Naked Science Forum

Non Life Sciences => Technology => Topic started by: baker1 on 15/12/2008 02:47:57

Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: baker1 on 15/12/2008 02:47:57
anyone have any fresh ideas that might advance the electric car concept?
 
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 15/12/2008 07:12:48
Electric cars have too many snags. 
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Don_1 on 15/12/2008 07:25:05
Until electricity can be generated efficiently without the use of fossil fuels or nuclear reactors and stored in equally efficient batteries, I do not see electric powered transport as the answer to our problems  vis-à-vis CO2 and pollution.
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: teragram on 18/12/2008 17:56:04
Don_1, "..... I do not see electric powered transport as the answer to our problems  vis-à-vis CO2 and pollution."

With the greatest respect, what is the answer?
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Bored chemist on 18/12/2008 18:48:43
Fewer people?
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: techmind on 18/12/2008 22:07:17
anyone have any fresh ideas that might advance the electric car concept?

Probably the biggest problem is that the energy density of batteries (ie stored energy compared to weight and to size) is low compared to petroleum.
In other words, you have to have a big, heavy (and expensive) battery to get you very far. Carrying deadweight around decreases performance for stop-start driving, and increases the energy requirements to climb hills.

We then have the small issue of practical power-connection (charging) for people who don't have private garages or driveways. Drag cables across pavements and leave overnight?
No viable battery technology can recharge in the few minutes taken to refuel with petrol (and no present domestic supply could provide enough instantaneous power/current to do so anyway).


I'll leave it as an exercise for someone else to calculate the energy in Joules (then kilowatt-hours) in 45litres of premium unleaded, and then calculate how many hours it would take to pull that same amount of energy out of the domestic 240V electricity supply limited by a 60amp company fuse...

Needless to say, if everyone swapped to an electric car overnight, we'd need some major upgrades to our electricity distribution infrastructure one way or another. I think we'd more than double our electricity usage.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Chemistry4me on 18/12/2008 22:56:41
No one wants to invent a viable one because they'll get assassinated by some oil company hired hit-man...
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: lyner on 18/12/2008 23:21:08
It's much cheaper (and legal) to buy out inventors, actually. They are always doing it. When the time comes to jump, they'll all jump into the electrical pond - using the technology which they own already.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: LeeE on 19/12/2008 00:29:02
The main thing that's holding back electric car technology is weight.  Then performance.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Don_1 on 19/12/2008 08:36:17
Don_1, "..... I do not see electric powered transport as the answer to our problems  vis-à-vis CO2 and pollution."

With the greatest respect, what is the answer?

Fewer people?

Apart from BC's answer, I do not know. We need to travel less and supply our needs from our own locality. Since this is simply not possible in towns and cities such as London, New York, Paris etc. etc. we must continue to transport our requirements over great distances.

Go buy a pizza and look at the ingredients. Now think of where those ingredients came from; Wheat flour perhaps from America, tomatoes from Holland, sun dried tomatoes from Italy, olive oil from Greece, cheese from New Zealand, herbs from France, pineapple from Brazil, ham from Denmark, cardboard packaging from the UK and all put together in Germany.

How many thousands of miles has that pizza travelled???

This planet cannot sustain man's appetite.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: teragram on 19/12/2008 20:28:45
"Electric cars have too many snags."  
"We then have the small issue of practical power-connection (charging) for people who don't have private garages or driveways. Drag cables across pavements and leave overnight?
No viable battery technology can recharge in the few minutes taken to refuel with petrol (and no present domestic supply could provide enough instantaneous power/current to do so anyway)."
"Needless to say, if everyone swapped to an electric car overnight, we'd need some major upgrades to our electricity distribution infrastructure one way or another. I think we'd more than double our electricity usage."
"The main thing that's holding back electric car technology is weight.  Then performance"   .........etc. etc.

So do we then just give up?, and admit that we cannot progress beyond the 19th century when it comes to transport technology?
I thought this was a science forum!!
Reading all this, the "fewer people" answer is the one we'll have to put up with.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 19/12/2008 22:56:07
"So do we then just give up?"

How do you solve all the problems then?..  Wave a magic wand.





Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: lyner on 20/12/2008 00:06:51
The charging time problem is far from intractable. I have a cordless drill with just two batteries. One charges whilst I am using the other and the system works on a continuous basis for all but the most intensive jobs. A third battery would cope with almost any circumstance.
A petrol station could be replaced by a battery swap station - no deliveries needed - just a whacking great mains supply cable and a vast number of  batteries on charge. The volume taken up would be somewhat more than the existing fuel storage tanks, of course, but change over would / could be quicker and a lot safer than pouring inflammable fuel all over your shoes instead of into your tank.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: DoctorBeaver on 20/12/2008 09:19:41
30-odd years ago on Tomorrow's World they said we'd all be driving nuclear-powered cars by 2000  [:D]
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: lyner on 20/12/2008 11:25:02
Raymond Baxter was a Sports commentator, wasn't he?
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: graham.d on 20/12/2008 14:14:04
You are all a bit negative I think. Electric cars do not necessarily mean batteries for a start. What about Hydrogen Fuel Cells for example? It is still an electric car with a relatively simple and efficient electric motor and it does not take longer to fill up with hydrogen than with petrol or diesel. London has a couple of Mercedes buses that work with such a design at the present time so it is a practical solution.

I can also say, from having tried out a Lexus hybrid for a couple of days, that even batteries, when combined with a petrol engine, certainly improve the fuel consumption. In the case of the Lexus, this was combined with very impressive performance too. It may not be wholly green, but it is certainly a step forward. I admit there wasn't too much room in the boot (trunk) though.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: teragram on 20/12/2008 15:59:37
Thanks to graham.d for some common sense.
My next comments are these:-
My car can cover well over 700 miles on one “charge” (50litres).
This range capability is useful to me three or four times a year.
The majority of car journeys are I think within the range of even present day electric car technology.
We still are building and buying cars which can achieve ridiculously high maximum speeds (average speeds in U.K. towns are I think about 20m.p.h.) and are ridiculously heavy. Transport fuel demand could be reduced enormously (15-20%) by reducing trunk road speed limits from 70 (U.K.) to 50m.p.h., (be a lot safer to).
These are some of the points in response to “what could we do without new technology?”

The amount of energy in 45 litres of petrol is about 1,700MegaJoules, but the petrol engine converts about 1,200MegaJoules of that into waste heat, 500MegaJoules into motive power. Diesel engines are of course superior, but not astonishingly so.
If the motive power was supplied by electric motors, only about 170MegaJoules would be wasted,
In response to the original question:-

Electric motor technology is advancing encouragingly, see Siemens e-corner, Flightlink PML, (both in wheel motor technology, NO COMMENTS ABOUT UNSPRUNG WEIGHT PLEASE).
Battery technology also, see Altairnano in California (application of nanotechnology to battery development).
The possibility of motors such those above means that a car would have no gearbox and clutch (needed in conventional cars because the I.C. engine is so ill-matched to the load requirements) and no differential, all of which contribute to poor efficiency. They are perfectly suited to energy recovery on braking (not a fantastic amount unless you’re in a race, but useful)

I find all the negative attitudes to the need for drastic new methods of transport and energy to be extremely discouraging and I repeat "I thought this was a Science Forum"
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 20/12/2008 17:09:50
It is a science and engineering forum and not a science fiction forum.

Batteries.... You need at least a ten fold increase in energy stored per weight.  You need cheap safe and long life batteries.   
 
Unless domestic electricity supplies are beefed up by a factor of several times (very unlikley to happen) home charging will always be slow.  Even charging on an industrial scale will never be fast.  Battery swapping seems to be the only alternative and at current battery weight and bulk it is not really on.

People want  versatility..  They may do the same short journey day after day but they will want to go and see their granny etc etc now and again which involves an extra 10 miles.   A 50 mile range will mean you won't risk going more than 20 miles from home. 

Look at the G-wiz.  You have to take range figures etc with a bucket of salt. 

Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: yor_on on 20/12/2008 17:11:26
In fact 'fewer people' is the viable answer:)
This is what we need to consider.

Any way, there are a lot of short term solutions energy wise:)
If we would 'permanent' them though the power(s) 'that be' would have to change.
As our society would change.

Less central control.
more diversification with lesser possibilities to 'supervise' us.
Unless we accept a 'police state'.
Which wouldn't surprise me:)
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: LeeE on 21/12/2008 17:03:57
One issue with batteries and fuel cells is that they store an enormous amount of energy and if they're damaged there's a risk of all that energy being released at once in an explosion.  This doesn't sound too different from the case with petrol but while petrol will burn it won't explode in atmospheric air.  It explodes in the cylinders but this is only after it is atomised and mixed with air in the right combination.  In this respect petrol is safer than batteries or fuel cells.

Hydrogen fuel, carried separately and used in a fuel cell type convertor, might be the best option.  As with petrol, Hydrogen won't explode in atmospheric air unless the mixture is right, although it will of course burn, but it's problematic stuff to carry around.  It's molecules, being so small, will leak out of fuel tanks very quickly unless they're made and maintained to a high standard.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Don_1 on 21/12/2008 17:20:41
There is a great deal of emphasis on electric cars here, i.e. personal transport. If you really want to do something which will be of some benefit to the environment, forget electric cars, in fact, forget ALL forms of personal transport which need more than your own body power. Then tackle the wider problem of the transport of provisions.

An electric 42 ton truck??? I don't think so.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 21/12/2008 18:08:38
I gather the Tesla Roadster has been tested by Clarkson on Top Gear and the prog is on tonight on BBC2.  Sounds like Tesla objected to the findings.  For one thing there is some argument about the charging time of 16 hours versus 3.5 hours.   I would have thought that 3.5 hours is simply not possible with British domestic (or any other in the World) supplies and 6 hours would be more like it.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: teragram on 21/12/2008 18:50:54
The original question was -
"anyone have any fresh ideas that might advance the electric car concept?"
I think I am the only one to have attempted to answer this so far. Most of the replies seem to be merely concerned with stating the problems of electric cars. Any mention of electric cars seems to frighten a lot of people. Why don’t we remember the problems with conventional cars?

"One issue with batteries and fuel cells is that they store an enormous amount of energy and if they're damaged there's a risk of all that energy being released at once in an explosion."

Developments on Li-ion batteries seem likely to address this problem. Also, is being in a fireball any better than being in an explosion?

If every experimenter or engineer just accepts all the problems stated, and didn't bother doing any development, then alternatives will never appear. This applies to every other technological endeavour. I remember the appearance of transistors spawning the argument "transistors will never replace valves". We now have phenomenally powerful computers in almost every home.
Incidentally, this is not an invitation to open the debate here on whether valve audio amplifiers are better than transistor ones.

There is no science fiction here, we just have to change our lifestiles.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: techmind on 21/12/2008 20:36:14
"So do we then just give up?"

How do you solve all the problems then?..  Wave a magic wand.

Well, forgive us for being negative, but the thread title appears to be
"What is holding back electric car technology?"
so that could be expected to direct the tone of many of the replies.


Fundamentally, moving an individual around in a steel cage/contraption with 5 to 10x the mass of the occupant is going to be inefficient because you have all that deadweight.

Although it doesn't come with creature-comforts, the bicycle is a far lower-energy method of getting around. It's a shame that inconsiderate car drivers often make cycling on our roads an unpleasant and hazardous activity.

Mass-transit systems (buses, coaches, trains) are far more fuel-efficient than private cars too - but have their drawbacks in terms of limited routes, limited frequency of service, sharing space with strangers etc etc. On the other hand, if more people used them then the logistics of frequency and routes becomes helped by economies of scale.

Electric cars could probably be 2-3x (thereabouts) more energy-efficient than petrol cars - but far greater savings could be achieved by considering wider options for transport.

Another possibility is if we all owned much smaller 1-2 person cars as local runabouts (electric or otherwise), and adopted the mindset of hiring larger cars just on the rare occasions when we actually need to cover longer distances or carry bigger loads.


Electric cars would have some advantages, but shouldn't be viewed as a magic bullet. The solution to excessive energy use is not purely more technology, but technology alongside some changed lifestyle expectations.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 21/12/2008 21:00:34
I think Top Gear got it about right. A great car but only for as long as the batteries have juice.  The programme will be viewable on BBC i-player.

Electric car manufactrurers and fans do themselves no favours by quoting silly figures that tests and calculations reveal to be bogus.


I don't see how electric vehicles can be more energy efficient than petrol ones.  After all the batteries are only a means of storing energy from some other source and there are losses all the way from the power station to the battery.  Maybe less than half of the mechanical energy produced by the turbines reaches the driving wheels of a vehicle.

You could say electric vehicle users are (deluded) polluting, parasitic tax dodgers if you wanted to be unkind but there is some truth in that.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: lyner on 22/12/2008 01:18:49
Quote
It's a shame that inconsiderate car drivers often make cycling on our roads an unpleasant and hazardous activity.
As they don't pay road tax, do cyclists deserve any consideration? (I'm not advocating knocking them over on purpose.)
And how many cyclists 'consider' the pedestrians they terrorise on the pavements?
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: teragram on 22/12/2008 16:13:54
Thanks, Pumbechook, for pointing out that “Top Gear” had planned a feature on the Tesla, I would have missed it otherwise.
I was AMAZED that the car covered 55 miles on one charge when being driven like a racing car. This better than I anticipated. A more useful trial would have included a test of range under more normal driving conditions. After all, how many of us drive at speeds comparable to the lap time of a Porsche something-or-other. Pretty good with a motor the size of a melon, though? The statement that it requires 16 hours for a charge seems a bit suspect. I think the Tesla has a 26KW/hr battery, which if it requires 30KW/hr to charge (a guess) would need 10 hours to charge from a 13Amp outlet. Quite a load for a 13Amp circuit, but most houses have 30 or 40Amp circuits for cookers, showers, etc., why not a car charging circuit? With regard to the time required to charge, when I was working, my car stood in the garage 12 hours each day, and the office car park for 9 hours. Even with a range of 50miles, there would be plenty of time for charging.
The later “Top Gear” feature offered the Honda Clarity hydrogen powered car as an alternative. Thankfully this car uses a fuel cell and electric drive, gaining three times the energy from the hydrogen than would an I.C. engine. I understand however that producing hydrogen uses five the power required to charge a battery. This, with the need for new infrastructures, seems to put it into the “impractical” category.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: teragram on 22/12/2008 16:17:51
I meant of course "five times the power" Moral, proof read before you publish!!
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 22/12/2008 16:59:53
The Tesla batteries are 53 kWh (I have also seen 56 kWh) so given the efficiency of a charger and the charging process 16 hours from a 13 amp socket sounds to be  the right area or somewhat optimistic....20 hours more like and if you had a higher power supply but still domestic with a 40 Amp breaker 6 hours would the fastest practical 'fast' charge if you kept all other high power devices off (no taking a shower unless it is gas powered).  I also thought that 55 miles wasn't bad when driving at high speed. Do the sums..53 kWh and 185 kW max motors..   For Tesla to turn round and say that Top Gear fiddled it and 250 miles is the correct range.. what planet are Tesla living on??  Sounds like the spokeslady from Tesla has believed her own company hype. 
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: LeeE on 22/12/2008 17:11:40
Quote
"One issue with batteries and fuel cells is that they store an enormous amount of energy and if they're damaged there's a risk of all that energy being released at once in an explosion."

Developments on Li-ion batteries seem likely to address this problem. Also, is being in a fireball any better than being in an explosion?

The developments in Li-ion batteries are mostly about making them more efficient and not safer and most of these developments focus on making the battery element smaller/thinner, so that more elements can be used for the same size and weight.  If anything, this would tend to make them less robust and more susceptible to manufacturing flaws.  I don't know if you were aware of it but there have been a couple of very large scale Li-ion battery recalls due to the batteries spontaneously bursting in to flame in laptop computers - google "sony battery recall".

A fireball is quite a lot less destructive than an explosion.

Re the Top Gear Tesla test, it seems that at no point did either of the two Teslas they had run out of power during testing, and neither did any major faults (requiring more than a fuse-change) occur.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 22/12/2008 17:28:29
It seems that they hadn't run out of power?  Do the sums.  Two of us are impressed that they even got 55 miles.   

Sounds like Tesla is in trouble.  The boss has quit.  I never saw the point in such as car unless it was to flog some to rich kids and then wind up the company.   

Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: paul.fr on 22/12/2008 22:03:29
Thanks, Pumbechook, for pointing out that “Top Gear” had planned a feature on the Tesla, I would have missed it otherwise.


Why would anyone listen to Clarkeson when it come to this subject? He is not known for his eco-friendly views, to say the least.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 22/12/2008 22:10:43
The Tesla aint exactly eco is it?


Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: DoctorBeaver on 23/12/2008 12:06:51
What if you need to go out in an emergency while your car is charging? "Sorry, dear, I can't take you to the hospital to have that nail removed from your head for another 2 hours 17 minutes. Take an aspirin".
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 23/12/2008 14:20:02
Limited range would suit very few people.  Although many might do a short predictable journey day after day there are times when they will want to go on to somewhere else or make a diversion for a romantic asignation or buy a tap washer.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: LeeE on 23/12/2008 18:09:49
Quote
It seems that they hadn't run out of power?  Do the sums.  Two of us are impressed that they even got 55 miles

Just reporting what the Beeb has admitted

http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2008/12/22/bbc_top_gear_tesla/ (http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2008/12/22/bbc_top_gear_tesla/)
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: teragram on 23/12/2008 20:17:18
Apologies for understating the battery capacity. Also,hydrogen production requires about 4 types the energy a battery requires, not 5 times (all approximate) as I previously stated.
The charging problems are all defeatable, no knew technology required.
The nail in the wife’s head does not need to wait until the battery is fully charged, even if the battery is completely dead, partial charge is useful. Be more kind to your wives!
Romantic assignations (I wish) need not be at long distance. Anyway, behave!!
Battery cars will get more eco if renewable generation continues to increase.
I remain impressed by the range of 55 miles at racing car speed. As I said, we need to know the range at more civilised speeds. I am not impressed by a flashy sport car though, only by the possibilities it shows for more useful electrical vehicles
HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE!
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 23/12/2008 20:54:09
Some of us are accused of being negative but there are serious snags which can't be dismissed easily. You can't assume that some amazing solutions are around the corner.  You can't get around the fact that a high capacity battery needs a beefy electrical supply and charging in minutes really is science fiction.  Even if a suitable battery chemistry existed you are taking about a 200 kW supply for a 20 minute charge (still quite a long time compared to filling a tank with petrol).. say 250 volts at 800 Amps..  The charging plug would be enormous and weigh many kg and the cable would like be as thick as your leg. 

I still think one of the best battery technolgies we have is the 150 year old lead-acid.  The big snag is their bulk and weight.  Li-ion is not a good technology.   

Why did a fuse blow?  Fuses blow when there is a fault. It is what they are there for.

I would like to see a respected organisation or a Uni to do some proper tests on the Tesla.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Doug Saga on 29/12/2008 12:26:38
get ready to go electric:

Car sales tumble to worst fall since 1991
Car sales during October showed their worst annual decline for seventeen years, falling by just below by a quarter in the worst set of figures seen since the last recession.

During October, cars sales fell 23 per cent to 128,352, reflecting the sharply deteriorating economy and the worst of several months of accelerating declines where sales of luxury cars, such as the Bentley, as well as people carriers have been hit particularly hard.

Sales of new cars fell 21 per cent in September, despite the introduction of new '58' number plates, and by 19 per cent in August. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, which releases the data, sales last fell by more than a quarter back in June 1991.

The weak figures were underlined by dismal results from the world's largest carmaker, Japan's Toyota, which said that this year's operating profit would be 63 per cent lower than expected due to an "unprecedented" sales collapse in Europe, the US as well as faltering trade in China and India.

the race is on !

"Nissan's own electric car development team is aiming to design lithium batteries with three times the charge capacity of existing models, meaning that an electric vehicle could travel up to 500km on a full charge. "

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/technology/article5091986.ece

Japanese industry set for a lithium rush as carmakers turn focus to green motoringLeo Lewis, Asia Business Correspondent
Japan's largest automotive and electronics giants are poised to embark on a worldwide scramble for lithium - the material that could be required in bulk if the roads of the future are to be filled with electric cars.

Companies as diverse as Toyota and Panasonic could add mining or lithium-extraction operations to their portfolio of businesses as the technology that powers laptops and iPods is upgraded to drive the Chevrolet Volt, the Mitsubishi Miev and a dozen other electric cars that are on their drawing-boards.

The lithium-ion battery has recently emerged as a potentially critical stop-gap green technology as the motor industry gradually weans itself off the internal combustion engine. Although substantial advances have been made in the production of a commercially viable fuel cell vehicle, infrastructure issues - such as the lack of any network of hydrogen fuelling stations - mean it could be some decades before they enter the mainstream. Cars that can be plugged in and charged overnight, meanwhile, represent a more immediate development focus for the carmakers.

The impending rush to secure stable lithium supplies comes as large swaths of Japanese industry are suffering a crisis of confidence about their pipeline of raw materials. As a country that relies entirely on imports to feed its factories, companies now talk of building “upstream supply” in the form of investment in mines.

Related Links
Panasonic wary of rivals as it prepares Sanyo bid
Panasonic poised to launch bid for Sanyo
Panasonic, which stands to become the world's largest producer of lithium batteries if it completes its planned purchase of Sanyo, its local Osaka rival, has amassed a $10 billion (£6.2 billion) cash reserve for overseas acquisition.

A company spokesman said that while it had no concrete plans at the moment, purchasing an interest in a lithium production facility could “be thought of as one option”.

In addition to the emerging pursuit of lithium, Japanese trading companies have begun an energetic land-grab for other types of mines: bauxite, platinum and nickel are prime targets because of the huge demand from Japanese industry.

Stung by soaring prices earlier this year, motor companies have even begun to look at securing their own supplies of raw materials for steel production. Toyota Trading - an affiliate of the carmaker - has already bought part of a coking coal mine and admitted that further mine investments, including lithium, were a possibility.

Research by The Times suggests that at least ten leading Japanese companies have begun investigating ways of securing lithium supplies, or are mulling corporate alliances that would guarantee a degree of price stability. Some are considering outright purchases of existing lithium production facilities in Chile and Argentina, while others are looking at investing in planned lithium plants in China.

Global leaders in lithium-ion batteries, such as Sanyo and NEC Tokin, have unveiled improvements to the technology that have persuaded big carmakers, such as Nissan, to invest heavily in the development of next-generation electric cars.

Nissan's own electric car development team is aiming to design lithium batteries with three times the charge capacity of existing models, meaning that an electric vehicle could travel up to 500km on a full charge.


Subject: electric cars

The type of technological enabler that will lead to the overwhelming adoption of electric cars:

Battery is actually an ultracapacitor. A full charge should give the capacitor sufficient energy to drive a small car 300 miles (480 km). Although the technology should allow very fast charging (e.g., 5 minutes), standard household wiring is not capable of delivering the power required for this, so charging times this short would probably require purpose-built high capacity dispensing stations.[5]

http://www.cleantech.com/news/3174/eestors-weir-speaks-about-ultracapacitor-milestone

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EEStor

EEStor's Weir on ultracapacitor milestone
July 30, 2008 - Exclusive By David Ehrlich, Cleantech Group

EEStor claims third party verification
EEStor ultracapacitors to run LightEVs cars
Zenn gearing up for EEStor-powered car
Lockheed Martin to use EEStor's ultracapacitors
Zenn electric cars cleared for Canada
The stealthy energy storage developer's product is real and will meet specs, claimed passionate CEO Richard Weir in an exclusive interview.
Cedar Park, Texas-based ultracapacitor developer EEStor could be a step closer to shipping its first product, announcing the certification of production milestones and the enhancement of its chemical purification processes.

