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Thomas Pedersen
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Much needed information for perspective: Total annual tonnage of plastic waste vs. total annual tonnage of jetfuel consumed for >300 mile flights. I suspect the former is <10% of the latter, i.e. hardly consequential. We need REAL measures. A few percent here and there simply won't cut it. It's dwarfed by the relentless rise in demand for air travel
E-P, The picture says: Cooling: water/glycol
How do these weight savings compare to the weight of fully-electric ventilated, watercooled massage leather seats in my 7-feet tall aerodynamics-like-a-brick SUV? Strip out all the really expensive parts of the VW XL1, and be happy with a commuter car that 'only' gets 150 mpg. Simple starter/generator-based 48V micro-hybrid boost for acceleration to supplement a frugal, small-displacement diesel.
In Denmark it is illegal to even touch the phone in any way while in traffic. Except if it is firmly mounted and connected wirelessly - then you're allowed to receive calls. If you get caught, there is $220 fine and a cut in your licence (3 cuts within 3 years and you have to retake the licence - which usually costs at least $500-1000, provided you pass the tests the first time around). Using a handheld phone, and particularly texting on a smartphone (in the old days with actual keyboard, many were able to type successfully without looking at the display) seriously impairs ones ability to pay attention to the surroudings and operate a vehicle safely.
This proves what I have said many times in discussions of battery energy density: The limitation for car makers is the volumetri energy density [Wh/litre] (of the whole pack), rather than the gravimetric energy density [Wh/kg]. Nice to see that there is still room for good-ol' mechanical improvements - which is what's responsible for this recent development.
Ironically, Poland gets most of their electricity from dirty lignite-fired power plants with horrible gCO2/kWh figures... But for air quality in cities, this is good news. PS. They can offset some of the polution from the Euro 3 and below cars retired from "Western European" countries that they also drive.
Once they get to real series production, the shipment becomes less of a risk. The reactor is shipped without fuel, so there is no risk there, only loss of equipment. And even that is less of a risk with series production, where a replacement can be made. If they make the reactors truly identical (which nobody ever does...), then they could even have a small (2-10) stock of reactors to smooth out hikes and dips in demand. Many regions world wide would be well served by nuclear + solar, with the latter capturing 60-85% of the power delivery (GWh).
The added cost of an electrical car to ensure acceptable working conditions in the cobalt mines are probably less than a dollar and certainly ten dollars. End users of Cobalt, i.e. the battery and car manufacturers cannot turn the blind eye; they have a moral responsibility to pursue this issue, once they become aware about it. Private consumers cannot take care of this, since they cannot, and should not be required to, ask questions about the chemistry of their battery and its origins. Big buyers have the purchasing power to instigate changes. There is nothing wrong with cobalt, or any other substance, as long as it is produced and used in a responsible manner.
The X-ray drawing of the van wonderfully illustrates how the battery could easily be 10 times larger... This proves what I have often said: nearly all other vehicles, except long-haul ships and planes, are easier to electrify, because they either run predictable trips, or have a much, much better payload-to-weight ratio. And to top that, most other vehicles than cars have more spare volume (relatively). Even long-haul trucks. 57 kW electric motor... Why?!?!?
I imagine massive, unlit, unmanned buildings with hundreds or thousands of these machines churning out parts with near-zero material waste. Their speed is utterly unimportant. The only relevant parameters is price per part and their quality and refinement (material/strengt and surface). Of course speed factors into the price, but only as one of many factors.
Holy cow! The same battery capacity as a Tesla P100!... They are really pulling all the stops on this battery initiative /sarcasm On the positive side, it should be really trivial to fit 10 times as much battery capacity in a train (with a floor height of typically >1 m) and achieve 400 km / 250 mile range, which would be suitable for many locations. Less batteries can be used with shorter distances or possibility for opportunity charging. Possibly add a 150 hp limp-home diesel for emergencies (although I dread that this system will markedly increase complexity, not least wrt licensing and maintenance.
The emergence of very cheap solar and wind power leads me to think that aircraft OEMs should really revisit the concept of hydrogen powered air crafts. Using liquid hydrogen, there would be a cooling medium available for low-temperature super-conducting electric motors. But can fuel cells be made powerful and light enough to power a plane, say at cruising load +20%? Takeoff load would come from batteries, making the plane a PHEP. Or is is better to accept the additional losses by converting the hydrogen to synthetic hydrocarbons? PS. I wonder how they calculate the efficiency of the electrolysis process. It is known that there is the loss of evaporating the water (the liquid water is turned into gaseous hydrogen and oxygen). thyssenkrupp has stated 82% efficiency at HHV, whereas Wikipedia states that LHV should be used for electrolysers that require liquid water supply (other types, such as PEM and SOEC can use steam generated from waste heat). In that case the efficiency ends up at 69,7% based on LHV.
This is awesome! I'm no fan of these little noisy smoker-diesels in diggers, dozers, etc. No noise. No smoke. What's not to like? From what I've heard about entry of electrification into work vehicles so far is only positive
"EDI’s hybrid system is the most versatile on the market today, able to switch, in real time, between fully electric, series and parallel modes." LOL Like ANY other hybrid on the market.
I positively loathe low-floor buses, including in particular the Mercedes Citaro. The interior is cramped and like a 3D maze. In winter operation with huge jackets and school bags, it is nearly impossible to get around. The windows are so high that your elbow is below the window sill. This sounds like a minor thing but is actually a major inconvenience and space- and comfort-reducing factor. Having the elbows, which is typically the widest point of the body of a person, above the window sill effectively gives 2'' extra seating width. If the buses didn't have to be low-floor, you'd naturally place all the heavy, bulky equipment low, improving the handling of the bus and the serviceability. I'm wondering why a 12 tonne bus should have less power than a Tesla..? A bit more zip to the buses (with CPU-controlled acceleration profile to minimize the jerkiness of the bus) would improve their operation and adapt better to the other city traffic.
Mahonj, In the US, you see very little container trucking. For two reasons, I suppose: 1) This trailer holds a lot more than a 40' container 2) Trucking distances can be very high, with up to 2000 km from the ocean For hauling from shipping port to central storage in the middle of the country, this truck would be great. For delivies to a multitude of customers, it may lack too much in practicality. P.S. All refer trailers should be fitted with solar panels. Installation cost should be negligible in a factory.
What's under the hood? Literally! Bla bla fifth generation bla bla fresh package of technology bla bla. "We lowered the floor of an X3 to make space for the batteries, and then we have half a cubic meter of unused space under the hood where the gas engine used to be." 400 km range from a 70 kWh battery with that bodyshape..? HA!
Brian P., Good analysis. A quick glance at the system architecture sketch shows that roughly 5 times more battery volume could be put in place, provided that they are taken into account sufficiently early in the engineering. This boosts the claim of many, including myself, that vans and trucks are actually better equipped to accommodate an adequate battery pack than passenger cars.
Looking at the rendering and photo it appears that they could fit twice as much battery volume with only minor tweaks. But I respect the choice to custom-fit batteries to a tried and tested platform to gain experience. They could have installed a little more motor power to make it more nimble in the city, and to recover more brake energy. But again, it appears they went with tried and tested components. The good news is that the next iteration/generation will definitely be better!
Aren't we approaching a situation where it is much cheaper to increase the size of the battery pack by 3.5% than so use such advanced materials? Seriously, I foresee a situation where bulk energy production (kWh) by wind or solar becomes so cheap that you'd rather install more solar panels on the roof than tear out the interior of your house to improve insulation. The same could be true for BEV's, considering that much of the stored kinetic energy of cars in motion can be recovered with high efficiency. For ICE cars, however, vehicle weight savings are very important.
