This is Chip's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Chip's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Recent Activity
"The new version of the Gran Turismo offers three new gasoline and five diesel engines with noticeably higher output". Odd that there is no hybrid or plugin hybrid in a new model. I wonder how long it will take BMW to get round to fitting its PHEV drivetrain to the Gran Turismo.
It is interesting how long R&D takes to reach commercialization. In 2008 laboratory R&D reported; in 2015 a contract with Ballard 'for the next phase of project work'.
In November 2015, Ballard announced a contract with Nisshinbo "for the next phase of Technology Solutions project work related to the development of a breakthrough catalyst technology intended to reduce manufacturing cost of certain proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. The project has now been underway for approximately 2 years": Yasuo Imashiro of Nisshinbo R&D published a paper in 2014 describing the carbon alloy cathode catalysts for polymer electrolyte fuel cells. It is interesting how long R&D takes to reach commercialization. R&D in the lab reported in 2008; in 2015 a contract with Ballard for the next phase of project work'.
"EPA-estimated 27-mile (43.5-kilometer) All-Electric Range (AER)" is incorrect. It is actually 0 to 27 miles. The electric motor is 50kW, which is less than the PiP & a lot less than the Volt. With only 50kW of electric power in a mid-sized sedan, the gasoline engine is likely to to start up during acceleration. Mainstream Hyundai customers might not mind if they can drive most of their commute charging at home & at work. It will be interesting to see how sales of the Sonata PHEV compare with the Volt EREV. Will the 5 seat mid size Sonata sedan with 0-27 miles electric range win more customers than the 4.5 seat compact Volt coupe hatchback with 53 miles? Also, with no 2016 PiP, will Hyundai win over existing Prius owners?
"The new XT5 is 278 pounds (126 kg) lighter than the current SRX, and 100 pounds (45 kg) lighter than the Audi Q5—despite the Cadillac being seven inches longer." Sounds like the ideal luxury crossover to equip with a Voltec powertrain. GM have already applied the Voltec powertrain to the CT6 sedan to create a PHEV. Quote from earlier article on GCC: "The new PHEV version of the CT6 will be capable of greater than 60 km (32.4 miles) of all-electric range, and pairs with Cadillac’s 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder gas engine. The CT6 PHEV may come subsequently to the US, according to Cadillac spokesman Dave Caldwell as quoted in the Detroit News."
"While Si-based composites offer immense promise as new generation anode materials, extreme changes in volume during lithiation and delithiation lead to structural degradation and debilitating performance loss over time that impedes their practical application". "We introduce a new electrode design concept that involves wrapping silicon nanoparticles with Sulpur-doped graphene (SG)". John Goodenough who developed the cathode that made LIBs possible, is also researching a better anode, using sulphur or lithium metal: "Goodenough seems most passionate about ending his career with a last, big invention. He is trying, of course, to make a super-battery, one that will make electric cars truly competitive with combustion, and also economically store wind and solar power. But the path he has chosen involves one of the toughest problems in battery science, which is how to make an anode out of pure lithium or sodium metal. If it can be done, the resulting battery would have 60% more energy than current lithium-ion cells. That would instantly catapult electric cars into a new head-to-head race with combustion. Over the years, numerous scientists have tried and failed—it was lithium metal, for instance, that kept setting Stan Whittingham’s lab on fire at Exxon in the 1970s. Although Goodenough will not spell out his precise new idea, he thinks he is on to something".
"Rational design and scalable fabrication paves the way for the real application of Si anodes in high-performance LIBs". Interesting that GM R&D is involved in this research. GM's goal would be 'real application of Silicon anodes in high-performance LIBs'. GM's LIB cell provider, Samsung SDI has a table on its website which lists 2019 as their target date for advanced LIBs with Energy Density of 250Wh/kg: "Silicon makes up 25.7% of the earth's crust by weight, and is the second most abundant element, exceeded only by oxygen. It is found largely as silicon oxides such as sand (silica), quartz, rock crystal, amethyst, agate, flint, jasper and opal". I hope that this GM R&D can overcome the serious issues with silicon that cause the battery to be inefficient and quickly degrade.