The secretive startup has made bold claims for the performance of its upcoming solid-state electrical energy storage unit, yet the company has some significant partners backing its claims, including Toronto-based electric vehicle maker Zenn Motor (TSX: ZNN), Silicon Valley's Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), the world's No. 1 defense contractor.

Richard Weir, president and CEO of EEStor, told the Cleantech Group his company's certification announcement is significant.

"It certainly allows us to meet present specifications and major advances in energy storage in the future," he said. "It'll meet the voltage, we say that, it'll meet the polarization, saturation, we say that."

EEStor is developing an ultracapacitor which it said will be longer lasting, lighter, more powerful, and more environmentally friendly than current battery technologies.

Texas Research International, acting as an independent laboratory, certified the level of crystallization in EEStor's composition modified barium titanate, or CMBT, powders at an average of 99.92 percent. EEStor said this puts it on the path toward meeting its goals for energy storage.

The company expects its ceramic ultracapacitor, which it said uses no hazardous materials, to have a charging time of 3 to 6 minutes, with a discharge rate of only 0.02 percent over 30 days. EEStor said that compares to more than 3 hours to charge a lithium-ion battery and a discharge rate of 1 percent over 30 days.

"It's all certified," said Weir. "No bullshit in this."

EEStor's milestone comes on the same day that San Diego-based competitor Maxwell Technologies (Nasdaq: MXWL) announced a supply deal (see Golden Dragon Bus to use Maxwell ultracapacitors).

Maxwell shipped its Boostcap ultracapacitors to Xiamen, China's Golden Dragon Bus for use in diesel-electric hybrid buses in Hangzhou.

EEStor said the enhancement of its chemical purification processes is one of its most critical technical milestones, but EEStor has yet to release the results of permittivity testing, which will trigger the next milestone payment from Zenn. The automaker said permittivity is a measurement of how much energy can be stored in a material.

In a statement today, Zenn CEO Ian Clifford said the news "bodes well for EEStor's completion of its third party verified permittivity milestone and is a very strong affirmation of our investment in and the rapid progress of our business plan."

Zenn currently makes low-speed electric vehicles, shipping its first production vehicles in October 2006, but plans to roll out a highway-speed vehicle powered by EEStor's technology in the fall of 2009 (see Zenn gearing up for EEStor-powered car).

Zenn has already made three milestone payments to EEStor totaling $1.3 million. Another $700,000 is payable after the permittivity testing, with a final $500,000 due when EEStor ships its ultracapacitors.

Separately, Zenn also holds 3.8 percent of EEStor after investing $2.5 million in the ultracapacitor company in April 2007. After EEStor's permittivity milestone, Zenn has the option to boost its investment to a range of 6.2 to 10.5 percent.

In 2005, Kleiner Perkins invested a reported $3 million in EEStor. The percentage of Kleiner's stake has not been revealed.

"We were invested in to put in a high-volume production line. I think this says we've made some very major strides to completing that," said Weir.

"The plant is going in right now in Cedar Park as we speak. And then we'll, of course, we'll always expand from there."

Lockheed Martin announced its contract with EEStor in January, saying that it plans use the ultracapacitors for military and homeland security applications (see Lockheed Martin to use EEStor's ultracapacitors). The defense contractor did not release the financial terms of the deal.

Weir wouldn't disclose if EEStor is working with any other companies, saying only, "Once contracts are signed, I'm sure we'll have a news release on them."

EEStor's ultracapacitors were previously set to come out in 2007, but Zenn has since said that EEStor has committed to commercialization in 2008, with EEStor's first production line to be used to supply Zenn.

When asked for an update on that schedule, Weir said, "Good things should happen in a reasonable period of time."
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Doug Saga on 29/12/2008 12:30:59
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ce77ab20-9097-11dd-8abb-0000779fd18c,dwp_uuid=1cba192e-8e15-11dd-8089-0000779fd18c.html

Battery developers race to fuel electric cars
By Bernard Simon

Published: October 2 2008 17:22 | Last updated: October 2 2008 17:22

The race to build the first mass-market electric car has unleashed an equally, and perhaps even more, intense contest to produce the battery pack that will power it.

McKinsey, the consultancy, estimates that venture-capital investment in battery-related companies soared from $153m in 2003 to $1.15bn last year.

EDITOR’S CHOICE
Indian car sales suffer biggest fall in eight years - Dec-10TMD’s German groups file for insolvency - Dec-08US carmakers set for slender lifeline - Dec-05November new cars in UK decline 37% - Dec-04German car sales plunge sharply - Dec-02In depth: Detroit in distress - Nov-30“The market is very crowded in terms of new chemistries and cell developers,” says Karina Morley, director of control and electronics at Ricardo, a consultancy that is setting up a battery system development centre in Michigan.

On the other hand, Charles Gassenheimer, chief executive of Ener1, a New York-based battery developer, takes the view that “the pie is going to be fairly big and there is room for a lot of players”.

The most closely watched race for now is between two groups led by South Korea’s LG Chem and A123Systems of Boston to supply the lithium-ion pack for General Motors’ Chevrolet Volt plug-in car.

GM has said it will announce its preferred supplier by the end of the year. Word in the marketplace is that the Koreans are the frontrunners.

Meanwhile, numerous other alliances are taking shape. Bosch, the big German parts supplier, and South Korea’s Samsung recently announced a joint venture to produce batteries by 2011.

Volkswagen has teamed up with Sanyo, the biggest maker of lithium-ion batteries used in laptop computers and mobile phones.

Sanyo, which already supplies the batteries used in Ford and Honda hybrid models, aims to produce 10m cells a month by 2015, enough to power about 1.7m vehicles.

Mr Gassenheimer says Ener1 is talking to more than two dozen potential customers. Ener1 has a contract with Norway’s Think Global, which has promised to have its Think City electric car on the road by the end of this year.

Ricardo says it has signed up five US customers and others in Europe for its battery development services.

Batteries have always been the main question mark in the viability of electric cars. Concerns include weight, capacity, speed of recharging and safety, especially heat.

Most hybrids currently on the road, notably Toyota’s Prius, use nickel-hydride batteries. But the focus is now on lithium-ion packs, which are more compact and have the potential for a much greater range.

Even Toyota has formed a joint venture with Matsushita Electric to produce lithium-ion batteries for future models. “I don’t think there’s any question that Toyota will be major player in lithium-ion”, Mr Gassenheimer says. Nissan has a partnership with NEC.

Uncertainties still abound. Noting carmakers’ typical pledge that their electric-vehicle batteries will last for at least a decade, Ms Morley asks: “How do you know it’s going to last 10 years if you don’t have 10 years to test it?”

More encouragingly, a consensus appears to have emerged that electricity is the most promising alternative to the internal-combustion engine and that battery technology will eventually be up to the task.

Referring to GM’s Volt, Rick Wagoner, the carmaker’s chief executive, said recently that “for close to a year now, we’ve run prototype battery packs through test after test and our confidence in their ability to deliver the required power, range, safety, reliability and quality has grown with every lap around our proving ground”.

Ms Morley is confident that in five years “we’ll be comfortable with the technology in general”.

Instead of worrying about whether batteries can deliver the goods, she predicts, the industry will be focused on improvements – higher energy storage, quicker charging, longer life, lower cost and lighter weight.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: teragram on 29/12/2008 13:20:06
Thanks, Doug Saga, for
a) supplying answers to the original question “fresh ideas to advance the concept of the electric car”, and
b) providing all that info, which will take me some time to follow up in detail. It is encouraging that large PROFIT MAKING organisations seem to be moving forward.
In my opinion the future is the electric car (probably battery powered) or bike and public transport, the other option, presented by Techmind. Answers like “battery cars can’t achieve the range of petrol ones”
assume that we will have a choice, in the near future.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Doug Saga on 29/12/2008 13:47:25
http://www.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idUSTRE4BH42G20081218

U.S. government lab, 14 firms team up on lithium battery
Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:08am EST By Andrew Stern

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Aiming to mass-produce a lithium battery for vehicles, 14 U.S. companies with expertise in batteries and advanced materials have formed an alliance with a government laboratory, the lab said on Thursday.

The alliance, which includes battery industry giants such as 3M Co and Johnson Controls-Saft, intends to secure $1 billion to $2 billion in U.S. government funding over the next five years to build a manufacturing facility with an "open foundry" for the participants to pursue the goal of perfecting lithium-ion batteries for cars.

"It's a huge deal for the nation, and for the lab," said Mark Peters, who is in charge of transportation and battery research at Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago, which will advise the group.

China, Japan and South Korea are the current leaders in lithium battery research, he said in a telephone interview.

"A small, fragmented (U.S.) battery industry will not long survive in the face of determined Asian competition," Ralph Brodd, a consultant to battery manufacturers, said in a statement released by Argonne.

"(Other) countries understand that he who makes the batteries will one day make the cars," he said.

The best-selling hybrid vehicles such as Toyota Motor Corp's Prius use a nickel metal hydride battery. Lithium batteries are widely considered to be the next technological leap forward for electric-powered vehicles, as they can be recharged in a wall socket like a computer battery.

The National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Battery Cell Manufacture was modeled after SEMATECH, the successful public-private venture created in the late 1980s to restore U.S. prominence in computer semiconductor technology.

Besides Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions, a joint venture of Johnson Controls Inc and France's Saft Groupe SA, and 3M Co, the founding members of the battery alliance are ActaCell, All Cell Technologies, Altair Nanotechnologies Inc, Eagle Picher Industries Inc, EnerSys, Envia Systems, FMC Corp, MicroSun Technologies, Mobius Power, SiLyte, Superior Graphite, and Townsend Advanced Energy.

In addition to an advisory role for Argonne, U.S. truck and auto makers will be asked to join the alliance's advisory board, said James Greenberger, an attorney who was instrumental in assembling the group.

Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 29/12/2008 14:26:22
Some people still seem to think a 5 min home charge will be possible in the future ???

Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: teragram on 29/12/2008 15:33:07

I don’t think anyone believes that a 5min charge period is a possibility in the foreseeable future, just that it will be easy on  a day to day basis to use some of the (long periods of) time that vehicles spend idle to recharge them.



Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 29/12/2008 15:40:03
Quite a few of people with no scientific or engineering knowldege seem to think Tesla and others are working on 5 min home charge right now.  I get shouted down when it tell them it is just not possible. 
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Doug Saga on 29/12/2008 16:26:10
http://gas2.org/2008/12/22/new-patent-reveals-details-of-eestors-ultracapacitor-technology/

New Patent Reveals Details of EEStor’s Ultracapacitor Technology
 
Written by Nick Chambers
 
Published on December 22nd, 200828 CommentsPosted in Electric Cars (EVs), Ultracapacitors
A newly-granted US patent (PDF) for the upcoming ultracapacitor technology from secretive Texas-based EEStor contains a ton of detailed information about their near-mythical Electrical Energy Storage Unit (EESU), which has the potential to revolutionize transportation and our energy infrastructure.

Apparently one EESU weighs 281 pounds, has a volume of 2.63 cubic feet, can be fully charged in 3-6 minutes, is completely unaffected by temperature, will not explode or catch fire in an accident, and provides 52 kWh of electricity (nearly the same amount of energy the Tesla Roadster battery can hold, which reportedly takes the Roadster about 240 miles).

The speed at which an EESU can be charged is fully dependent on the type of power source used to charge it. Ultracapacitors, in general, can accept a near-instantaneous charge, so, if you want to take advantage of the super fast recharge time, you’ll need to get a heavy-duty circuit installed. For instance, if you are trying to charge it from a regular US 110V/15A outlet, it could take you up to 30 hours to get a full charge.

Continuing on with the Tesla Roadster comparison (why the hell not?), we find that one Tesla lithium-ion battery pack (PDF), containing 6800 small batteries, weighs almost 1000 pounds and takes up about 4-5 cubic feet of space. The Tesla Battery can be charged in about 3.5 hours, again given a high enough voltage and amperage. Given this comparison, you can clearly see how the EESU, if it ever comes to market, would truly be a game-changer.

I spent a couple hours last night combing through the detailed EEStor patent (PDF) looking for other clues and made some minor discoveries of my own. The EESU consists of thousands of tiny “components,” each consisting of 10 “elements.” In turn, each element has 100 alternating screen-printed dielectric layers of barium-titanate ceramic powder (94%) mixed with PET plastic (4%) and screen-printed layers of an aluminum electrode.

EEstor says the volume of each dielectric layer is 0.0005651 cubic centimeters and the volume of each electrode layer is 0.00005806 cubic centimeters. Given that there are a thousand of each layer in each component (10 elements X 100 layers), the total volume of each component would be: 0.5651 cubic centimeters + 0.05806 cubic centimeters = 0.62316 cubic centimeters.

To get to a capacity of 52 kWh of electricity, EEStor calculates that each EESU would need about 31,351 of these components. Therefore, the total volume of an EESU’s charge holding parts with a capacity of 52 kWh, according to my calculations, would be: 31,351 X 0.62316 cubic centimeters = 19,537 cubic centimeters, or roughly 0.7 cubic feet.

What’s odd about this is that, according to the patent, the volume of a 52 kWh EESU plus its “box, connectors and associated hardware” is 2.63 cubic feet. So, almost 2 cubic feet of the EESU is devoted to the “box, connectors and associated hardware”? I find this hard to believe. Maybe somebody else should check my calculations (look at column 5, Table 1, and columns 9 and 10 of the patent for the details).

If you were to combine two of these EESUs in one vehicle, it would still weigh roughly half as much as a Tesla battery pack, but take the car twice as far (almost 500 miles). Additionally, because of the nature of ultracapacitors, it would still only take 3-6 minutes to charge both packs (again, only if you have a powerful enough outlet).

I’ve still got my fingers crossed that EEStor is really making progress on the EESU. The fact that they’re backed by ZENN Motors and Lockheed Martin lends some credence to their claims, but I’ll believe it when I see it.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: lyner on 02/01/2009 18:44:07
A kilowatt hour is a kilowatt hour.
If you want to charge in 1% of the time the vehicle is running then you need (at least) one hundred times the power input compared with running power. What would be the point of supplying houses with the sort of peak power needed for a rapid recharge (copper costs money, you know) when you could replace batteries in seconds and charge them at leisure?

I really advise you optimists to steer clear of invitations from Nigerian businessmen to help them with their million pound funds transfer. If you believe what you seem to believe about battery charging then you may just believe those gentlemen too.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 02/01/2009 19:05:41
Simon Wood's, tech director. Lotus Cars (Tesla's partner), report starts off as 'Electric Cars are the Future' but then lists  what he calls 'considerable technical challenges' which is amother way of saying unsolvable problems, particularly fast home charging.   He thinks for EVa to succeed they need at least  100 kWh battery packs which at the moment would be impossibly heavy and a fast charge supply would be over 2 MW which is 150 times a typical household supply.  Whether batteries, capacitors or motors stretching knicker elastic fast home charging will NEVER be possible.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: lyner on 02/01/2009 19:28:49
Of course, it's not a trivial problem for the 'depot' either. The effective mean input power which a daily delivery of petrol to a garage represents is very considerable and that would be what we're talking about. Someone could actually work it out but it must be the equivalent to several coal trucks being delivered to the power station per day. (Not a green comparison, I know).
The recharge time would have to be the average time between visiting vehicles over the day - five minutes, say?
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 02/01/2009 23:04:24
Any fast charging yes, but particularly home charging.    Where are we going to get all the elec from if EVs become widespread?    I wonder with the high voltages and/or high currents (maybe hundreds or thousands of amps) Health and Safety (capitals) wouldn't allow it.  You would need batteries capable of fast charging without being damaged or exploding.  There are Youtubes on-line showing Li-ion batteries exploding. 
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: techmind on 03/01/2009 00:33:41
Quote
It's a shame that inconsiderate car drivers often make cycling on our roads an unpleasant and hazardous activity.
As they don't pay road tax, do cyclists deserve any consideration? (I'm not advocating knocking them over on purpose.)
Is the fact that you give consideration to other vehicles got anything to do with the fact that they do pay road tax?

The alleged purpose of road tax is to fund the building and maintaining of roads; since a bicycle is so much smaller and lighter than a car, the wear and tear it causes is utterly negligible. Clearly the administrative costs would outstrip the revenue if cyclists were charged proportionately.
Many cyclists do also own a car, and pay road tax on that - and all adult cyclists pay income tax and national insurance etc.
The non-paying of road tax is a spurious argument used against cyclists.

Quote
And how many cyclists 'consider' the pedestrians they terrorise on the pavements?
But you are right - cyclists are stuck between a rock and a hard place; neither drivers nor pedestrians believe they should be on 'their turf'. Cycles travel substantially faster than peds, but frustratingly slower than cars - no wonder they're hated.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: lyner on 03/01/2009 17:10:47
The reason that most motorists criticise cyclists is that there are some very BAD road users amongst the cycling fraternity. How many of them obey the road signs, stop at red lights and position themselves properly? They actually get in the way.
When I cycle, I behave as if in a car and do my best not to piss off other road users. I am in a minority.
The regulations which aim to prevent total novices and total idiots from driving cars may not be 100% effective but there is nothing of the sort to protect us from badly behaved cyclists. That's why all cyclists suffer from general resentment. Unfair, but based on experience. It's an unfortunate 'us and them' situation but with reason.

Non payment of road tax by cyclists is fair enough but why not demand that all road-using cyclists must have third party insurance? Cyclists who cause accidents and consequential damage would be priced off the road because their premiums would get higher and higher.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: BenV on 03/01/2009 19:43:57
When I cycle, I behave as if in a car and do my best not to piss off other road users. I am in a minority.

The majority of cyclists here in Cambridge do too - I think you're probably not in the minority, just more likely to notice those inconsiderate cyclists.

I'm certainly a considerate cyclist, but have seen some who are not - same goes for driving.  I suppose the difference is that a dangerous cyclist is far less likely to kill someone than a dangerous driver.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: lyner on 03/01/2009 21:25:29
Cyclists have the same problem as youths in hoodies.

There are a lot of idiots in Brighton, however, who do not have cars but do have gallons of youthful testosterone which provides them with a personal force field which they are convinced will protect them from all harm. Never be surprised to meet one coming towards you up a one way street. if you appear cross, he will just be cross back at you!!
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: teragram on 05/01/2009 17:38:16
We seem to have departed somewhat from the general thread.

If electric cars become common:-

Yes, the electricity grid will need to be expanded to cope with the demand. It has always expanded to cope with demand. The grid was not built at the start of the last century with the capability it has today. If all car companies decided tomorrow to start building production quantities of electric cars, it would be some years before they all started to hit the streets, and even then many people would continue to support the internal combustion engine sacred cow for old times sake.
In other words, grid capability is a problem, but not insurmountable.

Yes, the battery car cannot hope to match the range of an old fashioned car, until technology improves further. But most car journeys are well within the range of even traditional battery vehicles.
The charging problem is always stated as the time required to charge from zero to maximum charge. The energy lost from a battery on the short journeys which most are, will be replaceable comfortably during the time the vehicle is idle, even without vast changes to electricity supplies.  
Incidentally, the solution of changing batteries instead of recharging on-board is not a new idea, but is a good one (maybe to address the long range trip when necessary).
In other words, range is a problem, but not insurmountable.

Yes, there are problems with the risk of Li-ion batteries exploding, although not I think with ultra-capacitors. We hear of computers bursting into flame. But that was some time ago. Is it still going on? Batteries such as that in the Tesla are made from a large number of small devices. Maybe the explosion problem can be contained to a small area of the total. Also, it is not true that Li-ion battery development is only concerned with increasing capacity. Efforts are being made to solve the explosion problem, in fact at the moment, to the detriment of capacity. Given that the battery car becomes common, other battery technologies will be developed which are even more suitable.
Yes, the explosion risk of Li-ion batteries may be a problem, but it is not insurmountable.

Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Doug Saga on 12/03/2009 16:21:11

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1161274/Scientists-develop-mobile-phone-battery-charged-just-10-seconds.html

Scientists develop mobile phone battery that can be charged in just 10 seconds

By David Derbyshire
Last updated at 7:31 PM on 11th March 2009

Thing of the past? The new mobile phone batteries will be recharged in just 10 seconds

A revolutionary mobile phone battery that recharges in 10 seconds instead of several hours has been created by scientists.

The new device charges 100 times as fast as a conventional battery and could also be used in phones, laptops, iPods and digital cameras within just two or three years, they say.

The same technology could even allow an electric car to be charged up in the same time that it takes to fill a conventional car with petrol - removing one of the biggest obstacles to green, clean motoring.

The quick-charge battery is the brainchild of engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The MIT team say their invention uses materials already available to battery manufacturers and would be simple to mass produce.

The invention is based on conventional lithium ion rechargeable batteries found in most cameras, phones and portable computers.

Lithium ion batteries are used in portable gadgets because they  store a large amount of energy in a small space.

However, they are also relatively slow at recharging - which can be a nuisance for anyone who forgets to charge up their phone overnight.

Dr Gerbrand Cedar, who devised the new battery, said: 'Electric car batteries have a lot of energy so you can drive at 55mph for a long time, but the power is low. You can't accelerate quickly.'

Dr Cedar and colleagues have now found a way of speeding up this process, the science journal Nature reports.

Conventional lithium ion batteries contain two electrodes - one made from lithium and one from carbon - submerged in a liquid or paste called an electrolyte.

When a battery is being charged up, ions - or positively charged atoms - flow from the lithium electrode to the carbon one. When a battery is discharging, the ions flow the other way.

The new battery could also work with rechargeable cars

Charging up or discharging a battery is slow because it takes time to 'detach' the ions from one electrode and absorb them into the other.

The researchers took a conventional electrode made from lithium iron phosphate and altered its surface structure so that ions were released and absorbed 100 times more quickly than normal.

A prototype made using the new technique could be fully charged or discharged in just 10 to 20 seconds. A similar sized ordinary battery takes six minutes to charge.

Unlike other battery materials, the new material does not degrade when repeatedly charged and recharged. That could lead to faster batteries lasting between two or three years, they said.

'The ability to charge and discharge batteries in a matter of seconds rather than hours may open up new technological applications and induce lifestyle changes,' Dr Ceder said.

The technology could also usher in a new generation of smaller, lighter batteries that allow phones and handheld batteries to be the size of credit cards.

Although the invention will be popular with owners of electronic portable gadgets - who will no longer need to remember to keep them charged up overnight - it could also usher in a new era of electric cars.

Bigger batteries for plug in electric cars could charge in just five minutes - compared with about eight hours for existing batteries.

Owners of electric cars would be free to drive long distances, safe in the knowledge that they could top up their battery in a few minutes at a service station - just like the owner of a petrol or diesel car.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 12/03/2009 18:00:16
Have you worked out the power required to fast charge a high capacity traction battery?..  The volts and amps required.


Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: lyner on 12/03/2009 19:28:34
We've been here before. It's the power supply that the filling station would need that's the problem.
If you need to charge a 2000Ah battery in 1/100 of an hour (i.e. less than a minute) you would need to charge at 200,000A. That's going to need around 1,000A of mains power for each vehicle being charged. Then there's all the heat that it would produce during charging.
A petrol pump gets the energy in with much less fuss.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 12/03/2009 21:35:38
How big would a 200,000 Amp plug be?

 
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 12/03/2009 23:41:21
We've been here before. It's the power supply that the filling station would need that's the problem.
If you need to charge a 2000Ah battery in 1/100 of an hour (i.e. less than a minute) you would need to charge at 200,000A. That's going to need around 1,000A of mains power for each vehicle being charged.
Not necessarily. There's a difference between peak power and average power. Having a battery in the filling station would considerably reduce the peak. You only have to supply the charging station at average power, not peak power; and being able to charge faster doesn't necessarily change this much.

But you'd need a heck of a lot of new power stations to supply all the energy for electric cars.

