Lithium–air battery, they could make electric cars practical.

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Fritz t. Cat
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Lithium–air battery, they could make electric cars practical.

The Lithium–air battery article in Wikipedia is unusually technical. The technology is futuristic. One type that is being worked on uses a genetically modified virus to modify nanowires in the positive electrode. That is a lot more high tech than mixing in lamp black to increase conductivity.
An article I read elsewhere expressed the opinion that all-electric cars will not be popular until they have about an 800 mile range, because that is about how far people want to drive in one day. It appears that lithium air batteries may be able to do that and lithium ion cells not.
There already are zinc-air batteries, used in hearing aids. Lithium has much higher energy per pound than zinc, comparable to gasoline. The conversion efficiency of lithium is at least three times that of gasoline, so long ranges are possible if all the details work out right.

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Below is a lecture I posted and it too says that a minimum of 700 miles per charge will be needed to make all electric cars marketable to a general public.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kjixld5W3E&list=PL1t6JkcqG9NkaqDf0Txcfy...

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…if all the details work out right.

Li-air, along with Li-sulphur chemistry, is one of the few candidates for next generation chemistry that can potentially provide significantly more energy density than traditional Li-ion. However, that is a big “if” in the quote above. There are critical problems that would prevent the technology from being practically useful, such as Li dendrite formation on the anode and reaction products forming on the cathode that “clog” the electrode and reducing efficiency. These problems have been known about for a long time and are not solved yet. There is a lot of work being done to solve these problems, so I am hopeful.

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That may well be the case in North American, but in the UK, and much of Europe, a far smaller range would make a battery powered var viable. At least 100 miles as a second car, for modest commuting, is viable, but in my view 200 miles + fast charge is required for general acceptance, and a reasonable price. At present the cost of lithium cells is prohibitive for the unwashed masses. Elon Musk aims to bring the price of traditional Li-ion cells down dramatically and if he succeeds then battery cars may become commonplace.

However, as I’ve said often before, in the UK the majority of the cost of petrol is tax. Electric would only be competive without tax. So, if we go electric, the government will have to recoup its tax, on toll roads, or miles covered using a GPS meter for example, making electric unviable.

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Leif wrote:
That may well be the case in North American, but in the UK, and much of Europe, a far smaller range would make a battery powered var viable. At least 100 miles as a second car, for modest commuting, is viable, but in my view 200 miles + fast charge is required for general acceptance, and a reasonable price. At present the cost of lithium cells is prohibitive for the unwashed masses. Elon Musk aims to bring the price of traditional Li-ion cells down dramatically and if he succeeds then battery cars may become commonplace.

However, as I’ve said often before, in the UK the majority of the cost of petrol is tax. Electric would only be competive without tax. So, if we go electric, the government will have to recoup its tax, on toll roads, or miles covered using a GPS meter for example, making electric unviable.


This brings up a bigger issues than electric or petroleum run vehicles, and that is a world population of 7.4 billion. climate change, peak oil, and that is only on a top of a list.

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Considering 400k reservations for the model 3 with its at least 215 mile range makes it the most popular car in America i doubt 800 mile range is necessary.

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800 mi in one day? 70mph for over 11 hours non stop. Reminds me of Vanishing Point.

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This recent article from MIT news is fairly easy to follow and shows some promise.

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Rufusbduck wrote:
800 mi in one day? 70mph for over 11 hours non stop. Reminds me of Vanishing Point.

800 miles before needing recharge batteries is the issue, and not a particular number of hours.

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700 to 800 is an interesting number and probably has more to do with electrical vehicles in commerce i.e delivering stock to shops and business’ rather than for Joe Public. I think for the average Brit at least the acceptance point for most would be “would it drive me to the coast for my holiday on one charge”. Which for us is probably at most a distance of around 250 to 350 miles. It’s less than 500 miles from London to Scotland and that’s a journey that few would make by car unless we had to. Personally, I think for the UK and Europe in general 400 miles would be the killer number for sales to go the way manufacturers would like.

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I think they use miles as more of a way to show both time and distance before needing recharge.

Charging is a problem due to lack of charging facilities and the time needed to fully charge batteries for motor transport.

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800 mile range? Which gasoline car can do this?

Increasing battery capacity alone won’t help. The problem is charging time, and especially the power needed for fast charging.
To recharge a 100kWh battery to 80% in 10 minutes: about 500kW power required (0.5 Megawatts). Connectors and cables must be able to handle this power – let alone the grid and transformer stations.

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light-wolff wrote:
800 mile range? Which gasoline car can do this?

