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THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: Battery Tech and the Electric Car

Unread postby JRP3 » Wed 06 Apr 2011, 17:18:46

AgentR11 wrote:As long as an EV isn't sold or propagandized to someone as a way to save money, I'm all for them. Using an EV because you like the car, or the way it sounds, its shape, or just the bright-new tech feel, or whatever, is great. Telling Bob that he won't be able to afford to get to work when gas is $6 because he didn't buy an EV is misleading as can be. Anyone that can afford to buy a $30k vehicle won't be significantly influenced by gasoline cost until the $15-$20/gal range; at which point an EV certainly would save money, if electricity isn't also selling for $2/kwh or something. Conversely, anyone that would be in trouble for work commutes at $6/gal couldn't afford the $30k ev either.

Thats really the heart of my objection I think... Anyone that is seriously effected by $6 gas will be looking at the $15k car, not the $30k car. (as far as price goes)

The same argument was made against the Prius when it came out, who would pay more money for one just to save some gas? Apparently a lot of people, and they weren't poor people. Fact is that even people who can afford a $30K vehicle care about the price of fuel.
I do disagree with the notion of using the price point as the selection criteria though. I think a sum of comfort+range+capacity give a better selection criteria; then use the net costs of ownership to determine the economic comparison.

People buy vehicles, and all products, within a price range. No one jumps into a vehicle that's 50-100% more expensive for any reason, it has to be in their price range. If you only use comfort, range, and capacity as metrics for vehicles then no one would buy most sports cars, which cost more than most larger more practical cars. An EV will save you money compared to an ICE of similar price, and compared to a lesser priced ICE depending on fuel price and miles driven.
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Re: Battery Tech and the Electric Car

Unread postby JRP3 » Wed 06 Apr 2011, 17:26:17

AgentR11 wrote:
JRP3 wrote:Saying a 100 mile or so range EV won't work is obviously not a true statement.


No one on this thread said that though.

Very few people are going to buy a car with a limited range
Post at the top of the page.
And for some folks, a 100 mile range EV might even be perfect; but it'll take a lot more than $6/gas to make one save money compared to other small sedans.

You mean like compared to a Prius optioned similar to what the LEAF comes with, around $28K? You don't need $6 gas to save money compared to a Prius, which is a direct competitor for a LEAF and has the same target market.
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Re: Battery Tech and the Electric Car

Unread postby AgentR11 » Wed 06 Apr 2011, 20:06:32

We just fundamentally disagree with how to evaluate cars I suppose. I still have no idea why you'd compare a LEAF and Prius; if you insist on similar price points, then by definition the car with the better "mileage" is going to be less expensive. So I don't really know who you think is disagreeing with that particular piece.

The reason I suggest comparison with the Tercel/Yaris group is that they are similar in size, comfort, and capability, with the difference being strictly a comparison with a cheaper drive train + less efficiency vs the much more expensive drive train + much more efficiency. The end result in that comparison is that it takes very expensive fuel to close the gap in overall cost between the two similar vehicles.

Given that, we are just talking past each other.
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Re: Battery Tech and the Electric Car

Unread postby JRP3 » Thu 07 Apr 2011, 21:01:57

The Yaris is a smaller vehicle than the LEAF with the LEAF being 2 feet longer, which is substantial. If you have never driven a LEAF you can't really comment on the quality and comfort level of the vehicle, most reviews I've seen give it much better than econobox marks. Not surprising since an EV can have luxury vehicle smoothness and sound levels since they don't have a vibrating ICE, which you seem to discount. As for why I would compare a LEAF to a Prius, they have the same wheel base and overall length, and as I've mentioned they quite obviously have a similar target market. You can compare a LEAF to a Yaris, a moped, or a bike, but none of them are valid comparisons. Name any other two vehicles that you would reasonably compare in completely different price ranges, and then explain why you feel that's a valid comparison and why you think they are targeting the same buyer.
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Re: Battery Tech and the Electric Car