"The fuel cell powertrain was made as compact as a Honda 3.5L V6 engine, enabling it to be packaged under the hood of a sedan-type vehicle for the first time". That is quite an achievement and a significant milestone in fuel cell development. The hydrogen tanks are still huge for a range of only 300 miles with the aircon off. This R&D might lead to affordable combined heat & power (CHP) to replace central heating boilers. Honda's existing fuel cell home CHP is extremely expensive. For cars Honda & Toyota are not developing on-board reformers for liquid fuels. For winter EV driving in England, all I need is a small liquid or propane CHP fuel cell to provide cabin heat and 3 to 7 kW electric output to offset winter battery range loss or provide a slow charge while parked when a public charger is in use, not available, not working, or blocked by an ice vehicle.
"charging columns can be operated with any mobile phone that is activated for German payment services". The European common market started in the 1950s, yet member states are still not thinking of motorists from other member states. Also, what about tourists from outside Germany or Europe? To fill up with fossil fuel at any filling station in Europe, all you need is a debit or credit card. Likewise, RV chargers across Europe do not impose weird systems before you can use them. If you want EVs to go mainstream, all these fancy ways of paying to charge need to be optional extras. "CCS (50 kW DC) and IEC type 2 (22kW AC)". 22kW AC is a lot more than the maximum AC charging rates on the Leaf, i3 & Volt. Renault Zoe has a competitive advantage being able to charge at 22kW AC; some can charge at 43kW AC. DC charging is an optional extra on some cars including the i3. 22kW AC is also useful when the DC charger is being used, iced or not working. For overnight charging at home and worplace charging, 3kW or 7kW is adequate. For charging while shopping or in a restaurant, 22kW is a lot more useful than 3kW. I wonder how soon 22kW or 43kW AC charging will become the norm for EVs. When choosing which EV to buy, 22 or 43 kW AC charging would certainly be a major factor for me.
"an expected improvement in EPA estimated MPG on core models of up to 10% (i.e., up to ~55 mpg US combined), with an Eco model that will achieve an even greater improvement". The fuel efficiency is impressive. Also, it sounds like Toyota has improved the driving experience. However, improving aerodynamics might adversely effect sales: Front seat lowered 59mm - harder for elderly Prius owners to get into. Zero improvement in rear headroom - does not appeal to families with tall teenagers. The big disappointment is no mention of a PiP & the design changes do not provide space for a larger battery pack. The hybrid pack is small & squeezed under the rear seat. The trunk floor is lower & the under-floor storage seems to have gone. Toyota needs a 10 kWh or larger battery to compete with the Hyundai Sonata PHEV or Chevy Volt. It will be fascinating to see whether Prius HEV sales continue to dwarf PHEVs & EREVs or whether Hyundai & Chevy can tempt large numbers of Prius owners to switch.
@Lad - Lad said: "converted my garden tractor to electric three years ago using 48 volts; ....been waiting for lithium battery prices to come down". I have found that the lead-acid golf-cart batteries in my robot mower fail over the winter, so I am also looking for a lithium-ion solution. I bought some used laptop battery packs and I have found that most packs have one or a pair of dead cells while the others are ok. Some packs had all six cells still working. I guess those came from unsold stock or discarded laptops. Have you experimented with cells from used laptop batteries? On YouTube there are several people who have built DIY battery packs. For example, 'Rinoa Super-Genius' has ridden more than 1000 miles on his trike powered by recycled laptop cells.
The second generation Bosch 48V system sounds far better than a Belt-Alternator-Starter. "In the second-generation of the entry-level hybrid, the more powerful motor generator is integrated into the transmission and connected directly to the powertrain rather than to the combustion engine. Both the electric motor and the internal-combustion engine are separable via a coupler, which means that they can provide power to the wheels independently. This allows the entry-level hybrid to provide all-electric driving at low speeds" I see this as becoming mainstream in markets with emissions controls as a replacement for ICE-only or stop-start systems for cars that are not full hybrids or plug-ins. If the Bosch 48v system delivers 80% of the fuel savings for 20% of the cost of a full hybrid, it will be cost effective for most car buyers. Modern cars have large electrical loads that are better served by a 48v system too.