On the upside though, having a lot of electric cars plugged into the mains can completely flatten out the grid's load, and you end up with somewhat cheaper electricity, since they can supply peak power from electricity they absorbed at base load prices.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 13/03/2009 11:34:16
I did follow that about average and peak.

If you need to store X energy (Megajoules or kWH) in a battery and you want to do it quickly you need a lot of power and the current is very large.  You can't wave a magic wand and get around the laws of physics.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: lyner on 13/03/2009 12:16:50
wolfekeeper
Storing energy at the filling station would cost a lot -  the efficiency of such a fast cycle could be quite low (I2R losses, mainly - there is a lower limit to the possible resistance of cables). That applies to the whole notion of very rapid charging, in fact.

I  heard the BBC News item about the 'new' battery technology and saw the joke animation to show how it worked. Ab fab for phones, drills and toothbrushes, though, even if the car application is a bit hopeful.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: yor_on on 13/03/2009 12:59:51
A lovely idea Doug, there seems to be some downsides to it though. AS SC writes, there will be a lot of really strong 'powerplants/filling staions' needed. And a whole lot of new electro magnetic fields too I presume? All of them interfering with biological materials like our body's and brains. We have this ongoing experiment with mobile phones already:) All over the world, but I guess that would just become a teardrop in the ocean if this cheme was put into motion.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: lyner on 13/03/2009 13:23:20
You can't beat a good cheme, can you? lol
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: teragram on 14/03/2009 17:38:47
Charging a 50 or 60 KWh battery in a few minutes requires a huge amount of current. But in these discussions the requirement for charging a COMPLETEY flat battery is the only one mentioned.
A battery powered car would charge overnight, every night, while standing idle. It might even be charged while parked at a place of employment, or in public car parks. It need not be charged at a super fast rate. What’s more, the length of most car journeys means that an overnight charge would easily top-up the battery.
It short, the requirement for charging from dead flat will arise infrequently for most people.
Charging stations will probably cope quite easily.
A battery powered car could even allow me to store electricity at night rate cost for use next day instead of high cost day rate. (My car is often unused for periods of days).
One advantage however of fast charging capability is that whilst driving, much more of the energy currently lost in braking would be recoverable. I understand that in vehicles powered by existing batteries, only about 15% of the energy required for braking can be absorbed, the limit being damage to the battery. With fast charge batteries, this figure rises I think to 85%, leading to even higher efficiencies, most noticeable in town driving, where the I.C. engine is at it’s worst.

Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 14/03/2009 18:37:32
wolfekeeper
Storing energy at the filling station would cost a lot
No, you just have a battery at the filling station of similar technology to the car per filling station. Either these batteries are affordable or they are not.

Quote
the efficiency of such a fast cycle could be quite low (I2R losses, mainly - there is a lower limit to the possible resistance of cables).
Nah. Thick conductors have negligible resistance.

So far as I can tell, there really isn't a practical limit here. It's just a question of charging the individual cells in the car largely in parallel, if you want to go faster you need large contact area for the plug, and the highest voltages you can sensibly manage. It's not rocket science.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 14/03/2009 19:18:53
It is not rocket science.  It is heavy engineering.

Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: lyner on 14/03/2009 20:25:51
Using two battery cycles (car plus filling station) involves twice the cost of battery capacity and twice the loss of a charge / discharge cycle.

Thick - REALLY thick - conductors are very costly. This is why they use high voltage transmission. Even short connecting cables would pose a problem. The batteries themselves would get hot because of their finite internal resistance. Remember, when you're talking in terms of thousands of Amps and low (battery vehicle) voltages, you would need only milliOhms of internal resistance  or less.

What about the internal connections in the car - for charging? Even they would need to be great lumpy bits of copper and the contacts? Not a trivial job. It's actually very much like rocket Science because of the huge powers involved.

Any engineer (me and several who I know, at least) will tell you that the numbers actually count. Once you are talking megaWatts, you are in a different electrical ballpark.

A filling station will have to be the equivalent of a significant mains distribution substation. You would need to include the energy storage factor, too.

Each vehicle would need a charge of 200kWh of energy (conservatively - 20kW for 10 hours running). This would have to be delivered withing, say, two minutes to compare with filling with petrol. That's 200X30 = 6MW! per vehicle on the forecourt. Efficiency will be very poor at that rate of charge so you could increase that to 10MW. That is some serious engineering infrastructure.
It's not impossible to envisage for a prototype, one off, demonstration but, as an alternative to the present petrol dispensing system, it's very problematical.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 14/03/2009 20:39:10
Nah.

First thick conductors are not costly. A 1 inch (2.5 cm) square one meter long aluminium bar weighs about a 1.7 kg, and has a resistance of 43 microohms, and costs about ~$17 ish. If that's carrying 1000 amps, it has a voltage drop of only 43 mV and a power dissipation of 43 Watts. And you probably wouldn't make it square cross-section, you could make it as a sheet, because it's easier to manufacture and it dissipates heat well.

In a filling station, unlike in power transmission where you are going tens of kilometers you're only going a few meters at most. The difficult bits are the connectors, but I don't see any show stoppers there either.

And in the car, you're only going a couple of meters distance or so. Again, not particularly an issue, and the conductors are not especially heavy in the context of a complete vehicle.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 14/03/2009 20:40:17
Also, on the cost front, so what if it costs twice as much on wear and tear on batteries to fill up quickly (yours and the filling stations)? You don't do it that often, mostly you plug in at home.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: jujusalvador on 14/03/2009 22:56:32
what is holding back the electric car technology, are the producer companys... and all of us all!

is stupid that we can regenerate energy with braking systems, but no one ever implemented nothing about regenerating energy from moving velocity, because they now, that with that kind of system or with covered technologies like magnetic generators or selff running motors we will never need to charge our cars, and will be forever free , independent of Electric/Fuel Bills, and dont ever will pollute the nature.

you are all arround the question, like everyone else, and dont see the basic point... this is simple and pure like fresh water! is not about fast charge battery's, or big capacity batterys...

what will resolve the electric cars, if they will go charge at the electric grid? that is almost all deppendent of carbon, petrol or nuclear?

you can continue using fuel cars, its all the same!!
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: lyner on 14/03/2009 23:33:36
Wherever you get it from, the supply industry will have to change considerably to allow for increased consumer demand.  But that's no objection in principle.

Is there data on the internal resistance of these new cells? The news items talk on a more superficial level. The reduced 'time' for ions to be transferred must relate, somehow, to the effective internal resistance. I don't know enough about the nuts and bolts of electrolysis to come to a conclusion.  It would certainly need to be lower than a conventional car battery if the internal dissipation is to be less than several kW - which would cause boiling during a "five minute" charge.

On the 'details' of cost, the financial advantage will only be there if you can actually limit the inefficiencies. A double charge cycle is not an insignificant factor in cost if the efficiency of one cycle is less than, say, 80%.

I am very positive about the use for low power devices - I'll go for it as soon as I can afford a camera battery, for instance.

It's just scaling it up by a factor of several thousands which I am not convinced about, yet.

As jujusalvador says, the whole system needs a total change of mind set about efficiency and demand before any invention will significantly improve matters. With electric powered vehicles, we have the chance to make use of regen braking and better control / feedback to make the driver realise just how much energy is being used up a any one time. I have recently bought a car with instant mpg display and it is very revealing - and sobering.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: teragram on 15/03/2009 17:27:30
You don't do it that often, mostly you plug in at home.
Hear, hear!!
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: lyner on 15/03/2009 21:27:29
Not in your existing home, you don't. It will still need a new supply.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 15/03/2009 23:09:46
My household supply could fill up a 50 kWh battery as used by Tesla Roadster just fine thanks, overnight, from completely empty.

I mean, even the cooker circuit is rated at 7.2 kW. It could do that in 7 hours.

And my daily commute is nothing like the 200+ miles that the Tesla manages; more like 20.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 15/03/2009 23:26:23
Electric vehicle manufactures tend to claim double or even three times the range that actual  owners get.

They use the magic phrase..'up to'.. and is done on rollers.

And a 50 kwh battery needs more like 80 kwH to charge it. Chargers are not 100% efficiency and neither is the charging process.. In any case a 50 kWh battery wouldn't last long if we deep discharged,

Electric Vehicles = inefficient..  far from green..  Basically a waste of time.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 15/03/2009 23:38:52
Shrugs, I don't think you're right in this case, but either way, don't care. My electricity supply can still handle that with total ease.

And don't forget that electric cars are a lot more efficient than IC cars. Tesla gets about 80%, whereas a petrol engined car might be ~20%. And the electricity they use is made more efficiently at the power station using gas turbines, and may be produced using nuclear or hydro.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 15/03/2009 23:50:58
FWIW I checked, and LiIon batteries are about 80-90% efficient as regards charge/discharge, and I don't agree about the 'not last long', they have charge cycles of 100-1000s, which is adequate for a car (I worked out the cost of the Tesla battery and electricity was less than the petrol per mile for example.)
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 15/03/2009 23:53:53
Waste of time.  That is why they have barely advanced in decades and there are very few on the roads.  

So what the efficiency of a petrol engine is 20%.. calorific to mechanical output.  It remains that petrol has the order of 100 times the axle energy per kg of a bettery.  Burn the same fuel in a power station and the overall efficiency of an electric vehicle is much lower.  Make more sense to burn the fuel directly in the car.  Hydro is limited and nuclear ain't cheap.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: lyner on 16/03/2009 00:06:57
My household supply could fill up a 50 kWh battery as used by Tesla Roadster just fine thanks, overnight, from completely empty.

I mean, even the cooker circuit is rated at 7.2 kW. It could do that in 7 hours.

And my daily commute is nothing like the 200+ miles that the Tesla manages; more like 20.
What I meant was that your energy supply will need to increase to something like double what it is now if your transport energy is to come down the same cables. It's not only peak power that counts.
http://www.after-oil.co.uk/energy.htm (http://www.after-oil.co.uk/energy.htm)
claims that, by 2020, transport will represent 50% of energy consumption in the UK. I estimate that personal transport costs would be a similar fraction of total personal consumption. That is a major issue.

Pumblechook's points are also relevant - I think the percentages are still not enough for the case to be anything like as clear-cut as wolfekeeper makes out. For a start we should need a lot more information about the actual performance of these new cells when used for ultra high power / energy applications. Without data on the internal resistance of the cells, we cannot know the efficiency of the charging process. I have a feeling that even the voltage drop across the rectifiers (about 0.5V) represents a big percentage of energy loss - at any charging rate, for large capacity batteries.

The 80% vs 20% figures are not comparing like with like and they well overstate the case. The use of hybrids allows a significant clawback on the 20% figure. A small IC engine, operating under ideal parameters could be much more efficient.

The quoted charge efficiency of 80-90% - what rate of charge does this apply to?

You'd need to break out a proper spreadsheet to deal with all the factors - including extra payload etc. etc. before you could give a convincing case that these new cells are the answer to the (driving) maiden's dream. Of course the developers of the new tech are going to overstate their case where they think they can get away with it. I am just being healthily skeptical.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 16/03/2009 00:21:17
I did some more checking. They reckon that petrol engines are about 30% efficient (I say, probably on a good day only), whereas the point of use electric power efficiency is about 35% in the UK (about 30% in the US).

All inefficiencies together, they're about the same.

However, the electric car probably has much more upside potential- CHP can achieve about 90% efficiency so there's a possibility of generating power locally, to charge your car and give you hot water and heating at the same time. Also, dealing with pollution at a power station is much easier (or you could use nuclear or whatever, this is base load power supply we are talking about, which is cheaper). Also increasing the efficiency of a petrol car further is not as easy as improving a power station.

And around town, there's no contest, an electric car uses regenerative braking and similarly standing in traffic is completely more efficient.

As to your specific point about the voltage drop across a rectifier, that depends on the voltage you're using obviously, the higher the better; at 240 volts that's only about 0.5% loss of power. Its about twice the percentage loss of the voltage.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 16/03/2009 00:28:37
Even without CHP it's reckoned that supply efficiencies of 48% may be achievable. See: http://chp.defra.gov.uk/cms/centralised-electricity-generation/
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 16/03/2009 00:28:44
I have a personal DAB radio with a Li-ion battery and they advise you not to buy a spare battery because when you come to use it in 2/3 years time it will be duff.. poor shelf  life.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 16/03/2009 00:35:49
There's lots of different sorts of batteries out there though. Li-Ion seem good for frequent use and have an excellent capacity/weight ratio. Others are a bit heavier but have much better shelf life.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 16/03/2009 01:01:58
We have gone through the calculations on other talkbords and the conclusion was that 'current' electric vehicle are pretty expensive per km to run.

Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 16/03/2009 01:28:32
[[citation needed]]
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: lyner on 16/03/2009 09:38:10
There's lots of different sorts of batteries out there though. Li-Ion seem good for frequent use and have an excellent capacity/weight ratio. Others are a bit heavier but have much better shelf life.

But doesn't your baby rely on Li-Ion and the new technology?

Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 16/03/2009 15:57:01
Not necessarily, there's quite a few technologies out there including other lithium based ones with pros and cons.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: lyner on 16/03/2009 22:30:08
Fast charging, too?
I thought it was the latest thing which made your case.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: teragram on 17/03/2009 17:07:07
We've been here before. It's the power supply that the filling station would need that's the problem.
If you need to charge a 2000Ah battery in 1/100 of an hour (i.e. less than a minute) you would need to charge at 200,000A. That's going to need around 1,000A of mains power for each vehicle being charged. Then there's all the heat that it would produce during charging.
A petrol pump gets the energy in with much less fuss.

Perhaps I’m wrong, but:-
A 2000A/h battery would be 25Volts (for around 50KWh). The Tesla battery is I think 375Volts, so the battery currents involved are about 15 times lower, i.e., to charge in 1 hour needs (approx.) 50KWh/375V = 140Amps, or in 1/ 100 of an hour 14,000Amps.
Who says you have to charge in less than a minute? 10 minutes would be convenient.
Battery current would then be 140 x 6 = 840Amps.
In a “Charging Station”, mains current required to charge a 50KWh battery in one hour at 440Volts is about 90Amps per phase, so to charge in 10 minutes would be 540Amps. Nowhere is 200,000Amps needed.
And remember that day to day charging will be achieved at home by a very large number of people. Charging from dead flat might be quite rare.

The argument about the efficiencies of battery power versus petrol/Diesel must also account for the energy cost of processing and transporting liquid fuels and crude oil, and of course transporting coal.
 
Yes a petrol pump is more convenient, but what about when:-
a) the human race finally admits that it MUST stop burning oil,
     Or
b) oil gets too scarce?

Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 17/03/2009 17:21:40
Personally I think charging at home would be much more convenient than a petrol pump.

I also wonder if you could hire a generator on a trailer; for long distances you could be driving down the motorway and recharging at the same time!

I mean, if you removed half the Tesla's battery, you would still have 100 mile range, and could accelerate even faster.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: lyner on 18/03/2009 00:13:30
teragram

I question your assertion that 10 minutes would be an acceptable charge time. In 10 minutes, a filling station would become significantly more blocked than with the present system.  Stations would need either more outlets or more waiting space.
It is true to say that the energy distribution would be cheaper to run than for petrol but the installation costs would be enormous. Tankers fit in well with the present system and, as they are an established method, they have a short term advantage still.
As I have already said, an electric based system is desirable but there is not enough hard fact about the new batteries  to allow a switch over to be a choice yet.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 13/04/2009 19:48:40
It might be much quicker to just swap the battery over:

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/shai_agassi_on_electric_cars.html
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: techmind on 13/04/2009 22:11:39
There was a brief sketch on this weeks The Now Show comedy on Radio 4 about the impracticality of running an extension leads from the house to the car parked 50 yards away on the other side of the street (for houses without their own off-street parking)! http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/podcasts/fricomedy/

There was a paper published a few weeks ago (Nature, I think) on a modification to the electrodes in otherwise fairly conventional Li-Ion batteries which, it is claimed, will allow them to be charged and discharged in a few 10's of seconds, as well as solving some of the lifetime/cycle limitations of existing Li-Ion cells. This was a varient of Li-Fe-PO chemistry I recall. Reckon it'll be 2-3 years at least before the new batteries are commercially available.

http://www.nature.com/news/2009/090311/full/news.2009.156.html
http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2009/battery-material-0311.html


My past understanding however was that although existing LiFePO can be charged and discharged faster than standard LiIon, eg in 6-10mins, the penalty was only 60-70% of the 'standard' capacity for the same sized cell. LiFePO is currently used in high-performance power-tools (and maybe toy racing cars/aeroplanes). Unfortunately it seems this capacity limitation also applies to the new superfast anode material:

http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/22280/

Quote
Other researchers have already modified lithium iron phosphate to achieve power levels high enough for power tools and for most hybrid vehicles. Indeed, iron phosphate batteries are already being sold by more than one battery maker for such applications. Ultimately, the energy capacity of lithium iron phosphate is lower than that of other lithium-ion battery materials, making Ceder's advance of limited value, says Jeff Dahn, a professor of physics at Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This battery is good for acceleration, but not as much for long range. "A real breakthrough . . . would be a new positive electrode material with quantum-leap performance specs" in energy storage, Dahn says.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 14/04/2009 00:21:16
True... or just swap the battery over.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Stefanb on 25/07/2009 20:06:00
The solution...
Magnetism! :D
We should totally put magnetic tracks everywhere...
Sure, it costs a lot - like trillions of dollars a lot- but it would be awesome!
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Fearlessmoto on 14/08/2009 16:55:06
why cant we make an electric car that charges as quickly as it depletes?
using a system of alternators and capacitors, you could power an electric motor. the battery starts it going and then it runs and charges itself, using the battery as a sort of "pressure tank" so to speak, to maintain voltage levels, like a pressure tank on an air compressor maintains air pressure consistency. Its a little project im working on with a 12 volt battery, a few old car alternators, and a motor from a 12 volt water pump.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: lyner on 14/08/2009 18:20:45
why cant we make an electric car that charges as quickly as it depletes?
using a system of alternators and capacitors, you could power an electric motor. the battery starts it going and then it runs and charges itself, using the battery as a sort of "pressure tank" so to speak, to maintain voltage levels, like a pressure tank on an air compressor maintains air pressure consistency. Its a little project im working on with a 12 volt battery, a few old car alternators, and a motor from a 12 volt water pump.
Nice idea BUT. . . . .
I'm afraid that is just another example of a 'perpetual motion' machine which just can't work. Generating your electric energy with which you want to charge the batteries takes more energy than the batteries will actually get. You quickly lose all the energy you started with. Nothing is even 100% efficient - let alone 100+%, which is what you are effectively proposing.

Basic fact of life and there's no way round it -even with a lot of faith.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Nizzle on 24/08/2009 14:16:27
But it will increase the electric vehicle's range at least..
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: lyner on 24/08/2009 17:15:36
Actually, no.
If it involves more energy transfers than absolutely necessary then energy will be wasted during each extra transfer.
If you want to extend your journey on the same charge, you can't do better than freewheeling down every slope and using a minimum of (regenerative) braking. Also - and this really hurts - go as slowly as possible!!!
Saving money is seldom fun.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Nizzle on 25/08/2009 06:12:47
Time = money indeed.

So if such electrical car would have a bicycle-like (but better of course) dynamo on it's wheels, the extra resistance/friction of this dynamo would make the car consume more 'extra' electricity than it generates from the dynamo?
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 25/08/2009 07:14:47
What is holding back electric cars?

Either the lack of a battery with sufficient energy density, or the very long power cable that's plugged into the wall  [:D]

Sorry if this is a repeat, but the lead engineer on the Chevy Volt pointed out that the battery, which takes up a lot of space and weighs a substatial amount, is only equivalent to one gallon (US) of gasoline. In other words, a fully charged battery will take you as far as you can go on one gallon of gas. I think they claim about 40 miles.

Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: lyner on 25/08/2009 11:54:48
Time = money indeed.

So if such electrical car would have a bicycle-like (but better of course) dynamo on it's wheels, the extra resistance/friction of this dynamo would make the car consume more 'extra' electricity than it generates from the dynamo?
Yes; that's correct. The resistance and friction - plus the charge / discharge losses would all use energy from what was originally stored in the battery.
Perpetual motion and totally free energy are nice ideas but not possible.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Nizzle on 25/08/2009 12:31:53
Perpetual motion and totally free energy are nice ideas but not possible.

Indeed, it would be impossible to create energy from nothing, but maybe on earth we can take advantage of some omnipresent phenomenon to create a kind of perpetual motion using for example sunrays, the earth's magnetic field, geothermal energy, ...
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 25/08/2009 14:05:25
Look, forget battery-electric cars.  Fuel cell cars are the only non-hybrid solution that is workable in the development (of technology & infrastructure) time-frame humanity has.

- If you can call millions of individual steel boxes a solution...
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Nizzle on 25/08/2009 14:15:25
Instant transportation/teleportation solves all.

Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: lyner on 26/08/2009 16:59:15
Perpetual motion and totally free energy are nice ideas but not possible.

Indeed, it would be impossible to create energy from nothing, but maybe on earth we can take advantage of some omnipresent phenomenon to create a kind of perpetual motion using for example sunrays, the earth's magnetic field, geothermal energy, ...
This is what we do already - in purely practical terms, (nearly) everything comes from the Sun, one way or another. But that's not the definition of perpetual motion. Perpetual motion would happen with a machine in a totally sealed box which kept going for ever without any energy 'going in'. Most of the scams, of course, not only claim to have achieved that but they also claim that their invention actually produces energy which could be used.

Long lasting sources of energy are just that - they aren't 'perpetual' so even the Sun is not strictly perpetual. Near as dammit, I admit.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 26/08/2009 18:47:04
There is somebody on Dragon's Den tonight with an 'electric car' invention of some sort.

BBC2 at 2100 Wed, 26 Aug.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 26/08/2009 18:49:53
Sounds like nowt new.....

http://www.lingscars.com/blog/?p=11563


http://www.beeautomobiles.com/
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 26/08/2009 18:54:30
I think I've identified the problem!




[diagram=503_0]
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 26/08/2009 21:39:50
They ripped him apart on Dragon's Den...
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Turveyd on 27/08/2009 12:22:33
New battery Tech out in a few years,  promising 10x's the energy density and fast recharge times,  like 5mins to a 80% charge,  making refueling at a petrol station actually possible.

The Volt claims 10p electricity to do 40miles,  better than £4 so thinking all in taking into account petrol transport costs,  making it, bla bla bla bla bla your still using less energy over all with a electric car.

The chemicals required to make these batterys are expensive and wasteful though.

Might be better off,  driving a electric motor at home to pressurise a air canister,  which would also open up petrol stations being able to re pressurise your tank in a reasonible period of time.

Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Turveyd on 27/08/2009 12:25:18
Teleportation would be great,  off to visit a mate 5000 miles away,  back in 10mins,  Zap!!!

On holiday,  get a call out zap to the client fix the issue and zap back to 5000miles away / the moon :)

Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: lyner on 27/08/2009 14:08:17
Quote
New battery Tech out in a few years,  promising 10x's the energy density and fast recharge times,  like 5mins to a 80% charge,
I have been reading such 'real soon' claims for as long as I can remember. Yes, things are getting better all the time but in painfully slow steps.
Let's believe it when an electric car takes you at the traffic lights and then beats you to London and back.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 27/08/2009 16:04:30
Might be better off,  driving a electric motor at home to pressurise a air canister,  which would also open up petrol stations being able to re pressurise your tank in a reasonible period of time.

Unfortunately, as I'm learning, compressed air is not even as energy dense (at sensible pressures) as current battery technologies.  Also, as has been posted here getting the power into the car's storage system (elec, air, etc) is a major headache.  Nothing really comes close to, at least having the option of some form of chemical energy store 'on-board' - petrol offers this, hydrogen fuel-cells offer this, hybrids offer this. Pure electricity or air does not.

