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5771Electric Forklift Design Expertise, ... Any Applicability To PHEV Prototyping?

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  • murdoch
    Dec 1, 2005
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      To:

      EVWorld.com yahoo group
      Gridable Hybrids yahoo group
      Electric Vehicles For Sale yahoo group

      I have been mulling over our (the CalCars Prius+ Working Group) decision to try
      to work with Electro Energy to incorporate a good (by all accounts) NiMH battery
      into our next Prius+.

      The CIA's not-so-secret moderate investment in Electro Energy is nice and
      signals some interest from "the establishment" in the success of Electro
      Energy's large-format NiMH efforts, and some decades-overdue recognition of the
      national security implications of wider deployment of this
      oil-use-reducing-technology, but for those of us accustomed to decades of false
      starts on Advanced Battery promise, it does not at all put to rest reasonable
      fears that, yet again, "something" will "somehow" get in the way of Electro
      Energy being able to go to production and make appropriate type NIMH batteries
      available for mass production of PHEVs and BEVs.

      What other options are there if something "somehow" gets in the way?

      One of the offbeat questions I keep coming back to, over the years, is that
      there are many thousands of non-advanced-battery EVs in operation every day,
      from golf carts to fork lifts, and that we tend to forget about this a little
      bit.

      So, I wonder if it would be productive to cultivate some working relationship
      particularly with a good established EV forklift maker, just to see.... just to
      find out if perhaps they, using their older Lead Battery tech, could come up
      with a better PHEV... just in case somewhow the rug gets pulled out from under
      us and "somehow" it "just happens" that we are unable to get our hands on any
      good reasonably priced NiMH batteries appropriate in their specifications for
      our PHEV research.

      In the case of the CalCars effort, a basic first goal of the project is already
      accomplished. With our lead acid PHEV prototype proving out many of our ideas
      (including where lead acid just isn't appropriate) and with EDrive Systems'
      Lithium-Ion Prius+ still slated for actual buy-ability in 2006 (early 2006? I
      hope?) I think there is a thought that it is not necessary for us to have the
      same "pace" in building our next-gen PHEV. A primary focus right now is finding
      an OEM with the balls to meet consumer demand and build a PHEV (why is this so
      difficult?).

      In the meantime, many (not just me) have raised questions over the last few
      months, and years, and decades, as to whether we will ever really honestly have
      access to PHEV and BEV-suitable-spec NiMH batteries, and so I wonder how this
      Electro-Energy NiMH + CalCars research will play out.

      http://www.edrivesystems.com/Edrive-FAQ.html

      As an aside, I noticed this quote (below) on the Edrive page. It was rather
      surprising. In my view, this means that the Edrive car is in one sense not a
      full PHEV. (It also makes me wonder if it's the reason they weren't able to
      score 100+ mpg as measured in the Tour Del Sol

      However, some of their other comments on another part of the page make me think
      there is some EV-only-mode at lower speeds, so I am confused if they have an
      EV-only mode, and thus as to whether their vehicle would allow eschewing of gas
      stations, if one only used it at lower speeds for around-the-town-trips.

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      Q37: Is the EDrive system gas-optional? (ie: a GO-hybrid)
      A: No. While the historical definition of a plug in hybrid might be closer to
      that of an electric vehicle with a gasoline range extender, the EDrive system
      takes advantage of the sophisticated full hybrid systems in vehicles like the
      Toyota Prius and Ford Escape hybrid. As such, the system is not presently
      designed to be fully capable at any speed in EV mode, but rather to share the
      burden between gasoline and electricity depending on vehicle operating
      requirements and operator demands. In the future, we anticipate the electrical
      contribution growing and the gasoline contribution shrinking, but at the moment
      the EDrive system for the Prius is not really gasoline optional.

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