"a recent study highlights the regional variability of GHG emissions for electricity-intensive material production, such as aluminum." This analysis by Argonne is fatally flawed because it ignores the fact that production of aluminium & CRFP can be located in regions that have renewable electricity resources. This already happens as illustrated by BMW locating carbon fiber processing in Washington state. Likewise, Iceland hydro attracts aluminium smelting. This reflects a natural competitive advantage from the hydro resources of the pacific north west and Iceland. Hence the simplistic assumption by Argonne that "many lightweight materials have increased GHG burdens compared to conventional vehicle materials" is unrealistic. I would have to grade this student team submission as an F or indeed a G, where F indicates a fail and G indicates the student lacks an aptitude for the subject and would be advised to find another career. Ouch, but this team fails to meet the standard taxpayers can reasonably expect from Argonne laboratory. It is frightening to think that policy will be made based partly on this nonsense. Reliance on gas guzzlers is clearly not sustainable. We need policy informed by the actual benefits that can be achieved by lightweight materials.
"A traditional rolling mill takes around 20 days to turn molten metal into coil; Micromill does it in just 20 minutes". Alcoa's micromill sounds like a significant step forward in aluminium manufacturing. If Ford can make a success of aluminium in the mass-market F150, we are likely to see aluminium being practical for Ford's PHEVs. Interesting times; will we see an F150 PHEV? How about an aluminium B-max PHEV as a small lightweight companion to the C-max?
"Enevate is using a unique technical approach for silicon anodes that is truly different and innovative to deliver high energy density Li-ion batteries. I’m impressed that their technology and process is practical, highly manufacturable, and can be sufficiently inexpensive for high volume consumer electronics". —Dr. John Goodenough, Professor of Material Science at University of Texas-Austin, Enevate Technical Advisory Board. It is encouraging that Enevate has Dr. John Goodenough on its technical advisory board. He has been skeptical of other better battery claims.
The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer plug-in hybrid is presumably going into production soon. Small crossovers like the BMW 2 active tourer, Opel Mokka / Buick Encore, Peugeot 2008 etc are versatile & practical cars. Clearly, BMW no longer has a standard front-engine rear wheel drive layout. Hence I would be interested to hear more about the extent to which BMW have been able to re-use i3 or i8 components in their plug-hybrid. The active tourer prototype has a "1.5-liter BMW TwinPower Turbo engine" 3 cylinder. Is this the (expensive) i8 1.5 or a larger version of the BMW/Peugeot joint venture 1.2 litre 3 cylinder? I am disappointed that BMW has not gone down the route of designing a new desirable BMW motorcycle engine to be used in motorcycles and the i3, i8 & mainstream PHEVs. Instead they use a budget scooter engine for the i3, a bespoke engine for the i8 & car engines for the mainstream PHEVs.The i3 & active tourer PHEV would be more desirable if they had a beautiful BMW flat twin under the bonnet/hood. The i3 has a rear electric motor, but does the 2 active tourer actually have unique components? The rear electric motor is feeble compared to the i3. This is in contrast to the VW GTE & Audi A3 PHEV which use the powerful electric motor from the e-Golf. The battery size & range are disappointing, but the cutaway shows space is limited in a small 4wd PHEV. Higher energy density batteries post 2017 will enable manufacturers to offer an optional higher capacity battery pack. That will enable buyers to choose the battery range that fits their daily commute. Although a through-the-road hybrid is inherently expensive, many buyers are prepared to pay a premium for 4 wheel drive. It will be very interesting so see how sales of the PHEVs (& Volt EREV) compare to BEVs from next year onwards. The energy density of hydrogen is stated in that link as 33.3 kWh/kg, so at 8 euro per kg, 24 cents per kWh. Natural Gas retails at about 3 cents per kWh in Europe, (& less in the USA). Local retail electricity tariffs vary widely, so I leave it to you to compare that to your local peak & off-peak tariffs.
"A123’s 12V starter battery not only offers outstanding cranking power but also enables brake energy recuperation, & increased cycle life (more than 4X longer life than lead acid)". Smart move by A123 to develop a Li-ion starter battery which solves the problem of Li-ion cold-cranking performance. It will be interesting to see if A123 can build up market share in starter battery sales.