Just one thought: could my household natural gas supply (running an engine in the garage) offer a faster  charge-rate than the electric option?
Would certainly sit well with a combined heat & power system for the house, plus CO2 emissions should undercut the national grid.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Don_1 on 27/08/2009 16:20:45
Maybe we should forget electric cars and go REALLY green..... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSwig1tgUtY (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSwig1tgUtY)
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: lyner on 27/08/2009 18:57:24
We're going in a circle here. If you compress air then, to avoid losing a lot of the energy that you put into it, you have to allow its temperature to rise and to keep it insulated. As it cools, you lose a chunk of the energy you supplied - bad for efficiency.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 27/08/2009 19:15:37
http://www.bbc.co.uk/dragonsden/entrepreneurs/stephenvoller.shtml
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: coquina.rocks on 28/08/2009 00:31:57
For those of you who haven't checked the geology forum - I'll do a little intro before I barge in...
I'm a female baby-boomer from southeast VA who's always been a science junkie. I ran a machine shop for 30 years so am not entirely obtuse about technical concepts.
I have not waded through all your posts, but scanned some of them and noticed someone had mentioned a battery swap station.

I agree that it is the concept which makes the most sense, if you're dealing with batteries, but the change would have to be quick and easy. I have been mulling this over for sometime.  In the first place, the battery size would have to be universal, as would the retainer, so all the car companies would have to agree. The delivery/acceptance mechanism would have to be adjustable within a reasonable perameter.

So - here's my idea - would would be particularly efficient in areas with lots of space and sunshine.

The battery is cylindrical in shape and is located in the trunk (boot) area - placed horizontally across the car with an entrance on one side of the car and an exit on the other. The delivery/acceptance mechanism contains new batteries on one side and used one on the other. It looks kinda like this: Π only fatter and it rotates from the top.

The car drives into the bay, the mechanism rotates down so that it lines up with the battery retainer on the car.  As a fresh battery is delivered into the car, the used one is pushed into the acceptance hole, the mechanism pivots back up, another new battery is loaded, and the used one rolls down a chute for recharge.

But - as other's have said, the recharge is the kicker. 

As I was listening to an ad for rail transportation, I took note of the fact that a train can deliver freight at an economy of over 400 miles per gallon - so, if the battery stations are close to rail service they can be moved there by container, and if the rail line is close to a source of natural energy, perhaps this could be made not only "green" but economically feasable as well.

If you're located in New Mexico or Arizona, it is a short hop to an open desert, where the batteries can be recharged by solar energy - if you live in London, this form of recharge won't work, but maybe you can hook them up to a wind farm, or a tide generator. Obviously, the source of energy can't be but so far from the point of use.  However, presuming there is an adequate supply of batteries, charging time is not critical, although the longer the charging time, the larger capital outlay the companies that run the facility will have to make.

Anyway - that's my rough idea, what do you think?
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 28/08/2009 14:25:15


Unless batteries can be made to store much more energy per kg then electric vehicles will never catch on unless they are a last resort..no petrol left in the World. 

A ten fold improvement would be the minimum. 

Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: lyner on 28/08/2009 17:03:59
coquina.rocks
The quick-change (slide across) replacement is a good idea but why do they need to be cylindrical? Cuboids are  the most efficient use of space in, essentially, box-shaped vehicles and could just as easily be slid in and out.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: coquina.rocks on 28/08/2009 23:38:27
coquina.rocks
The quick-change (slide across) replacement is a good idea but why do they need to be cylindrical? Cuboids are  the most efficient use of space in, essentially, box-shaped vehicles and could just as easily be slid in and out.
It's because of "fits", because of the differences in distance from road to ground, as well as fore and aft location, as the vehicle drove into the bay, a cylinder that was a little convex on the end would "self-center" into a hole.  You would want the receptacle and the battery to be a snug fit, or it would rattle around too much. In the case of a cube or rectangle, it would take much longer to get the battery "square" with the receptacle. Suppose a tire was a little low?  The bottom of the battery receptacle wouldn't be parallel to the ground, and the delivery mechanism would have to have several more areas of adjustment to get it to line up properly. The more complicated a mechanism is, the more it costs to build and to operate.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: lyner on 28/08/2009 23:49:26
Ah - I see what you mean now.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: neilep on 30/08/2009 11:06:35
I think I've identified the problem!









[diagram=503_0]




Hmmm..not so sure this is a problem...all ewe need is a reel that holds a few 100 miles of cable and you're all sorted !

I for one think this is the answer.... [;)]
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Karen W. on 30/08/2009 12:41:03
Teleportation would be great,  off to visit a mate 5000 miles away,  back in 10mins,  Zap!!!

On holiday,  get a call out zap to the client fix the issue and zap back to 5000miles away / the moon :)



Yes it would be great....That means I could have company! YAYYYYYYYYYY!
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: JimBob on 30/08/2009 15:54:10
Quote
New battery Tech out in a few years,  promising 10x's the energy density and fast recharge times,  like 5mins to a 80% charge,
<snip>
Let's believe it when an electric car takes you at the traffic lights and then beats you to London and back.

Will this do?


(https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi38.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fe111%2Fgeezer69%2Fteslamotors.jpg&hash=8acd281a17f34010baa5b4f4d435d4d9)


http://www.teslamotors.com/
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 30/08/2009 15:57:43
The Tesla is a joke ... Rich kids toy.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: lyner on 30/08/2009 20:04:33
I haven't had one buzz me yet.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: teragram on 31/08/2009 15:59:00
Re the proposal for fuel cell cars as the only viable non-hybrid technology,

I thought that the production of hydrogen for (fuel cells) requires so much energy that it is almost more efficient to burn fossil fuel directly in an I.C. engine. The most efficient way of powering a motor vehicle seems to be by a battery, or perhaps in the not too distant future, capacitor. In environmental terms, energy must come from renewable sources, and this necessity is urgent.

The “Dragon’s Den” T.V. programme made one thing clear - that the financial experts believed that the Bee car was already out of date. I guess this means that other and larger companies are further down the route of bringing automobiles into the 20th (sorry, 21st) century. Disappointing for Mr. Voller, but really encouraging for those of us who can’t wait to see electric cars in large numbers on the roads.

Pumblechook refers to the time when there will be no petrol left. More urgently, I think, when we admit we must stop burning fossil fuels. In either case, do we wait until that time comes, and then say “oh, we ought to think about developing an alternative to the I.C. engine”. Or should we stop trying to rubbish the efforts being made now? Don’t forget, the modern automobile arrived at it’s current state after a hundred years of development. 

As for: “the Tesla is a joke”, look at some of the links to drag racing movies, where the electric car makes fun of roaring, smoking V8’s, proving that an electric motor is a far better device for moving vehicles.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: JimBob on 31/08/2009 17:15:59
The Tesla is a joke ... Rich kids toy.

I was merely exhibiting the state of technology, NOT affordability.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 31/08/2009 19:13:40
The electric motor may be a far better device for moving vehicles but it aint no good without a continuous supply of electricity.  I worked out that the Tesla would run flat out on a track for 20 minutes.  Then it takes hours to recharge.   Imagine  a battery powered train.  Half the weight and half of the length of the train would be batteries.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: teragram on 31/08/2009 20:32:17
The electric motor may be a far better device for moving vehicles but it aint no good without a continuous supply of electricity.  I worked out that the Tesla would run flat out on a track for 20 minutes.  Then it takes hours to recharge.   Imagine  a battery powered train.  Half the weight and half of the length of the train would be batteries.

O.K. so we stop wasting time on developing battery powered cars. When the petrol does run out (or we admit the stupidity of continuing to burn it), what do we do? When we finally have to commit the I.C. engine to history, what do we use in it’s place?
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: teragram on 31/08/2009 20:42:10
I worked out that the Tesla would run flat out on a track for 20 minutes.

I think the top speed is more than 120mph, so in 20 minutes it should cover about 40 miles. This is well within the distance of the great majority of commute journeys. However, we don’t normally commute at 120 mph! What we need calculating is the time the battery will last for at somewhat lower speeds, maybe 60 mph, 30 mph, and perhaps the average car urban speed of, is it 20 mph, or is that a bit optimistic?


Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 31/08/2009 21:00:37
We may have to use electric cars charged with nuclear power but given current battery technology we are going to find them very inconvenient.

I forget the exact figures.  I think the motors are about 150 kW max (about 200 HP) and the battery pack is around 50 kWH hours so ignoring various losses and that completely flattening batteries tends to reduce their life  gives 20 mins at max power.  15 may be more like it. 

 
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: teragram on 31/08/2009 21:13:18
I don't want to drive a car with a 150Kw motor at full speed, neither should anyone else. The important info is still the range possible at more practical speeds. In any case:-At what time in the future should we start development?
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 31/08/2009 21:17:48
O.K. so we stop wasting time on developing battery powered cars. When the petrol does run out (or we admit the stupidity of continuing to burn it), what do we do? When we finally have to commit the I.C. engine to history, what do we use in its place?

Good question. It would be nice if there were a "silver bullet" solution, but I think we'll have to move forward on multiple fronts. Hopefully battery technology will continue to improve so that we can get greater range in "all electric" mode. There are probably data that shows how more trips can become all electric versus EV battery range. It might be that a range of 100 miles could satisfy 75% of all trips (these are wild guesses!)

That might make a huge dent in gasoline consumption. However, unless there is a breakthrough in battery technology or fuel cell technology, it seems unlikely that we'll be able to eliminate IC engines from a significant percentage of vehicles for quite a while. What we can do though is continue to work to improve hybrid vehicles and also find ways to improve the efficiency of IC engines in hybrid vehicles.

This is a long thread, so if someone already pointed this out, I apologise in advance; for example, the Chevrolet Volt (if it ever makes it to the market) is a bit different from the Toyota Prius in that the IC engine on the Volt only drives a generator. The transmission is "all electric" whether the vehicle is running on battery power, IC engine power or a combination of both. (Unless they changed it recently, the Prius has a mechanical load sharing mechanism.)

One potential advantage of the Volt system is that it's possible to increase the engine efficiency by ensuring that the engine only operates at its most efficient power point. I don't know if the Volt will actually do that or not, but it probably could. Anyway, I'm sure there are many other things that can be done. That's just one example.

Sadly, all the extra "stuff" does add more weight, which works against the designers, and the cost will be passed on to the vehicle owners.

 
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 31/08/2009 21:23:32
What is the point of a sports car like the Tesla if not driven at near full power?.  Might as well buy a Gwizz. 

As an electric engineer my prefered battery type is the lead-acid now over 150 years old.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 01/09/2009 21:30:07
Re the proposal for fuel cell cars as the only viable non-hybrid technology, I thought that the production of hydrogen for (fuel cells) requires so much energy that it is almost more efficient to burn fossil fuel directly in an I.C. engine. The most efficient way of powering a motor vehicle seems to be by a battery...

I think it was me that made this proposal (on the basis that chemical 'fuel' is the only method with high enough energy density suited to onboard storage & fuel cells [FCs] are the most efficient way to transform chemical energy into movement).
I do agree that the current large-scale methods for production of these fuels do not make a particularly overwhelming argument for FCs over battery techs (beyond energy density).
Obviously, hydrogen or (particularly) alcohol fuels can be fractioned from petrol-chems, but this isn't a very sustainable (or environmental) solution.
Apart from this, there are several fledgling technologies that could make FCs more viable.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: teragram on 02/09/2009 16:10:40
I agree, Peppercorn, that fuel cells are probably the most efficient means of converting chemical energy into movement at the present time.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: rightcharlie on 02/09/2009 19:08:27
anyone have any fresh ideas that might advance the electric car concept?
 
I saw someone was asking about new ideas for electric cars.
Hit a TOTAL stonewall with government with this one; you wouldn't believe how ignored I've been AND I was gifting the idea, I didn't want money.

Anyway, here's the URL to a youtube film about it. Maybe someone will see it...

Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 03/09/2009 22:10:03
anyone have any fresh ideas that might advance the electric car concept?
 
I saw someone was asking about new ideas for electric cars.
Hit a TOTAL stonewall with government with this one; you wouldn't believe how ignored I've been AND I was gifting the idea, I didn't want money.

Anyway, here's the URL to a youtube film about it. Maybe someone will see it...


Hello 'rightcharlie' - nice to have your input on the site!
I think, from watching your vid that you're proposing a simple battery swap scheme. I suggest you read a few of the earlier posts here as this idea has already provided quite a bit of discussion.
Obviously, if you have a new angle on this 'recharging' method that I've missed then I apologise, but it should be noted that one of the major stumbling blocks for electric 'filling' stations is the massive upgrading of the countries electrical distribution network.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: syhprum on 11/09/2009 13:06:05
Until recently the UK was the largest user of electric vehicles in the world, approximately 100,000 were in use powered by NIFE batteries for delivering, bread, milk, etc there are still a large number of small vehicles to enable disabled people to get around.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: ViscountValmont on 25/10/2009 11:55:25
I understand however that producing hydrogen uses five the power required to charge a battery. 
Though I could admittedly be wrong, I cannot believe that is true. A simple, cheap, chemical process will produce Hydrogen easily. If maybe someone could explain that conversion of power ratios, it would be helpful. However, something else I'd like to say might be a topic changer (though hopefully not)... I think that there has not been enough research into static elctricity. It is easily produced and readily available. I'm aware of it's most common limitations, but I feel they could be overcome. And a lot of its limitations are that of general electricity, such as storing problems of batteries, capacitors, live grid storage, loss of energy while converting its power into other forms, etc. I think that if there were a way of making static electricity viable to make use as an energy source, we would solve many problems we have with producing electricity in the first place, such as high cost energy sources, or worse, unclean ones. At the very least, it couldn't hurt to have it be supplemental. The biggest, most obvious problem is amperage versus voltage in static electricity. LOTS of voltage, little amperage. However, as many-a-problem have been solved by, there is always the quantity over quality maneuver (though usually less preferable) until another solution could be found to increase its more immediate application. If we started taking static electricity from all sorts of sources, it would build up in no time, allotting more amperage. Even static can be used to trickle-charge car batteries. Someone asked on another post if the wheels of a car could be generators, and the answer was invariably no, because of the amount of resistance needed to produce it would cause an ill result in the overall efficiency of the energetic system. BUT, producing static electricity with the wheels doesn't require that resistance. Barely any contact at all with proper materials will create the charge. Look, I'm entirely aware that static elctricity seems antiquated and un-useful, but I'm trying to look to new ideas. Or at least to old ones that have been forgotten and pushed aside. Just like the new idea of using kinetic pads on sidewalks to make use of a large population's walking energy for traffic lights, etc. It is ideas like this that will change the world we live in. Improving efficiency is key in almost everything. I think we're possibly squandering a resource, and sorely lacking in research. If a few new discoveries could be made, there could be HUGE breakthroughs in electric car tech, electricity, and energy in all forms. Lest we forget, we still don't fully understand the lightning bolt... And doing so could provide some unifying pieces of information, allowing us to fill a few gaps in our comprehension of energy and mass.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 25/10/2009 22:32:34
Lest we forget, we still don't fully understand the lightning bolt.
Don't we? That's news to me. Can you explain what we don't understand?

I admire your desire to keep exploring & never assume we have learnt all there is to to learn about nature. It is easy to rule out many technologies as old-fashioned & certainly science as a body tends to go through fashions.

However, I would recommend extreme caution in ideas that seem to have been 'overlooked' (or, even more incredulously, suppressed) as a quick-fix solution to our energy needs. 
In 99.999% of cases an idea that appears a missed opportunity has been thought of & analysed a hundred times over!
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: teragram on 27/10/2009 17:28:34
My statement that hydrogen production requires five times the energy required to charge a battery was later modified to four times.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Nizzle on 28/10/2009 09:33:07
How about this battery, but then the upscaled version?

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/content/news/news/1825/ (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/content/news/news/1825/)

Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: CliffordK on 11/12/2010 15:09:36
Is it possible to get the car moving with battery power then serial loop the alternator/generator to the drive motors then you could drive unlimited ?
Tying an alternator to an electric motor doesn't give you more power.  An alternator may spin freely without load, but under load it takes energy to drive it.

You loose efficiency with both the alternator and the electric motor, and end up with less power than you started.

Regenerative Breaking is effective to recoup kinetic energy when stopping, although there have been problems with efficiency, and how quick batteries can accept charge.

Sorry, no "free lunch".
[Just to confuse everybody 'ecarman' has deleted his post after CliffordK's anwer was given]
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: maffsolo on 11/12/2010 23:54:34
I worked out that the Tesla would run flat out on a track for 20 minutes.

I think the top speed is more than 120mph, so in 20 minutes it should cover about 40 miles. This is well within the distance of the great majority of commute journeys. However, we don’t normally commute at 120 mph! What we need calculating is the time the battery will last for at somewhat lower speeds, maybe 60 mph, 30 mph, and perhaps the average car urban speed of, is it 20 mph, or is that a bit optimistic?




 120mi|  1 hr  |
--------------- = 20 mi / min
 1 hr | 60 min |


in 20 minutes it would cover 400 miles not 40 mile

If there is a direct relation to speed and the life of the battery 30 miles an hr is 4 times less in speed if it is a linear relationship, which batteries are not linear discharge rate the distance of tavel would be 4 times longer or 1600 miles
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: SteveFish on 12/12/2010 02:18:23
Maffsolo, check your math. 60 miles per hour is 1 mile per minute. I use this fact to check my speedometer against mile markers. Steve
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: CliffordK on 13/12/2010 03:19:34
in 20 minutes it would cover 400 miles not 40 mile

Maffsolo, check your math. 60 miles per hour is 1 mile per minute. I use this fact to check my speedometer against mile markers. Steve

Ohhhh...

And, I was wanting a car that went 400 miles in 20 minutes, or 1,200 MPH.

Let's see...  if the speed of sound is 761 mph (at sea level), that would be a car traveling at just under Mach 2.

Indy Cars run at about 200 MPH.
The current land speed record (jet powered) is 760.343 MPH.

So 1,200 MPH would be FAST!!!!!
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 13/12/2010 03:30:42
So 1,200 MPH would be FAST!!!!!

As Einstein said, "It's all about your relatives."

Compared to C, it's a snail's pace.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: maffsolo on 13/12/2010 10:12:49
Maffsolo, check your math. 60 miles per hour is 1 mile per minute. I use this fact to check my speedometer against mile markers. Steve

I am off a factor of 10 thanks sorry
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: teragram on 19/12/2010 18:19:46
Amazing to find that this topic has re-appeared after two years. I would just like to point out that the much mailigned Tesla is still popular (amongst people who are two rich to count themselves in my group od friends). From what I see on the web it seems to live up to it's range claims. Also quite a few manufacturers are on the point of launching production quantities of battery powered cars. On the whole, very encouraging.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 19/12/2010 19:29:43
Amazing to find that this topic has re-appeared after two years. I would just like to point out that the much mailigned Tesla is still popular (amongst people who are two rich to count themselves in my group od friends). From what I see on the web it seems to live up to it's range claims. Also quite a few manufacturers are on the point of launching production quantities of battery powered cars. On the whole, very encouraging.

Thanks to mobile phones and laptop batteries [:D]
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 20/12/2010 02:29:05
Amazing to find that this topic has re-appeared after two years. I would just like to point out that the much mailigned Tesla is still popular (amongst people who are two rich to count themselves in my group od friends). From what I see on the web it seems to live up to it's range claims. Also quite a few manufacturers are on the point of launching production quantities of battery powered cars. On the whole, very encouraging.

Thanks to mobile phones and laptop batteries [:D]

I suspect some of the initial enthusiasm will dissipate when one of them goes into thermal runaway and goes up in smoke.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 20/12/2010 10:22:56
I suspect some of the initial enthusiasm will dissipate when one of them goes into thermal runaway and goes up in smoke.

Unlike petrol that is barely flammable...
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 20/12/2010 19:30:33
I suspect some of the initial enthusiasm will dissipate when one of them goes into thermal runaway and goes up in smoke.

Unlike petrol that is barely flammable...

No, it actually burns rather well, but it's not prone to spontaneous combustion when used properly.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: SeanB on 20/12/2010 19:53:25
Speak to owners who have had ford products that did the same self immolation act, as one did that I saw go from expletive to inferno in under 30 seconds.......
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: teragram on 20/12/2010 20:18:52
I suspect some of the initial enthusiasm will dissipate when one of them goes into thermal runaway and goes up in smoke.

Like I.C. engines do when they run out of water/oil?
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 20/12/2010 21:01:16
Speak to owners who have had ford products that did the same self immolation act, as one did that I saw go from expletive to inferno in under 30 seconds.......

Yes, but you can't blame that on a defect in the manufacture of the gasoline.

I'm only pointing out that there are certain known issues with lithium-ion batteries. The effects can be bad enough when there are only a few of them in a laptop computer, but when you pack a large number of them together, if anything goes wrong, the results can be rather nasty. No doubt it will all get sorted out in time, but I'm suspect we'll learn some interesting things along the way.

BTW, you do know about the UPS plane that was destroyed when some lithium-ion batteries it was carrying went bonkers. Presumably they were not being charged or discharged at the time either, although I'm not sure about that.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 20/12/2010 21:02:52
I suspect some of the initial enthusiasm will dissipate when one of them goes into thermal runaway and goes up in smoke.

Like I.C. engines do when they run out of water/oil?


Oh, I think the results will be a lot more spectacular than that  [:)]
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 20/12/2010 21:30:52
I found some anecdotal evidence that 15 out of 75 million ipods had overheating problems with their batteries. I don't know if any of them actually went on fire, but elevated temperatures can trigger thermal runaway with this technology.

If we extrapolate that figure (I know it's a bit naughty to do that, but that's what we anecdotal physicists do) to electric vehicles, the odds don't look so hot (er, maybe I should rephrase that) because electric cars are going to have hundreds of cells, not just one, so the car guys have to be looking for much smaller FIT (failures in time) rates than that.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 21/12/2010 01:59:54
I don't know if any of them actually went on fire, but elevated temperatures can trigger thermal runaway with this technology.

Well, the solution is staring us in the face - in case of thermal runaway, just use the batteries to power their own air-conditioning unit [;D]
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 21/12/2010 05:46:20
This just in. A review of the Chevy Volt. (I don't think I'll be rushing out tomorrow to order one.)

http://autos.yahoo.com/articles/autos_content_landing_pages/1633/hyped-hybrid-the-chevy-volt-gets-average-mileage-for-a-hybrid/
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: CliffordK on 21/12/2010 11:51:08
Quote
Once the battery is depleted and the car is essentially using only gasoline as its fuel, we averaged 30 mpg overall

A 33 mile range would be sufficient so that most of my driving would be 100% electric.  But, one would sure take a hit on "road-trips".

That is a huge dependency on electricity rates...  in California, it almost looks like about an equivalent of $2.38 / gallon of electricity.  Here it is probably half that, and more practical.

I'm looking at the Toyota Reviews:
http://www.plugincars.com/toyota-prius-plugin-hybrid/review

Not a lot of details.
But, listed at only about 12½ Miles "Plug-In".  Or, about half a commute for me.  But, much better MPG in gas mode.

If they pushed it to 100 miles electric mode...  I'd be down to about a tank of gas a year.


Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 21/12/2010 12:56:53
The Volt is a Series-hybrid if I'm not mistaken.
Personally, the only time cars should be configured series-hybrids rather than parallel is, if the Range-extender is able to be 'lifted-out' and the car is able to run as straight-electric - without having to lug an 80Kg+ around all the time.

