Replies

  • I ask myself more the question how many battery patents are rotting in the drawers of all the oil multis. Things happend, but as our system only supports change carried by money, a lot of technology got bought to reduce future competitor risk.

     

     

  • Well he makes some valid points but he seems to not address some obvious points. For example, charger and battery efficiency. OK, so we need to top the batteries up with an extra 7%-20% plus whatever the charger eats up. But in internal combustion engines we roughly get 1/3 of the combustion energy and dump another 2/3s out the exhaust and cooling systems (by contrast, wikipedia quotes efficiencies of around 80%-90% for brushless motors). That's before we feed that to the transmission (in electric vehicles we could, as John points out, have a motor per wheel). So, if we still extract energy from fossil fuels but in something super efficient (for example a fuel cell factory, if the price ever goes down to palatable levels) and then charge the batteries, we should be winners even if we stick with fossil fuels. Of course, if we manage to find some alternative source of cheap juice (hydro, cold fusion, wind, sun, whatever) this might get even better.

    As for batteries dying, not charging fast enough etc, people have been talking about battery swapping for ages so the "problem" of charging on 110/220V sounds a bit like a red herring. The problem of how much energy the battery actually delivers is (so you get charged accordingly and don't get ripped off by old batteries delivering less) can be dealt with by monitoring systems on both the battery and the car. My guess for why this might not catch on is that companies are not too keen on standardising a device that can lead to their beloved vendor lock-in (imagine how gleefully managers would rub their hands at Ford or wherever if their cars would only run on Ford fuel). This, however, is a business problem, not a technical one.

  • Developer

    No offense but he sounds a bit like an bitter old mans rambling on about how everything was better before.

    First let's start with Lithium batteries which has revolutionized the R/C hobby and pretty much anything mobile. While the principle behind Lithium was theoretically discovered in the early 1900's, they where not feasible to produce and sell commercially before well into the 1970's. And took another 30 years before they became anything close to the LiPo batteries we use today.

    As to energy storage, he is failing to look at the big picture and just stubbornly compares the battery to a gas tank without looking at any external factors like the price of filling up/charging or environmental footprint.

    When it comes to charging he is correct. There will never be fast charging using regular 110/220v at home. But why would dedicated charging stations also be limited to 110/220v?

    And lastly the point of simplicity. Here he is has in my opinion totally missed the point and confuses electrical luxury accessories with an electric power system. Nothing is simpler or more robust then an electrical motor. In comparison a combustion engine has hundreds of parts all needed for proper operation. And you could even take it further and use electrical motors directly coupled to each wheel, skipping the entire drive train and gear system.

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