Unread postby AgentR11 » Fri 08 Apr 2011, 01:36:12

We are really just talking past each other on this. I've already answered, in a previous post, why I would compare vehicles across a substantial price range.
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Re: Battery Tech and the Electric Car

Unread postby Mesuge » Fri 08 Apr 2011, 03:20:46

You guys are still missing the basic point and that's the fact HSD from Toyota has been around for more than a decade in several milion copies produced, and it's on the 4th generation (3rd export ver). In comparison Nissan Leaf remains an experimental joke for the near future. You can get great 3rd party PHEV mods for HSD, e.g. <72mph EV or blended mode, in various kWh capacities. But as pointed before with the tsunami aftermath, it's kind of risky to buy anything from Japan in the next few years. The quality will go down, unfocused workers, hastily patched JIT system etc.
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Re: Battery Tech and the Electric Car

Unread postby JRP3 » Fri 08 Apr 2011, 08:41:40

AgentR11 wrote: I've already answered, in a previous post, why I would compare vehicles across a substantial price range.

Yes, you claimed they were similar in size, comfort, and compatibility. I'm not sure what you meant by compatibility but they are not at all similar in size or comfort. EV's are inherently smoother and quieter and the LEAF is two feet longer. So two thirds of your claims are false and based on assumptions you just made up.
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Re: Battery Tech and the Electric Car

Unread postby JRP3 » Sat 09 Apr 2011, 09:49:39

Mesuge wrote:You guys are still missing the basic point and that's the fact HSD from Toyota has been around for more than a decade in several milion copies produced, and it's on the 4th generation (3rd export ver). In comparison Nissan Leaf remains an experimental joke for the near future. You can get great 3rd party PHEV mods for HSD, e.g. <72mph EV or blended mode, in various kWh capacities. But as pointed before with the tsunami aftermath, it's kind of risky to buy anything from Japan in the next few years. The quality will go down, unfocused workers, hastily patched JIT system etc.

A HEV or PHEV is a more complex vehicle than a simple EV. If you don't need the endless range of a hybrid there is little benefit from carrying around extra ICE components. Your projections of what will suddenly happen to the quality of the LEAF is a stretch at best. The vehicle still comes with the same warranty.
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Re: Battery Tech and the Electric Car

Unread postby Mesuge » Sat 09 Apr 2011, 14:02:03

Clearly you don't understand the basics of industrial civilization and it's products evolution at all. There is a very significant difference between a 3rd/4th generation product massproduced in millions in comparison to a new born and apparently various issues plagued 1st gen product which is being manufactured in thousands at the moment. The Leaf is not only slightly diff. segment (which doesn't matter in this debate about slowly maturing products in terms of quality) but it simply doesn't work as hyped/advertised at all.

If you don't know about these simple principles even from your personal consumer experience so far or see the ridiculousness of your claims here it's hard to continue this part of the debate :roll:
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Re: Battery Tech and the Electric Car

Unread postby AgentR11 » Sat 09 Apr 2011, 16:44:54

JRP3 wrote:Yes, you claimed they were similar in size, comfort, and compatibility. I'm not sure what you meant by compatibility ..


I checked my text, I wrote "capability" not "compatibility". By which I primarily mean load capacity, ie, it carries 4 people and a reasonable amount of cargo. A difference in capability would be like a 2 seater sportscar, a pickup truck, or minivan/suv. Basically no point in comparing such vehicles to a LEAF since they can accomplish such radically different tasks than the LEAF.

but they are not at all similar in size or comfort. EV's are inherently smoother and quieter and the LEAF is two feet longer. So two thirds of your claims are false and based on assumptions you just made up.


Disagree.
Similar. Not identical, is what I wrote.

If the difference in physical measurements between leaf and yaris is bothering you, then how about try the Corolla. (Yaris is really the better choice though for someone that would be hurt by $6/gal gas.)

