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This year has been pretty rough for electric vehicle advocates in the United States, with grim predictions for sales, concerns over battery-related fires (concerns that have turned out to be ill-founded) and a shifting political climate. So, I read with interest some new information published by Pike Research that suggest sales of plug-in electric vehicles will ramp up substantially after 2015.
The report, "Plug-in Electric Vehicles," doesn't offer all that much optimism in the next several years. Fewer than a half-million electric vehicles are expected to hit the road in the United States between 2011 and 2015 (the prediction is for 410,000 to be more precise).
In the United States, Pike doesn't expect plug-in electric vehicle sales to reach 1 million until 2018. Globally speaking, annual shipments of electric vehicles should hit 1 million somewhere around 2017, the research firm predicted.
UK researchers have made a key step in development of a lithium-air battery, a device that promises three to five times as much energy per unit mass as the existing lithium-ion.
Once built, such a battery could allow you to fly cross-country flights with a functioning laptop, or talk for a week without charging your mobile phone or even a take a 800-kilometre journey in an electric car.
The experiment by Professor Peter G Bruce at the University of St. Andrew's in Scotland, and colleagues was published today in online journal Science Express. It describes a chemical reaction that allows the battery to be recharged without degradation of the battery's electrode.
"We have demonstrated that sustainable cycling is possible," says Bruce. "That is the real step here. We haven't solved all the practical problems and it's not a solution, but it does demonstrate this critical reaction can be sustained and cycled."
Scientists are pushing to develop a lithium air battery because they use air as the cathode and lithium metal as the anode. Oxygen is both cheap and light. It doesn't require the battery to be built with heavy casing to contain the electrodes.
Under the bill, electric bicycles and motorcycles will be eligible for a 10 percent federal tax credit of up to $2,500. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon (home of Brammo, an electric motorcycle manufacturer) introduced the amendment to reinstate the 2009 tax break that was part of the $800 billion federal stimulus package.
The new bill would end an existing EV tax credit for golf carts. “There’s no reason to have a credit for a golf cart,” Wyden said after the passage.
Logic wrote:So Plant, what was the cause?
Do you think it more likely the EV part of the car or the ICE part?
Plantagenet wrote:More bad Karma.
Another Fisker Karma, the $103,000 PHEV, set itself on fire---this time in California. The act of spontaneous combustion occurred while the car was parked and the owner was shopping for groceries.
Another Fisker Karma sets itself on fire
The car costs $103,000. If you want to add a fire extinguisher, you have to drill out the car body and bolt it onto the outside yourself
Plantagenet wrote:Logic wrote:So Plant, what was the cause?
Do you think it more likely the EV part of the car or the ICE part?
The fire marshall hasn't issued a report yet.
Logic wrote:...how unreliable/dangerous EVs are...
Logic wrote:... nice bit of selective editing there Plant.
Logic wrote:ICE vehicles are much more fire prone than BEVs.
Envia Systems’ breakthrough battery is one step closer to commercialization after a public vote of confidence last week from the CEO of General Motors (GM), Dan Akerson. ITIF has previously blogged about the battery, which performed at an energy density of 378-418 watt-hours per kilogram (Wh/kg) in independent tests. In contrast, conventional electric vehicle batteries possess substantially lower densities – the battery of the high-end Tesla roadster, for example, has an energy density of 121 Wh/kg, while the Nissan Leaf’s is 79 Wh/kg. GM is conducting further tests on the battery, but its CEO expressed hope that it could be installed in an electric vehicle in just two to four years. “These little companies come out of nowhere, and they surprise you,” Akerson remarked in regard to Envia. “I think we’ve got better than a 50-50 chance to develop a car that will go to 200 miles on a charge. That would be a game changer.”
Hopefully, automakers like GM will be able to commercialize breakthrough batteries like that of Envia and make electric vehicles that are genuinely cost and performance competitive with conventional gas cars a reality. If GM’s CEO is to be believed, that reality is potentially a mere two years away.
The electric vehicles market has been forecast to witness phenomenal growth in the upcoming years, having recorded a turnover close to US$54 billion in 2011. During this period (2009-2011), electric two wheelers became the dominant force within the industry.
In the US, the electric vehicles market hit a market value of $14.9 billion during the same time period, driven by a growing number of sales in the nation.
Both the global and US electric vehicle markets are growing at a much faster pace than anticipated, driven by the growing levels of pollution, rising crude prices, depleting crude oil stock reserves, and the increase in environmental awareness.
With almost double the mileage, less fuel consumption, lower running costs, silent operation, and zero tail pipe emissions, electric vehicles are expected to become the preferred mode of transportation in the US.
The electric vehicles market globally and in US is forecast to grow at an exceptionally elevated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) due to increasing adaptability across the globe. Due to this, the US market for electric vehicles is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 43.39% to 2015 and globally is set to reach 2.9 million vehicles in 2017.
Key players dominating the electric vehicle market include Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., General Motors Co., Tesla Motors Inc., Fisker Automotive Inc., and Smith Electric Vehicles Corp.
For more information on the electric vehicles market, see the latest research: Electric Vehicles Market Report
Fast charging electric cars could become reality due to research at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) in Korea. The scientists say their technology enables lithium-ion batteries to recharge at 30 to 120 times faster than current lithium-ion batteries. This would be a major breakthrough which would allow electric car drivers to recharge more-or-less as quickly as gasoline car drivers, if the technology works out, is safe, and if charging stations are built which support a matching charge rate.
The battery technology uses cathode material, standard lithium manganese oxide (LMO), soaked in a solution containing graphite. The carbonized the graphite-soaked LMO forms a network of conductive traces that run throughout the cathode which allow more of the battery to recharge at the same time. Put another way, all energy-holding particles in the battery start recharging simultaneously. In conventional lithium-ion batteries the recharge process starts at the surface of the cathode and works inward. This is what allows this battery technology to recharge more quickly.
Ford is forging ahead in vehicle electrification. The company already has over 1,000 engineers working at their Electrification Center of Excellence. 60 engineers were added last year and more are to follow in the future. These engineers will be based at a 285,000-square-foot R&D lab in Dearborn, Michigan, where they will be working on new technologies to bring out more economically priced and fuel efficient electric vehicles in the future.
Demand for electric vehicles is gaining momentum in the world of today. More and more customers are opting for electric vehicles and are demanding better features and infrastructure facilities along with it. Ford is investing $135 million in design, engineering and production of these electric vehicles which also include advanced battery systems as their vehicles go into production this year.
Keith_McClary wrote:My neighbour has a Camry hybrid. Somebody hit them on the right rear side. Looked like a minor fender-bender but turned out the battery and associated stuff was damaged. $8000, can't be fixed by locally, it's been in the Toyota shop in the city for a month.
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