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Just to reiterate the most incredible fact in the article, the whole battery demonstrated 943 Wh/kg. That's more than 3x what the 2170s currently coming out of Tesla's Gigafactory can manage. Proof that if we can crack the LiS problems, we're looking at one third the weight of current equivalent batteries or three times the range for much the same cost.
10 tonnes of cells at 300 Wh/kg usable = 3 MWh. That's enough to keep a 2,000 hp engine at full output for 2 hours, or a 1,000 hp engine at max for 4 hours. Yes it makes for a heavy aircraft, but it's still easily enough to keep an efficient e-fan powered intercity jet at reasonable speed (say, 350 mph) for 500-1,000 mile hops.
I think the 2170s coming out of the Gigafactory right now are pretty much at 300 Wh/kg, and that's with old-skool chemistry. Once the final hurdles of lithium sulphur are sorted out, it's a quick step up to 500-600 Wh/kg. Batteries don't need to match the energy density of kerosene because the motors are 3x more efficient.
400 kW = 1,400 miles per hour charging.
As if now is a good time to throw away three quarters of our hard won electricity compared to the alternative....
The maths supports even lower prices soon. Modules are now selling for 50 cents per watt, which means 1 kW of modules costs about $35 per year, amortised over 25 years at 5% interest. That means the "module cost" of delivered electricity is just 1.6 cents per kWh in a sunny location like Dubai (6 kWh per kW per day incident). The Germans have shown us that the other costs (labour, connections, inverters etc) can amount to much less than the module cost.
Solar USED to be the most expensive. Remember that solar PV costs are still falling rapidly with no sign of slowing down. Last year it was at 5 cents. Now it's sitting at just 2.99 cents per kWh, unsubsidised, in the right locations. Meanwhile, the true externalities for natural gas and coal have yet to be appropriately costed.
Sorry! The first post disappeared but has since returned.
Agreed, storage will be the key test of the Energiewende. In my view, batteries will play only a small part in this, buffering supply for perhaps several hours or so once the EV fleet is up and running. The requirement to buffer week-to-week and interseasonal supply will depend on alternative solutions. I think the requirement for longer term storage will most likely be met largely by power-to-gas and large-scale thermal storage. Crucially, both will make use of the existing powerplant infrastructure - natural gas plants will be run on e-gas and coal plants will be replumbed to serve as thermal stores, and occasionally burn biomass. I think this will be crucial to win the acceptance of the incumbent generators, who would otherwise be forced to retire large capital investments early. The inherent round-trip inefficiency of these processes won't matter too much when only one in three kWh supplied comes from storage. The costs should also be manageable since the gluts of power from solar and offshore wind, which are soon to be frequent and enormous, already have a spot price of less than zero. There's some more discussion of this in chapter 10 of "Science for the worried: An optimist's guide to the future" for anyone interested in this topic.
@sd, that could change reasonably quickly. Renewables alone powered 90% of German electricity for several hours on a recent Sunday this year, and the entire nation of Portugal was also powered completely by renewables for 4 days in a row this year (i.e. not dipping below 100% of demand). The economics of utility scale solar, now at <3 cents per kWh without any subsidies, must surely push even the US to a tipping point some time soon.
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.