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Long-Range Affordable EV Won't Be Easy

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chanj0
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CEO
Re: Really a solution?
chanj0   9/30/2013 6:35:47 PM
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I had exact the same question as you do. What worse is, recent study suggested, manufacturing an EV may consume a bigger carbon footprint than running a gasoline operated vehicle because of material of choice. Nonetheless, solar, wind and hydro will no doubt become the energy of the future for various reasons. EV will certainly be the only choice. Now, we may argue EV may not be as friendly as regular vehicle. Without you knowing, EV may be the only choice in the near future.

Frank Eory
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CEO
Re: That's why automakers are looking at other solutions
Frank Eory   9/30/2013 6:41:59 PM
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HEVs still seem like a far better solution than pure EVs, for the foreseeable future.

junko.yoshida
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Re: Really a solution?
junko.yoshida   10/1/2013 1:29:34 AM
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@Janine, (and Frank, thanks for recalling the article I posted a fe weeks ago), here is some data provided by Climate Central: http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1319265 "EVs Are Environmentally Friendly?: True or False?"

any1
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CEO
I'm an outlier?
any1   10/1/2013 11:52:54 AM
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Maybe my transportation needs are different from most peoples but I sitll think that what we really need is not an affordable (whatever that means) long range EV, but an affordable (in just as cheap as the gasoline equivalent) shorter range EV. 

There are many people out there who simply don't need a 200 mile range vehicle.  To me the solution is to make it lighter weight and cheaper primarily by making the battery smaller.  We can argue about optimim range for a "city car", but 75 miles would be plenty for many people - IF car companies could make it just a cheap as the typical small gas powererd car it would compete with I think you would see a market for them. 

Having a low cost, low maintenance vehicle that never has to go to a gas station would appeal to many.  And people will pay for convenience.  For people in urban areas their commute to a gas station can be farther than their commute to work.  Gas stations are starting to disappear from many urban areas because of the high costs of real estate.  In some places now finding a gas station and waiting for your turn in line and then getting out and pumping smelly gasoline (sometimes in inclement weather) is becoming a major hurdle  - especially during rush hour when many people decide it's time for them to refuel.  The ability to just drive home and plug in your car (maybe in a nice warm garage) would be much more convenient. 

Andrzej11
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CEO
Re: Nice goal, but...
Andrzej11   10/1/2013 3:07:51 PM
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@Frank Eory

When batteries with 4 to 5 times the energy-density of present day batteries arrive this would imply a Tesla Model S would have a range of over 1000 miles. Except for those people with no possibility of charging overnight, would charging time be an issue since very few of us could manage to drive over a 1000 miles in the course of a day.

As for charging times themselves, a lot of R&D has gone into silicon anodes and I have read some papers that claim charging rates as high as 20C with exceptional energy density and over 5000 charging cycles before a 20% drop in charge capacity is reached.

The issue is can these anodes be mass manufactured at a competitive price?

Bert22306
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CEO
Re: Nice goal, but...
Bert22306   10/1/2013 4:10:10 PM
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"When batteries with 4 to 5 times the energy-density of present day batteries ..."

The problem is, this has always been the case with batteries. That "when" has not yet arrived, after more than 100 years. So other approaches should be mentioned more in the popular press, to make people aware that energy storage in a battery is not the only EV option.

Not to mention, something that keeps being overlooked, installing additional electric transmission lines is not so easy to do. Any battery storage requires upgrades to the grid, if BEVs are going to make it big time, to replace what we have now. People don't want power lines in their back yard. Powering the automotive, mass transit, and industrial fleets with batteries does increase demand appreciably, as we've discussed here before. It's hardly insignificant. And installing windmills in your backyard, and/or enough solar panels to take the load, doesn't work out too well either. So that's why in practice, especially if these BEVs will be running and will be recharged throughout the day, you do need more electrical transmission lines installed.

betajet
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CEO
Re: Nice goal, but...
betajet   10/1/2013 5:31:11 PM
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Bert said: The problem is, this has always been the case with batteries. That "when" has not yet arrived, after more than 100 years.

My opinion is that this is mostly because most people stopped working on improving battery technology 100 years ago.  Few advances happen by themselves -- people have to be looking at the problem, or at related problems so they notice anomalies that are key to many discoveries.

In the last 100 years scientific technology has come a long way.  For example, with the Scanning Tunneling Microscope you can examine surfaces at the atomic level, something inconceivable 100 years ago.  Once you have people wondering "why can't we get higher energy density?" you'll see plenty of progress with tools to analyze what's really going on.  Look how far Tesla Motors has come in just 10 years.

Also, don't forget the story of how GM's EV-1 didn't get a chance to use NiMH batteries -- one of the factors that led to its demise according to Who Killed the Electric Car?  It's not just technical challenges that's holding back electric cars.

 

 

betajet
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Re: I'm an outlier?
betajet   10/1/2013 5:40:16 PM
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You're not an outlier.  As Ed Begley Jr. said in Who Killed the Electric Car: "Electric cars aren't for everybody.  They can only satisfy the driving needs of 90% of Americans."

Bert22306
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CEO
Re: Nice goal, but...
Bert22306   10/1/2013 5:41:48 PM
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"It's not just technical challenges that's holding back electric cars."



True, but perhaps you misunderstood where I'm coming from. What is holding back EVs is technical challenges, in large part, and the incessant assumption that energy storage must come from a battery.

We know the HEV pretty well by now, where H means "an internal combustion engine." That's somewhat unexciting, in my view, but is definitely doable and has no energy starvation issues. Problem is, there's still a Carnot engine in the equation.

Much more exciting are HEV designs without the heat engine, and my hopes continue to be in the fuel cell car where the hydrogen is produced on board, rather than distributed and stored as H2 gas.

Bert22306
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CEO
Re: I'm an outlier?
Bert22306   10/1/2013 5:45:24 PM
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As Ed Begley Jr. said in Who Killed the Electric Car: "Electric cars aren't for everybody.  They can only satisfy the driving needs of 90% of Americans."

Clarification: that quote applies only to battery electric cars. Other types of electric car have no apologies to make to anybody.

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