Increasing battery capacity alone won’t help. The problem is charging time, and especially the power needed for fast charging.
To recharge 100kWh battery to 80% in 10 minutes: 500kW power required (0.5 Megawatts). Connectors and cables must be able to handle this power – let alone the grid and transformer stations.


This is unnecessary, 350 mile range is more then sufficient, drive for hours, recharge at a supercharger while eating breakfast, lunch, dinner or relaxing with a coffee.

The Journal of Alternative Facts

"It is critical that there is a credible academic source for the growing and important discipline of Alternative Facts. This field of study will just keep winning, and we knew that all the best people would want to be on board. There is a real risk in the world today that people might be getting their information about science from actual scientists."

 

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light-wolff wrote:
800 mile range? Which gasoline car can do this?

Increasing battery capacity alone won’t help. The problem is charging time, and especially the power needed for fast charging.
To recharge 100kWh battery to 80% in 10 minutes: 500kW power required (0.5 Megawatts). Connectors and cables must be able to handle this power – let alone the grid and transformer stations.


+1

Yes, this is a big problem yet to be addressed fully.

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Bort wrote:

This is unnecessary, 350 mile range is more then sufficient, drive for hours, recharge at a supercharger while eating breakfast, lunch, dinner or relaxing with a coffee.

Range by mileage before needing recharge is dependent on quantity and quality of charging facilities.

Here in the U.S. the number of gas stations is so very high that few ever need to consider when and how they will need to refuel.

I am not sure if these two parallel tracks of development one battery technology and the other recharging facilities are developing with any planning or coordination.

“You must have a plan, if you don’t have a plan, you will become part of someone else’s plan.” Terence McKenna

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An idea I have had for a long time but not seen written is leasing the battery and swapping batteries at gas stations. That would be as quick as filling the tank. The battery just has to be made of standard modules that plug and fasten in and out quickly.
I really like the Tesla Roadster. It doesn’t try to be a car for everything. It does what batteries can do well and is expensive enough that those who have one will have a bigger longer range car too.
About range, I used to go backpacking, starting at Tuolumne Meadows, from Los Angeles. That is only 350 miles, but there is no gas station there and it is at 9000 feet elevation.

Flashlight designers should look at lighthouses and pottery.
这些谁设计的手电筒应该看灯塔,以及在陶器。

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Electric cars surely aren’t for everyone. Forget to gas your car up and you can remedy the problem almost anywhere. Forget to put your car on the charger and you’ve got a real issue.

Anybody want to join me in designing a portable battery roll-cart, for on the spot charging of cars that ran out of battery? It’s like the equivalent of walking down the street with a gas can because your car ran out of gas on the road away from a gas station. It’s the future of tow-trucks. Get in on this idea while you can!!! Big Smile

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sidecross wrote:
Bort wrote:

This is unnecessary, 350 mile range is more then sufficient, drive for hours, recharge at a supercharger while eating breakfast, lunch, dinner or relaxing with a coffee.

Range by mileage before needing recharge is dependent on quantity and quality of charging facilities.

Here in the U.S. the number of gas stations is so very high that few ever need to consider when and how they will need to refuel.

I am not sure if these two parallel tracks of development one battery technology and the other recharging facilities are developing with any planning or coordination.


Tesla obviously has a plan, you can drive coast to coast by supercharging (for free incidentally). Nobody gives you free gasoline, and electric chargers are easier to install then a gas station, so by using gasoline your part of OPEC’s plan
A half hour to get 80% charge is more then adequate, i have done cross country road trips, stopping every 3 hours is the best way to go (this is driving a gas mobile)

The Journal of Alternative Facts

"It is critical that there is a credible academic source for the growing and important discipline of Alternative Facts. This field of study will just keep winning, and we knew that all the best people would want to be on board. There is a real risk in the world today that people might be getting their information about science from actual scientists."

 

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Angler wrote:
Electric cars surely aren’t for everyone. Forget to gas your car up and you can remedy the problem almost anywhere. Forget to put your car on the charger and you’ve got a real issue.

Anybody want to join me in designing a portable battery roll-cart, for on the spot charging of cars that ran out of battery? It’s like the equivalent of walking down the street with a gas can because your car ran out of gas on the road away from a gas station. It’s the future of tow-trucks. Get in on this idea while you can!!! Big Smile


Its been done AAA has electric car recahrgers in some key cities, the utilization has been poor

Fritz t. Cat wrote:
An idea I have had for a long time but not seen written is leasing the battery and swapping batteries at gas stations. That would be as quick as filling the tank. The battery just has to be made of standard modules that plug and fasten in and out quickly.
I really like the Tesla Roadster. It doesn’t try to be a car for everything. It does what batteries can do well and is expensive enough that those who have one will have a bigger longer range car too.
About range, I used to go backpacking, starting at Tuolumne Meadows, from Los Angeles. That is only maybe 350 miles, but there is no gas station there and it is at 9000 feet elevation.

