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I think it's also a useful reminder of how dramatically range can be improved without any change to the vehicle other than cell chemistry/packaging. How often does the mpg of a gasoline powered car increase by 50% at a model refresh? We can expect many more similar tales of astonishing progress with respect to range from the other manufacturers in due course. Incidentally, this leap forward is dramatically faster than they had projected in their 'Sustainable Mobility' presentation of 2014 (see link below). Back then, they were projecting slow progress from 25 Ah through 28, 34 and eventually 36 Ah at each Golf model refresh. Looks like they've decided to bypass all of that. The same presentation also indicates their aim to switch to lithium-sulphur (500 Wh/kg) and eventually lithium air (1,000 Wh/kg). Imagine if they brought that in ahead of schedule.
In 2008/2009, in the UK at least, the motorway traffic slowed down very noticeably to save fuel (many doing just 60 mph) in response to the economic crisis. Now they've speeded up to where they were before. Perhaps this explains part of the gap? Also, as car performance has improved recently, perhaps we're driving faster for this reason too? Would be very handy to look at average speed in relation to this data.
If they are projecting commercialisation of 1,000 Wh/L cells by 2020, it means they've already achieved at least that in lab-scale cells today. Very encouraging news for the do-ability of LiS and MgS.
Germany is already at 33% renewable electricity (mostly wind and solar). EVs charged when it's windy or sunny will be very cheap to run.
That cycle-life chart is amazing. One for the wind farms.
350 kW charging would mark the end for gasoline and hydrogen.
This would have happened ten years from now if it hadn't been for Tesla. Thankyou Elon and JB.
Germany is planning to store up to 200 TWh of excess wind and solar energy, via power-to-gas, in their existing natural gas network as part of the energiewende. That's enough to cover 3 weeks worth of total national primary energy requirements (transport, heating and electricity).
Thanks for the link Henrik, I'm sold on the Danish idea. Cheap=good when it comes to season scale storage.
The planned nuclear plant at Hinckley point C in the UK is expected to cost £18 billion ($29 billion) to build - that's $9 per watt. Onshore wind is only $1.30 per watt installed with 30% capacity factor. Renewables combined with grid scale storage is already cheaper than nuclear.
@NewtonPulsifier, by the time we reach that inflection point, EVs will be comparable in upfront cost to gasoline powered vehicles. But even when the dirt cheap gasoline arrives (which I agree is inevitable for the reasons you point out), the EV market share will still continue to increase because people will prefer EVs over gasoline vehicles (faster, quieter, cleaner, safer, easier to drive etc). 10 years from now, an ICE powered vehicle is going to look very old and clunky indeed.
It can't be just VW. When will the others be found out (officially) too?
It's also much, much quicker to roll out an EV fast charging network than an H2 refuelling network. Look how fast Tesla has (on its own) set up a nationwide charging network. Imagine if all the other manufacturers got on board with a fast charge standard and rolled it out themselves. There would be a 'supercharger' equivalent every 30 miles within a year.
I think that might be why VW were so quick to admit they had the defeat device - they were aware that other manufacturers were up to the same trick too.
3.6 million of the 11 million affected cars will require hardware updates in addition to software updates as part of the recall. The hardware update is thought to include installation of urea injection and/or upgraded catalytic converters. Cars with the 1.6 litre engine are thought to require hardware updates. "Volkswagen told German regulators the parts for 1.6-liter engines that need the fix won’t be available until September 2016" Recalls to begin in January 2016. Also, with respect to the question of how much the software-only fix might affect real-world fuel economy, data are available from UK consumer reported real-world mpg for VW Golfs powered by the old (EA189) and more modern (with compliant software) 2 litre diesel engines. The updated engines give about 8 mpg less than the previous version, despite the newer golf weighing up to 100 kg less than the older one. I don't think people are going to want to come in for their recall.
I just realised something. It wasn't VW that wrote the cheat software. It was Bosch. They gave the rolling road detection software and map to VW, together with a letter saying effectively "for research only", to cover themselves. But how many other manufacturers use Bosch diesel injection systems and software? Lots I think. Maybe even most. Surely the same code would have been made available to the other manufacturers too? If so, it might have been quite tempting to use it in their vehicles too. I guess the question we ought to be asking is, how many other manufacturers have Bosch code of that era running their diesel engines?
Lithium sulphur has potential for 600 Wh/kg at the cell level. Tesla (Panasonic) LiIon cells are at about 260-270 Wh/kg, improving by about 5% per year. The next step change in range will require switching chemistries (to LiS first, then LiAir).
@EP, they already tried a software fix at the last recall on the insistence of the EPA, it didn't work, hence this great debacle. The rolling road map itself probably gives unacceptable real world driveability/economy.
Good point on the number of engineers required to fix the cars in a timely fashion. Looks like a buy-back / replacement scheme is the most likely outcome.
Look at how many parties now have good cause to sue VW: the US government agencies (EPA etc), VW car owners all over the world, VW stock holders, automotive parts suppliers with exposure to diesel, and if the bottom falls out of the diesel market, every other car manufacturer with diesel exposure (BMW, Merc, Opel, Fiat, Peugeot, Citroen, Renault....). I'm not sure they'll have enough money after all this to put the cars right. Might Angela be asked for another bailout?
They already tried to fix the problem with a software update the first time (the EPA triggered recall in 2014). It didn't work, hence the EPA stepping things up now. VW had the opportunity to default cars to the rolling road map at this stage, but didn't. We can only assume this means the low emission map renders the car rubbish to drive or uneconomical. If that's the case, they'll either have to scrap, or fit urea injection, to all affected US cars. Either way, that's a much bigger bill than a simple software fix (in addition to the fines/claims etc). The BEV crowd must be loving this.
Should we start placing bets on how many other manufacturers have also been using defeat devices to cheat emissions tests? I'll guess 5.
I can't get my head around just how many people were in on this, and were therefore complicit, and quiet, for so many years. At the very least, dozens of VW engineers will have seen this for what it is. It's hard to believe that the cheat code wasn't opposed by at least some of them from the outset, and even more amazing that none of them blew the whistle on this years ago. How do you keep something so big, so secret, for so long?
For me, the key thing is the 800V charging. Elsewhere they are saying the Porsche can recharge 250 miles range in just 15 minutes - that's equivalent to charging at about 280 kW (more than twice the power of the current iteration of Tesla superchargers). Since Porsche are serious about this, but would never go it alone with a rollout of an 800 V charging network that only their own vehicles can use, it is very likely that VW, (and most likely other German automakers behind the scenes), are already on board to adopt the new high power standard and to help roll out high power chargers for German vehicles. Perhaps the reason they have been biding their time and allowing Tesla to take the lead for so long is because they were waiting to get the technology ready for fossil-fuel busting recharge times?