in batteries? Metric tons per person vs. kilograms per person quickly becomes a wash when cycle life is considered.

    2) Cost of Li Ion Batteries - The $1,000/kWh cost of A123 batteries is understandably high considering their current extremely low volume production. Li Ion batteries made for cell phones and laptops sell in the $100 - $150 per kWh range. Don't you think similar cells sold into the auto industry will have a similar price once volumes are achieved?

    3) Battery Energy Density - Edison didn't have rechargeable batteries in his day, only primary. Today's primary batteries for everyday consumer products easily exceed 200 wh/kg. An even more relevant comparison would be the runtime Edison's battery would deliver in a car, power tool, or grid storage application (zero seconds) vs. today's batteries (hours). That's the result from 200 years of hard work by thousands of battery R&D scientists (I am not one). Let's be fair!

    The % of grid power that is renewable today is small but even so it is dramatically more than most predicted it would be only five years ago. PEVs and EVs provide the opportunity for cars to be fueled with renewable power whereas ICE and HEVs do not. How about we stop fighting the undeniable attraction of renewable powered vehicles and let it play out?
    Aug 26 03:19 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Plug-In Vehicles: Unconscionable Waste and Pollution Masquerading as Conservation [View article]
    I do think this argument is moot due to the fact that in the medium term future there will not be the single choice of a Prius vs. a 100% EV. Instead there will be a variety of vehicles with varying partitioning of battery vs. engine energy.

    It only makes sense that as battery technology advances as measured by increased energy and power density and decreasing price per WH even the Prius will evolve into a larger battery and smaller engine architecture with a plug. We should expect a spectrum of vehicles with battery power that will be differentiated by their battery range but with an ICE for range extension and away from the plug charging.

    8,000 mile per year drivers like John may be happy with a 20 mile range battery. Others may pay for vehicles with more battery range. Providing choices that meet more drivers needs will sell more battery enhanced vehicles, drive demand for more batteries and rationalize capital for more battery manufacturing.
    Jan 7 09:58 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment