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  • EPower's Series Hybrid Electric Drive – Unmatched Fuel Economy For Heavy Trucks [View instapost]
    I can see why they were using a hydrogen generator when they were using AGM batteries, with PbC batteries I imagine that won't be optimal since the efficiency of that process (hydrogen) is quite low and the PbC run at a greater depth of discharge would give better results and save a lot of complexity. I guess they will have to establish the credentials of Axion's batteries before they can optimize for them. It certainly looks like a great use of PbC technology, I can see it extending into all sorts of refinements and other applications. Thanks to JP and DRICH (for the patent ref.)
    Dec 11, 2012. 05:59 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Wanxiang Transaction Is Not Necessarily A Permanent Solution For A123's Problems [View article]
    I noticed an article on the Hybrid cars website,

    They are referring to an electric supercharged setup using a PbC battery supplied by Exide?

    Can you confirm the Exide battery is in fact an Axion PbC? (or Axion components)

    It seems they are well advanced in design for a low cost mild hybrid using PbC technology.
    Sep 6, 2012. 01:47 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Electric Vehicles: Ineptitude, Apathy And Piles Of Taxpayer Money [View article]
    Hi Rick K,
    The details are scant I agree, quite frustrating, but to take them at their word the official energy usage is here;

    The driving conditions are real-world, with 2 occupants and with a time limit to reach London, so even if they were driving at a speed likely to irritate other road users, there is only so far they could take that..

    At 57 miles for the trip they achieved 8 miles per Kwh with the 2 occupants, not sure how you arrived at 30 miles highway range but the NEDC range is put at 100 miles, which sounds consistent.

    The 0-100kph speed is quoted at 'less' than 15 seconds, so it may in fact not be 'the' slowest car in the world.

    In any case, there is a new reality in the world, which JP is correctly identifying in most ways, the bubble illusion of wealth based on unsustainable modes of behaviour has been pricked and the sooner everyone adjusts to the new paradigm the better it will be for all IMHO. Most commuter private transport needs are well within the 70 mile range and a little mostly plastic car weighing 680kg and carrying 2-3 people and 200litres of luggage is a model of EV that could work.

    As far as making it a value proposition, I think the 2 major issues for small cars are perceptions of safety and reassurance about total cost per lifetime mile travelled.(i.e it has to have a demonstrably and visibly lower cost to justify the 'smallness') T.27 passed the crash test extremely well and the modest mooted capital cost of 15000 pounds will be seen to be very cheap since it is married to extremely low ongoing costs per mile.

    I was heartened to see Glenn Doty defending climate science in the preceding posts, the CO2 emission problem is the most important issue facing us that we can (still) do something about IMHO. Providing we don't break our resource budgets in other ways, the small , genuinely more sustainable, EV is an important component of the solution set. I do see this issue as a likely motivator to buy for a growing market segment, again providing the benefits are demonstrably significant, rather than arguable and incremental as has been the case for hybrids and start-stop technology.

    PS the i- MIEV M is available in Japan with a 10.5 kwh battery and purported 120km range (Japanese cycle)- not sure how it's selling!
    Nov 23, 2011. 11:22 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Electric Vehicles: Ineptitude, Apathy And Piles Of Taxpayer Money [View article]
    Re: PJM relationship
    " Then we'll be looking at a disclosed relationship hat trick in three huge market niches - automotive - rail - grid connected."

    I agree, very exciting and timely, now that PJM grid connection has been established. The future market potential is enormous, Axion say they can deliver at the right price.

    I disagree with the generality of your thesis regarding EVs since I 'fervently' believe in a well-designed EV's potential to provide cost-effective low emissions 'commuter' transport for the masses.

    The T.27 which I have referred to previously, won the Brighton to London RAC Future Car Challenge - this is an audited energy use event. The T.27 used 7Kwh or so, the plug-in Prius used 28Kwh or so (mixed petrol and Electric).

    With a modest battery and it being feasible to supply a majority of the charge from solar generation, the T.27's green credentials are demonstrably far superior to any other ICE -containing design for personal commuter transport.

    Personally, I would like it if you 'quarantined' the T.27 type of EV developments from your comments on EVs in general, though I do broadly agree with your thesis concerning large battery EVs and government subsidies.
    Nov 22, 2011. 10:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Plug-In Vehicles: Weighed In The Balance, And Found Wanting [View article]
    While the GM Volt cops a lot of criticism here, the design is revolutionary and has a valid future being a type of serial hybrid.
    GM will be able to leverage off their technology advantage in this area in the same way as Toyota has leveraged their Atkinson cycle Hybrid drive. I expect further leaps to be made in efficiency and utility of the battery system. An indication of this is the Opel RAK e concept, which is planned to achieve around 20km per Kwh. At around 5Kwh 'usable' battery size , it would set a benchmark for low cost and low environmental impact that I believe competing ICE technologies of any type will never be able to match, simply because the physics of the drive system precludes it. I realize the RAK e is only a 2 seater but if a commuter is faced with a genuine 'half price' option for the daily commute, I don't think it will be ignored.
    Sep 29, 2011. 06:47 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Plug-In Vehicles: Weighed In The Balance, And Found Wanting [View article]
    The cost of SO2 is the most surprising and quantitatively significant factor in this comparative analysis. I thought the SO2 or 'acid rain' problem had been dealt with more effectively than that.

    What it implies is that there is an existing very substantial current external cost associated with the grid, which on the face of it, ought to be dealt with as a priority, regardless of whether one believes vehicle electrification is worth pursuing.

    Assuming that the costs of upgrading SO2 scubbers or natural gas substitution by the ultilities comes at a visibly lower cost than these current external costs, then the consequent benefits would be substantial, since it would enable electrification of personal transport at a considerable total cost advantage.

    The analysis provided gives a clear path forward to a lower cost and more sustainable transportation future;

    Clean up SO2 emissions
    sequester CO2
    electrify personal tranport with modest, simple and efficient BEV s with small (<7KWh) battery packs wherever possible and small battery pack serial NG hybrids otherwise.

    The savings seen against the current external costs substantially finances the upgrade path. (around $2.5k per vehicle)

    As I read the article, the risk associated with 'peak oil' was not explicitly considered. I would consider that to be a considerable incentive to the above process of electrification. I have been persuaded by John Petersen's argument that there are significant risks for supply and environment involved with larger battery packs, so I would avoid that route.

    Thanks for bringing forward this important information .
    Sep 28, 2011. 07:08 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Playing Liar's Poker With EVs, Lithium-Ion Batteries [View article]
    I saw a news commentary on the Norfolk Southern project, it stated (as I recall) that the PbC technology could provide 80% charge in 30 seconds. Unfortunately I can't find the link to that.

    However, the most recent patent was titled Core Supercapacitor Technology, I thought that was a clue.

    I did find these references regarding rate of charge acceptance;
    Thomas Granville 'high level of charge acceptance'

    3rd quarter results 2010 - 'dramatically higher rate of charge acceptance'

    While neither of these quantify with respect to Li-ion, with the 80% charge in 30 seconds in my head, that's how I've been thinking about it.

    I also found this in Torque News

    "It is unique in that it combines the simplicity of lead-acid batteries with the fast recharge rate and longer cycle life of super-capacitors, resulting in a relatively low-cost device that has versatility of design that would allow differing iterations to deliver maximum power; maximum energy; or a range of balances between the two. "

    I would like to know the facts, perhaps I should send Axion an email?
    Aug 26, 2011. 10:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Playing Liar's Poker With EVs, Lithium-Ion Batteries [View article]
    I was referring to using the PbC only in the kinetic energy regeneration system. Energy density by volume is not such a big deal for EVs since the drive system is more compact. Whichever device can accept the energy back most effectively from frequent braking events will have an advantage that won't easily be negated, even if the volume and weight are higher. I don't have any data but as I understand it PbC has better charge acceptance and perhaps better power delivery than Li-ion, so it may well have a role to play in low cost commuter EVs as an additional device used instead of capacitors for example for the demanding regeneration cycling component. I am also hoping battery management is far easier and cheaper than Li-ion for this regeneration task.
    Aug 25, 2011. 10:37 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Playing Liar's Poker With EVs, Lithium-Ion Batteries [View article]
    As I understand it the Imiev M does not have the considerably upgraded regeneration system now available on the Imiev G, and it adds around 12 miles to the range. I think it shows that there are still significant potential improvements to be made in regeneration.

    It seems to me the PbC would be ideal for this role due to the enormous charge acceptance it shows?

    Eventually a regulatory system analogous to CAFE could be employed to keep the EV fleet sustainable on a 'whole life emissions and supply chain sustainability' basis.
    Aug 25, 2011. 08:26 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Playing Liar's Poker With EVs, Lithium-Ion Batteries [View article]
    I feel the playing field needs to be adjusted somewhat in your comparison of a prius. I feel the role played by the 1.5kwh battery is overstated, since to use and cycle the smaller battery in
    that way requires some very complex pieces of additional drive mechanism, which are not required when using a simple electric drive. So to make a fairer comparison of the prius HEV battery with
    a pure EV, the mpg savings attributable to the 'battery' needs to be discounted. I guess 10mpg is a reasonable attribution whereas you are implying 20mpg, so to avoid protracting the argument I
    hope you can agree to my using 15mpg fuel savings attributable to the 1.5kwh battery.

    So gallons saved are 343-240=103 per 12000 mile annum or 68.6 gallon/annum per kwh of battery.

    An Imiev with a 16kwh battery pack and 12000 miles travelled saves 12000/30 = 400 gallons by comparison with the same 30mpg ICE vehicle, hence saving 400/32=12.5 gallons/annum/kwh of battery .

    An Imiev M with 10.5 kwh battery and 12000 miles travelled saves 12000/30/10.5 = 38 gallons/annum/kwh of battery. This version is recently released in Japan.

    So if Imiev '6K' was available with a 6kwh battery it would save 12000/30/6= 66.6 gallons/annum/kwh of battery. This vehicle is capable of travelling the 12000 miles on only one charge per day, but only just. In any case there appears to be no theoretical reason why it could not be available and it would ideally suit a small commuter car EV market niche, such as myself and many others.

    The absolute savings in greenhouse gas emissions* in particular would be substantial compared to any other car, including the prius, while at the same time the production of battery content is
    more or less identical to the rate required for the prius, which you find acceptable I think.
    *I say this because the study seems to have used a figure around 2.3miles /kwh for EV's whereas this vehicle would be around 6.8 miles/kwh consumed, a saving of around 65%.

    Do you agree that a lightweight commuter EV such as the notional Imiev '6K' would satisfy your criteria regarding supply chain constraints for base metals, as well as minimize environmental

    I know that you may wish to question the market acceptance of such a vehicle but essentially it does not appear to have the (big picture) 'congenital defects' you refer to for EVs in general.

    I and many others put a very high weight on mitigating greenhouse gas emissions in particular, for me it is the foremost issue which will determine whether we have a future.
    Aug 24, 2011. 09:00 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Playing Liar's Poker With EVs, Lithium-Ion Batteries [View article]
    Thanks for the reference to this document.
    I downloaded and am trying to understand it but am finding it difficult to reconcile with other sources (including J Petersen)

    I hope someone may be able to enlighten me about the following;

    The GHG emissions for electric vehicles' 'fuel refining and conversion' component is (by eyeball) roughly 300gm CO2 per VMT and this is by far the dominant element for EVs. As I see it this implies around 2.3 miles per kwhr assuming 700gCO2 per kwh. This appears to be a very low figure, production vehicles like imiev ,leaf , tesla and volt are far better than this and look set to improve rapidly (this is a 2030 figure). Can anyone see how they arrived at this?
    Aug 22, 2011. 03:41 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Plug-in Vehicles and the Excess Grid Capacity Myth [View article]
    I appreciate your attempts in that regard and you are providing a valuable vehicle for discussion of important social topics also.

    My short exposure to your posts has helped to cement my view that adding low cost grid storage is a long term trend in its infancy and I own AXPW and ZBB for that reason. Additionally I recognize that while some companies may be wedded to a megatrend there are multiple other dimensions at play , any of which may still lead to financial disaster and your insight into those issues is appreciated.

    As I interpret your article, there is no conflict between investing in grid storage and concern (or lack of it) about the advent of EVs putting pressure on the grid.

    If PHEVs and EVs take hold as I hope they do (though I am invested in neither) I may benefit.
    Aug 6, 2011. 10:41 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Plug-in Vehicles and the Excess Grid Capacity Myth [View article]
    The 'Average Residential Load (Southern California)' graph I assume presents an aggregated residential demand
    divided by the (very large) number of residences, so it is a statistical representation of what happens to the
    load over a very large number of users.
    The superimposed PHEV charging load is for a single vehicle with no attempt to simulate the distribution of that load if large scale
    take-up of EVs did eventuate.
    So this graph is not representing a comparison of apples with apples statistically.

    If a genuine attempt to statistically simulate the EV load over an equivalent number of residences was made,
    I believe it would show a far lower differential in the additional power load.

    In order to fairly present the 'last mile' argument, you would need to present a graph of the load variation taken from
    a suitably large set of sufficiently small 'last mile' candidate regions. In this case I suspect you would see a significantly
    higher 'average' power load and variation over time, of that load.
    You would also need to statistically simulate the effect of EV charging for the same set of candidate regions.

    Until I have seen such a representation which at least attempts to validly compare like for like, I can't give any weight
    to your concerns.

    As you would know, a very large amount of thought is going into this important subject, simplistic 'dismissive' arguments will not lead to the highest and best use of resources.(any more than
    simplistic EVangelical arguments will)

    I do applaud your applause for the new CAFE standards, that development does seem likely to lead to genuine progress.
    Aug 5, 2011. 10:38 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Identifying Saviors and Saboteurs in Alternative Energy [View article]
    Thanks for your response and disclosures.

    It wasn't clear from the link I gave you , but I have read elsewhere, the T.27 has 3 adult seats and 200litres of storage - I thought that would equate to around 340kg at least, in payload.
    (against a total unladen weight of 680kg)

    I would also like to refer you to the developments in molten salt storage technology for solar thermal installations;

    is a new plant with 15hours of storage, it follows several others with 7.5 hours of storage (andasol) and the solana plant in Arizona will use similar storage technology. The payback in energy terms
    for these types of plants is around 5 months and they have an expected life of 40+ years.
    These plants are said to operate at higher capacity utilization than coal and gas plants and similar cost (cheaper in Spain since they have relatively high natural gas cost)

    Since there is no cost of extraction and transportation as there is for hydrocarbons - I surmise that the total process depletion of both base metals and hydrocarbons is far lower and even in land use terms there may be some advantages when compared to land used for extraction and transportation.

    I see great virtue in the intention to use solar energy in this way and in the attention to detail required to make it work - and I see similar virtue in the intention to create truly efficient transportation and again in the attention to detail to make it work. As I see it, virtue cannot be ascribed to the physical process of the creation or the use of the electricity.
    Jul 14, 2011. 11:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Identifying Saviors and Saboteurs in Alternative Energy [View article]
    you put great store in the '70% rule' - e-bikes are wonderful and valid (I wholeheartedly agree)

    -but modern EV design is in its infancy - I refer you to the T.27 'The Worlds Most Efficient Electric Car'


    I believe this EV satisfies your rule and at 12.5km per kwh, it gets into the the same sort of efficiency
    as hybrid locomotives, which you also concede are valid 'highest and best use' of resources.(battery vs diesel)

    So would this T.27 EV (hypothetically , of course, assuming it does go into production) get your approval?

    Also, since I have not seen any disclosures on this subject, would you mind confirming whether or not you have any significant financial interest in any hydrocarbon industry. I feel hesitant
    asking, since in the context of your articles I am sure you would disclose that type of interest, I just need to be sure for obvious reasons.

    PS I usually can't see your charts (Jeremy Grantham...) - is this something I can overcome?
    Jul 14, 2011. 12:58 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment