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San Diego
Electric Car Insider Magazine
Interests: electric cars, electric motorcycles, electric bikes, electric vehicles
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Tesla has an SUV, it's called the Model X. Although it is much more aerodynamic than your typical boxy SUV, it is a true SUV. The front trunk gives is additional an novel cargo capacity. Also tows 5,000 lbs. Yes, it is expensive. Lowest price used Model X on, a 2016 90D is $60k. I guess the market likes them.
I never get fatigued by the constant “battery breakthrough” announcements, I get energized. The relentless progress to achieve a substantial portion of the potential energy densities represented by these various chemistries is inspiring. The high efficiency, long life and simplicity of operation of battery electric cars will be very hard to beat. Who will want a car powered by liquid fuels when you can get 400-500 miles range, 10,000 cycles, fast charging and powered by cheap, fungible renewable sources like wind, solar, hydro and eventually fusion?
Interesting to consider how long this $200k car will be preserved in running condition. Probably a very long time. If a 1965 Ford Mustang which originally sold for $2,500 can fetch $40-50k now, and a ‘69 Camaro will also sell for about $50k today, what will that $200k CELESTIQ sell for in 50 years? Least you doubt it will still be in running condition in 50 years, consider Tesla’s longevity claims for the modest (but best selling) Model 3, which costs about the same as a classic Mustang or Camaro today: “In April 2019, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the Model 3 EV's "drive unit & body is designed like a commercial truck for a million mile life.” He said the Model 3 battery modules "should last 300k to 500k miles.” (Slashdot) Only 400 units of the CELESTIQ will be produced per year.
Agree, Peskanov, that there’s plenty of room for innovation in standardized, interchangeable parts and easier modular servicing. But consider the classics that go up for sale on these auctions. Well into six figures for a well maintained or restored muscle car from the early ‘70s. Those cars are drivable and as long as parts are available or can be fabricated, they can perform perfectly well on modern roads. With a handheld or dash mounted iPad GPS, you even get modern navigation and infotainment. In General Aviation, this is even more so - digital gauges are now drop in replacements for vacuum gyros and pitot static gauges. Modern engine monitors vastly improve the efficiency and longevity of the engines. IPads mounted in the panel provide full “glass cockpit” capabilities with terrain, weather, traffic and airspace displays. When properly equipped, these 50-60 year old aircraft are fully as capable as their modern $500k to $750k counterparts in terms of real-time cockpit information. Tesla, with their over the air updates, have shown how cars can be kept up to date in ways never offered by the legacy OEMs. They also have computer and sensor upgrades available for some applications. The auto industry is only getting started on this because for the first time in a century, there are real innovators on the scene.
I think the concept of a million mile battery may be widely misunderstood. If the world had a million mile battery today (and assuming a reasonable price), the legacy OEMs might shrug and do nothing. Ford for example, has publicly discussed wanting batteries with lower life. But you can be certain that some entrepreneur will figure out a way for that to be an absolute game changer. Tesla has already discussed this enough to be certain that they'll take a serious run at it. The idea that a car has to be discarded at a 200k miles is only because most automakers want it that way. Unless a car is destroyed in an accident, there's no reason it needs to be destroyed when the seats get worn or the paint faded. (both of these are imminently preventable). Many of the systems that cause maintenance problems don't even exist on BEVs. Look at the classic car market, it's a matter of care, and continued parts availability. Better yet, look at the General Aviation industry. The average age of a general aviation aircraft is about 30 years. Many in-service aircraft, used daily by flight schools, are over 40 years old. TBO on a typical ICE is about 4,000 hours. For an electric motor, it's about 100,000 hours. (273 years if you drive an hour per day) When your motor and battery will last 100 years, you'll want the chassis to hold up that long also. Using something other than salt on the roads in cold climates would help, or, as Tesla and BMW have demonstrated, aluminum and composites. Would you pay more for a car that can last 1 million miles without major repair? I would. Long endurance cars will be passed through multiple generations like houses, and will not depreciate as rapidly. Those two facts will change the acquisition and financing industries entirely.
Absent from this discussion so far is the consequence of vastly longer cycle life to battery total cost of ownership (TCO). Dahn at Dalhousie has recently reported on chemistry improvements that will produce a 1,000,000 mile, one hundred year battery. The battery does not use exotic materials.
