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@Davemart If this battery could sustain 1000-5000 cycles, I see it as a great candidate for a grid level storage battery, assuming costs aren't too far out of line. Being able to put a small 50kWh unit in a basement or garage and a bunch of solar panels on the roof would allow people to live mostly off the grid in many areas around the country.
A 700 mile battery that lasted 100 cycles would be a 70,000 mile battery. They really only would need to get to 225 cycles to get a 150,000 mile battery, which should (hopefully) be sufficient for most car owners to realize ROI before they have to replace it. The above article doesn't say much about degradation above 100 cycles, so I cant really make any assumptions beyond that. Having a 700 mile range really destroys any range anxiety issues - though even a 90kW "supercharger" would take 2.5 hours to fully charge the battery. It might be OK if you're driving somewhere for a sports event, but not for a pit stop somwhere.
This would be fantastic for grid storage applications. There has been a lot of talk the last few weeks about how wind will be cheaper than coal and natural gas in the next few years, and solar will be cheaper before 2020. But how to we make those sources useful? Using these batteries to level out the power generation would help make this better. Plus grid storage doesn't worry about higher temperatures, density or weight issues. If it takes a bus-sized device to deliver 100kW, as long as it can store enough power for 5 hours, it'll be fine.
I did the math yesterday. After rebates the Volt is only $3,000 more than the plugin Prius in initial cost. I had been leaning towards the Prius but I'm not sure now. Considering most of my driving is highway driving at 70mph I don't know if my MPG would be that much over a regular Prius.
"It is technically possible to charge lithium batteries in 5 minutes (see A123 for example)." Yeah, you can recharge a BEV in 5 minutes, you just don't want to see the wires it takes to do it. Nor be anywhere near the car if an electrical fault happens during recharge. 20kWh in 5 minutes is 240kW of power. That said, there is something about the inherent benefit to running off electricity rather than gasoline - primarily its easier to clean up one tailpipe than 100,000, and I'm keeping my money in the US instead of sending it overseas.
The stuff about safety means that there will be worldwide standards for safety. In that, do x, y and z to a battery cell and it doesn't catch fire or explode or leak hazardous chemicals. It might prevent some technologies from coming to market, but for the right reasons.