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Re: [future-fuels-and-vehicles] Re: Anyone notice biden in the democra tic presidential candidate debate mentioned need for improved lithium ion batteries for electric cars?

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  • Dave Goldstein
    ... wrote: Nonetheless -- and contrary to the concerns of conspiracy theorists -- COBASYS, the marketing arm of the Energy Conversion Devices
    Message 1 of 7 , May 1 5:46 AM
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      -- "Forbes Bagatelle-Black" <diarmaede@...> wrote:
      --- In future-fuels-and-vehicles@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Goldstein"
      <goldie.ev1@...> wrote:

      "Nonetheless -- and contrary to the concerns of conspiracy theorists --
      COBASYS, the marketing arm of the Energy Conversion Devices and
      Chevron partnership, IS producing NiMH batteries for the Automotive
      hybrid market, and has continued to expand its NiMH battery plant
      operations in Springboro, OH."

      Oh yeah? Then how come they won't give me six of 'em for the
      combination golf cart/toaster oven I'm working on? Huh? Huh?! HUH?!

      ;)

      - Forbes


      Hi Forbes.
      Why didn't you tell me about this before? I could have gotten you a quantity discount! :)

      But seriously, I understand that EV and PHEV hobbyists and entrepreneurs are fed up with COBAYS's refusal to sell to individuals. From their POV -- and this is true of many, if not most advanced battery firms -- it simply doesn't make sense, yet, to set up customer service operations to work with private users. And essentially all of their NiMH battery production is already spoken for in large quantity by the OEMs. So from a business perspective, why would they want to bother at this point? As more of these batteries become part of the mainstream, however, and the need for replacements grows, I believe that this equation will change . . .

      Regards,

      Dave

      --




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • murdoch
      [Default] On Mon, 30 Apr 2007 19:32:37 GMT, Dave Goldstein wrote: Nonetheless -- and contrary to the concerns of conspiracy theorists
      Message 2 of 7 , May 13 4:00 PM
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        [Default] On Mon, 30 Apr 2007 19:32:37 GMT, "Dave Goldstein"
        <goldie.ev1@...> wrote:
        "Nonetheless -- and contrary to the concerns of conspiracy theorists
        -- COBASYS, the marketing arm of the Energy Conversion Devices and
        Chevron partnership, IS producing NiMH batteries for the Automotive
        hybrid market, and has continued to expand its NiMH battery plant
        operations in Springboro, OH.
        Here is an excerpt from the COBASYS Web, www.cobasys.com :
        " . . . [...]

        Erik Hansen, Cobasys General Manager of Sales commented, “Cobasys is
        chemistry flexible because no single technology is right for all
        vehicle and stationary applications. In 2007, we will be investing
        over $30 million in plant and equipment to meet the ever growing
        demand for Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery systems at our
        Springboro, Ohio module manufacturing and system assembly plant.
        Cobasys has contracted for the majority of its capacity through 2010.”

        (close quote)

        Dave:

        Something about this quote from Hansen bothers me.

        I am watching Cobasys and ECD and trying to figure out what is going
        on. We know that Hansen is telling the truth in the generalized sense
        when he says that no single technology is right for all vehicle and
        stationary applications, but I would say he is not correct in the
        implication (that NiMH is inadequate for the plug-in hybrid goals now
        claimed by auto manufacturers).

        Cobasys is producing NiMh batteries for the hybrid vehicle market, but
        there does not appear to be evidence that they are producing NiMh
        batteries for plug-in vehicles, nor that they are making any effort to
        mention to anyone that those batteries have proven up to the task for
        that market.

        Now Cobasys has put expansion plans on hold saying they need investors
        and ECD is laying off workers. I have nothing against prudent
        business moves, in theory, but, nonetheless, I have not once in
        several yearsw heard or seen an ECD or Cobasys representative state
        clearly that their NiMh battery chemistry could serve the plug-in
        vehicle market.

        Are ECD and Cobasys saying and conceding explicitly that NiMH cannot
        serve plug-in vehicles? This claim is contradicted by the daily
        evidence that rolls in from California and elsewhere as to the
        durability and excellence of that chemistry in serving
        first-generation major-manufacturer Plug-in EVs.

        If lethal military conflicts were not occuring, and environmental
        disasters not looming, and economies not straining, and consumers not
        sick of being lied-to, under the strain of an oil-directed world, then
        this debate would be more of a cheerful academic debate, and we could
        watch from the sidelines in a more relaxed posture of gauging the
        outcome of the matter.