Butts in seats moves the needle on EV adoption. Interesting that the survey summary does not mention the role of electric pickup trucks, the last large remaining light duty vehicle class to be electrified. I recently drove a Rivian R1T over several hundred miles in Oregon, on and off road. It was impressive. Really nice interior. Very innovative features. Loved the sideways storage tunnel under the crew cab seats for long objects that need secure stowage. Bed cover with electric retraction. A thoroughly modern truck. Bravo Rivian!
It’s no idle dream, Lad. Volkswagen predicts BEV price parity with ICE by 2025. California will ban ICE sales after 2035. The new EV releases from Kia, Hyundai, Ford, VW are really good and accordingly generating a lot of interest and sales. Trucks are being produced and delivered to customers. All this progress in the last 12 years since Leaf and Volt. Imagine what the next 12 years will be like. We’ll see clear blue skies in Los Angeles and the Imperial Valley in our lifetime.
Operating at its full theoretical capacity, 24/7/365, this unit would produce $1m with of electricity per year assuming a value of $0.23 per kWh. With a cost of “tens of millions” per unit, appears destined for mining and other remote, high value operations.
It’s very unlikely tho engine would be used in any land based Motorsport application. ICEs are not efficient enough to be practical in small vehicles. Consider that if a Toyota Mirai used an H2 ICE instead of a fuel cell, its three H2 tanks would need to be twice as large for the same range. The Mirai is a mild performer, to be kind. Now consider how big the tanks would need to be to feed a 450hp engine operated at wide open throttle for much of its duty cycle. “We’re gonna to need a bigger boat…”
It would be very unconventional to mount fuel injectors on the inside of the V next to the exhaust manifold, but variations of the UR family V8 this engine is based on came with conventional manifold injection, direct injection and both manifold and direct injection. I don’t see any plumbing for direct injection, and running fuel, even gaseous hydrogen, alongside those exhaust pipes would be extremely problematic. It’s not impossible that this engine has direct injection in addition to the manifold injection we see slots for. I’ll give Roger credit for having a better imagination than mine.
Roger, where do you see the capability (plumbing) for direct injection in this engine? I see a notch on the top of the intake ports, which would indicate an injector mounted on the manifold, just ahead of the intake valve, a standard arrangement. Better to see what this engine does have, rather than imagine what it might have, but does not.
With intake manifold on the outside, and exhaust manifold on the inside of the V, that motor only makes sense as a speed boat motor. It is too high profile to fit under the hood of a land transport vehicle and even if you did (truck) the rest of the exhaust plumbing would be nightmarish. A boat is also the only vehicle that could carry enough fuel to power a 450 hp motor motor more than very short distances between refueling. H2 is gravimetrically more energy dense than gasoline, but much worse volumetrically. This is an engineers implementation of a fantasy that will appeal to fans of Ed "Big Daddy" Roth‘s illustrations. Those old codgers who trailer their lovingly maintained or restored classics to “Cruisin the Coast” on the Mississippi Gulf Coast every year to slowly drive by other old codgers slouched in beach chairs along the roadside who cheer the occasional massive burnout made possible by applying the front brake line locks. Fun times, fun times. Well, at least they will be able to turn their beach chairs around and watch this new fangled technology cruise by on the water without choking on the raw hydrocarbons flowing unrestricted from those muscle car and rat rod exhoust pipes. That’s bad for the COPD.
This is an exciting development, and may eventually help alleviate congestion along public charge corridors. But consider that today, with a 400 mile Tesla Model S, you can drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco without recharging. With a Lucid Air, you can drive from SF to the Mexican border without charging. A single charge in that Lucid will get you from Los Angeles to Portland Oregon. Presumably, you’d charge overnight after 8-9 hours of driving. In 2012, Tesla Model S shipped with a maximum 265 miles range. 200-300 mile range is now typical for EVs. 15 min charge is awesome. But also unnecessary for the vast majority of typical duty cycles. For commercial trucks and airplanes, this will open new markets.
