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Wasn't the EESTOR story all about hybrid lithium ion capacitors? Anyone heard what their recent news is?
Ironically, the toughest competition for the Mirai (at least in terms of taking real customer dollars) will come from - Toyota's own Prius. Half the price, twice the range, cheaper to run, much, much easier to find fuel.
This could be great for Lithium-Sulphur, and a quick jump to 500 Wh/kg, if the chemistry is compatible.
In other news, Toyota has said that fuel cell cars will be more expensive to refuel than gasoline cars for the forseeable future: They estimate $50 for a full tank of H2 and 300 miles range. Compare this with a Prius, which is cheaper, can refuel at any gas station, has a range of 595 miles, and the gasoline would cost $18 to go 300 miles. With competition like that, the FCV could be a difficult sell, even in Japan.
LiS has promised to blow LiIon into the weeds, specific energy-wise at least, for years. The only things holding it back from taking the front seat are cycle life and safety. As soon as somebody cracks those, LiIon will go the way of NiCd and we will have 500 mile range EVs. Two things that may be interesting to bear in mind for the time being: first, SION's 350 Wh/kg LiS batteries have already proved their worth by keeping aloft a solar-powered plane for 10 nights in a row. Second, the first battery format LiS chemistry will be manufactured in volume is 18650, which means Tesla will be able to slot it directly into their packs and test/implement it immediately. Meanwhile the other auto manufacturers will have to wait years for somebody to agree to retool their pouch-style cell production machinery for LiS.
Perhaps we're wasting our breath debating this - in the end the consumer will decide. To my mind, if the choice is between BEV (charge anywhere including at home, 3 cents per mile fuel costs, very low maintenance costs) and FCEV (refill only at rare and expensive filling stations, 10 cents per mile fuel costs assuming $5 per kg at the pump, high stack maintenance costs), then the retailers are going to have to work very hard to convince people to hand over their cash for the FCEV.
"fuel cells are much more efficient than internal combustion engines (ICEs)" Peak fuel cell efficiency (~50-60%) is not that different from peak diesel engine efficiency these days (45-50%).
"I guess they have their reasons, and cost may be one of them." +1, simple = cheaper, which may have been their main design priority if they want to move this into the mainstream high volume market.
But no Miller or Atkinson cycle as most of us were expecting?
I think the motor used in the Tesla S is also a combined motor/inverter unit, for the same reasons cited above?
The Mitsubishi EVO FQ400 (2009 model) gave 400 hp from a 2 litre engine and came with a 3 year 36k mile warranty, only problem was the horrible lag.
There are so many approaches right now to solve the LiS issues. Maybe somewhere out there, the right anode, the right cathode and the right electrolyte have already been found and we just need to put the right set together....?
On the other hand (just to balance the arguements), sometimes breakthroughs are made that do make it to market quite quickly. For example, Howard Florey and co decided in 1938 to aim to identify the anti-bacterial compound secreted by penicillum mould, managed to do so (a remarkable feat in itself), developed a practical means of isolating it and by 1941 it was being mass produced. But maybe that's just an example that things tend to happen quicker when there's a real need for something?
Excellent progress, once the remaining cycle life and safety issues are cracked for Li-S, we're heading way below $100 per kWh and above 400 Wh/kg.
I think the author of this report may have prematurely dismissed Panasonic's ability to adapt/innovate with new chemistries to keep the lead in energy density. Who here really believes they are behind Envia and co in their understanding of electrochemistry? Chances are, the next big chemistry will come out in 18650 format first.
E-P, that's like saying we should only drink water when it rains! Storage is the solution, and once this and smart usage are implemented, renewables can be used for baseload (year round, on every continent).
Prius sales were only 17,700 in its first full year of production (1998), and sales bumped along up and down (not even linear upward growth) for about 5 years. But then the 2nd generation model came in 2003 and they haven't looked back, now selling >450,000 units per year. I suppose this means that early sales of first generation vehicles to early adopters aren't a great indicator of when things will really take off with the masses. Maybe the Model E, or the 200 mile GM, will really change things.