This has also been done, 90 second battery swap for your Tesla, usage was far below expectations, not sure if it still exists, it was a waste of money

The Journal of Alternative Facts

"It is critical that there is a credible academic source for the growing and important discipline of Alternative Facts. This field of study will just keep winning, and we knew that all the best people would want to be on board. There is a real risk in the world today that people might be getting their information about science from actual scientists."

 

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There are lots of charging stations near me, grocery stores, target, malls, etc with more going in with new/remodeled stores. Demand is a local issue, you have to demand it to get it. It starts with commuter range vehicles but if the prevailing opinion where you live among community leaders isn’t in favor of it then it won’t be an option. Then you need to convince those leaders or replace them with more intelligent ones who can sense tomorrow instead of reminiscing about 50 years ago. This is an industry begging for leadership and we have the minds and bodies to grab it, all we need is for Detroit or whoever rolls over it to start running with it. If they showed as much gumption now as they did when colluding with big oil to rip up trolley tracks it would be a different story. There didn’t use to be gas stations everywhere either.

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Electric cars will have there day, even without battery improvements, but not while gasoline is $3 a gallon.

Flashlight designers should look at lighthouses and pottery.
这些谁设计的手电筒应该看灯塔,以及在陶器。

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700-800 miles is huge. But I can see why. maybe people only want to charge the car once a week. Plus it puts less wear and tear on the battery. They have to make batteries that can handle fast charging without putting extra stress on the batteries.
Current technology if you fast charge the battery may only last 3 years.
When me and mate drove the great Ocean road we done 1000km in a day. So it can be done.

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sidecross wrote:
Bort wrote:

This is unnecessary, 350 mile range is more then sufficient, drive for hours, recharge at a supercharger while eating breakfast, lunch, dinner or relaxing with a coffee.

Range by mileage before needing recharge is dependent on quantity and quality of charging facilities.

Here in the U.S. the number of gas stations is so very high that few ever need to consider when and how they will need to refuel.

I am not sure if these two parallel tracks of development one battery technology and the other recharging facilities are developing with any planning or coordination.

What do you think Tesla (among others) have been doing?

The idea that electric cars need 800 mile range to achieve wide acceptance strikes me as ridiculous. Most of most people’s driving (in the US) is accommodated by a 100 mile range. Many people may take longer driving trips from time to time, and that consideration will probably influence their car buying decision, today, but things change and people adapt.

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Bort wrote:

Tesla obviously has a plan, you can drive coast to coast by supercharging (for free incidentally). Nobody gives you free gasoline, and electric chargers are easier to install then a gas station, so by using gasoline your part of OPEC’s plan
A half hour to get 80% charge is more then adequate, i have done cross country road trips, stopping every 3 hours is the best way to go (this is driving a gas mobile)

+1

Tesla too is building the largest lithium ion battery production facility in the world.

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eas wrote:

What do you think Tesla (among others) have been doing?

The idea that electric cars need 800 mile range to achieve wide acceptance strikes me as ridiculous. Most of most people’s driving (in the US) is accommodated by a 100 mile range. Many people may take longer driving trips from time to time, and that consideration will probably influence their car buying decision, today, but things change and people adapt.


The 700 or 800 mile goal is an interim step until charging facilities become as available as gas stations are today for the internal combustion engine.

For some people putting 700 to 800 miles a week is not unusual for commuting and weekly trips.

“You must have a plan, if you don’t have a plan, you will become part of someone else’s plan.” Terence McKenna

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When I travel, I like to do a 1000 miles a day, or at least 700 if I am trying to take it easy and sightsee a little, I also like to travel in winter and seek out the mountain passes and snow, and worst, if I am lucky enough to get into it.

For me, electric cars will be ready when you know that they can handle winter and mountains, and even getting stranded for a few hours or a day or so in bad winter conditions, it’s one thing to be sitting out a blizzard with a 3/4 or 1/2 tank of gas and probably another thing entirely to be in the middle of nowhere in a blizzard, in an electric car.

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I think the Tesla X might sell well in Denmark.

Flashlight designers should look at lighthouses and pottery.
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An EV can be a viable option for some people now, but the technology is a long way from being universally or even widely useful. And as nice as the idea seems, there is currently not enough electrical generating and carrying capacity on the grid to handle the masses driving EV’s.

No matter the battery technology, it’s not any good without charging and that will cost a huge amount to create and maintain. So do we build more nuke stations or more coal and gas burning plants in your backyard? Then where’s the ‘green’ in this going to go?