LEAF
4.4m Len; 1.8m Wid, 1.6m Height
1521 kg

Corolla $15.6k 28/35 mpg
4.5m len; 1.8m wid, 1.5m height
1270kg

They even kinda look alike.

Again, my primary objection is that you lead off the debate suggesting $6 gas was going to make someone wish they had bought a pure EV. And my reply was that it would take a very long service life or very high utilization rate with no unexpected hickups for an EV to break even with a similar ICE-only vehicle at $6 / gal.

In addition, I objected to your characterizing the expense of owning a LEAF as "pennies per day" when it is certainly more in the range of $10+ / day. (I calced it as $12 I think).

This is not to say that EV's are bad; car A costing more to own than car B; doesn't make car A a bad choice. But it is dishonest to suggest to people who would be prevented from commuting at $6/gal that purchasing a $30k car will let them keep on commuting despite the $6 gas.
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Re: Battery Tech and the Electric Car

Unread postby AgentR11 » Sat 09 Apr 2011, 16:55:49

nb EV comfort, I didn't address. My experience is that EV's are quieter and smoother, but take longer to get cold inside. OTOH, it never gets cold enough here to influence battery performance, so I leave that completely off the table. Basically though, this is why I consider them similar in that category, even if one is better at one part, and the other is better at another.

We do agree on the quieter and smoother part, don't misunderstand.
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Re: Battery Tech and the Electric Car

Unread postby JRP3 » Sun 10 Apr 2011, 08:18:58

Mesuge wrote:Clearly you don't understand the basics of industrial civilization and it's products evolution at all.
Right, I have no idea that new products don't always work as planned, thanks for enlightening me :roll:
The Leaf is not only slightly diff. segment (which doesn't matter in this debate about slowly maturing products in terms of quality) but it simply doesn't work as hyped/advertised at all.
How so? Because ignorant consumers expected to get 100 miles of range in all conditions, when Nissan clearly mapped out various ranges in different conditions? The only "problem" with the LEAF is that it's range estimation software needs to be updated and they should have included a numerical state of charge gauge instead of the bar graph. Both can be addressed with software updates. If you aren't getting near the range limits then those issues don't even affect you.
If you don't know about these simple principles even from your personal consumer experience so far or see the ridiculousness of your claims here it's hard to continue this part of the debate :roll:

What claims of mine are ridiculous? If the LEAF range is enough for you it makes more sense to buy a LEAF than a Prius, especially considering the incentives.
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Re: Battery Tech and the Electric Car

Unread postby nobodypanic » Sat 14 May 2011, 09:37:38

AgentR11 wrote:

Scaling can not save us on the economics of batteries. New tech could, but so far nothing has come along to prove that it will.

supercapacitors to the rescue?
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110512150731.htm
Supercapacitors are similar to batteries in that both store electric charge. Batteries do so through chemical reactions between metallic electrodes and a liquid electrolyte. Because these chemicals take time to react, energy is stored and released relatively slowly. But batteries can store a lot of energy and release it over a fairly long time.

Supercapacitors, on the other hand, store charge in the form of ions on the surface of the electrodes, similar to static electricity, rather than relying on chemical reactions. Charging the electrodes causes ions in the electrolyte to separate, or polarize, as well -- so charge gets stored at the interface between the electrodes and the electrolyte. Pores in the electrode increase the surface area over which the electrolyte can flow and interact -- increasing the amount of energy that can be stored.

But because most supercapacitors can't hold nearly as much charge as batteries, their use has been limited to applications where smaller amounts of energy are needed quickly, or where long life cycle is essential, such as in mobile electronic devices.

The new material developed by the UT-Austin researchers may change that. Supercapacitors made from it have an energy-storage capacity, or energy density, that is approaching the energy density of lead-acid batteries, while retaining the high power density -- that is, rapid energy release -- that is characteristic of supercapacitors.