"The vehicle underbody uses steel close-out panels on the lower structure" sounds like you get the added cost of aluminium while retaining steel floor panels that will rust out! "The CT6 marks the return of a full-size luxury sedan to Detroit-Hamtramck. The plant also builds the Cadillac ELR electrified luxury coupe". No mention of this new bodyshell being designed to cater for the voltec EREV drivetrain as an option. By contrast VW/Audi is designing all their new bodyshells to accommodate alternative drive trains (LPG, CNG, PHEV & BEV). GM needs to make the voltec drivetrain available as an option in a wide range of vehicle sectors - luxury sedan, crossover, wagon, SUV, pickup truck etc.
"a compact lithium-ion battery supplies 48 volts as the energy source during engine-off phases; a DC/DC converter integrates the 12-volt electrical system". At long last they are replacing the lead acid battery with a 48 volt lithium-ion battery and a DC/DC converter. I wonder how quickly this approach will spread across VW/Audi cars and whether 48v will become the new standard for automotive batteries.
The earlier post from November 2009 also states: "Other companies working with NMC materials include Panasonic, Sanyo, Hitachi, GS Yuasa, Samsung, EnerDel, Kokam, Evonik/Litarion, Enax, and Imara." So the battery manufacturers in Japan plus Samsung in Korea have also been working on NMC cathodes. "It is robust enough for practical use, able to withstand 1,000 or so charge cycles." 1000 cycles is practical for laptop battery packs where two to three years use is enough and replacement of small consumables is easy. For a large BEV pack, 1000 cycles might be adequate. I wonder what NMC cathode research since 2009 has achieved in improving cycle life. The cathode is just one cell component that will need to improve to achieve the JV goal; presumably other components need to improve too and work together. Some commuters will charge a PHEV at home and at work, so presumably Mitsubishi will expect 3000 and desire 5000 cycles to mass-market their PHEV SUV. Mitsubishi has been able to adapt the MIEV electric components to produce a PHEV SUV. With higher energy density cells, Mitsubishi might also be able to use their kei car 660cc engine and the MIEV electric components and in a small EREV.
I wonder why Bosch split from Samsung in Korea and formed a new joint venture with GS Yuasa in Japan. The Bosch/Samsung JV provided Bosch of Germany with large scale cost competitve production in Korea. It provided Samsung with an additional market for its batteries with a major European client. Did Samsung see a competitive advantage and feel confident of Korea's battery research capability? Germany and Japan both have high tech but higher cost domestic production. GS Yuasa has limited production capacity which has limited production volume of the Mitsubishi PHEV SUV and suffered loss of production while they traced manufacturing faults in their factory. With battery packs being heavy, maybe Bosch & GS Yuasa expect local mass production of EV batteries in each market as per Nissan Leaf batteries made in USA & England.
"The new plates, in combination with electrode material optimization, lead to a cell that has fewer parts and is twice as compact at similar output levels. Cell assembly is also simplified, lowering the cost of mass production by more than 50%." Sounds promising, but as usual they do not disclose the retail price. The Panasonic 750 watt fuel cell micro chp retails for $22,000 which includes say $2000 for installation plus a large hot water tank & back-up gas burner. If Nissan-Renault can get the retail price down to $1000 per kw, the 5kw unit would be a$5000 option on a Zoe or Leaf. During winter driving, the fuel cell could run for the whole journey to provide (waste) heat, so an hour's drive would add another 5kWh to the range before the car goes into turtle mode. That might be enough to cater for an unexpected detour or wrong turn.
For comparison, the Volvo C30 electric has a bio-ethanol heater which one report listed as 5kW. If so, this 3kW PowerPac fuel cell APU might be sufficient. In mild weather, 3kW electric output can reduce the drain on the battery while the waste heat from the fuel cell heats the battery and the cabin. In extreme cold weather, both the electric & waste heat from the fuel cell could be used for heating. Obviously, more power would be nice, but fuel cells still seem to be astronomically expensive; the Panasonic 750 watt micro chp fuel cell retails for $22,000. Even if the target of $1000 per kW can be achieved, a 3kW fuel cell would still add $3000 to be price of the car. You can buy a lot of ethanol or kerosene to provide winter heating for £3000.
The earlier post mentions: a. Compared with spark ignition methane engines, methane-diesel offers higher efficiency with 25% decrease in fuel consumption. b. If the gas runs out, the system switches automatically to diesel power. Sounds promising - fuel efficiency and the ability to run on diesel where methane is not available. It will be interesting to see what proportion of new heavy trucks use methane, replacing expensive imported crude oil with local methane.