Lad, It just so happens that VW have been quite clear about when we can expect output from their MEB platform. And they even provide regular updates. I believe the expected delivery of first vehicles is early 2020 or late 2019. The first cars will, if memory serves me, by I.D. Concept, probably slated for the European market. As many others, VW have realized that the only way to make a proper BEV is with a skateboard configuration with a rectangular battery pack at the bottom, below the cabin. However, this is totally different than all their other cars. The way VW have set up their organisation, and is able to achieve low cost of production, is by engineering these platforms, that run through all their sub-brands as well (Audi, Seat, Skoda, mainly), a process that takes years. It's German thoroughness in its essence and in their DNA. The opposite of Tesla, if you will (fast, agile, burn the old crap down!). This platform strategy also means that they can make more than 10 different cars (not including intra-model variations) on the same production line, at the same time. This enables fast response to consumer demand, at least within their planned product line ;-). The fact that the new model is cheaper than the outgoing can likely be attributed to its use of the MQB platform. Much to the dismay of many readers in this forum, most people still buy gas cars. It can hardly come as a surprise to anyone that VW taps into this market where they are, if I'm not mistaken, at least in the top three global suppliers. This Jetta update can not be seen as a divestment from BEV; but more like inertia. They can only have so much talent working on the MEB platform, I.D., I.D. Buzz, I.D. Crozz, etc. at one point in time. The rest, most with different skill sets, keep updating the ICE cars.
EP, Of course, V2G can't soak up a week's worth of energy demand. However, the storage demand is much less than the energy demand, because all renewable energy sources do not drop to zero for a week. In my country the average house-hold power demand is roughly 10 kWh. It's not too far out to assume that BEVs 10-15 years from now will average a capacity on the order of 100 kWh, of which perhaps 20-30% can be used by the power utility company for storage, given the right incentives. I guess I also left out the assumption that it will become more feasible to shift electricity consumption in time to catch most of the daily swings. A/Cs for instance could be fitted with cold storage to make the most use of cheap solar power in the middle of the day. Yes, that would require a larger compressor and higher power draw, making it particularly well suited along with solar panels on the roof. There are many options to time-shift energy consumption for change-of-temperature use on the time-scale of hours. But then again, this might never happen because the house A/C constitutes a trivial power draw from a 100 kWh battery. No doubt, going 100% (more likely 90%) renewable is much easier in Europe with denser population and better power grid. The giga-Watts that need to be moved has to move less distance and can be paid for by more people, using less electricity than in the US. There is a techno-economical optimum between moving electricity from cloudy to sunny places and simply storing electricity locally for the period it takes the sun to come back. Btw, Audi is doing the same P2G scheme to off-set the consumption of their compressed gas cars. Here we're really talking greenwashing because here the purpose is to count those vehicles as zero-emission (CO2) to enable sales of more A8 gas guzzlers without the European fleet average.
SJC, A move like this, especially in France, is not driven by large commercial interest, or because there is a belief that synthetic methane will become cheaper than fossil methane any time soon. Instead - in my view - it is driven by a belief that once synthetic methane has been demonstrated at a reasonable cost and with a path for further cost reduction, it will pave the way for a ban of fossil natural gas and move to synthetic nat gas for those consumers remaining. It also doubles as an effective measure to get out from under the natural gas thumb of Putin or whomever succeeds him. Don't forget, the Paris agreement was signed in France ;-) So they better do something about it. Contrary to the US, there is an actual political will to do something about anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission in Europe. For a gas company, this is also the natural way to go to 1) hedge your bets, and 2) stay relevant in a market where wind a solar dominate all new capacity being installed. The world (or at least Europe) will need hydrocarbons as fuels for some processes (air planes) and as long term (seasonal and year-to-year) backup and storage of energy with near-100% renewable energy generation in the coming decades. V2G will most likely soak up all energy storage demand for up to a week or so, once large-scale adoption of BEVs kick in. But for longer time-scales, I have seen no substitute for hydrocarbons, yet, in terms of storage-able, deploy-able energy source.
I have a 325d with the same engine, only double turbo (a small and a large working in parallel). It's not even once a month that I get above 3,500 rpm. Many days I don't even break 2,500 rpm. Pollution above 3,500 is a non-issue. If you spend more than a few seconds at those rpms, you're driving your diesel engine wrong! That said, there might still be a defeat device in there somewhere.