No mainstream manufacturer is ever likely to off this though!
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 21/12/2010 16:57:33
As the article points out, the Volt does not really work on purely economic grounds, but people will probably buy them for other reasons. (I couldn't even make to town and back on a single charge.)
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: techmind on 21/12/2010 21:32:54
Another thought: if everyone swapped their cars to electric overnight, they'd need to approximately double the amount of electricity generated/distributed each day.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: DaS Energy on 22/12/2010 07:16:00
The greatest problem we see with electric vehicles is how they obtain their electricity.

In 2002 DaS Energy began its journey to development of new internal combustion engine resulting in it having only one moving part a recycling hydro turbine.

This development has the might of piston engine makers across the world fighting it coming on market.

So DaS Energy took the radical step of releasing all in Open technology free to copy.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 22/12/2010 18:17:18
The greatest problem we see with electric vehicles is how they obtain their electricity.

In 2002 DaS Energy began its journey to development of new internal combustion engine resulting in it having only one moving part a recycling hydro turbine.

This development has the might of piston engine makers across the world fighting it coming on market.

So DaS Energy took the radical step of releasing all in Open technology free to copy.

Tha's a stretch of a connection if ever I heard it!
I don;t feel comfortable linking to other forums but,
http://cr4.globalspec.com/thread/63209

I think these guys have already given some, er opinions on ya 'idea' [:-X]
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: SteveFish on 22/12/2010 19:11:53
What is holding back electric car technology? The biggest problems come from those individuals who are unable to see the big picture. Petroleum is running out and because of this, and increasing demand for fossil fuels from developing nations, especially China and India, the price is going to go up radically. If we all wish to maintain the general automobile mode of transportation, another fuel must be developed.

There are several possibilities, but the most well developed and currently widely distributed alternative automotive power is electricity. So new sources of electricity will have to be developed unless someone comes up with a new, inexpensive way to make, distribute, and store hydrogen, or a new inexpensive way to make biofuels becomes available (e.g. cellulosic alcohol). It is also the case that, because of several ecological imperatives, we should also develop new sources of electricity to displace fossil fuel use.

Geezer, electricity is no more dangerous than gasoline, and both exploding Pintos and melting computer batteries are just engineering problems. Making an issue of this is a red herring. Steve
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 22/12/2010 20:29:47
Geezer, electricity is no more dangerous than gasoline, and both exploding Pintos and melting computer batteries are just engineering problems. Making an issue of this is a red herring. Steve


Steve,

I don't think I said electricity is more dangerous than gasoline, did I? What I did point out was that one particular technology for storing electrical energy is intrinsically unstable. I have nothing against electric vehicles in principle, although I think some people have totally unrealistic expectations of the benefits they afford.

My concern about lithium-ion cells might be less of a red herring than you seem to think. Time and large numbers will tell, but even if a small number of EVs suffer catastrophic fires for no apparent reason, it could turn the public away from them in large numbers.   
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 22/12/2010 20:46:21
My concern about lithium-ion cells might be less of a red herring than you seem to think. Time and large numbers will tell, but even if a small number of EVs suffer catastrophic fires for no apparent reason, it could turn the public away from them in large numbers.

Much as I hate to admit it, but I sadly have to agree (Not hate to admit I agree with Geezer [:D]) - The general public are a short sighted and fickle bunch at the best of times, so I would not like to see them commit all BEV's to the same destiny in the future as Li-ion based ones, if they fail widely once ubiquitous.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 22/12/2010 21:13:47
Thanks PC (I think  [::)])

BTW, why do we need all the marketeering technobabble mumblespeak about the classifications of "hybrid" vehicles.

Surely the Volt is a gasoline-electric with a battery, or should we go back and reclassify all the diesel-electric locomotives and ships that have been around for seventy plus years as something else?  [;D]
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 22/12/2010 21:26:00
Thanks PC (I think  [::)])

BTW, why do we need all the marketeering technobabble mumblespeak about the classifications of "hybrid" vehicles.

Surely the Volt is a gasoline-electric with a battery, or should we go back and reclassify all the diesel-electric locomotives and ships that have been around for seventy plus years as something else?  [;D]

I'm sure marketing has played it's part in the spreading of the terminology, but (unusually for me) I do think this is a viable piece of informative 'babble' from the marketeers.

I suppose (following on from your argument) the logical explanation of hybrids should always mean parallel hybrids (even then the word could be misleading).  There is not a locomotive equivalent of this configuration - A train would never be developed in the parallel Diesel-and-Electric route (although...[???]).
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: SteveFish on 22/12/2010 21:28:17
Geezer and Peppercorn, one point and a question. There are more battery types than Li-ion. Please explain why you think that Li-ion is inherently unstable, and why you think this is not just an engineering problem. Don't tell me about appliance battery problems, they may have just been poorly designed. Steve
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 22/12/2010 22:00:59
Geezer and Peppercorn, one point and a question. There are more battery types than Li-ion. Please explain why you think that Li-ion is inherently unstable, and why you think this is not just an engineering problem. Don't tell me about appliance battery problems, they may have just been poorly designed. Steve

I think thermal runaway was mentioned - I think this is a particular issue with Li-ion (for reasons I don;t profess to understand). I don't know if this is as serious with the newer LiFePO chemistry.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 22/12/2010 22:13:57
Steve,

There are many other types of batteries, but as far as I'm aware, the only technology that has enough energy density to make EVs practical at the moment is Li-ion.

All batteries can be dangerous, as can gasoline, because they contain a lot of stored energy, but only when we do rather extreme things to them. e.g. your car battery will explode if you "crowbar" it with a dead short, as will Ni-Cad cells, however, they do not spontaneously combust.

Unlike many other battery technologies, Li-ion cells contain a flammable electrolyte. Also, lithium is highly reactive and releases hydrogen in contact with water. They have multiple failure modes that can lead to thermal runaway, and when that happens, they start to burn. One of the best ways to initiate the thermal runaway is with heat, so when one cell starts to burn, there is a high probability of a domino effect that cannot be stopped.

They have a much higher probability of failure at elevated temperature. Unfortunately, when you charge them and discharge them, they get hot!

No doubt many of these concerns can be mitigated with very good engineering and vigilant quality control programs, but this particular technology is always going to be susceptible to catastrophic failure. Remember, Sony was one of the major players who got burned by this stuff already, and they are not exactly a fly-by-night corporation.

However, I'm no expert on this technology. There are a lot of good articles on the web that do a much better job of explaining the precise conditions for failure than I can. If I dig up a good one, I'll post a link.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 22/12/2010 22:45:16
There is not a locomotive equivalent of this configuration - A train would never be developed in the parallel Diesel-and-Electric route (although...[???]).

Yup. You spoke too soon  [:D]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_73
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 23/12/2010 00:19:20
There is not a locomotive equivalent of this configuration - A train would never be developed in the parallel Diesel-and-Electric route.
Yup. You spoke too soon  [:D]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_73

touché! [;)]
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: CliffordK on 23/12/2010 02:33:10
A lot of car manufacturers want to add a little techno-babble to their car descriptions.

Anybody really know why you want a "Hemi" in your pickup, or even what the heck it is?

The Hybrid is now widely recognized as a fuel/electric regenerative drive system.  So, in that sense, it is good to have a simple term for people to understand.

However, what the auto manufacturers don't tell the people is that there are other ways to improve automobile fuel efficiency than adding expensive hybrid systems.  Several European vehicles have broken 70MPG without the hybrid technology.  In fact, the Prius only gets mediocre fuel efficiency compared to European cars.  The original Honda Insight actually did much better than the Toyota, as well as its Honda successor.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 23/12/2010 07:04:12

Anybody really know why you want a "Hemi" in your pickup, or even what the heck it is?


Isn't a hemi the thing that gives you a very sore bum?

Actually, my truck has one (a Hemi - not a sore bum). Once upon a time it actually meant "hemispherical combustion chamber", but I have to admit I haven't whipped one of the heads off to confirm that they are remotely hemispherical.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: SteveFish on 23/12/2010 18:16:45
Geezer, you have just given me a bunch of old information on LiCoO2 technology. There are probably a dozen different Lithium ion battery types with some in production and others under study. Here is a link to a slick presentation that was made by a MIT lithium battery researcher for the EPA about one version, the LiFePO4 battery that are already on the market. Safety concerns are covered. It is just an engineering problem. Steve

www.epa.gov/opptintr/nano/p2docs/casestudy3_chiang.pdf
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 23/12/2010 18:44:02
Geezer, you have just given me a bunch of old information on LiCoO2 technology. There are probably a dozen different Lithium ion battery types with some in production and others under study. Here is a link to a slick presentation that was made by a MIT lithium battery researcher for the EPA about one version, the LiFePO4 battery that are already on the market. Safety concerns are covered. It is just an engineering problem. Steve

www.epa.gov/opptintr/nano/p2docs/casestudy3_chiang.pdf

Steve,

I'm glad to hear that they think they've solved the chemistry problem.

However, as far as I am aware, the Tesla and the Volt are still using technology that's prone to spontaneous combustion. It would be a pity if some of these early vehicles create issues that put the general public off the idea of EVs similar to the way the Hindenberg put the general public off airships.

If you go back and read what I've posted, you'll see that was the point I was trying to make.

When the technology that goes into EVs is sufficiently mature to meet the market needs in terms of safety, reliability and costs (capital and operating), I'm sure it will be adopted on a large scale. If we force the technology into the market prematurely, it could do more harm than good.

Just to reiterate, I do not have any objection to EVs in principle (despite any impression you seem to have to the contrary).
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: SteveFish on 24/12/2010 01:37:47
Geezer, I believe that the LiFePO4 battery is intended for use in cars, but there are some even more interesting Lithium ion batteries on the horizon. I think there is one that can take a full charge in 30 minutes without getting hot. When talking about these things it would help me if you said what you do think is the appropriate course. It sometimes seems to me that you are an enthusiastic naysayer. Steve
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 24/12/2010 04:08:50
Steve,

Naysayer, no. Electrical engineer, yes.

It comes from being a Senior VP of Engineering in high technology companies in California and having marketing guys, who don't know engineering from their elbows, tell me "it's simply an engineering problem". I imagine the poor blighters that are trying to get useful energy from fusion are being told the same sort of thing. The guys that worked on the hydrogen fuel cell cars that we were all promised fifty years ago probably had to deal with similar interference.

It's one thing to make a prototype of something and get everyone all hyped up about it. It's another thing entirely to make a product based on that prototype in high volume, and that difficulty increases in a very nasty nonlinear fashion when there is any possibility that the product will maim or kill the customers. It takes years and years for a corporation to establish a good name. It only takes about five minutes to destroy it because somebody overlooked an, apparently, insignificant detail.

It would be extremely interesting (if not downright scary) to listen in on some of the dialogue between the departments in GM that are responsible for the Volt. The pressure on the various engineering groups must be quite incredible. Perhaps J. Assagne can help us out with that one.

I can assure you of something. If the chemists are still looking for safer chemistry for Li-ion batteries, there is a lot of concern about the technology. No doubt GM and the rest are keeping a very close eye on these developments, but they can't switch to an alternative chemistry at the drop of a hat. The qualification cycle for a modified technology will be incredibly expensive, and although it's possible to accelerate the process with various ageing techniques and huge numbers of samples, it still takes an enormous amount of time and money.

Just to give you an idea, one very effective technique is to take a very large sample and devise an accelerated life test that causes every member of the sample to fail. Each failure is then carefully analysed and categorized. Every time you change anything in the design or manufacturing process, you have to consider very carefully whether you have to start the whole bloody thing over again, or not. If you try to cut, what looks at the time to be a very small corner, look out!
 
 

Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: SteveFish on 24/12/2010 16:41:34
Geezer, my point was that in a thread about what is holding back the electric car it would be helpful, especially in light of your work experience, to talk about what should be done instead of latching on to one problem and beating it to death. Our grandchildren's world needs some solutions. Steve
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 24/12/2010 20:01:11
Geezer, my point was that in a thread about what is holding back the electric car it would be helpful, especially in light of your work experience, to talk about what should be done instead of latching on to one problem and beating it to death. Our grandchildren's world needs some solutions. Steve

I seem to remember that it was you who said I had introduced a red herring. I didn't. There are real concerns with Li-ion batteries. If you had simply asked for more information instead of jumping on to your soap box and giving us a lecture about "not understanding the big picture" as if we were part of a covert conspiracy to thwart the development of electric vehicles, this thread would be a much happier place.

What needs to be done is for everyone to set realistic goals for EVs that fall within the limitations of the current technology, which is still fairly immature. It needs time to be properly evaluated and refined. EVs are not yet a "silver bullet" that can solve the CO2 problem associated with personal transportation, although I'm sure they will help in a small way.

If battery technology advances significantly in terms of energy density, to, for example, double the current levels, that would make a huge difference. Unfortunately, as you can see from the report on the Volt, the density levels seriously limit the all-electric mode range. This will probably disappoint many potential buyers, and I'm sure it is greatly disappointing General Motors. You can bet they are doing everything they can to reduce that limitation.

There is also some irony associated with EVs. I might be feeling very "green" when I'm driving my EV, while I was actually exporting significant fossil carbon release and pollution to another part of the World. On the other hand, someone who who was running an automobile on synthesized gasoline that had been produced without releasing any fossil carbon would actually be much "greener".

EVs are one of many tools that we have at our disposal to solve the problem, but every one of them has some upside, and some downside. We are all going to have to make some compromises and accept some risks, and the sooner we all realize that, rather than looking for instant fixes, the sooner we will solve the problem.

Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: SteveFish on 24/12/2010 23:03:56
Geezer, the red herring is railing against cars that are going to blow up worse than the Pinto (or whatever) without offering an alternative. In the next 20 years, or so, we are going to have to be well into the process of transferring to a transportation system that is much less dependent upon fossil fuels. This can be high mileage gas and diesel small cars. but more importantly this should be toward renewable biofuel or electric technologies. If we don't do this we will be stuck with expensive fossil fuels at a time when it will be much more expensive to make the switch. This imperative is also important for solving both global warming and ocean acidification issues so, at least, all the concerns are congruent. If we don't do this my grandkids are going to be up the proverbial creek without a paddle. If we don't do this the only paddle will be military action to try to get a larger share of the dwindling fossil fuels or descending back into a third world economy for western nations. This is the big picture that I am concerned with. I am enthusiastic to hear what solutions you have to solve this problem. Steve
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 25/12/2010 03:11:01
Geezer, the red herring is railing against cars that are going to blow up worse than the Pinto (or whatever) without offering an alternative.

Steve, pardon me, but stop trying to put words in my mouth. I was not railing against electric cars. I don't believe I even mentioned the Ford Pinto (perhaps it was you that brought it up). Furthermore, I had not realized you had implemented the rule (in bold above) on this forum. I'll try to be more careful in future.

The title of this thread is "What is holding back electric car technology?". That was the question I was attempting to answer. The fact that my answer greatly offended you is your problem, not mine.

If you want to start a new topic along the lines of "What are we going to substitute for fossil fuels when they run out?" or something along those lines (which I agree is a very good question) then please start a new thread. Threads tend to go downhill fast when we try to answer different questions.

BTW, Happy Hollidays!
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: SteveFish on 25/12/2010 04:41:13
Geezer:

Never mind.

Steve
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 08/01/2011 08:34:24
This is Ford's response. I think they are doing a good job by setting realistic expectations. Their comments regarding infrastructure are very interesting.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/20110107/tc_pcworld/forddebutsallelectriccar
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 10/01/2011 18:35:34
Electric car sales have droppeded like a stone in the UK.   
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: teragram on 18/01/2011 18:41:03
Electric car sales have droppeded like a stone in the UK.  

From what, to what?
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: preacher on 25/01/2011 11:32:33
i have a solution to the electric car problem, but most people will say that its to easy to be true, but i am tryin to be careful about revealing my discovery. i just hope to have enough security before revealing the idea
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 25/01/2011 12:52:35
i have a solution to the electric car problem, but most people will say that its to easy to be true, but i am tryin to be careful about revealing my discovery. i just hope to have enough security before revealing the idea
Which particular electric car problem?... I look forward to be able to invest my many millions in your idea...
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: preacher on 25/01/2011 14:14:43
i have a solution to the electric car problem, but most people will say that its to easy to be true, but i am tryin to be careful about revealing my discovery. i just hope to have enough security before revealing the idea
Which particular electric car problem?... I look forward to be able to invest my many millions in your idea...


the problems as regard to charging the batteries and the weight, my electriccar just need two 200 amps battery to start the car, once the car has started it first 20 revolution the arrangement picks it from there. and once the car is on motion the battery will be serving as a bridge while charging.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 25/01/2011 17:13:36
the problems as regard to charging the batteries and the weight, my electriccar just need two 200 amps battery to start the car, once the car has started it first 20 revolution the arrangement picks it from there. and once the car is on motion the battery will be serving as a bridge while charging.

200 Ah battery? Are you claiming power or peak energy drawn? Also Amps means nothing without Volts.

Charging from where? (please don't say the rotating wheels...)
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 25/01/2011 17:39:15
Uh oh! I hope we're not trying to break the law again.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: CliffordK on 26/01/2011 05:28:38
the problems as regard to charging the batteries and the weight, my electriccar just need two 200 amps battery to start the car, once the car has started it first 20 revolution the arrangement picks it from there. and once the car is on motion the battery will be serving as a bridge while charging.
200 Ah battery? Are you claiming power or peak energy drawn? Also Amps means nothing without Volts.
Charging from where? (please don't say the rotating wheels...)
A little more explanation is needed.
Many electric motors are "Capacitor Start" to give a little extra boost at low revs.

Ah is a little different...  Amp Hours, or how long the battery will last.
Most car batteries can put out on the order of 1000 Amps at 12.6V (or maybe with a voltage drop) for a brief period of time. 

Your issues, of course, are both the acceleration curve, and the maintenance power.  I've ridden bicycles enough to know that I can't coast forever on the flats  [:-\]
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: preacher on 26/01/2011 12:30:54
 
CLIFORD THE ISSUE IS THAT THE PHYSICS WE KNOW HAS UNDERGONE ALOT OF REVOLUTIONS THAT MAY NOT APPEAR IN BOOKS AND JOURNAL FOR ALONG TIME,UNLIKE THE ENERGY HIDDEN IN THE RADIOACTIVE MINERALS, WHAT AM TALKING ABOUT IS NOT RADIOACTIVE IN NATURE BUT HAS A POTENTIAL OF RELEASING ENERGY  ENORMOUS TO CARRY 20 TIMES IT OWN WEIGHT BY USING THE 24 VOLTS 200 AMPS FROM THE BATTERY AS A STARTER. ITS UNFORTUNATE THAT I CAN RELEASE THE RESULTS OF MY WORK NOW FOR SAFETY REASONS AND SECURITY PURPOSES. JUST NEED SOMETIME TO DO THAT, AM USING GRAVITY AND magnetism !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: preacher on 26/01/2011 12:34:52
the problems as regard to charging the batteries and the weight, my electriccar just need two 200 amps battery to start the car, once the car has started it first 20 revolution the arrangement picks it from there. and once the car is on motion the battery will be serving as a bridge while charging.
200 Ah battery? Are you claiming power or peak energy drawn? Also Amps means nothing without Volts.
Charging from where? (please don't say the rotating wheels...)
A little more explanation is needed.
Many electric motors are "Capacitor Start" to give a little extra boost at low revs.

Ah is a little different...  Amp Hours, or how long the battery will last.
Most car batteries can put out on the order of 1000 Amps at 12.6V (or maybe with a voltage drop) for a brief period of time. 

Your issues, of course, are both the acceleration curve, and the maintenance power.  I've ridden bicycles enough to know that I can't coast forever on the flats  [:-\]


Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 26/01/2011 12:42:18
CLIFORD THE ISSUE IS THAT THE PHYSICS WE KNOW HAS UNDERGONE ALOT OF REVOLUTIONS THAT MAY NOT APPEAR IN BOOKS AND JOURNAL FOR ALONG TIME,UNLIKE THE ENERGY HIDDEN IN THE RADIOACTIVE MINERALS, WHAT AM TALKING ABOUT IS NOT
a) There's no need to shout.
b) Are you having trouble with posting? (what's the about post for?)
c) You seem to be being very cryptic (if not hard to fathom) - do you want to discuss your 'idea' or skirt round it?
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: preacher on 26/01/2011 13:13:18
CLIFORD THE ISSUE IS THAT THE PHYSICS WE KNOW HAS UNDERGONE ALOT OF REVOLUTIONS THAT MAY NOT APPEAR IN BOOKS AND JOURNAL FOR ALONG TIME,UNLIKE THE ENERGY HIDDEN IN THE RADIOACTIVE MINERALS, WHAT AM TALKING ABOUT IS NOT
a) There's no need to shout.
b) Are you having trouble with posting? (what's the about post for?)
c) You seem to be being very cryptic (if not hard to fathom) - do you want to discuss your 'idea' or skirt round it?

PEPPERCORN THE ISSUE IS THAT THE PHYSICS WE KNOW HAS UNDERGONE ALOT OF REVOLUTIONS THAT MAY NOT APPEAR IN BOOKS AND JOURNAL FOR ALONG TIME,UNLIKE THE ENERGY HIDDEN IN THE RADIOACTIVE MINERALS, WHAT AM TALKING ABOUT IS NOT RADIOACTIVE IN NATURE BUT HAS A POTENTIAL OF RELEASING ENERGY  ENORMOUS TO CARRY 20 TIMES IT OWN WEIGHT BY USING THE 24 VOLTS 200 AMPS FROM THE BATTERY AS A STARTER. ITS UNFORTUNATE THAT I CAN RELEASE THE RESULTS OF MY WORK NOW FOR SAFETY REASONS AND SECURITY PURPOSES. JUST NEED SOMETIME TO DO THAT, AM USING GRAVITY AND magnetism !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 26/01/2011 13:27:16
PEPPERCORN THE ISSUE IS THAT THE PHYSICS WE KNOW HAS UNDERGONE ALOT OF REVOLUTIONS THAT MAY NOT APPEAR IN BOOKS AND JOURNAL FOR ALONG TIME,UNLIKE THE ENERGY HIDDEN IN THE RADIOACTIVE MINERALS, WHAT AM TALKING ABOUT IS NOT RADIOACTIVE IN NATURE BUT HAS A POTENTIAL OF RELEASING ENERGY  ENORMOUS TO CARRY 20 TIMES IT OWN WEIGHT BY USING THE 24 VOLTS 200 AMPS FROM THE BATTERY AS A STARTER. ITS UNFORTUNATE THAT I CAN RELEASE THE RESULTS OF MY WORK NOW FOR SAFETY REASONS AND SECURITY PURPOSES. JUST NEED SOMETIME TO DO THAT, AM USING GRAVITY AND magnetism !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can you please stop typing in UPPERCASE !
If you are suggesting 'using gravity and magnetism' to power a vehicle (continuously, not just rolling down a hill!) then we will need to continue this discussion on the New Theories board.
This is because what you are describing lays outside the realm of accepted science - It's not just that the ideas that you allude to are not published yet, they are very much likely to never be published in mainstream scientific journals.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 27/01/2011 02:26:06
Can you please stop typing in UPPERCASE !

Well, after all, his handle is
"PREACHER"
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 27/01/2011 08:23:10
Now we're cooking with gas! (er, well, diesel actually)

http://autos.yahoo.com/articles/autos_content_landing_pages/1698/volkswagen-xl1-concept-promises-260-mpg/
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 27/01/2011 12:23:29
Now we're cooking with gas! (er, well, diesel actually)

http://autos.yahoo.com/articles/autos_content_landing_pages/1698/volkswagen-xl1-concept-promises-260-mpg/

Wow!
260mpg (0.9 per 100km) must be in ideal driving conditions, surely?

Actually I'm surprised it takes as much as 9hp to maintain 62mph. With a CD of 0.18 I thought it would somewhat less.

BTW, being as this is an BEV thread, does this count as a hybrid car (sounds like it has a completely independent electric drivetrain - rear wheels?)
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Appersonjackson on 02/02/2011 00:22:39
On the electric car,a split battery system,using wheels as generators to charge up a two system battery, advance short cycle, hydrogen cell. comming soon .
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 05/02/2011 17:53:18
The US department of energy estimates that EVs cost between twice and three times per mile (or km) as petrol vehicles.

These fanciful mpg figures take only the cost of the elec (and off peak elec at that) into account.  Range is exagerated.  The vehicles tend to be expensive due to expensive batteries which have to be replaced every few years. 
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 05/02/2011 19:40:30
The US department of energy estimates that EVs cost between twice and three times per mile (or km) as petrol vehicles.
 

Is that the total lifetime cost per mile? Maybe you can point us at the source reference? Thanks!
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 06/02/2011 10:51:23
I cant find a source at the moment.  The US Department of Energy's Pacific National Lab has done various studies.  Most websites are pro-EVs and gloss over the full picture. I will keep digging but I think I saw it quoted on a Wiki page.

It is the overall cost of the vehicle, batteries, battery replacement ..everything divided by the miles travelled over the life of the vehicle compared to the same for a petrol vehicle.  It will be based on US fuel prices. 

The figures will depend on how long you keep the car and the miles per you year do.  I looked at the electric version of my own car and I calculated that the cost per mile would be much higher than the petrol version. 

Somebody reckons that the G-Wizz  gets an equivalent of ONLY 6.5 mpg due to the very high cost of the battery which needs to be replaced every few years.  BUT he is a proponent of hydrogen. 

Fans of certain technologies will paint those in the best possible light and the alternatives in the worst.   
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 06/02/2011 13:37:37
I looked at the electric version of my own car and I calculated that the cost per mile would be much higher than the petrol version.

That sound interesting. Can you provide a copy of your calculations?
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 06/02/2011 18:09:25
It is a bit tricky as my car is no longer available in electric form.  It is a Citroen Berlingo (petrol) and cost less than £8000.  I doubt you could get an EV for that.  I think the Bee One is £12,000 for a limited range, small, slow car.  Straight away it is costing you £4000 more than a spacious almost van like car with a 400 mile range per tank full.  £4000 buys a lot of petrol even at UK prices.  Given that the battery version would have cost you a lot in new batteries after 3 - 5 years the battery model is a complete waste of time. 
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: teragram on 07/02/2011 17:21:06
It is a bit tricky as my car is no longer available in electric form.  It is a Citroen Berlingo (petrol) and cost less than £8000.  I doubt you could get an EV for that.  I think the Bee One is £12,000 for a limited range, small, slow car.  Straight away it is costing you £4000 more than a spacious almost van like car with a 400 mile range per tank full.  £4000 buys a lot of petrol even at UK prices.  Given that the battery version would have cost you a lot in new batteries after 3 - 5 years the battery model is a complete waste of time. 

VCR’s, CD’s, CD players, CD recorders, DVD players/ recorders, home computers, etc., all were out of reach of less well off people when they first appeared.

If I.C. powered cars were only built in the small numbers that E.V.s are being built now, their costs would be far higher.
i.e. the cost of production falls drastically with the numbers produced. Therefore as more E.V.s are made, their cost will reduce.
 
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 07/02/2011 19:22:04
It is a bit tricky as my car is no longer available in electric form.  It is a Citroen Berlingo (petrol) and cost less than £8000.  I doubt you could get an EV for that.  I think the Bee One is £12,000 for a limited range, small, slow car.  Straight away it is costing you £4000 more than a spacious almost van like car with a 400 mile range per tank full.  £4000 buys a lot of petrol even at UK prices.  Given that the battery version would have cost you a lot in new batteries after 3 - 5 years the battery model is a complete waste of time. 

VCR’s, CD’s, CD players, CD recorders, DVD players/ recorders, home computers, etc., all were out of reach of less well off people when they first appeared.

If I.C. powered cars were only built in the small numbers that E.V.s are being built now, their costs would be far higher.
i.e. the cost of production falls drastically with the numbers produced. Therefore as more E.V.s are made, their cost will reduce.
 


The reason that EVs are so expensive is because of the cost of the batteries. Unfortunately, those same batteries are already manufactured in high volume for portable electronic equipment, so it's unlikely that we'll see a significant economy of scale associated with manufacturing EVs in high volume.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: teragram on 09/02/2011 16:41:10

"The reason that EVs are so expensive is because of the cost of the batteries. Unfortunately, those same batteries are already manufactured in high volume for portable electronic equipment, so it's unlikely that we'll see a significant economy of scale associated with manufacturing EVs in high volume."



So the battery powered car has already reached the limit of it’s development? Hardly seems fair, when the conventional car developed over a period of 120 years.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 09/02/2011 19:20:05
So the battery powered car has already reached the limit of it’s development? Hardly seems fair, when the conventional car developed over a period of 120 years.


Who said it had to be fair?  [:D]

My point is that the current battery technology is already fairly mature.

BTW - so is all the other stuff. EVs borrow heavily from existing automobile design and manufacturing as well as electric and electronic systems that have been developed over very long periods too. I realize this may not be what people want to hear, but there really isn't much that's new in EVs at all.

It's really only battery technology that's holding back EVs. A significant step forward in battery technology will make the most difference.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 09/02/2011 21:48:46
Batteries seem to have gone up steeply in price in recent years... lead-acid anyway.  I was using small sealed ones at £5 a few years ago.  They are now £13 each.  Cars batts which were £40 a few years ago are now £70+. 

Probably the same old points over again but fans of EVs live in a dream world..... 

I would say at least a 10 fold improvement in battery capacity is needed before EVs stand any chance at all.  I gather sales of EVs have slumped in the UK.   Charging could only realistically be done on an industrial scale IF we build more power stations and it will always be a slow process so that means battery swapping.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 09/02/2011 22:14:45
10x would be fantastic, but even 2x could make a significant difference. Charging infrastructure is a bit of an issue, but that could be addressed gradually as EVs became more popular.

However, unless something dramatic happens on the battery front, much of this is likely to remain academic.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 10/02/2011 17:44:21
Even 10x wouldn't be a significant brekthrough.  Petrol is least 60 times (kWh/kg) lighter than the lightest type of battery we have now.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 10/02/2011 17:54:30
Even 10x wouldn't be a significant brekthrough.  Petrol is least 60 times (kWh/kg) lighter than the lightest type of battery we have now.

I think it would. There are other weight savings that factor into the calculations, but it's not simply about weight. Cost has a lot to do with it as well.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: teragram on 10/02/2011 18:33:29
Current battery technology is fairly mature, but we shouldn’t confuse maturity of technology with economy of scale. Li-ion are made in their millions, but for phones and computers, not for cars. The others elements of the technology (inverters, controllers) have indeed been around for years. In my old job I dealt with three phase controllers for battery powered warehouse vehicles, these were expensive. When they are routinely made in auto industry quantities their prices will drop further.

“Probably the same old points over again but fans of EVs live in a dream world..…”

Might I suggest that BV deniers also live in a dream world, one where oil will never run out, and environmental destruction on an epic scale is not a problem?
 

Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 11/02/2011 02:14:14
Current battery technology is fairly mature, but we shouldn’t confuse maturity of technology with economy of scale. Li-ion are made in their millions, but for phones and computers, not for cars. The others elements of the technology (inverters, controllers) have indeed been around for years. In my old job I dealt with three phase controllers for battery powered warehouse vehicles, these were expensive. When they are routinely made in auto industry quantities their prices will drop further.


If they were not already in mass production, I would agree with you, but they are, so the economy of scale argument does not work, or at least, it is unlikely to result in a dramatic cost reduction. It's also quite possible that the price will go up if the volume increases significantly. The World supply of lithium is controlled by a handful of countries!

Don't get me wrong. I'd like to see EVs displace a lot of IC powered vehicles too. We just need to be realistic about where the technology stands at the moment.

EDIT: According to Wikipedia;
 
"There are widespread hopes of using lithium ion batteries in electric vehicles, but one study concluded that "realistically achievable lithium carbonate production will be sufficient for only a small fraction of future PHEV and EV global market requirements", that "demand from the portable electronics sector will absorb much of the planned production increases in the next decade", and that "mass production of lithium carbonate is not environmentally sound, it will cause irreparable ecological damage to ecosystems that should be protected and that LiIon propulsion is incompatible with the notion of the 'Green Car'".[61]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium#Production
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 11/02/2011 19:28:15
The EV deniers do tend to have engineering/scientific backgrounds.  We know full well that oil might run out one day.  We need to address power generation and how that can be done without oil and gas.  We could have a battery breakthrough tomorrow but unless we can answer the generation question we will have to go back to horses.

It is strange that nuclear was a complete no-no with most greenies but many are now saying it may be the only way to proceed.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: teragram on 14/02/2011 18:39:32
Fortunately many ev fans also tend to have engineering backgrounds. You are absolutely right that we have to address power generation (and also storage I think). That does not mean that we have to wait until those problems are sorted until we start pushing forward the alternatives. (I know, I’ve left an opening for a pun there)

Regarding the pollution caused by mining and processing of lithium, does this even approach the effects of Torre Canyon, Exxon Valdez, Gulf of Mexico etc., (all accidents) and e.g. Canadian tar sands operations (deliberate).

Does the fact that it is now economically viable to pursue the latter to satisfy the need for oil suggest that we really are approaching “peak oil”.
 
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 14/02/2011 19:03:18
Fortunately many ev fans also tend to have engineering backgrounds. You are absolutely right that we have to address power generation (and also storage I think). That does not mean that we have to wait until those problems are sorted until we start pushing forward the alternatives. (I know, I’ve left an opening for a pun there)

Regarding the pollution caused by mining and processing of lithium, does this even approach the effects of Torre Canyon, Exxon Valdez, Gulf of Mexico etc., (all accidents) and e.g. Canadian tar sands operations (deliberate).

Does the fact that it is now economically viable to pursue the latter to satisfy the need for oil suggest that we really are approaching “peak oil”.
 

Ah, but you're equating EVs with a reduction the consumption of fossil fuel. That does not follow. Not only that, but if we have lots of power that comes from non-fossil sources, we can synthesis fuel from CO2 and use it to power vehicles with IC engines.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: teragram on 15/02/2011 17:40:50
Ah, but you're equating EVs with a reduction the consumption of fossil fuel. That does not follow. Not only that, but if we have lots of power that comes from non-fossil sources, we can synthesis fuel from CO2 and use it to power vehicles with IC engines.

I was in this case referring to the devastation caused by the production of oil (especially from tar sands) and accidents in the oil industry, which will have increasingly bad effects as oil is extracted in ever more difficult circumstances. The CO2 argument I think will be won by the battery powered vehicle without argument when power generation becomes greener, and it is slowly improving. My home electricity is (I’m told sourced 50% from fossil and 50% from wind approximately).
You make me really depressed by saying we can continue to use I.C. engines into the distant future!!!!!
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: kornbredrsqar on 15/02/2011 21:11:25
How about solar panels on the roof and deck lids ,breaking systems, and shock absorbers that charge one set of batteries while another set powers the car. But what is holding the hole thing up is loss of revenue, when the powers that be figure out how to collect the same dollers per mile driven in an electric as the combustion engine cars then they will be everywhere!!!!!!!
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 16/02/2011 01:16:41
Ah, but you're equating EVs with a reduction the consumption of fossil fuel. That does not follow. Not only that, but if we have lots of power that comes from non-fossil sources, we can synthesis fuel from CO2 and use it to power vehicles with IC engines.

I was in this case referring to the devastation caused by the production of oil (especially from tar sands) and accidents in the oil industry, which will have increasingly bad effects as oil is extracted in ever more difficult circumstances. The CO2 argument I think will be won by the battery powered vehicle without argument when power generation becomes greener, and it is slowly improving. My home electricity is (I’m told sourced 50% from fossil and 50% from wind approximately).
You make me really depressed by saying we can continue to use I.C. engines into the distant future!!!!!


Be not depressed. I think you may be missing the point. Just because we all run about in EVs it does not mean we are not using fossil oil and (just as bad), coal to run our vehicles. If the electricity was produced by burning fossil oil or coal, we have not solved any global problem, although we might have solved a local pollution problem by exporting our pollution to somewhere else.

Likewise, just because we run cars with IC engines, it does not mean we have to be running them on oil that came out of the ground. If the energy source that produced the fuel was non-fossil (solar, wind, nuclear etc.) we are solving a global problem.

Despite all the hype, EVs do not equate to reduced CO2 production and reduced fossil oil consumption. They could, but you can get the same result with IC engines.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 17/02/2011 00:47:31
Do you know how long the car would need to be in sunlight to charge a large battery?

I have just looked at the Nissan Leaf and it is a whopping £29,000.  A charger will cost a few hundred quid. 
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: teragram on 23/02/2011 16:45:09
From Geezer:-
“we can synthesis fuel from CO2 and use it to power vehicles with IC engines.”
“Despite all the hype, EVs do not equate to reduced CO2 production and reduced fossil oil consumption. They could, but you can get the same result with IC engines.” (???)

The fuel efficiency of I.C. powered cars is said to be around 22% to 27%, and I have seen worse figures than these stated.

The possibility of converting CO2 back into fuel on an industrial scale is in the distant future I think. Anyway the process would not begin to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere, and we need to do that now. Yes, that means addressing the problem of power generation, as well as that of transport.

Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 23/02/2011 17:09:36
The US department of energy estimates that EVs cost between twice and three times per mile (or km) as petrol vehicles.

These fanciful mpg figures take only the cost of the elec (and off peak elec at that) into account.  Range is exagerated.  The vehicles tend to be expensive due to expensive batteries which have to be replaced every few years. 
So far as I know, in the UK this is wrong.

If a battery costs £4000, at current prices this is less than 4000 litres of petrol.

4000 litres of petrol is less than 900 gallons. At 30 mpg that's about 25000 miles; that's about 3 years of normal travel. But EV battery lifes are 5-10 years.

In comparison, actually charging the battery costs practically nothing, about a pound or two per charge (gets you about 60-100 miles or so).

The equation may be somewhat different in America, petrol is a lot cheaper over there, but the cost of petrol is increasing there too; the cost of electricity is going up more slowly because there are more sources for it.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 23/02/2011 17:15:58
It is a bit tricky as my car is no longer available in electric form.  It is a Citroen Berlingo (petrol) and cost less than £8000.  I doubt you could get an EV for that.  I think the Bee One is £12,000 for a limited range, small, slow car.  Straight away it is costing you £4000 more than a spacious almost van like car with a 400 mile range per tank full.  £4000 buys a lot of petrol even at UK prices.  Given that the battery version would have cost you a lot in new batteries after 3 - 5 years the battery model is a complete waste of time. 
The thing is that EV cars are expensive because they aren't made very much, not because they're inherently expensive to build. The batteries are the only moderately exotic technology but they aren't expensive enough to push the cost of the vehicle up to overwhelm the lower running costs (and actually maintenance is a *small* fraction of that of normal cars, and electric cars last very well.)
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 23/02/2011 21:10:24
The possibility of converting CO2 back into fuel on an industrial scale is in the distant future I think. Anyway the process would not begin to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere, and we need to do that now. Yes, that means addressing the problem of power generation, as well as that of transport.



Correct, it would not reduce CO2, but it would not increase it either, and that's the really important point.

Synthesising gasoline may not be here today, but neither, despite everyone closing their eyes and wishing very hard that it is true, are batteries that will make EVs really practical. And, speaking of efficiency, have you any idea how much these things actually weigh?

I suppose the next thing we'll hear is that the US government has a secret facility in Nevada that has developed a battery with ten times the energy capacity of current technology.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 23/02/2011 21:19:06
The batteries are the only moderately exotic technology but they aren't expensive enough to push the cost of the vehicle up to overwhelm the lower running costs (and actually maintenance is a *small* fraction of that of normal cars, and electric cars last very well.)

Oh yes? Just wait until you have to replace your first battery! It's an enormous part of the cost of the car. And, it will last about as long as the one in your laptop. I don't know about you, but my expericence with laptop batteries is that they are pretty much useless after four years.

BTW - where are you getting your information from?
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: kornbredrsqar on 24/02/2011 18:44:45
hello, it's me again Margret, har har, well I believe allot of people are missing the point by looking at this as a competition between all these ideas instead of looking at the big picture and combining forces for the greater good. if we stop dismissing technologies because they alone will not solve our problem and start implementing the most efficient ideas at every stage, then we could sea huge change in energy consumption. for instance if electric cars had more efficient motors and better batteries coupled with a on board recharging system that is carbon neutral there would not be much left to complain about.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 24/02/2011 19:20:54
hello, it's me again Margret, har har, well I believe allot of people are missing the point by looking at this as a competition between all these ideas instead of looking at the big picture and combining forces for the greater good. if we stop dismissing technologies because they alone will not solve our problem and start implementing the most efficient ideas at every stage, then we could sea huge change in energy consumption. for instance if electric cars had more efficient motors and better batteries coupled with a on board recharging system that is carbon neutral there would not be much left to complain about.

er, the motors are already very efficient. BTW, do you think the automobile manufacturers don't know all this stuff already? They do. The problem is that, no matter how creative the engineers get, they still have to deal with the practical realities of the technologies they have to work with.

There's not a lot of point in designing a vehicle based on technologies that don't actually exist.

Contrary to popular misconception, there is no big conspiracy to hold back electric vehicles. Actually, they've been around for a very long time already, and the only reason they have never really taken off is because they don't yet do a very good job of meeting the requirements.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: horizon on 25/02/2011 14:37:12
Appologies if you've already talked about this but this is a new japanese water powered car (my friend emailed me this, so i dont think its a hoax!)


what do make of it?
obviously there are issues with the amount of co2's used in the process of actually getting and supplying the water itself... but its all good progress.

(technically they could use sea water so not to drain drinking/household water supplies..
also its perfect for boats too i'd imagine)
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: imatfaal on 25/02/2011 16:40:34
Sounds like absolute rubbish to me - was this broadcast just over 11 months ago on 1st April 2010.  To separate hydrogen from water requires energy - it does not release energy 
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: imatfaal on 25/02/2011 16:43:26
And with a little googling

Quote
Genepax Water Energy System
In June 2008, Japanese company Genepax unveiled a car which it claims runs on only water and air,[24] and many news outlets dubbed the vehicle a "water-fuel car".[25] The company says it "cannot [reveal] the core part of this invention,” yet,[26] but it has disclosed that the system uses an onboard energy generator (a "membrane electrode assembly") to extract the hydrogen using a "mechanism which is similar to the method in which hydrogen is produced by a reaction of metal hydride and water".[27] The hydrogen is then used to generate energy to run the car. This has led to speculation that the metal hydride is consumed in the process and is the ultimate source of the car's energy, making the car a hydride-fuelled "hydrogen on demand" vehicle, rather than water-fuelled as claimed.[28][29][30] On the company's website the energy source is explained only with the words "Chemical reaction".[31] The science and technology magazine Popular Mechanics has described Genepax's claims as "Rubbish."[32] The vehicle that Genepax demonstrated to the press in 2008 was a REVAi electric car, manufactured in India and sold in the UK as the G-Wiz.
In early 2009, Genepax announced they were closing their website, citing large development costs[33].


in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics.   Oooh Donuts, I like Donuts
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: horizon on 25/02/2011 18:07:09
oh well... i guess we're doomed after all... i'll go and hang my head in shame...
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 25/02/2011 19:36:46
oh well... i guess we're doomed after all... i'll go and hang my head in shame...

No need for that, but it's always good to remember that if it looks too good to be true, more than likely it is too good to be true.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: teragram on 26/02/2011 18:30:37
Qoutes from Geezer:-
"Correct, it would not reduce CO2, but it would not increase it either, and that's the really important point.

Synthesising gasoline may not be here today, but neither, despite everyone closing their eyes and wishing very hard that it is true, are batteries that will make EVs really practical. And, speaking of efficiency, have you any idea how much these things actually weigh?

Despite all the hype, EVs do not equate to reduced CO2 production and reduced fossil oil consumption. They could, but you can get the same result with IC engines."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
It is more important to reduce CO2 than to stabilise it.

If fuel is to be synthesised, from whatever source, it should be fuel for fuel cells, (moderately good efficiency) not to be squandered in wasteful I.C. engines.

Weight of batteries?:-
Lithium ion - 50kWh, approx 315kg. However the Tesla 53kWh battery system (container, ventilation, control) is 450kg.
Lithium ion sulphide, 50kWh approx 170kg.
Incidentally the Tesla even with that battery weight, still manages a specific power consumption of around 220Watthour/mile (Wiki., quoting the U.S. Environmental protection Agency)

When you build a battery powered car, you don’t just add a battery to an existing car, you get rid of  the clutch, gearbox, radiator, exhaust system. What might these weigh in an average car?

Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 27/02/2011 08:05:01
Teragram,

EVs are very interesting machines, and if we can get sufficient energy density into the batteries, they will become more widely adopted. However, EVs are no more likely to reverse any effects that CO2 has on the climate than rearranging the deck chairs would have on the Titanic.

The real problem is the source of the energy that we use. Suppliers of EVs can smugly say that they are not the problem, knowing full well that all they have done is to move the problem somewhere else.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 28/02/2011 08:10:37
I hope this does not turn out to be nonsense.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110227/ap_on_bi_ge/us_growing_fuel
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: teragram on 04/03/2011 18:00:16
If battery powered cars are far fetched, what about this?


http://blog.cafefoundation.org/?p=1422
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 04/03/2011 18:49:06
If battery powered cars are far fetched, what about this?


http://blog.cafefoundation.org/?p=1422


Looks like they still have a bit of work to do. I await the first test flight in anticipation  [;D].

Seriously, if we can get batteries with better energy density, an electric aircraft is quite practical. Likewise with cars.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Pumblechook on 05/03/2011 10:07:30
A much higher energy density battery would be step one.  There is still the question of where all the extra electricity is coming from and the slow charge will always be a problem.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: LmarcusH on 25/03/2011 07:59:45
Nicholi Tesla  made it work a long time ago. read up on tesla, youll see
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 25/03/2011 09:48:06
Nicholi Tesla  made it work a long time ago. read up on tesla, you'll see

What when we build a time machine?
BTW, what was he supposed to have done exactly (regarding electric cars)?
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: syhprum on 25/03/2011 10:51:06
Water powered locomotives were used on the London underground in the nineteeth century, they built up a good head of super heated water and racked out the fire.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 25/03/2011 17:23:43
Water powered locomotives were used on the London underground in the nineteeth century, they built up a good head of super heated water and racked out the fire.

Some of them didn't even have a fire.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fireless_locomotive
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 25/03/2011 19:03:52
Nicholi Tesla  made it work a long time ago. read up on tesla, you'll see

What when we build a time machine?
BTW, what was he supposed to have done exactly (regarding electric cars)?

Funnily enough, when I was in the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) replacing the registration certificate for Mrs G's car that she had obviously lost despite her spurious claims to the contrary, a young gent in front of me was pontificating to the DMV lady about his Porsche that had some sort of Tesla magic battery or something. He seemed to be working for an outfit in these parts that was "developing" this technology (that would not surprise me, because there are a lot of loonies around here.)

I was briefly tempted to buttonhole him to enquire what he was rabbiting on about, but I decided nothing good would come of it. Perhaps there is a connection here.

Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: imatfaal on 28/03/2011 13:40:30
Geezer - I dunno if this has cropped up in the thread before (and 11 pages I am not gonna check) and I apologize if it has - but the Tesla is now also a make of electric sports car (currently based on Lotus body).  Is it possible he was talking about a conversion job?  Top Gear reviewed the Tesla and were favourable impressed with speed and handling - but the recharge time and reliability were dreadful.

http://www.teslamotors.com/

And with the reliability and short life demonstrated I definitely would not be using a Tesla to drive to a remote ski-lodge as the opening page of the website shows.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: GlentoranMark on 28/03/2011 15:06:58
Without reading through all of the above, is there any advancement on Graphene Battery technologies? I've read that charging times on these could be cut down to minutes, comparable to filling up at a petrol station.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 28/03/2011 17:55:15
Geezer - I dunno if this has cropped up in the thread before (and 11 pages I am not gonna check) and I apologize if it has - but the Tesla is now also a make of electric sports car (currently based on Lotus body).  Is it possible he was talking about a conversion job?  Top Gear reviewed the Tesla and were favourable impressed with speed and handling - but the recharge time and reliability were dreadful.

http://www.teslamotors.com/

And with the reliability and short life demonstrated I definitely would not be using a Tesla to drive to a remote ski-lodge as the opening page of the website shows.

Thanks Matt. Yes, I think the Tesla has been mentioned a few times in this thread.

I'm pretty sure this chap was talking about some kind of energy storage device though. However, I also got the impression he was talking a lot of technobabble!
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 24/04/2011 00:40:57
Another thing that might hold back the electric car is taxation.

Apparently, the State of Washington is so strapped for cash that it's considering imposing a special tax on electric cars to compensate for the revenue it won't get from the tax on gasoline!
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: teragram on 24/04/2011 13:30:25
Another thing that might hold back the electric car is taxation.

Apparently, the State of Washington is so strapped for cash that it's considering imposing a special tax on electric cars to compensate for the revenue it won't get from the tax on gasoline!

That's bad news. Incidentally, to resurrect old friend Tesla, over 300 miles on a single charge?!!!!

http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/313-miles-1-charge

Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 24/04/2011 13:56:14
Another thing that might hold back the electric car is taxation.

Apparently, the State of Washington is so strapped for cash that it's considering imposing a special tax on electric cars to compensate for the revenue it won't get from the tax on gasoline!

FGS!! [:(!]

In any case I can't imagine there are that many BEVs in Washington State!
How much could they sensibly raise anyway?

Incidentally, to resurrect old friend Tesla, over 300 miles on a single charge?!!!!

Much as I think the name 'Tesla' is a cool name for an electric sports car, I do wonder if it will lead to the gullible masses thinking there is some 'magic' Tesla-engine now available (and amazingly no longer hushed up by Dark world powers!).
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 21/08/2011 09:29:14
Uh-oh!

http://autos.yahoo.com/news/is-chevy-volt-running-out-of-juice-.html
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: CliffordK on 21/08/2011 18:44:26
Not surprising.
I think it started running low on juice a couple of years ago, after the release was delayed by half a decade, and the price started shooting through the roof.

$41,000????
Although there is a $7500 government rebate, bringing it down to $33,500

And, I think the 35 mile range was disappointing for many people.  Plus 40 MPG drops it to the low end for many hybrids and fuel efficient vehicles.

Toyota hits around 45 mpg, with some people getting nearly 50 mpg, and has nearly a decade of experience on GM. 

The Toyota plug-in sounds disappointing with a 13 mile range.  Perhaps this will push some people who were waiting for the Toyota plug-in back towards the GM.  But, the Toyota plug-in may come in over $10,000 less than the GM car, and still get an additional 5 mpg for those long highway drives.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 21/08/2011 19:02:33
When it comes to EVs, I don't think the vehicle manufacturer has too much to do with it. They are all hamstrung by the same limitations in current(!) battery technology.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 22/08/2011 21:13:03
So, how about...
'Cambridge crude' — a black, gooey substance that can power a highly efficient new type of flow battery (http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/flow-batteries-0606.html)

????
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 22/08/2011 21:38:58
Wow! That looks really interesting. Nice link PC.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 25/08/2011 23:41:44
On a more cheerful note:

"It's Time To Kill The Electric Car, Drive A Stake Through Its Heart And Burn The Corpse"

http://seekingalpha.com/article/289828-it-s-time-to-kill-the-electric-car-drive-a-stake-through-its-heart-and-burn-the-corpse?source=yahoo
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 26/08/2011 13:11:06
Oh, ever the optimist eh Geezer!

Well, handily I've got the solution right here!
(Read it quick though as it's gone in 7 days...[quick, where are the conspiracy theorists?])


A new generation of multitalented materials could herald the end of the battery as we know it (http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21128272.300-recharging-the-battery.html)
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 27/08/2011 06:33:51
Oh, ever the optimist eh Geezer!

Well, handily I've got the solution right here!
(Read it quick though as it's gone in 7 days...[quick, where are the conspiracy theorists?])


A new generation of multitalented materials could herald the end of the battery as we know it (http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21128272.300-recharging-the-battery.html)

Er, well, wake me up in ten or so years and we'll see how they are coming along.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Matthew L on 27/08/2011 21:49:43
You should all read Thomas Pynchon's novel Against the Day. Evil forces in that book suppress Tesla's invention of free energy, as the plutocrats wish to profit.  I just think that currently it is still difficult to build a good working car that runs purely on electricity. 
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 28/08/2011 16:25:00
You should all read Thomas Pynchon's novel Against the Day. Evil forces in that book suppress Tesla's invention of free energy, as the plutocrats wish to profit.

Just to make clarify (and here I hope the word 'novel', ie. fictional, should be a clue) - In reality, no one has ever suppressed any of Tesla's work, and certainly no 'evil forces'.
If contributors want to discuss some of Tesla's more outlandish ideas (I think from mostly later on in his life) - ie. those that rightly didn't make it into mainstream science, the -New Theories- board is the place to do it. ... Thanks!
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 28/08/2011 16:44:37
On a more cheerful note:
"It's Time To Kill The Electric Car, Drive A Stake Through Its Heart And Burn The Corpse"

This guy talks a lot of sense in his article and the table comparing the battery capacity of full BEV (Leaf with 24kWh capacity) versus hybrids (old Prius with only 1.5kWh) does make a clear point about how impractical it would be to supply enough rare metals for the Li-ion batteries worldwide.

Although, not truly on-topic I would like to mention a third-way solution (of sorts):
According to Toyota spokesman John Hanson, the Prius PHEV only uses about 3.8 kWh of the battery's 5.2-kWh capacity (for battery longevity) (http://venturebeat.com/2011/03/24/toyota-prius-2012-plug-in)

Around 5kWh (or potentially less), although still probably far beyond what can be mined economically, does seem to suggest that something like the Volt (16kWh capacity) is heavy on resources considering the relatively low efficiency gains.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 28/08/2011 17:21:38
He also makes a great point about Moore's law and how there is no similar law that applies to battery technology. That's not to say there will not be some amazing breakthrough next week, but there is no historical trend that implies there will.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: qazibasit on 29/08/2011 10:54:35
real reason is no speed and holding that much volts and current would cost too much, u cant store AC current so u have to store it in DC and batteries cost too much with a less life, just see ur laptops battery ;).
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 30/08/2011 12:46:28
I find it an odd idea that the masses would believe Moore's law applies to anything other than computing power.  Although, I suppose that the fact of the matter is that as processors have become so embedded in many of our more traditional technologies that there has been a sort of knock-on effect (Moore's law by proxy if you prefer), where the ability of this hidden intelligence to wring performance, efficiency and other positive attributes out of our machines has given the impression of a continuous ever-quickening rate of improvement - independent of the actual cause.

The ability to model our designs using powerful computers (especially in the last decade), has probably helped extenuate the myth of these improvements are part of an unbounded trend across all technologies.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 11/09/2011 04:16:56
Ee by gum, theyl be trooble down't mill if this catches on.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14852073
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: CliffordK on 11/09/2011 09:39:07
Ee by gum, theyl be trooble down't mill if this catches on.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14852073

I thought Lithium Ion Polymer batteries have been around for quite some time.

Is this just reinventing the wheel?

http://polymerprojecttopics.blogspot.com/2010/09/lithium-polymer-battery.html
http://www.buchmann.ca/article6-page1.asp
http://www.pmbl.co.uk/lithium_polymer.aspx

It sounds like in many cases, the dry cells are not as efficient as liquid cells.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: CliffordK on 13/09/2011 10:32:35
I stopped by the local Biodiesel/Ethanol station today, and to my surprise, a Tesla Roadster was "filling up" there.  A bigger surprise that the license plates indicated that the car had traveled over 300 miles to get to the station.

There were a couple of guys sitting at the counter that looked like they might belong to the car, so I thought I'd talk to them a bit.

While many gas stations give you a free cup of coffee with a fillup... 
Apparently it is common for the EV's to give a free fillup with a cup of coffee!

The guy called I-5 "Tesla Highway", with charging stations located about every 100 miles or so from Canada through the USA down to Mexico.  I think he said that it takes about an hour of charging per hundred miles or so.  Sometimes they would pull into an RV park, plug into the "facilities" for the night and set up a tent.  It must be an interesting way to slowly tour around, having a cup of coffee every couple of hours and talking to the locals. 

Apparently the car could take something like 60A, 220V full power for charging, but not all stations provide the rapid charging.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 13/09/2011 17:08:58
Apparently the car could take something like 60A, 220V full power for charging, but not all stations provide the rapid charging.

For info, RV (that's caravan in the UK) hookups provide 110V at 30A so they are capable of powering an air-conditioner (or, as they say in "Strine", an eggnishna.)
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: CliffordK on 27/09/2011 21:03:54
I mentioned a couple of days ago that I had bid on an EV.

I didn't get the Gizmo, but I did get an Electric Ranger Conversion for less than the cost of the battery pack.
 [ Invalid Attachment ]

I'll write up some comments in a few days... 

But, the question is what is holding back electric car technology. 

Two things... so far...  and I've only had the Electric Ranger for a day.

I just got an E-Mail from my Insurance company
Quote
Cliff,

I just got off the phone with an underwriter and found out that this vehicle is ineligible for coverage thru xxxxxxxxxx. So there would be no 14 day coverage extension. We do not cover vehicles that have been converted because a conversion of this type affects many internal systems. They feel the risk of something going wrong and causing an accident is too high. I asked if there was a place that she would recommend for insuring these and she did not have a resource. If I were you, I would contact the people at the auction or the previous owner to find out where they had it insured. It may be a high risk company.

I do apologize for the inconvenience, but wanted to let you know what I found out right away.

Had I gotten the Gizmo, it may have been insurable, but it would have been much less safe of a vehicle for me, the driver.  But, I suppose that isn't the insurance company's concern.  And, with a top speed of 40 MPH (on the level), it is unclear whether it would have been legal to drive it home. 

The other issue that I'm running into.  The range is limited to about 40 miles.  Just enough to get to town, do a little stuff in town, and head home.  Assuming all the batteries are still good.

I know of one EV charging station which actually gives free power with the purchase of a Coffee.  However, nearly 40 years into the "modern" EVs, and they're just now getting charging station connection standards out. 

I believe the station uses a TESLA charger, which uses a proprietary plug that I'm having troubles finding information about. 

There is a new standard, J1772, and TESLA will likely incorporate that in their future cars.  But, then it just means more adapters, and retrofitting all of the charging stations that are already out there. 

If employers would allow one to charge the vehicles at work, or shopping malls would have charging stations so that one could charge while one shopped, then one could do well for around town driving, even with a very limited range.  Gas stations with an EV charger are fine, but who wants to sit in a gas station for a few hours? 

What this means is that one would need to build an infrastructure with businesses that ordinarily would not sell fuel.  And, monitor and maintain all the equipment.

The benefits of providing the charger isn't the cost of the power, but bringing the customer to one's business location.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 27/09/2011 22:47:27
What's the total weight of the ranger? I hope they beefed up the brakes [;D]
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: CliffordK on 28/09/2011 04:27:17
Well...
The batteries weigh about 3/4 ton.
However, it kept the transmission, but no engine.  Obviously the electric stuff does weigh a bit, but I think it is lighter than the engine.  Does the Ranger come with Straight-4 and V-6 options?  With 8,000 miles, the 20 year old tranny still feels very tight.

Also, no coolant, and no gasoline.

So, I think that puts it EMPTY back at about the weight of the fully loaded Ranger (by specs...  one can put a lot more in them  [::)] ).  Weight seems to be well distributed front to back.  However, this one has an enormous battery box in the middle of the bed.  One of the potential upgrades that I'm already considering is to put in a hydraulic dump bed (why not).  But, then build battery trays for under the bed, and possibly hide some batteries in the sides of the bed, and engine compartment.  This would lower the center of gravity which would be good, but would also probably distribute more weight towards the back (less than optimal).

The Ranger has power brakes which would be a problem as I believe they derive power from intake vacuum.  However, this pickup has an auxiliary vacuum pump that one hears turn on from time to time.

I haven't tried locking up the brakes, but it does seem to stop ok.

The other thing that it is lacking is regenerative braking.  I'll have to look at the motor and motor controller a bit more, but I would assume it would be relatively easy to reverse the power.  I assume the company that assembled the vehicle chose not to mess around with the hydraulic braking system.

The engine seems to do very poor engine braking.  I have to remember that for going down the driveway.  But, also I rarely using the parking brake since all my other vehicles have reasonably good engine/transmission braking.

Yesterday the charge indicator dropped to 1 tick below fully charged.
Today I did a 26 mile round-trip, and the charge indicator stayed at Fully Charged, although the recharging system certainly is sucking down some juice.  I'll have to do more tests with a longer range.  I've been carrying my bicycle, but I really need a tow dolly.

Hmmm, re-reading the insurance agent's e-mail, it is ambiguous on whether they will provide the customary 14 day grace period, at which point the insurance will not be extended any longer, or if they actually intend to cancel the grace-period too.

This vehicle was customized by a legitimate (but probably now defunct) business, and is essentially the same chassis that Ford later used to make their EV.  And it was owned and driven by the local electric company for two decades.  All the "safety" stuff works including the backup alarm.

I wonder if the insurance company would have dropped the insurance if I had installed a big-block V8 into the pickup?  What about the hot-rodded Model-T's that bear little resemblance to the original cars, and sometimes don't even use any stock body panels?
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 28/09/2011 05:47:09
The Ranger comes with 4 and 6 cylinder options. (I had a four cylinder one for a while.)

I worked with a guy who had one of the electric Chevy S-10's that GM made. He never had any problems with it that I know of. Re. the braking, if you don't do a lot of city driving, I wouldn't bother trying to capture the braking energy in the battery, but you could implement a secondary retro-braking system as used on diesel-electic locomotives. They route the generated power to big fan-cooled resistor banks.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 28/09/2011 11:53:23
You could look into adding a Range-extender to carry on the bed.
No idea what specs. you'd need for a truck that heavy. - You'd need to find out what power you're drawing at cruise on the highway.

Some time spent adding some aero mods might also be worthwhile. Smooth and seal the front end perhaps (should nothing like the air-flow through the engine-bay with only electric). A full belly-pan underneath plus lower ground clearance would also help a fair bit for higher speeds.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 28/09/2011 18:35:00

You could look into adding a Range-extender to carry on the bed.


Wouldn't he need a Ranger extender?  [:o)]
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: CliffordK on 28/09/2011 19:11:24
The pickup has a digital ammeter.  I have to assume it is reasonably accurate.  I haven't taken it on the freeway yet, but will probably try that out sometime when I feel comfortable.

For ordinary driving up to about 45 MPH, I seem to suck down somewhere between 50A and 100A x 144V.  I see the power consumption spike to over 200A on hills and hard acceleration.  

It is the oddest thing driving a 5-speed transmission and an electric motor.  One gets used to downshifting to get more power.  But, I seem to get higher amp draw (and thus higher acceleration) with upshifting.

Deriving 100% of the power from a generator would take a pretty large generator.  However, if I targeted 50% of the power from the generator, and 50% of the power from the battery pack, then I should be able to do about 2-3 hrs of driving with a 5KVA generator.

Actually, the entire charging system seems to be designed around 30A 220V AC input.  But, the charger states 32A 220V input, 30A 144V output which doesn't make a lot of sense, so I really need to monitor the actual amp load.  Of course, 144V is just an estimate.  It is probably charging in excess of 15V per battery for a total of about 180V.  Anyway, that would give me on the order of a 6KVA generator requirement.  I would be reluctant to feed the system with a 20A 220V AC line voltage as it would undoubtedly trip the breaker.  However, a generator might not have the same limitation.  I just don't want to do anything to harm my charger.

The other option would be to find/make a 168V (12x14V) DC generator that I could feed directly into the battery pack.

Being a pickup, one could put a small generator & fuel tanks in the bed when needed, or it is already set up with a trailer hitch, and I believe even electric trailer brakes.

One other option to consider.  It is built around 144V with 2 banks of 12 batteries.

If I had a generator for road trips, I could dump one battery bank and save about 750 lbs.  That would pull more juice from one battery bank (and also have a higher recharge rate which could be hard on the batteries, but quicker for stops if I chose to recharge with line power).  But, the weight savings should compensate for the added generator.

The problem, of course.
On a home tinker's scale, it would be easy enough to load, unload, and rewire a dozen batteries. 
For a commercial application, the battery/generator changeover would have to be very easy.  I.E.  A way to drop (½) the battery bank intact out of the bottom onto casters.

I'm trying to calculate the number of solar panels I could put on the hood, roof, and canopy.  It should be relatively easy to squeeze 500 to 1000W peak solar generating capacity.  If I compare that to my calculations for a generator, I'm down quite a bit...  but it would be FREE POWER, and might be enough to get one out of a bind once in a while.

streamlining would help...  I've thought about building a triangular shaped canopy rather than the typical box shaped canopy.  But, it may be something where one should just start with a designed-from-scratch car.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: CliffordK on 05/10/2011 21:38:39
I think the Electric Car technology is here.

We are now on the 4th generation of electric vehicles.

1st Gen, 1920's, Detroit Electric & others.
(https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.inhabitat.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2Fdetroitelectric11.jpg&hash=d962541ed200d19969de967fadba0bcb)

2nd Gen, 1970's, Comuta Car, Was the Sinclair Electric?  Plus a number of "converted" cars such as the Ranger pickup I bought.
(https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Ffarm3.static.flickr.com%2F2142%2F2178940621_d6796fca9d.jpg&hash=22bfcf76c888c2faaf785e0e2c7c0c83)

3rd Gen, 1990's, early 2000's, EV1
(https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ev1.org%2Fafter3.jpg&hash=3efc7d1778e58084682abd93f96dca05)

4th Gen, Tesla, Nissan Leaf, etc.
(https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F_fSvarQSvbd0%2FTAG97jzj1xI%2FAAAAAAAABaw%2Fp7ux5uNKVhg%2Fs1600%2Ftesla_roadster2.jpg&hash=b06b212cf94730bf354364ea89fd840f)

GM, and other companies set the development of the electric vehicles back by 10 or 20 years by fighting the California initiative so hard. 

The NiMH batteries from the 90's would have been sufficient to power the electric cars.  Perhaps even NiCd.  Everything I've read seems to indicate that the NiCd batteries got a bad rap, but can be made to be very long lasting batteries, and are better batteries than they are given credit for.

The NiMH & EV story (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_encumbrance_of_large_automotive_NiMH_batteries) is a sad one, and is a failing of our legal system, patent system, and anti-trust system. 

Some companies such as BP have invested in alternative energy (Solar). 

But, it appears as if Texaco and Chevron chose to inhibit the development of new battery technology.  But, now they're missing the boat because EV manufacturers are moving beyond NiMH to Lithium based batteries.

Anyway, so the Nissan Leaf has a range of about 75 miles.
The Tesla Roadster has a range of about 200 miles (apparently with gentle driving).
And the Tesla Model S (http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2011/10/03/tesla-model-s-boasts-320-mile-range-one-hour-recharge-time/) is supposed to cost $57,000 and $87,000, and boast a range of about 320 miles.

If more electric cars come out with a 200-300 mile range, the electric vehicles should be able to replace ordinary cars for 99% of people's driving, assuming people can figure out how to keep it charged up (getting good home and commercial charging stations availability is still an issue).  I still think that motels, shopping malls, rest areas, etc, all need to add charging stations.

So...  then this all boils down to economics.

I've never quite understood the economics of an ordinary car.  Why is it economical to pay $30,000+ for a new car when a used car can be had for less than $5,000?

Anyway, if you consider a 200,000 mile extended lifespan of a vehicle (probably with 2 or 3 owners).

200,000 miles / 20mpg = 10,000 gallons of fuel.
10,000 gallons of fuel * $4/gallon = $40,000 to fuel the vehicle over its extended lifespan.

If the "fuel" for the EV fuel cost equivalent is about 100mpg, then that gives an equivalent of about 2,000 gallons, or a cost of about $8,000 and a savings of about $32,000.

So, over time, the Nissan Leaf should just about pay for itself, although it is a big chunk of cash up front.
If you subtract $32,000 from the cost of the Tesla S with the extended range battery pack, one still ends up with a $50,000+ car after the fuel savings. 

The Leaf would make an excellent commuter car, or a second vehicle for a family with 2 or 3 cars, but it still is quite a chunk of change to put out for a car that may never leave one's home town.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 06/10/2011 18:55:03
The NiMH batteries from the 90's would have been sufficient to power the electric cars.  Perhaps even NiCd.  Everything I've read seems to indicate that the NiCd batteries got a bad rap, but can be made to be very long lasting batteries, and are better batteries than they are given credit for.

The NiMH & EV story (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_encumbrance_of_large_automotive_NiMH_batteries) is a sad one, and is a failing of our legal system, patent system, and anti-trust system. 

Some companies such as BP have invested in alternative energy (Solar). 

But, it appears as if Texaco and Chevron chose to inhibit the development of new battery technology.  But, now they're missing the boat because EV manufacturers are moving beyond NiMH to Lithium based batteries.

But at the end of the 'NiMH & EV' article it's more upbeat:
"On July 28, 2009, Automotive News reported that Cobasys would be bought from Chevron and Energy Conversion Devices by battery maker SB LiMotive, a joint venture of Bosch and Samsung. At the time of the 2009 Cobasys sale, control of NiMH battery technology transferred back to ECD Ovonics. In October 2009, ECD Ovonics announced that their next-generation NiMH batteries will provide specific energy and power that are comparable to those of lithium ion batteries at a cost that is significantly lower than the cost of lithium ion batteries."


It could also overcome some of the limitations in WW supplies of Lithium as mentioned by Misery-guts Geezer here:
On a more cheerful note:

"It's Time To Kill The Electric Car, Drive A Stake Through Its Heart And Burn The Corpse"

http://seekingalpha.com/article/289828-it-s-time-to-kill-the-electric-car-drive-a-stake-through-its-heart-and-burn-the-corpse?source=yahoo
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 06/10/2011 22:10:23

It could also overcome some of the limitations in WW supplies of Lithium as mentioned by Misery-guts Geezer here:


Of course, there is a much better way, but you'll have to wait until I file the patent (don't say anything to Graham) before I can tell you about it.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 06/10/2011 22:53:09
Quote
Of course, there is a much better way, but you'll have to wait until I file before I can tell you about it.

Look forward to it [I think!?] !  (er, whatever it is!).
(as long as it's not the giant-springy boots I came up with in a dream last night!)
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: CliffordK on 07/10/2011 04:03:39
But at the end of the 'NiMH & EV' article it's more upbeat:
"On July 28, 2009, Automotive News reported that Cobasys would be bought from Chevron and Energy Conversion Devices by battery maker SB LiMotive, a joint venture of Bosch and Samsung. At the time of the 2009 Cobasys sale, control of NiMH battery technology transferred back to ECD Ovonics. In October 2009, ECD Ovonics announced that their next-generation NiMH batteries will provide specific energy and power that are comparable to those of lithium ion batteries at a cost that is significantly lower than the cost of lithium ion batteries."
Yes, I noticed that. 

