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Albert E Short
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This development looks to me like Musk playing Gates' game at Microsoft: "omnipresent, good enough, and cheaper for a reasonable time into the future": with the aqueous electrolyte 18650 cells upon which he has bet so heavily. It looks like the other auto-makers are looking at 2025 for solid-state batteries but if Tesla is in the market with something nearly as good but much cheaper, he can squeeze them out.
And here is the buried lede "hydrogen engines also have the potential to relay the fun of driving, including through sounds and vibrations, Toyota says." This is why electric motorcycle engines will never make it into Harleys. For certain classes of vehicle, NVH is a feature, not a bug.
I've been reading about the Prieto battery on this site for over a decade. It's great to see that they came through the 'entrepreneurial valley of death' and are on the verge of going commercial. The website doesn't give a Wh/kg energy density but says that the copper foam is 98% air and has an energy density of 650 Wh/l, so at 9kg/L, I guess a 65 kWh battery needs around 18 kg of copper.
I'm dubious about the commercial prospects. I suspect that a healthy chunk of NVH is considered a crucial feature, not a bug, to most motorcycle enthusiasts.
Cuberg 's website says their liquid electrolyte is "non-flammable", so that seems the be the buried lede. Usually liquid electrolytes the imply limits on fast-charging and the need for strong temperature control and fire-proofing,
A lightweight genset good enough for a pure electric-drive hybrid was a Holy Grail back in the day. Jaguar built a supercar using a pair of 35kW Bladon jets for the purpose, and I was fond of the MSU Wave Disc concept - https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2009/10/wave-disc-engines.html . Since the engines only had to charge the battery ergo could spin at a single optimized speed, turbines suggested themselves. These days, this would seem like a 'plan B' bet against fast charging solid-state batteries. Without range anxiety, what's the market for a range extender? TBT, I'm a happy owner of a Honda Clarity PHEV.
They should market it in the US as the E(h?)-car.
I don't get the sudden deluge of hydrogen news is. It's very hard to conceive that cryogenic hydrogen is being considered for any kind of broad storage deployment. F'rinstance the relative benefit of cryogenic hydrogen vs metal hydrides was pretty well demonstrated between Ivy Mike and Castle Bravo in the early 50's.
Did anything become of the burnt chicken feathers? https://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/display.highlight/abstract/9002/report/F
When did liquefying and storing hydrogen become cheap and lightweight?
I'd imagine the pie chart of various fuel inputs varies wildly per production site. It's hard to imagine that a Salton Sea brine plant would use very much diesel. The truck for the <100 mile ride to San Diego is probably the biggest user, after which it's on the much more efficient rail and sea systems.
Kind of light on the crucial details, like the available interior and exterior colors. Also, can you get cloth or perforated leather? Also, something about range, power, and curb weight might interest some people.
However, I don't see them sitting in the Niagara River as a viable option
Davemart is right about the PHEV being complex (both types of motor) but less stressful on the ICE. I have the Honda Clarity and it shows you when which components are on . The battery gives you the famous "all the torque at once" impulse for acceleration and lets the Atkinson cycle chug away in its "comfort zone" most of the time it is needed. The electric motor chirps the tires when you pull out of a parking lot. The ICE leads a pretty cozy life in a PHEV, the most likely cause of the maintenance cost.
And worse, the Tesla Powerwall has the cells not quite good enough for a car, in other words "junk". That's why Musk is a genius! Zinc batteries are only over $100/kWh because nobody has ordered enough of them yet. Speaking for me, I'd prefer to not own hardware so if a utility wants to charge me to maintain the panels and the batteries, I'm fine with that.
Since the Volt, I've been waiting for 10 years for Buick to come out with the new Electra, not that there are many around who remember it.
One other thing that might really help is is they actually spent some money to buy enough so all the great companies I've been reading about for the past umpteen years on this site don't perish in the entrepreneurial valley of death. How about bids for a TWh of storage nodes linked by HVDC lines run along the Interstates? Call it the "backbone network". The last one worked pretty well. Nothing wrong with selling time-shares but I have this sickening feeling that a large number of our best electro-chemists are doing it for a living because they can't make one otherwise.
We're talking NYC where driving 2 miles takes 15 minutes on a good non-pandemic day. Regen braking is at its best given all the start/stop. No pure gasser on earth is getting its sticker MPG in Manhattan.
This makes endless sense once you solve for the corrosion and harvesting issues - there's endless free energy in bobbing waves. As the article states, the "subsea" infrastructure was the complex expensive part and this worker-bee offtake vessel seems fundamentally simple.
The "< $2kWe " is eye-grabbing but it's simply a measure of the interest cost meaningful only in comparison to other designs. The claim does however handily beat a natural gas plant which rates a $3.25 and traditional nuke at $5.50 according to the Wikipedia entry probably written by Moltex, but it's not too crazy compared to the EIA numbers linked below. It's still hard to see how it can beat renewables and storage, especially when you throw in ANY water boiler needs major river (if not ocean) front property while solar and terrestrial wind is suited to what Al Capp would have called the most unnecessary real-estate in the country. https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/aeo/assumptions/pdf/table_8.2.pdf
If the lack of PPE in the pandemic has taught us anything - it's important to have a good domestic source of strategic materials where possible
Rust and acrylic yarn. Hard to imagine any sourcing issues!
Albert E Short is now following The Typepad Team
Jan 27, 2020