        However, as the matter stands, we (consumers, countrymen, global
        citizens) need everyone involved to be clear as to what batteries will
        work and at what price and in what volume. This probably includes
        that we need the folks at Cobasys to offer some straight talk on this.
      • Joseph Lado
        ... theorists ... is ... 2010. ... going ... sense ... now ... but ... effort to ... for ... investors ... cannot ... not ... then ... could ... will ...
        Message 3 of 7 , May 14 6:31 AM
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          --- In future-fuels-and-vehicles@yahoogroups.com, murdoch
          <murdoch@...> wrote:
          >
          > [Default] On Mon, 30 Apr 2007 19:32:37 GMT, "Dave Goldstein"
          > <goldie.ev1@...> wrote:
          > "Nonetheless -- and contrary to the concerns of conspiracy
          theorists
          > -- COBASYS, the marketing arm of the Energy Conversion Devices and
          > Chevron partnership, IS producing NiMH batteries for the Automotive
          > hybrid market, and has continued to expand its NiMH battery plant
          > operations in Springboro, OH.
          > Here is an excerpt from the COBASYS Web, www.cobasys.com :
          > " . . . [...]
          >
          > Erik Hansen, Cobasys General Manager of Sales commented, "Cobasys
          is
          > chemistry flexible because no single technology is right for all
          > vehicle and stationary applications. In 2007, we will be investing
          > over $30 million in plant and equipment to meet the ever growing
          > demand for Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery systems at our
          > Springboro, Ohio module manufacturing and system assembly plant.
          > Cobasys has contracted for the majority of its capacity through
          2010."
          >
          > (close quote)
          >
          > Dave:
          >
          > Something about this quote from Hansen bothers me.
          >
          > I am watching Cobasys and ECD and trying to figure out what is
          going
          > on. We know that Hansen is telling the truth in the generalized
          sense
          > when he says that no single technology is right for all vehicle and
          > stationary applications, but I would say he is not correct in the
          > implication (that NiMH is inadequate for the plug-in hybrid goals
          now
          > claimed by auto manufacturers).
          >
          > Cobasys is producing NiMh batteries for the hybrid vehicle market,
          but
          > there does not appear to be evidence that they are producing NiMh
          > batteries for plug-in vehicles, nor that they are making any
          effort to
          > mention to anyone that those batteries have proven up to the task
          for
          > that market.
          >
          > Now Cobasys has put expansion plans on hold saying they need
          investors
          > and ECD is laying off workers. I have nothing against prudent
          > business moves, in theory, but, nonetheless, I have not once in
          > several yearsw heard or seen an ECD or Cobasys representative state
          > clearly that their NiMh battery chemistry could serve the plug-in
          > vehicle market.
          >
          > Are ECD and Cobasys saying and conceding explicitly that NiMH
          cannot
          > serve plug-in vehicles? This claim is contradicted by the daily
          > evidence that rolls in from California and elsewhere as to the
          > durability and excellence of that chemistry in serving
          > first-generation major-manufacturer Plug-in EVs.
          >
          > If lethal military conflicts were not occuring, and environmental
          > disasters not looming, and economies not straining, and consumers
          not
          > sick of being lied-to, under the strain of an oil-directed world,
          then
          > this debate would be more of a cheerful academic debate, and we
          could
          > watch from the sidelines in a more relaxed posture of gauging the
          > outcome of the matter.
          >
          > However, as the matter stands, we (consumers, countrymen, global
          > citizens) need everyone involved to be clear as to what batteries
          will
          > work and at what price and in what volume. This probably includes
          > that we need the folks at Cobasys to offer some straight talk on
          this.
          >

          Murdoch,
          Electric Vehicles made for the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate
          first used lead acid batteries. The first lead acids used in the EV1
          were defective and had far shorter range than typical batteries of
          the same type. They also had very limited cycle life, meaning they
          didn't last long. GM chose to use these batteries rather than use
          the batteries of Ovonics, the Stanford Ovshinsky batteries, a
          battery they knew was clearly better. They chose not to use
          Ovshinsky's nickel metal hydride (NIMH) batteries even though they
          owned 50% of the company that manufactured them. I wonder why?



          NIMH batteries have grown in their use since the mid 1900s in small
          designations such as AAA, C and D sized typically designed for use
          in the home. In the early years of camcorders and laptops NIMH were
          the battery of choice. Ten years ago when the first modern hybrids
          were being designed and EVs were being readied for California's
          markets NIMH batteries were looked upon as the way to an electrified
          transportation future. At that point advancements in large format
          NIMH batteries seemed to have stopped at Ovonics. The electric
          vehicles (EVs) of the Zero Emissions Mandate that finally used the
          Ovshinsky batteries did well with ranges typically of 130 to 180
          miles.



          The small cell NIMHs kept seeing improvements over the years. Today
          NIMH small cells have improved in energy density by 80% and are 30%
          lighter than the batteries of ten years ago. The improvements made
          to NIMH chemistry was never incorporated into the Zero Emission
          Mandate EVs. Panasonic began talking about the incorporating its
          improvements to NIMH EV batteries just after the ZEV mandate was
          removed, however, Ovonics, now doing business as Cobasys with its GM
          owned shares now owned by Chevron oil company, prevented Panasonic
          from making the new and improved large format NIMH batteries.



          A NIMH battery made today with these improvements would be a
          completely different battery than that of the ones installed in
          electric cars a few years ago. At EDTA I saw the casings for a new
          NIMH battery. They were 1/4 the size of the old green iron sided
          ones used in the EV1. They had inlets for liquid thermal management
          guarantying even longer life and the cases were made of light grey
          plastic which replaced the heavy steel of the original batteries.
          These cases were clearly marked on the top Cobasys NIMH. These were
          just the casing being displayed by the casing manufacturer, but it
          was a clear indication that the story of NIMH had changed.



          Are NIMH batteries as energy dense as lithium-ion batteries? No, but
          they are a proven commodity. They are known to last, and last,
          proving themselves in Southern California Edison's fleet of RAV4
          EVs. Many going over 100,000 miles and few reaching 150,000 miles on
          the original battery pack. Since the greatest cost of an EV is in
          the battery, NIMHs that last the life of the vehicle would be looked
          upon as just the price of the vehicle, not a separate expense.
          Lithium-ion batteries are still new in EVs. We don't know what can
          happen with that technology in the long run. I want them to last as
          long as the vehicles like NIMH but we won't know that until they
          have been around in vehicles for a while. Waiting and seeing if
          lithium-ion batteries will last, will keep GM from making a battery
          electric vehicle or the hybrid Volt, forever, since they can always
          claim that they don't know whether the battery will last. NIMHs, we
          know lasts. The risk to the buyer is lower then with the unproven
          Lithium-ion battery.



          Let us look at what would life be like if the improved versions of
          NIMH were incorporated into the modern EV. If the RAV4 EV were
          redesigned to handle these lighter, more energy dense NIMH
          batteries, one could easily see that the range would be much, much
          higher. The higher the range is the greater the utility of the
          electric vehicle. Ranges in the 200 mile area would be likely for
          RAV4 EVs. You would be hard pressed to find someone who, on a
          regular basis would need a greater range than that. Coupled with the
          batteries long life and you can see that the battery the car makers
          are looking for is already here and it is the NIMH battery.



          The price of small format NIMH has come down significantly over the
          past ten years. The price of an AA NIMH battery where I live has
          leveled off at to about $2.50 a battery at retail. At that price I
          have had a hard time purchasing the batteries because they always
          seem to be sold out. I use HIMH batteries for every battery
          application in my house. To save money, I purchased a bulk pack of
          20 NIMH batteries for 19.98 mail order. They are rated at 2500 mah
          each. This is a lot better than the batteries I bought about 6 years
          ago that cost me retail about $10.00 a piece and could hold only
          1500 mah. I strongly believe that if NIMH large format batteries
          were allowed to stay in the marketplace like the AA batteries have,
          similar increases in energy with a similar decrease in price would
          have occurred.



          If I were to swap out the lead acid batteries that are in my
          electric vehicle today with NIMH D cell batteries it would cost me
          around $3,500. Not that far off from what I paid for my Trojans golf
          cart batteries, which was around $2,000. These D cell batteries
          would take up half the space and would be far less than half the
          weight and last the life of my vehicle never needing replacement. A
          large format NIMH battery would end the supremacy of the lead acid
          battery in traction applications such as in golf carts, NEVs, floor
          scrubbers and more. They would simply be a better replacement
          battery being lighter and lasting much, much longer.



          I have had a question in my head for some time now. Why doesn't
          Ovonics/Cobasys/Chevron make a NIMH battery and go after the indoor
          electric utility vehicle battery market? You know what I am talking
          about. At night in large malls and airports there are hundreds of
          large format battery powered vehicle used for scrubbing floors,
          transport people, maneuver shopping carts around, electric rolling
          platforms and cherry pickers, and the list goes on. Here the
          advantages of NIMH would clearly render the old lead acid batteries
          obsolete. It is a market that exists, is large, with managers always
          looking to reduce their long term costs.



          For EV owners, who have grown accustomed to replacing batteries
          every few years, being able to find NIMH regularly available in
          large formats would be a welcome change. There even would be a place
          for NIMH batteries in the starter battery market. People always seem
          to need to replace their dead lead acid batteries. Why not give the
          consumer the chance to pay double for a battery that they know will
          last much, much longer. It always makes me wonder why Ovonics
          doesn't go after the lead acid battery market. Why not go after a
          market they know to exist? I know I would buy a NiMH battery to
          start my car. Wouldn't all of us?

          Go see the http://www.powerofdc.com June 2nd and 3rd.
        • murdoch
          [Default] On Mon, 14 May 2007 13:31:17 -0000, Joseph Lado ... Joe: A real good post. For those who may wish to pass it on to others, it is here:
          Message 4 of 7 , May 14 12:40 PM
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            [Default] On Mon, 14 May 2007 13:31:17 -0000, "Joseph Lado"
            <joelado@...> wrote:
            >
            >Murdoch,
            >Electric Vehicles made for the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate
            >first used lead acid batteries. The first lead acids used in the EV1
            >were defective and had far shorter range than typical batteries of
            >the same type. They also had very limited cycle life, meaning they
            >didn't last long. GM chose to use these batteries rather than use
            >the batteries of Ovonics, the Stanford Ovshinsky batteries, a
            >battery they knew was clearly better. They chose not to use
            >Ovshinsky's nickel metal hydride (NIMH) batteries even though they
            >owned 50% of the company that manufactured them. I wonder why?

            Joe:

            A real good post. For those who may wish to pass it on to others, it
            is here:

            http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/future-fuels-and-vehicles/message/9439

            A few quick points:

            I agree that GM's behaviour was puzzling. In addition, at the time, I
            tracked down that I think they only delivered the NiMH versions within
            about a month or two months of when they would have suffered a
            significant financial penalty for having failed to do so. (NiMH was I
            think credited differenthly than Lead-Acid). They really held back,
            it seemed to me.

            Also, parenthetically and not detracting from your points, note that a
            third type of battery was used, the Panasonic advanced lead-acid
            (which got pretty good reviews).

            >NIMH batteries have grown in their use since the mid 1900s in small
            >designations such as AAA, C and D sized typically designed for use
            >in the home. In the early years of camcorders and laptops NIMH were
            >the battery of choice. Ten years ago when the first modern hybrids
            >were being designed and EVs were being readied for California's
            >markets NIMH batteries were looked upon as the way to an electrified
            >transportation future. At that point advancements in large format
            >NIMH batteries seemed to have stopped at Ovonics. The electric
            >vehicles (EVs) of the Zero Emissions Mandate that finally used the
            >Ovshinsky batteries did well with ranges typically of 130 to 180
            >miles.
            >
            >
            >
            >The small cell NIMHs kept seeing improvements over the years. Today
            >NIMH small cells have improved in energy density by 80% and are 30%
            >lighter than the batteries of ten years ago. The improvements made
            >to NIMH chemistry was never incorporated into the Zero Emission
            >Mandate EVs. Panasonic began talking about the incorporating its
            >improvements to NIMH EV batteries just after the ZEV mandate was
            >removed, however, Ovonics, now doing business as Cobasys with its GM
            >owned shares now owned by Chevron oil company, prevented Panasonic
            >from making the new and improved large format NIMH batteries.

            My thought at the time was that Panasonic had chosen to fracture a few
            rules precisely because the batteries needed the improvement, but that
            the net result of the lawsuit was further (additional) evidence that
            Ovonics' goal did not seem to be to encourage global production of the
            larger traction-suitable batteries. There was talk of working closely
            with PEVE and such, but the ending of the building of good
            traction-suitable NiMh batteries (that production ending seemed to
            coincide with the lawsuit, though I could be wrong) does not strike me
            as the result a company would be seeking if it wanted to encourage
            money-making via global production of such batteries.

            I don't think we need much more evidence to speculate credibly that
            ECD and Ovonics and then Cobasys were not set on either making plug-in
            suitable batteries nor on licensing their profitable production. Sanyo
            and Matsushita and Cobasys (and I think perhaps, slightly, Varta) have
            been making NiMh suitable for NON-plug-ins, but I think that battery
            production seems to be rejected as not-plug-in-suitable, doesn't it?

            In the years following the lawsuit, Toyota has clearly "moved on". As
            for Ovonics and Cobasys and such, they have apparently expended
            formidable resources in gaining various licenses. However, those
            licenses generally seemed to be for the smaller batteries not suitable
            to plug-ins. Have they been trying for the larger licenses or are
            they glad that nobody is making those batteries? Some would say the
            question is absurd, and that no company would so ridiculously walk a
            line of encourage parts of their business and discouraging other parts
            of their business.
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