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Old 04-17-2013, 04:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The Batteries EV's Have Been Waiting For?

Check this out... the next big step in battery advancement might be just around the corner:

New lithium-ion battery design that’s 2,000 times more powerful, recharges 1,000 times faster | ExtremeTech

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Old 04-17-2013, 06:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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For this to occur, though, the University of Illinois will first have to prove that their technology scales to larger battery sizes, and that the production process isn’t prohibitively expensive for commercial production. Here’s hoping.
Not yet. It would be nice to have lighter power dense batterer for many applications. The recharge capabilities sound good too.
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't think so. The batteries have less energy density than conventional Li-Ion batteries, and the article makes no mention of durability.

I'm a chemistry pessimist. The low hanging fruit of chemical reaction knowledge has already been discovered. The law of diminishing returns says that giant breakthroughs will become less common, and yield less improvement than previous discoveries.

There is a limit to what can be done in chemistry, and one of the limits is cost.
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Here's another article on the same battery technology:

BBC News - Super-powered battery breakthrough claimed by US team
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't think so. The batteries have less energy density than conventional Li-Ion batteries, and the article makes no mention of durability.
All true, but the two biggest things holding today's li-ion batteries back are cost and charge/discharge properties.

From a hybrid point of view this general idea makes a lot of sense. The capacity of todays batteries has to be quite large compared to the capacity that's actually used, and mainly because the charge/discharge rates limit the amount of power you can suck from the cells. With drastically increased charge/discharge capabilities a MUCH smaller and lower capacity pack could be used to store energy from regen braking.

From a pure EV point of view, yes, capacity is king, but even if they were able to get close to today's li-ion energy densities the issue of range anxiety would be greatly reduced simply because mid-trip charging becomes feasible. Who cares if your batteries are getting low if you can pull into a charging station and recharge in 2-3 minutes? Heck, roadside assistance could show up with a larger battery and give you a quick charge dump to get you home if you ran out of juice.

Generally speaking, as charge/discharge rates increase, the need for higher capacities decreases. If the need for higer capacities goes down, then so does the cost of the battery as long as the $/kWh stays constant.

Time-to-charge is one of the biggest concerns with EVs. I see a breakthrough like this as a significant leap forward, as long as the cost isn't prohibitive. THAT is the biggest remaining question IMO... if it costs too much it doesn't matter how good it is. Also, this new "technology" is in its infancy... still pretty much an experiment. Given time to mature, it's possible that it will get better with time.
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I think cost is the biggest thing for EVs. If batteries (mainly) were cheaper we could simply load cars up with batteries and have virtually no range problems. With a bigger pack you can pull/put more energy into and out of it. When you're talking a 80 kWh pack (over 3x the size of the Leaf's pack), even if you can't charge/discharge fast, you can still go ~300 miles. So, who cares how fast you can charge unless you're doing a cross country road trip. Otherwise you just plug in at night and you're good to go the next day.
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Agreed, cost is the biggest hurdle right now. BUT, if faster charging became a reality the need for larger and larger capacities is reduced since charging time drops to practical levels. The "fast" charging stations would actually be fast enough to compare to the time it takes to refuel a normal car.

Keep in mind that only the technologies that will sell in mass quantities to the general public will ever reach production, and overcoming the mindset and fears of people is key to making that happen. Being stranded for hours while your car recharges is a real concern and a major strike against current battery technology.
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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...the issue of range anxiety would be greatly reduced simply because mid-trip charging becomes feasible. Who cares if your batteries are getting low if you can pull into a charging station and recharge in 2-3 minutes?
Except there's still the problem of handling the amount of current it would take to recharge the batteries that quickly.
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Except there's still the problem of handling the amount of current it would take to recharge the batteries that quickly.
High voltage/current chargers. That's an infrastructure thing, though, unless you'd want to have one in your house.

What's funny about people's perceptions regarding charging on 110V/15A is they think a car with a large battery capacity needs to be charged over night. What they don't realise is that a 110V/15A circuit can charge enough energy into a car to meet most people's daily driving needs in 9-10 hours.

I did this myself with a JDM iMiEV that I had for a week. Since my daily mileage needs were less than the ~120km range of the car I went two days between charges, about 100km. Plugging it in after 7pm (when our hydro rates drop), it was fully charged the next morning.

Once I depleted it almost completely; I had the Turtle warning light flashing and had driven over 130km when I parked it for the night. I plugged it in at ~10pm, and at ~7AM the next morning (roughly 9 hours) it was reporting a 7/8 charge. It's likely that another hour or so would have had it topped up completely.

This was all done on plugged into a 110V/15A circuit in my garage.

When discussing the Tesla Roadster with the public almost everyone asked the same thing; how long does it take to charge? I can't remember the exact number, but on a 110V/15A circuit it takes something like 36 hours to charge. When given that number most people's reaction was the same, something to the tune of "What good is THAT?". Then I would explain that it would take much less time to charge unless their daily driving requirements were over 300km. Then they would start to "get it".
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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What about 220v?

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