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Old 03-19-2009, 03:40 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Thanks for that Info! I hope you are right. What you said and your links seem to make sense, but I just don't know how a peer reviewed journal (Nature Materials) would suggest otherwise. A multifunctional 3.5[thinsp]V iron-based phosphate cathode for rechargeable batteries : Abstract : Nature Materials

It was from a year and a half ago, so maybe it's a bit outdated.

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Old 03-19-2009, 06:57 PM   #22 (permalink)
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In context I think that they're referring to the long run cost effectiveness compared to other batteries, for instance NiMH, or maybe even PbC, depending on the application. In other words, if we eventually need Lithium from much more expensive sources, maybe even sea water, and the increase in extraction pushes LFPs enough above NiMH at ~$200-300/kWhin mass production, then it may not be cost effective for PHEVs/EVs.
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Current proven world reserves should be sufficient for the hybrid electric vehicle market, although plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and electric vehicle expansion would put considerable strain on resources and hence cost effectiveness.
That said, either way we cut it, it appears that we'll have some form of durable (100k+ miles at 80-90% capacity/range), cost effective battery for EVs. Given how little Lithium is used in LFPs, I think we'll stick with those once the patent isht gets resolved, but if other applications (LCDs?) push prices up we may end up with NiMH, which is still good enough in mass production.
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Old 03-26-2009, 11:39 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I think Lithium batteries, in particular LiFePO4s are just the latest and greatest. There are a bunch of other battery technologies that are in the labs right now that have even higher energy density and are made of more common elements. Way before the world runs out of lithium deposits we will be on to the next big thing in battery technology.

Sodium is right next to Lithium in the periodic chart. It belongs to the same class of metals. There are vast amounts of salt (sodium chloride) on this planet. Its one of the cheapest natural chemicals on the planet. Sodium ion batteries could be dirt cheap. Patents have already been files.

How about zinc-air and aluminum-air fuel cells? There is a deep sea surveying vessel that runs on aluminum air batteries. Instead of air they use peroxide to provide the Oxygen, since it has to stay neutrally buoyant. This thing runs for 50 hours on the oceans floor consuming over 1.5kW continuously before it comes up. When it comes up they just refill the peroxide bladder and its off for another 50 hours. That's 75 kWh of energy per 50 hour trip. This is not science fiction... its been used for years in deep sea surveying.

I can see a car battery that will give you 8-12 hours of continuous highway speed driving. After 12 hours of driving you need to take a few hour break anyway, which gives you lots of time to recharge.
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Old 03-31-2009, 02:47 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I read through the link. It appears that someone guesstimated that power plants emit 16 times what a gasoline car does. But he was way off base.

There are people who believe that converting natural gas to hydrogen is less efficient than using natural gas in their vehicles. But I can't tell either way.

I do know that the prius uses 750 watt/hr per mile and a plugin Prius would use about 250 watt/hrs. Even at $2 per gallon using gasoline will cost 4.4 cents per mile and the electric vehicle with 10 cents per kw/hr will cost 2.5 cents per mile. Gasoline can only get more expensive while electricity rates could go up or down. It really depends on how the Grid is developed. Even if gasoline can be made by a renewable source, it'd still be more expensive than it is now.

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