"This new material combines the attributes of both electrical storage systems," said University of Texas team leader Rodney Ruoff. "We were rather stunned by its exceptional performance."

and the nice part:
Meanwhile, the scientists say the processing techniques used to create the new form of carbon are readily scalable to industrial production. "This material -- being so easily manufactured from one of the most abundant elements in the universe -- will have a broad range impacts on research and technology in both energy storage and energy conversion," Ruoff said.
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Re: Battery Tech and the Electric Car

Unread postby nobodypanic » Sat 14 May 2011, 11:52:42

pstarr wrote:Panic! Nanotube carbon capacitors don't work! THE EEStor Thread (merged)

well apparently thanks to four years of R&D (since the start of your link) by the university of texas and the US department of energy, according to them, it's now workable.
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Re: Battery Tech and the Electric Car

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sat 14 May 2011, 13:45:18

pstarr wrote:
nobodypanic wrote:
pstarr wrote:Panic! Nanotube carbon capacitors don't work! THE EEStor Thread (merged)

well apparently thanks to four years of R&D (since the start of your link) by the university of texas and the US department of energy, according to them, it's now workable.
then you might want to visit the end of the thread?

?


From a documentary I saw awhile back, large capacitors are an interesting idea, as IF THEY PROVE PRACTICAL, they might ENHANCE the electric car. However, the scientific discussion made it pretty clear:

1). These will NOT replace the battery. They MAY help make a smaller battery practical. This would likely make the electric car more efficient and potentially meaningfully cheaper.

2). Research is ongoing. This is NOT proven. It will be years before it is proven (IF it is), and then more years to scale it up, get it into production economically, etc.

3). As the above two imply -- this is NOT a silver bullet. This is at best, an incremental solution.

4). Finally, this shouldn't be surprising. Look how long it took to get a decent ICE car, that would generally last for about a decade with minimal maintenance. (Hint: many decades. And it's still a horribly inefficient beast -- it's just reasonably reliable now (generally)).

Whatever the practical electric car is some day, it will certainly be FAR different than what we can imagine today. Things like electronically printed batteries, perhaps super-capacitors, perhaps stuff that now seems like Star Trek level inventions would all be part of a practical, efficient solution. That's got to be DECADES away. Given mankind's gnat-like planning horizon and inability to compromise -- I don't see how we survive long enough to get there AND have BAU growth.

...

The arguments here frequently seem to center on the all-or-nothing scenario, where it becomes polarized doomers vs. cornies type arguments. Not exactly productive.

(This polarization reminds me of something ... CSPAN shows it a lot -- oh yes, the idiots in Washington).
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Battery Tech and the Electric Car

Unread postby nobodypanic » Sat 14 May 2011, 18:47:22

pstarr wrote:then you might want to visit the end of the thread??
the DoE isn't eestor. the university of texas isn't either. it never occurred to you that you can have some start-up company pursuing a dead end (maybe) while others could possibly make a breakthrough? really? the two are in competition; why you conflate the various entities, their approaches and specific technologies into one sloppy mass is beyond me.

not being a physicist i am forced to rely on authority. on the one hand i have your 'thread', on the other the DoE, an accredited university, and material that is set to be published in a peer-reviewed, journal; guess which side i would give greater weight to....
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Re: Battery Tech and the Electric Car

Unread postby JRP3 » Sat 14 May 2011, 20:21:52

The new material developed by the UT-Austin researchers may change that. Supercapacitors made from it have an energy-storage capacity, or energy density, that is approaching the energy density of lead-acid batteries, while retaining the high power density -- that is, rapid energy release -- that is characteristic of supercapacitors.

The big issue with EV batteries is energy density and cost. This new material has much worse energy density than lithium batteries and unknown cost.
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Re: Battery Tech and the Electric Car

Unread postby steaveford » Mon 30 May 2011, 13:00:52

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