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Electric Car Subsidies Won't Make EV Batteries Better

Discussion in 'News' started by Doug_G, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Design News - Electric Car Subsidies Won't Make EV Batteries Better

    They have a point about battery technology progress, but otherwise miss the point completely IMHO.
     
  2. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    I disagree with the
    statement.

    Look at the space race in the 60's. If we ran out of oil/gasoline tomorrow you can't tell me battery technology wouldn't get better faster than it is now.
     
  3. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    True, if you dump billions of dollars into something you can certainly progress faster. It may be highly wasteful, but if the end result is that important you can definitely get there faster.

    Here's a real-world example (heard this story years ago from my control systems prof). The early Saturn rockets for the Apollo moon program exploded in flight because their servo control systems couldn't handle the flexure in the tank. The sensors were at the top and the servos at the bottom. This resulted in oscillations that eventually overstressed the tank.

    The Russians had already figured out theoretically "state space control" laws and they used that for their rockets. The Americans hadn't developed that theory, so they basically threw hundreds of engineers (and lots of money) at the problem and solved it by brute force, basically by trying everything they could think of. They did solve it, and only later figured out the theoretical underpinnings.
     
  4. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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  5. rolosrevenge

    rolosrevenge Dr. EVS

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    Reminds me of this.
     
  6. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Is Envia shipping a production product already? Didn't the article say their cycle life is currently very limited, but they claimed they could get there with some tweaks. Until they meet all of the necessary performance metrics they don't have a product.

    I remain highly skeptical about all new battery technology announcements. I think for every 100 announcements there has been one real success story. Am I wrong?
     
  7. 78Lion

    78Lion Member

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    Other than being a bit optimistic, you're spot on.
     
  8. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    They're at 400 cycles which considering the battery could enable a 500 mile EV, could be enough to start.

    But the point is that subsidies have enabled many start-ups to get going. Saying they aren't helping to drive energy density is false.
     
  9. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    When big oil gives up its subsidies and we stop spending hundreds of billions of dollars per year on the military to protect oilfields - all of which subsidize gasoline to the tune of several dollars a gallon - I'll happily vote for the end to EV subsidies.
     
  10. tdelta1000

    tdelta1000 Active Member

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    I agree. As competition increases so will battery technology therefore a 350 to 500 mile battery pack is only a few years away.
     
  11. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    While I agree that battery technology will continue to improve, it's not a linear, straightforward progression. We're too used to the semiconductor industry, where "all" they have to do is reduce the size of the features and everything gets faster, smaller, cheaper. (I say "all" because the effort required to continue the shrinking has been getting much greater).

    Designing a battery is much less "straightforward". Making a new battery starts with a highly-educated guess ("let's try an unobtainium anode!"), followed by a lot of empirical experiments ("okay let's mix in some obtainium! or maybe some hard-to-getium!"). It's largely trial-and-error.
     
  12. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    But this quote is still valid:

    Brute force! Much more awesome than the electromotive kind.
     
  13. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    Is it really trial and error? Seams to me that some of these big steps forward are being made now because people are trying to remove the trial and error.
     
  14. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Computer simulations are speeding up a lot from the old days too. Have a building full of people running sims could speed things up too.
     
  15. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I'm sure there are theoretical models, simulations, etc., involved. I'm equally sure that they're doing a lot of experimentation and dissecting the results with high-tech lab equipment. Mother nature knows more about physics than we do.
     
  16. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    Somehow she can enforce 100% strict compliance to the rules. And we can't even figure out the exact rules.
     

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