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5410Re: [evworld] Re: Batteries

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  • Lee Dekker
    Oct 8, 2005
      The range issue does seem to be a sticking point, even with the most optimistic battery
      projections. But with this, as with all the other issues, we just don't know. For
      certain, liquid fuels are a wonderful way to provide power for vehicles, but an electric
      motor is still the best way to get that power to the wheels. Electricity is also the best
      way to power all the other vehicle functions including power steering, air conditioning,
      breaks and of course the gauges, sound systems, windows, sunroofs, doors and who knows
      what else.

      One thing about electricity that is inherently different from liquid fuels is its
      availability and its transportability. While there is a percentage of energy loss as
      electricity travels through long transmission lines, this percentage is small compared to
      the inefficiency of a tanker truck delivering liquid fuels and driving home empty. There
      are pros and cons to both systems so it's likely both will be with us for quite some
      time. Each has certain advantages that the other lacks. But no matter what fuel is used
      to power the vehicle and its amenities, that fuel will need to be converted into
      electricity to run certain vehicle functions.

      Here are some things we can do with an electric vehicle that we will never be able to do
      with the liquid only fueled vehicle.

      Drive to your Aunt Mildred's, way out in the boonies, and fill your tank (battery) from
      an outlet in her double-wide as you have tea.

      Park your car in a miserably hot parking lot, leave it there most of the day, and come
      back to a car with more fuel in it then when you parked it there. Not only that but come
      back to a car that's nice and cool inside.

      Come home from work, park your car in the garage, plug it in and go flop on the couch.
      All without getting gasoline on your hands or spilling it on your clothes or shoes. And
      without driving miles out of your way to find a station.

      Drive your electric RV up to the Sierra, deploy your photovoltaic awning, enjoy hiking
      the area for a few days and drive home with a full tank (battery).

      Those are just a few of the differences that come to mind. There must be gobs more. And
      none of this has touched on some of the other advantages of electric drive. Electricity
      is simply more versatile. All aspects of electric drive including batteries open a new
      world for vehicle designers.

      This is not really a point to be argued. Things will happen as they happen and in a level
      playing field the best option will win. Has there ever been a level playing field?
      Probably not. So to repeat, the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is probably the best area
      of research in which to place our own personal energies. At the same time it wouldn't
      hurt if we focused more specifically on the battery as key to achieving many of our
      goals. At the present I don't see such a focus. We hear about conservation, wind
      turbines, photovoltaics, biofuels and other essential schemes to achieve our energy
      goals. But we rarely if ever hear a cry for more deliberate, vehicle battery research.
      Hopefully that will change but in the meantime one thing we can do is try to keep an open
      mind. And that in itself is a tall order.

      --- murdoch <murdoch@...> wrote:

      > >But
      > >every single limitation of the battery electric vehicle that I've been able to think
      > of,
      > >all leads back to the battery. The next question one must ask oneself is, has battery
      > >technology already reached its zenith. If we listen to General Motors and others, this
      > is
      > >the case. They claim that they've given up on the battery and have moved on to the
      > >hydrogen fuel cell. What they actually claim is that they've given up on the electric
      > >vehicle, but we all know a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle is nothing but an electric
      > vehicle
      > >that gets its electricity from the fuel cell.
      > Also, I think there is a bit of a grey area here, such as with
      > Graham's Boron proposals, or others', or some of the more exotic
      > technologies we hear about (which are probably only a taste of things
      > to come, in terms of breakthroughs we can't specifically predict but
      > can generally anticipate based on looking at the overall history and
      > potential of the new research). Over the last 15 years, just to give
      > an example, several companies have hinted at a "grey area" between
      > fuel cells and batteries, in terms of using some sort of zinc-based
      > scheme, to some extent "fueling up" but to some extent it is a
      > battery.
      > Likewise, another example is that zinc-air based batteries tend to
      > need to be "rebuilt" rather than recharged (I guess), but once fresh
      > in a vehicle they can power it and I do think there has been such a
      > thing as a zinc-air powered bus, with a scheme for rebuilding the
      > batteries back at the home base, though maybe it was only a hybrid.
      > >Possibly the battery has run up against a technological brick wall. Possibly General
      > >Motors is being genuine and does not have a hidden agenda in their campaign to explain
      > to
      > >us why they have given up on the battery electric vehicle. But while General Motors
      > and
      > >US Car may have given up,
      > I thought that one of the interesting things about this week's news is
      > that GM is selling their stake in Fuji Heavy, a company which either
      > has battery tech and-or is collaborating with NEC, which has good
      > lithium battery tech (apparently) to produce a BEV. So, for the
      > second time in 10 years (their work with ECD and Ovonics being the
      > first time), GM is inexplicably moving aggressively away from
      > ownership and access to some of the very best large-format advanced
      > batteries on the planet.
      > >others still have some hope for the battery. My belief is that
      > >battery technology is still in its infancy.
      > To some extent, I tend to hope along the same lines... more room for
      > improvement there...
      > >Materials science along with growing need
      > >from all sectors of society may still produce some very pleasant and exciting battery
      > >technology surprises for us in the future.
      > >
      > >Why should a battery be any different than the gas tank? Why can't a battery be
      > superior
      > >to a fuel tank?
      > I do think there is an issue here. Because of the nature of how our
      > world seems to be set up, the energy density of these liquid fuels
      > seems to be very high, and thus leads to such things as superior range
      > and such. I'm not sure if batteries as we know them can match up or
      > approach competing, on that score. That doesn't invalidate your
      > points (plenty of room for improvement with batteries, and even as
      > they are, they are in my view more than adequate for more
      > transportation purposes than seem to be generally allowed in press
      > reports).
      > >If the battery can be recharged in about the same amount of time it takes
      > >to fill the fuel tank, that eliminates one of the biggest gripes. If the battery can
      > be
      > >made to work in all weather conditions, another common gripe goes by the wayside. And
      > if
      > >range can be achieved similar to that of liquid fuel vehicles, no one will have that
      > to
      > >complain about. There or still cost and environmental and other issues to consider but
      > I
      > >see no brick wall.
      > >
      > >Why couldn't a large truck be a pure battery vehicle? What, other than our current
      > >perceptions or misperceptions makes something like this impossible. It's tough to
      > twist
      > >our minds in new ways and as we predict the future were sure to look like fools at
      > times.
      > >There is also a lot of inertia to break through, as with any new concept. The electric
      > >vehicle is generally understood to have certain characteristics. Even people who are
      > >usually up on the latest technologies and are knowledgeable about vehicles in
      > particular
      > >will often hold some very incorrect views about electric vehicles. Battery electric
      > >trucks may still be a long way off but the view of all electric vehicles as being
      > slugs
      > >on the road is about to be shattered.
      > >
      > >The Toyota Prius is a very neat car and has obviously made a huge splash. But a muscle
      > >car or a sports car it's not. But with the Lexus hybrid SUV we are seeing the
      > beginnings
      > >of what electric drive can do to enhance performance. With the Lexus 450H, the
      > perception
      > >of electric drive as being inherently slow will be confronted directly. It won't take
      > too
      > >long for people to put two and two together and realize that electric motors are not
      > only
      > >the best way but by far the fastest way to move the vehicle. As perceptions change, so
      > >will products. For now our best bet to help things move along is to promote the
      > plug-in
      > >hybrid electric vehicle, "the gateway vehicle" as Murdoch has so cleverly put it.
      > Beyond
      > >that we need to keep our minds open for much better things to come. Because electric
      > >motors are the best choice for powering big trucks for the same reasons they are the
      > best
      > >choice for powering locomotives and other machinery. It's just a question of how we're
      > >going to get the electricity to them.
      > >
      > >
      > >--- Arcologic@... wrote:
      > >
      > >>
      > >> Lee, got milk?
      > >>
      > >> Were you thinking of using an ET (electric truck) to haul your groceries?
      > >> Or, how about the transporter that brings your EV from the factory?
      > >>
      > >> A huge share of transportation fuel goes to vehicles not suited for battery
      > >> power. We need to continue research on more efficient and clean diesel
      > >> engines, running on non-fossil fuel of course.
      > >>
      > >> An electric drive /motor behind the diesel engine might be a good
      > >> improvement, don't know. For heavy duty trucks, another pressing need is some
      > >> leadership toward better aerodynamic design.
      > >>
      > >> Ernie Rogers
      > >>
      > >> Lee said,
      > >>
      > >> Biofuels will be one important part of the solution.
      > >> > But using electricity for world
      > >> > transportation will be the ultimate answer. Even
      > >> > biofuels will be much more practical
      > >> > and efficient when used in an electric drive
      > >> > vehicle.
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > >>
      > >>
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >__________________________________
      > >Yahoo! Mail - PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2005
      > >http://mail.yahoo.com
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >Yahoo! Groups Links
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >

      Yahoo! Mail - PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2005
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