I think Cobasys/Ovonics shot themselves in the foot by not continuing making EV batteries.
Unless the Lithium based batteries fail miserably, I see more people moving towards Lithium batteries than returning to the NiMH.

In reality, after the California requirements were lifted, the demand for EV battery packs would have significantly fallen anyway.

It could also overcome some of the limitations in WW supplies of Lithium as mentioned by Misery-guts Geezer here:
On a more cheerful note:

"It's Time To Kill The Electric Car, Drive A Stake Through Its Heart And Burn The Corpse"

http://seekingalpha.com/article/289828-it-s-time-to-kill-the-electric-car-drive-a-stake-through-its-heart-and-burn-the-corpse?source=yahoo
Whew, a long article. 

I think the article missed on recycling.  While, a large quantity of aluminum cans aren't recycled, I would assume that over 90% of major auto components are eventually recycled. 

So, AA NiMH batteries may get into the waste stream.  However, NiMH or Lithium car batteries likely are virtually all recycled or reused. 

Let me know if you know of anybody throwing out a Nissan Leaf main battery pack, and I'll come and pick it up  [:)]

If one put a $1000 deposit on the battery packs, virtually all of them would get recycled.

Interesting point about the benefits to society of investing in many fuel efficient conventional vehicles vs investing in few 100% electric vehicles.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 12/11/2011 02:17:24
Oops.

http://news.yahoo.com/electric-car-battery-catches-fire-crash-test-182151795.html
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: CliffordK on 13/11/2011 05:45:24
Oops.
http://news.yahoo.com/electric-car-battery-catches-fire-crash-test-182151795.html

It is hard to understand the actual cause of the fire.  They are recomending draining damaged batteries which is likely a good idea, but I would assume only under a very light load, so as to not heat up the batteries.

Quote from: Above Article
After the crash test, NHTSA found a coolant leak and moved the damaged Volt to a back lot, where it was exposed to the elements, said Rob Peterson, a GM spokesman who specializes in electric cars. Exposure to the weather caused the coolant to crystalize, and that, combined with the remaining charge in the battery, were factors, he said.

If a liquid coolant is involved, then it may not be an issue with vehicles that lack a liquid coolant.  Does the Tesla have a liquid coolant?

The other issue is that the battery packs often have very high voltages.  Mine runs at 144V, and that is somewhat low, with some packs at over 300V, and capable of putting out in excess of 1000A. 

In the event of an accident, don't grab the wrong wires!!!

I wonder if anybody has designed battery linkages that can be safely severed in case of an accident, perhaps isolating individual 24V cell packs.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 13/11/2011 06:12:06
Do not worry about your lead-acid batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are a bit different. Their contents can ignite.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: CliffordK on 13/11/2011 20:17:22
Do not worry about your lead-acid batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are a bit different. Their contents can ignite.

I was hoping to find a battery pack from a wrecked NISSAN Leaf.   [:-\]

Perhaps this will lead us back from Lithium to NiMH technology.

I still have the issue of a lot of power in the battery pack, and some relatively high voltage wires going from the back of the vehicle up into the engine compartment.  One could design spring-loaded knife blade links to isolate compartments of the battery bank in case of an accident.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 13/11/2011 20:37:02
Do not worry about your lead-acid batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are a bit different. Their contents can ignite.

I was hoping to find a battery pack from a wrecked NISSAN Leaf.   [:-\]

Perhaps this will lead us back from Lithium to NiMH technology.

I still have the issue of a lot of power in the battery pack, and some relatively high voltage wires going from the back of the vehicle up into the engine compartment.  One could design spring-loaded knife blade links to isolate compartments of the battery bank in case of an accident.

Yes, your batteries could start a fire, or even explode and spray acid all over the place, but I imagine there a fusible links that will pretty much rule that out.

I don't think this case with the Volt will slow things down much. Actually, I think it's a really good thing because it's getting everyone's attention before there are many vehicles on the road. I'd be interested in seeing the root cause analysis, if it's ever made available.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: CliffordK on 13/11/2011 22:11:50
Yes, your batteries could start a fire, or even explode and spray acid all over the place, but I imagine there a fusible links that will pretty much rule that out.

I don't think this case with the Volt will slow things down much. Actually, I think it's a really good thing because it's getting everyone's attention before there are many vehicles on the road. I'd be interested in seeing the root cause analysis, if it's ever made available.
You would need about a 500A x 144V DC fuse.  That is a lot of power...  It is likely that one could get a short that wouldn't trip the fuse, but would still be quite dangerous.

As far as fusible links...  does torching the lead battery posts count?

Ahhh...  here is an interesting article about removing the lithium from a battery.
http://periodictable.com/Stories/003.2/index.html

So, water and Lithium don't mix well.

Keep in mind that an ordinary car (including the Chevy Volt) carries an ample supply of flammable liquids.  I wonder what happens if the Volt has a gasoline leak that catches on fire, which then might spread to the battery pack.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 13/11/2011 23:23:45
You would need about a 500A x 144V DC fuse.

Fuses don't care about voltage; they only care about current. The power dissipated in a conductor is i squared R, so a "pinch point" in a circuit does not have to have much resistance to heat up really fast  [:)]

It also helps if the conductor happens to have a relatively low melting point as that speeds up the disconnect.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: johan_M on 16/11/2011 00:14:06
Quote
Fuses don't care about voltage; they only care about current.
Not true. A 100 amp ac fuse, rated a 110 volts ac, will not rupture properly if it ruptures in a 1000 v dc circuit. It will explode or arc over. Voltage rating is critical for fuses.
Title: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 16/11/2011 03:40:09
Quote
Fuses don't care about voltage; they only care about current.
Not true. A 100 amp ac fuse, rated a 110 volts ac, will not rupture properly if it ruptures in a 1000 v dc circuit. It will explode or arc over. Voltage rating is critical for fuses.

Quite right. We wouldn't want them arcing over, but they only care about voltage after they have fused. The fusing process has nothing to do with voltage (other than the small voltage drop across fuse's resistance of course.)
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 05/02/2012 02:52:00
Yippee! Electric car range problem finally solved!

http://autos.yahoo.com/blogs/motoramic/one-inventor-wants-boost-evs-towable-turbine-210057167.html
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 05/02/2012 11:56:53
Yippee! Electric car range problem finally solved!

http://autos.yahoo.com/blogs/motoramic/one-inventor-wants-boost-evs-towable-turbine-210057167.html

I thought of that too... 'course thinking and doing are two very different things [::)]   Kudos to him.

I also like the idea of a powered trailer (aka a pusher) - with driven wheels (from a traditional IC engine), which could potentially offer better fuel economy than the above trailer as it saves a conversion to electric and back again; though BSFC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brake_specific_fuel_consumption) has to be factored in.
This is a particularly good supplementary power solution for BEVs with regen braking as the driver (or even better an Engine-s Management unit) can choose to overdrive the ICE slightly (pushing it nearer to ideal the BSFC region) at times when the battery pack needs topping up. The regen then partly switches on to trickle the batteries.
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 02/03/2012 15:58:26
It is the oddest thing driving a 5-speed transmission and an electric motor.  One gets used to downshifting to get more power.  But, I seem to get higher amp draw (and thus higher acceleration) with upshifting.
That's quite funny, I would never have thought of that. You're obviously getting less back EMF off the motor at lower revs and so with fixed volts off the battery pack it gives you more torque/power (in some cases, if you really overdo the upshifting, it will probably go the other way).
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: CliffordK on 02/03/2012 19:03:48
True.

I wrote that a while ago.

I think my Ranger actually has a bit higher gearing than I had thought.

So, it is probably best to start in 2nd gear.
If I start in 4th gear, the acceleration is slow.

My old gasoline Ranger could barely handle the top 5th gear.  This electric one does fine with 5th, even though it has a lower top speed.

Amps seem to be closely related to power.  My target for maximum acceleration is 200 to 250 amps, which I get from the right gear.  Too high or too low of a gear and I don't get the maximum acceleration.

If I have it in too low of a gear, then the faster I go, the less amp draw (with pedal to floor)
If I have it in too high of a gear, then the faster I go, the more amp draw (with pedal to floor).

So, I suppose that it isn't so different from the normal gasoline vehicle, except that I am often driving in slightly too low of a gear, so more power is frequently gained from up-shifting.
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 02/03/2012 20:22:11
If I have it in too high of a gear, then the faster I go, the more amp draw (with pedal to floor).
Is that the electric motor controller doing that?

An electric motor wouldn't normally do that I think.
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 02/03/2012 20:35:19
If I have it in too high of a gear, then the faster I go, the more amp draw (with pedal to floor).
Is that the electric motor controller doing that?

An electric motor wouldn't normally do that I think.


It depends. If the load is increasing because of increasing wind resistance, the power output has to increase, so the battery drain must increase.
 
Clifford, are the motor and battery currents the same thing? I imagine they are, but they could conceivably be different.
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 02/03/2012 20:42:52
Presumably power/torque is voltage limited by the battery at the top end of the motor revs, but there's likely to be an artificial torque reduction on the low rev end, otherwise it's too easy to spin the wheels at low speed because that's where an electric motor naturally has the most torque.
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 02/03/2012 20:54:25
There has to be some sort of current limit, but I would imagine the "long" gear (small ratio) makes torque limiting unnecessary.

Mind you, diesel-electric and electric locomotives do have traction control systems to prevent wheel slip, but that's a somewhat different situation.
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: CliffordK on 02/03/2012 23:53:28
Clifford, are the motor and battery currents the same thing? I imagine they are, but they could conceivably be different.
[:-\]
I need to go through the controller stuff a bit more. 

I think it is a DC setup.
With motor and battery voltages being the same, 144V.

One common way to "fake" variable voltage is to essentially create variable time slices at full voltage, I think, although one could potentially use capacitors to de-ripple it somewhat.

I would assume that "pedal to the metal" would give full voltage.  However, I believe the power is limited to somewhere around the 250A, and there is also some kind of RPM speed limiter.
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: CliffordK on 03/03/2012 00:00:34
Oh...  and what is holding back the technology.
My winter range doesn't seem to be nearly as good as the summer range, with my range being about 40 miles last summer, it has dropped down to about 25 miles this winter.  I'm hoping some of it will come back as the temperatures warm up again.

If I choose to replace my batteries with a similar sealed lead battery array, I could easily spend $5000.

If I choose to upgrade to Lithium technology, I could easily spend $20,000.

It is a big chunk to bite off for a used vehicle.  But, with the right array, I should be able to more than double my range, and perhaps even improve my cargo capacity.
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 03/03/2012 01:16:02
One common way to "fake" variable voltage is to essentially create variable time slices at full voltage, I think, although one could potentially use capacitors to de-ripple it somewhat.
You're talking about PWM. I don't see off-hand how that would be considered fake, the de-rippling can be done very well, particularly if the switching is at high speed. If they're very slow pulses, then yes, that would be bad!
Quote
I would assume that "pedal to the metal" would give full voltage.
It doesn't sound like it, I think there's a thing in there to give a more engine-like torque curve by effectively backing off the throttle at low revs.
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 03/03/2012 02:26:49
Yes, the voltage control to the motor is almost certainly some sort of switching regulator. Doing it with any sort of resistive control would be horrible in terms of the energy wasted - mind you, it would be a good source of heat in the Winter!

There was an article on the web today where someone pointed out a major problem with electric vehicles. 50% of the capital cost is in the battery. But the battery degrades, so after a few years, half the capital value has evaporated. Consequently, the resale value is going to be even worse than it is for a traditional vehicle.

I must say I'm a bit underwhelmed by modern battery technology. I have a 12 year old lead-acid battery in my boat that's still going strong. Based on what I've seen with PCs and the like, I'll be pretty surprised if anything can touch that sort of life. You might be wise to stick with lead-acids Clifford. They may be heavy, but they are pretty dependable if well treated, and they don't spontaneously combust either!
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 03/03/2012 03:56:24
Yeah, Li-ions have a short shelf-life, and it's a shelf-life, they go bad without you doing anything, they lose capacity.

NiMh and lead acids are much, much better though.

And it's not actually that bad, even a battery with reduced life is still pretty useful and valuable. The batteries only lose about half their capacity after ten years or so.
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 03/03/2012 06:19:06
They always seem to quote Li-ions as having far greater energy density than lead-acids, which is true when they are new, but I wonder how they really compare if you factor in the degraded capacity over time. Lead-acids might not look all that bad!

They are also quite easy to re-cycle. Not sure about Li-ions.

Personally, I think we might do a lot better to forget rechargeable batteries and use recyclable primary cells like the Al-air battery instead. They have a whopping great capacity.

The apparent "downside" is that you would not be able to recharge it at home, but that actually might be a serious advantage. Once an infrastructure was established, you would just pop into the "gas" station and swap some of your batteries for new ones. No charge time, no nuthin. It should be no more difficult than buying gasoline.
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 03/03/2012 16:55:10
I also like the idea of a powered trailer (aka a pusher) - with driven wheels (from a traditional IC engine), which could potentially offer better fuel economy than the above trailer as it saves a conversion to electric and back again; though BSFC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brake_specific_fuel_consumption) has to be factored in.
I dunno. The problems are that the transmission adds extra weight, and running the engine under different loads and revs makes it far less efficient. You're much better off just running it at one speed and load. I mean that's basically how the prius works. Also having a trailer pushing you like that would induce potential issues with jack knifing.

It's just a bit too clever for its own good, whereas towing a trailer behind you with a generator on board is simple and straightforward. Also you don't need as much engine power because you can cruise and charge and the engine doesn't need to give you the peaks.
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 04/03/2012 03:14:39
Do not brick your Tesla.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/04/automobiles/Tesla-Battery-Failures-Make-Bricking-a-Buzzword.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&emc=eta1
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: CliffordK on 04/03/2012 08:19:38
Do not brick your Tesla.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/04/automobiles/Tesla-Battery-Failures-Make-Bricking-a-Buzzword.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&emc=eta1
It sounds to me like a design flaw in the Tesla.  I can understand why nobody wants to fork out the dough for a $40K replacement battery.  However, the car needs an automatic power cutoff.  And, perhaps a manual cutoff too.  I'd hate to leave the Tesla in long term parking at the airport while going on vacation, only to come back to find the $100K+ car needs towed home.

Actually, it is a fault with many "modern" cars.  If one has a second vehicle that is only occasionally driven, then one needs to buy a battery disconnect to keep it from toasting the battery while it is sitting in the garage.

Like the Lithium batteries, Lead Acid batteries also don't like 100% Depth of Discharge.
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: CliffordK on 31/05/2012 07:46:01
On NPR a few days ago, they mentioned a new Lithium-Tin battery design that is supposed to hold 3x the charge of the current Lithium based batteries.

http://www.npr.org/local/stories/KBSX/153886195
http://www.forbes.com/sites/uciliawang/2012/05/23/tin-the-secret-to-improving-lithium-ion-battery-life/

It appears if the Italians have been working on a similar process for a couple of years...  I have to wonder what the University of Washington added to it to justify the patent.
http://www.electrochemsci.org/papers/1030110.pdf
http://phys.org/news187526269.html

I'm also seeing notes of Manganese a few years ago giving possibly double the capacity of other materials.
http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/News/2007/May/10050701.asp

Anyway, I've been looking at possible upgrades for my EV battery array.  The current lead batteries that I have are HEAVY.  And, unfortunately there is a weight/range trade-off.

A direct conversion to Lithium should double (or more) my range from about 40 miles up to perhaps 100 miles which would be adequate for most local driving, but still be pushing it for "road trips".

I was thinking it might be good to set up a local battery pack which would be light and efficient.  A second battery pack could be added for longer trips.

But, if the capacity of the Lithium batteries could be doubled in the next couple of years, then that would make a HUGE step forward. 
The Tesla Model S is supposed to have a range of up to 300 miles or so.  Doubling that would be up to about 600 miles or so which would be a full day driving.  It would essentially mean unrestricted daytime driving, even for commercial applications, and recharging at night. 

100 to 200 miles would be fine for commuting.  What would be nice would be the ability to just add a range extension to one's vehicle.  Trailer?  Then maintain the lighter commuter.

And, as the battery size drops, efficiency will go up.

How long  can I put off dropping $20 Grand into a new battery pack?  There seem to be different estimates of the time until the implementation of the new technology.  NPR suggested a year or so.  I'd say perhaps half a decade would be more reasonable.
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 31/05/2012 13:43:30
I think a trailer-generator is probably a better idea.

Build the battery big enough for your daily commute.

Then for the occasional times you need the extra distance, just attach the trailer, and turn it on when you need more range.
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 31/05/2012 14:07:39
I dunno. The problems are that the transmission adds extra weight, and running the engine under different loads and revs makes it far less efficient. You're much better off just running it at one speed and load. I mean that's basically how the prius works. Also having a trailer pushing you like that would induce potential issues with jack knifing.

It's just a bit too clever for its own good, whereas towing a trailer behind you with a generator on board is simple and straightforward. Also you don't need as much engine power because you can cruise and charge and the engine doesn't need to give you the peaks.

I'm not so sure I would agree with it being too clever for it's own good.
Yes, a 'generator-trailer' has only to run at within a couple of percent of it's peak efficiency and no gearbox is needed but it may be heavy lump, needing to deliver over 8kw continuous output (Eg. driving at 70mph in a headwind); which the BEV motor(s) need to be able to accelerate and potentially overcome the negative aero effect at speed. A heavily upgraded onboard battery charger is also needed.  Obviously the initial investment would almost certainly be quite a lot higher for the self-builder, as old donor cars for a 'pusher' are cheap, whereas used gensets around ~10kW are not usually so.

The pusher trailer on the other hand is a cheap and cheerful solution.
Plus if you want to be more technical with it's design, it can probably get away with a low gear and a high gear, as the car would only ever pull away on electric and the Pusher would only engage above say 15mph.
The Pusher potentially doesn't even need an alternator or a charging hook-up if the BEV has regenerative braking capability, as to charge-as-you-drive the system would be able to slightly apply the 'brakes'.

The efficiency of the IC engine in the Pusher wouldn't suffer nearly as much as a normal car engine during the driving cycle as, if well matched, it should never be running at much less than 70% load or outside the (say) 2000-2500rpm ideal.
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 31/05/2012 14:24:43
Anyway, I've been looking at possible upgrades for my EV battery array.  The current lead batteries that I have are HEAVY.  And, unfortunately there is a weight/range trade-off.

A direct conversion to Lithium should double (or more) my range from about 40 miles up to perhaps 100 miles which would be adequate for most local driving, but still be pushing it for "road trips".

The trouble is your truck is by it's nature pretty heavy before even adding batteries; plus has pretty diabolical aero I would imagine.  It's not the best vehicle for long distances or most commutes I'd guess.

The win on going to a Lithium or NiMH battery tech would be be more visible (in outlay for batteries, as well as kWh needed daily) if the vehicle's unmodified kerb weight was much lower.   Unless you are constantly running a truck for carrying or hauling a short distance most days I'm not sure BEV is much cop in such a package; whatever the battery tech allows.

Thanks for the new battery technology links BTW!
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 31/05/2012 14:29:27
Obviously the initial investment would almost certainly be quite a lot higher for the self-builder, as old donor cars for a 'pusher' are cheap, whereas used gensets around ~10kW are not usually so.
About a grand from what I just looked up. They're standard bits of kit.
Quote
The pusher trailer on the other hand is a cheap and cheerful solution.
No, it's a complicated and difficult solution, you have to handle the gearing and control issues from the car in front. Both trailers and generators are standard items, that are easily available.
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: CliffordK on 31/05/2012 17:40:48
As far as a generator, the charging system in my pickup is about 6KW.
The drain is, say around 144V x 100A, or about 14KW.
A 6KW generator is relatively cheap, and would give me about a 30% duty cycle.  So, one couldn't just drive on the freeway all day, but one could drive longer distances with brief stops and layovers.
A larger generator would also have to have a redesigned charging system.

A "pusher" would be awkward to drive.  One would certainly have to carefully tie the engine and brake systems together.

I think the small pickups were frequently converted to electric as they already have good enough suspension to handle the extra weight of batteries. 

I have a classic VW Caddy that I've been considering converting.  About half the weight of the Ranger unloaded.
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: peppercorn on 31/05/2012 22:45:05
No, it's a complicated and difficult solution, you have to handle the gearing and control issues from the car in front. Both trailers and generators are standard items, that are easily available.

It's still cheaper for most cases, and remote throttle-control is not rocket science; though a four-on-the-floor gearbox may be more of a challenge admittedly!  Automatics have 'lock-up' speed I believe (never worked on one) so that might be a way around.
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: crimsonknight3 on 14/07/2012 13:56:03
I'm not sure if someone has mentioned this yet but there is currently being developed a carbon 'slurry' that can store and discharge electricity at massive rates depending on the size of the slurry tank/converter, if this could be utilized for electric vehicles, they could run on a tank of said slurry, then when they need more power, go to a petrol station, attach the car and have the negatively charged slurry extracted and replaced with positively charged slurry?

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120711104809.htm
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: Geezer on 14/07/2012 19:38:53
I'm not sure if someone has mentioned this yet but there is currently being developed a carbon 'slurry' that can store and discharge electricity at massive rates depending on the size of the slurry tank/converter, if this could be utilized for electric vehicles, they could run on a tank of said slurry, then when they need more power, go to a petrol station, attach the car and have the negatively charged slurry extracted and replaced with positively charged slurry?

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120711104809.htm (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120711104809.htm)

Interesting article. Thanks for posting it!

If I understand this it's a sort of supercapacitor. I'd be a bit worried that the energy density will be insufficient. Currently, supercaps have only a fraction of the energy density of chemical batteries, and even they are barely adequate.
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: CliffordK on 14/07/2012 22:49:26
The carbon battery sounds interesting. 

Probably not in the near future for cars, but there is also work in liquid metal, or molten metal batteries for commercial applications.

http://www.technologyreview.com/article/412190/tr10-liquid-battery/
http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2010-04/molten-metal-batteries-could-store-extra-juice-power-grid
http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2012/02/14/Liquid-molten-batteries-as-energy-aid/UPI-52301329262339/

Perhaps one could devise a liquid metal battery for very low melting point metals such as Mercury, Tin, Bismuth, and etc.

Actually, Sodium, Lithium, and Potassium might be interesting targets for a low temperature liquid metal battery.
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 16/07/2012 02:16:33
I think the liquid metal stuff is much better for fixed applications.
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: questioner on 20/08/2012 13:14:51
The oil companies!
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 18/03/2015 15:29:37
Not quite enough fast charging points, to properly cover the whole country, and not enough people with electric cars, so that people get to find out how good they are!
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: crimsonknight3 on 28/10/2016 00:42:32
If I could afford one, I would definately own a Tesla.... Quite a few motorway service stations I have visited have specifically tesla charging points, if not then typcial generic electric car charging points... I'm never too far from a motor way it seems... From what I have seen recently though, electric car price has definately been coming down quite nicely, but reliablity and longevity still seem to be an issue, although with much thanks to elon musk it does appear that battery technology is improving vastly on 5-10 years ago
Title: Re: What is holding back electric car technology?
Post by: alancalverd on 28/10/2016 04:47:27
Convenience (or rather, lack of). I'm very impressed with the performance and capabilities of current Teslas but as work involves 200 - 300 miles per day I'd have to spend an extra hour each day (more in cold weather) waiting for the beast to recharge at a service station, and plan every trip via recharging points.  Arriving near-empty is not a viable option.

An electric bus, on the other hand, makes good sense, as would a better hybrid car, using an on-board gas turbine to recharge the battery on the move or whilst I'm actually at my destination. Problem with that, of course, is you can't use unreliable electricity directly, but it does at least guarantee that you burn the carbon or hydrogen fuel with optimum efficiency.