Davemart said 'Both you and Clett want to build in massive fossil fuel burn for decades, to make up for the supposed intermittency' Actually, that's not my stance at all. My preferred option is to go balls out for massive deployment of wind and solar (PV and thermal) while simultaneously shutting down the gas and coal power plants. Of course we would have huge issues with intermittency of supply if we ran the grid in the primitive way we do today, but with continent-wide smart grids and efficient markets, half the problem disappears (it's always windy somewhere). The rest will have to be stored, and my contention is that this will be CHEAPER than building new nuclear (or coal or gas etc) in the near future. Multi-day (and interseasonal) grid-level storage will be achieved on many levels. At the cheap and simple end, pricing will be instantaneous, so for example, fridges and freezers will run cooler during excess production, and enter a low power mode when prices go up. Another relatively small scale but highly responsive and efficient option will be BEV and home-owners storing electricity at home (bought when it's cheapest, i.e. when the wind blows) either in batteries or (very cheap) thermal storage. On a grander scale, I accept that there won't be enough storage capacity in hydro, particularly for storage on the order of several weeks, which I think would be the maximum required to buffer occasional extraordinary weather patterns. Instead, most countries will simply turn to one of the oldest tricks we have - thermal energy storage. We have hundreds of years of experience of this and can store vast quantities of heat for months in a relatively small space using molten salts or similar. The heat can be used directly for heating requirements (underground storage in cities for district heating schemes), or converted back to electricity from isentropic storage (check out, up to 80% round-trip efficiency). So, it will be a mix of a small amount of high efficiency storage (batteries), a large amount of lower efficiency storage (thermal) and demand control to fill the gaps (instantaneous pricing). But having said all of that, let's just remember that Denmark and some German states already cope easily with the frequent episodes where renewables power their entire country, and their grids haven't melted yet.
@Davemart, I think in the near future many home owners will install battery packs (of perhaps 10 kWh or so) to reduce their energy costs. These would be used to store their own cheap solar electricity made at home, or to buy inexpensive cheap electricity at night to use during the day. BEVs could of course be recharged at night from these packs. In the winter, when the wind is blowing a lot, there will be gluts in production which will be very cheap kWh. Widespread adoption of such packs will help buffer day to day variation in wind output. Elon Musk has seen this coming and is building up the solar electricity storage side of his business to accommodate. As for the Germany thing, I agree that the current increase in use of coal is regrettable, but it is only a transient setback and the energiewende will eventually regain its pace.
We have had natural gas powered vehicles available for years, with very limited uptake. Probably because people like the convenience of being able to fill up anywhere. Just on this basis alone, H2 would have to be practically free before people switch to using it. Also, given the ongoing plunge of battery costs per kWh, and solar PV per watt, homeowners will soon realise that they can generate their own electricity for 3 cents per kWh, translating to <1 cent per mile fuel costs for their BEV. H2 won't be able to compete with that.
The first gen Prius was overpriced and underperformed, so did not sell well at all. However the second gen Prius was a massive improvement and sold millions. Why shouldn't we expect the same from the Gen2 Volt/Ampera?
Does the consumer have a say in any of this? I think it's likely that given a choice, people will still prefer to spend a little bit longer (say 40 mins) charging their EV for the occasional long trips they do, compared to 3-4 mins to refuel a H2 vehicle, if it saves them a thousand dollars per year in fuel costs (assuming $6 per kg H2 and 60 miles per kg, compared to 4 miles per kWh charging at 10 cents per kWh, or less if using their own solar at home).
Interesting that their proposed sources of hydrogen include oil, natural gas or plants, but not electricity (see light blue arrow in diagram).
This could simply be the typical Toyota press strategy we've come to expect. "We're nowhere... we're nowhere... we're nowhere..." and then all of a sudden "oh by the way our new lithium-air battery will debut in next year's Prius"
Peak BTE (44%) is similar to the latest VW TDi engines. Being able to extract 30% more FE than the competition sounds quite optimistic!