I would gladly fly an aircraft whose landing weight is more than the takeoff weight. An aircraft which is lighter on ground roll, rotation and climb out has a huge performance and safety advantage vs one that is heavier. On descent and landing, extra weight incurs near zero performance penalty until touchdown, where approximately rated tires, struts and brakes would obviate the slight performance penalty (rollout distance). Modern materials and engineering make the weight trade off here negligible (especially compared to the cost of liquid or exotic gaseous fuels). e.g Brembo brakes, aluminum struts. Weight and balance calculations and considerations will change of course, but operating procedure changes to accommodate any new technology.
Whether or not this battery makes it into mass production at competitive cost, it’s an R&D achievement to be lauded. It’s also a milestone that reinforces the certainty that we’ve only realized a fraction of the obtainable energy density of battery chemistries. When we eventually achieve 500wh/kg in commercial batteries, it will completely change the landscape of commercial and passenger transport on land, air and water. Bravo NIMS and NIMS SoftBank ATDC! Bravo!
James, your scenario is so far out of the norm no logical person would purchase a car for that capability. Also, you car could cause your death from CO poisoning in that scenario (it has happened many times, not hypothetical). An EV will save an average consumer $17,000 over the life of the vehicle, and several thousand more in maintenance cost savings. Sensible people buy cars that work in realistic, daily scenarios not extremely rare events they will likely never see in their lifetime. Otoh, you may need a Hummer EV to survive your post apocalyptic scenario. Good luck.
GAMI has formulated a 100UL that has an STC and will be distributed by AVfuel.
This reported consumer preference: > US consumers expect fully charged EVs to travel upwards of 500 miles Shows why reports like this must not be taken at face value, but interpreted very carefully. The typical American driver only makes 1-2 long trips per year. Except for a vanishingly small number of drivers who routinely take long drives, this is an education problem, not a technology/capability problem. Tesla drivers routinely make 500 mile drives with two stops after 3 hour legs. These combined charging/meal/math room breaks add a very small delay vs a typical gas+food stop. The fuel cost savings on these long trips is about $60 each way, $120 round trip. The lifetime fuel cost savings of all electric travel is $15-25,000. How many consumers do you know who are really willing to pay those premiums for a 60 minute time savings twice a year? Uneducated consumers want a faster horse and buggy.
It certainly would have been a lot cleaner than a typical small genset, which are notoriously dirty since they have little or no emissions controls, depending on their age and state of sale. On the lightning, it would seem to be a fairly easy task to set a discharge threshold when using the accessory power outlet to disable use when the battery ran down to a lower limit. It may have that feature now, will be interesting to fully explore the V2X capabilities.
V2X is the killer EV app. Moves the vehicle into a whole new realm, not just a transportation device any more. Could even compete with battery packs that sit in your garage doing nothing else if you work from home. Eliminates noisy, stinky job site generators. Whole new ball game for RVers. Imagine giving that front trunk not just a drain, like in the Mach E, but an A/C air vent.
I hope the “ We Charge” public charge network will be more reliable than the Electrify America network in the US. In three coast to coast trips this year in three different EVs (Jaguar I-Pace, Hyundai Kona, Mitsubishi Outlander), 50% of the charge sessions failed to initiate. Multiple chargers at each station permitted forward progress, but most consumers would not accept the hassle and uncertainty. Every one of the other users of the stations I talked to throughout the US reported the same experience - about 50% of their charge sessions would not start and they had to move to another coupler to charge. I’ve never experienced more than a few failures in over 8 years making similar long distance drives in Teslas.
Completely agree, JB, that battery prices for these devices are high, and lack of interoperability is very disappointing. Mfgs seem to be using it for lock-in. E-P, I’d love to see methanol for applications that batteries can’t handle. Hope we eventually see fuel cells that have adequate output to replace small generators. I’m not a fan of small combustion engines, even if the fuel is clean and renewable. Noise is pollution too.
This is welcome news. JB> ...parley... Toyota has the technical chops, the open question is vision, and the commitment of senior leadership to sufficient investment and rapid progress to avoid being bypassed by nimbler upstarts. Kodak, Xerox, etc, etc. look at any major stock index over 50 years and see the turnover. In the ZEV space, who is creating exciting cars people are clamoring for, and who is creating underperforming, unattractive vehicles with navigation and infotainment systems from a decade ago. At Electric Car Guest Drives, I talk to hundreds of people every week who are looking for new ZEVs. No one is interested in Honda, Nissan or Toyota. No one.