I like seeing the battery development but you have to take into account the whole big picture, and when you do that EV’s are not yet ready for prime-time and perhaps never will be if other promising technologies advance more quickly.

Phil

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I’m reminded the earthquake-country advice is to always keep the car’s gas tank at least half full.

I understand Musk is going to be getting into the roofing business in a couple of years – full solar rooftops.
http://www.vox.com/2016/8/23/12434994/solar-roofs-elon-musk-master-plan

Now make them sturdy enough to work after a big quake ….

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I think the 800 mile range is actually driven by re-charge time. If you could get the recharge time down to say 30 minutes to 80%, 350-400 miles becomes quite viable. The 800 miles reflects a worst case scenario based on overnight recharging. Many people drive more than 350-400 miles in a day, and requiring a multi-hour stop over to re-charge at the 350 mile point is a deal breaker. However the ability to recharge to 80% in 30 minutes is not a trivial problem. We are probably going to be looking at something in the range of a 100KwH battery pack. That means we need to deliver something north of 160Kw to the charger. That is going to require infrastructure that isn’t located on every street corner, and generally absent in residential neighborhoods. It will also mean putting much higher voltages into ‘public’ places than is common today. It is rare to see anything ‘hotter’ than 3 phase 240v in the USA. 160Kw would require about 230 amps per phase, which is simply not very practical. Just designing a removable connector to deliver that kind of power into the vehicle is going to be challenging. Generally the electric utility gets uncomfortable if you want more than 480 volts on the premises, and as a rule in Electrical Engineering, you try hard to stay below 100 amps because I^2 gets to be very large number very quickly.

IIIRC the pack in most hybrids is on the order of 370 volts, a 100 KwH pack would need a capacity of around 300 amp hours. So to charge in 30 minutes, you would need a charge current of 600 amperes. I^2 is then 360,000 so even a tiny R (.01 ohms) in the connectors translates into a great deal of heat (3.6 Kilowatts of heat)! That means in addition to all the other issues, you would need a reliable way to cool the battery pack during charging, as well as thermal management in the charging process.

One of the advantages of Gasoline is that we can easily transfer large amounts energy very quickly. How long does it take to put 20 gallons/75 liters of Gasoline in the tank? That is about 2.5 million BTU’s. That much energy from electricity is about 73 Kilowatt hours. From a 240V/30 amp outlet that would take 10 hours to deliver! Your typical refueling plaza on can refuel about 60 vehicles per hour, and could deliver about 150 million BTU’s. that translates into 4400 kilowatt hours to be delivered each hour.

My point is the challenges in producing a viable electric vehicle for large scale use go far beyond improvements in battery technology. There is a vast amount of infrastructure that would have to be built to provide. If you want to be able to recharge 60 cars in 30 minutes, you are going to need to deliver 8.8 megawatts. That is a lot of energy, and far exceeds what is available from the light pole in your neighborhood. The costs of providing that kind of power to the refueling plaza’s or gas station on/near Interstate highways are going to be considerable, Given the enthusiasm that most people have these days for Power Transmission lines in their neighborhood or near schools., the problems only get worse.

I have to concede however that electric vehicle use is increasing. I volunteer at local hospital, and our parking garage now has several spots reserved for electric vehicles and we provide a charger at each space. When those spots were created 2 years ago, they were almost never in use. Now most of them are in use in ever day. I am sure that even a few hours of charging is quite useful to the owners of those vehicles.

My other comment is the Green part of electric vehicles is we get to choose the kind of pollution we will create, as well as where to locate it. I am not sure we are going to need a lot more generating capacity. A long range electric vehicle would need to charges no more than once per day. If we do that overnight, we will probably make the electric utilities fairly happy, since that is off peak demand, and would increase the utilization of existing equipment during a period when the utilization isn’t especially high. That range also dramatically reduces the need for recharge station away from home/office. If you can reliably get a full day’s use out of the vehicle, the vast majority of charging will be done at home at night, where an 8 hour charging time isn’t really a problem.

.

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It’s all very well saying many people drive more than 350 miles per day, but the vast majority of owners don’t. Most people, in the UK at least, also have 2 cars, one for commuting, and one for the family. An electric car would suit commuting, and most people do about 25 miles each way, few do more than 50 miles each way, and overnight charging is fine.

Fast charging to 80% in 30 minutes exists. Few people drive more than 200 miles without a break, and doing so becomes dangerous, you get tired, and lose concentration.

Swapping batteries has been done, I read about an Israeli company doing just that. They have a quick swap tool, drive in, wait five minutes, drive off.

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