Archive for the ‘Batteries’ Category

Image credit: BBC

Imagine having a car with a small petrol tank, and it’s slowly shrinking after each fill-up. That’s how EV users must feel, if they know how their batteries behave. A new study analyses the processes.
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When lithium ions are forced rapidly through a battery, they might get stuck and turn into lithium metal, no longer able to move through the battery, says TechXplore.

Imagine being able to refuel your electric car while stopping for a quick snack or refill your phone while brushing your teeth.

“Fast charging is kind of the Holy Grail. It is what everyone who owns a lithium ion battery based device wants to be able to do,” says Senior Engineer David Wragg from Centre for Materials Science and Nanotechnology at the University of Oslo.

Inside the battery, however, there is a lot of complicated chemistry that can be sensitive to how fast it is charged. Things can go wrong.

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EVs: doing away with the engine, but not the combustion?

PA Pundits - International

By Ronald Stein ~

In the wake of a series of severe EV battery fires, one of the largest vehicle manufacturers in the world,General Motors has just issued safety recommendations for Bolt EV’s:

  • Not to park your Chevy Bolt within 50 feet of other vehiclesin case it catches fire.
  • Highlyrecommends that Bolt EV owners not to park within 50 feet of anything you care about.
  • Recommends parking on the top floor or on an open-air deck and park 50 feet or more away from another vehicle.
  • RequestsBolt EV owners to not leave their vehicle charging unattended, even if they are using a charging station in a parking deck.

General Motors previouslytold Bolt owners

  • to onlycharge the battery to 90 percent,
  • charge more frequently,
  • and avoid depleting the battery below about 70 miles of remaining range.
  • And that they should also park the vehicle outside.

The recent General Motorssafety…

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vw-id-promo

VW ID. model

When it comes to personal transport Germans aren’t exactly rushing to play along with the infantile mythology of climate neutrality, contrary to the wishes of their supposedly ‘green’ leaders. Sales targets look increasingly like wishful thinking.
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Germany wants to have 10 million electric cars on the road by 2030 in a bid to meet its climate targets, says DW.com.

But it’s not just the cost and limited range that’s deterring drivers to go along with this ambitious plan.

Germany’s long-established car industry is embarking on a historic transformation to try to shrink its carbon footprint.

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Chevy_Bolt21

Chevy Bolt [image credit: GM Authority]

No hope of ever breaking even on that model now, if there was any to start with. Another edition of the recurring lithium-ion safety issue in the world of EVs: battery ’emissions’. 
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DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is recalling all Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles sold worldwide to fix a battery problem that could cause fires.

The recall raises questions about lithium ion batteries, which now are used in nearly all electric vehicles.

President Joe Biden wants to convert 50% of the U.S. vehicle fleet from internal combustion to electricity by 2050 as part of a broader effort to fight climate change.

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electric-car-chargingThe GWPF has produced a 64-page Fair Fuel document. See the Chairman’s Summary on pages 56-58 for a flavour of the many present and future problems with the unplanned rush to EVs, which the ‘rebels’ fear is likely to be a disaster both for themselves and the motoring public. But they’re mixing up carbon dioxide emissions cuts with pollution, which is an entirely separate issue. Such confusion plays into the hands of the so-called ‘green’ activists.
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Tory rebels have vowed to fight the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars, reports The Sun (via The GWPF).

Thirteen MPs urged the Government to think again or face public fury.

The Fair Fuel all-party parliamentary group today calls on ministers to publish a full-cost analysis of what it will mean for the economy to go electric, and how they will slash emissions.

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megafire

Big battery fire [image credit: reneweconomy.com.au

Three days plus! They hadn’t even started using it. It all sounds so simple on the Tesla megapack website. ‘No assembly is required, all you need to do is connect Megapack’s AC output to your site wiring.’
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A large blaze at Victoria’s “big battery” project has been brought under control by firefighters after burning for more than three days, allowing investigators to begin examining the site, reports The Guardian.

A Tesla battery bank caught fire while it was being set up in Moorabool on Friday morning, and then spread to a second battery.

The fire burned throughout the weekend and into a fourth day, before it was declared under control just after 3pm on Monday.

Fire crews will remain at the site for the next 24 hours “as a precaution in case of re-ignition” and will take temperature readings every two hours, the Country Fire Authority said.

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homechargeEven local electricity blackouts could be on the cards for determined hackers, it seems. A far cry from rolling up at the local filling station for a few minutes.
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Security researchers have discovered failings in two home electric car chargers, reports BBC Click.

The researchers were able to make the chargers switch on or off, remove the owner’s access, and show how a hacker could get into a user’s home network.

Most of the faults have now been fixed but owners are being told to update their apps and chargers, to be safe.

It comes as proposed new legislation on cyber-security for appliances – including chargers – is published.

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e-truck

E-truck test route in Germany [image credit: transport-online.de]

Another one from the Department of Bad Ideas? Before they rush into anything, they might want to note the assessment of a writer for Mass Transit magazine 10 years ago, on the subject of overhead (catenary) lines. Here’s the opening paragraph in full: ‘They are expensive. They are dangerous. They are unsightly.’ Much more here, but let’s quote a few other comments:
‘Overhead lines require a lot of maintenance given the direct contact of the pantographs and their constant exposure to weather’
‘Winter storms play havoc with overhead wire systems’
‘Loose wires in the summer and wire breaks in the winter as a result of lines contracting and expanding with the temperature also create maintenance headaches’
‘A catenary line is a live wire suspended in the air. Weather issues therefore become serious safety concerns.’

Did somebody mention climate change as a reason for the road experiment?
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The government will fund the design of a scheme to install overhead electric cables to power electric lorries on a motorway near Scunthorpe, as part of a series of studies on how to decarbonise road freight, reports The Guardian.

The electric road system – or e-highway – study, backed with £2m of funding, will draw up plans to install overhead cables on a 20km (12.4 miles) stretch of the M180 near Scunthorpe, in Lincolnshire.

If the designs are accepted and building work is funded the trucks could be on the road by 2024.

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containbatts

Image credit: energy-storage.news

The report says these batteries are not covered by the Control of Major Accident Hazards regulations, meaning they’re now popping up all over the place, sometimes near people’s homes. Any problems however serious have to be faced by the local fire services. Lithium-ion storage battery fires are far from rare, as well as notoriously violent, fiercely hot and difficult to deal with.
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The first thing you notice is the noise – a strange, low-octave hum growing louder as you approach across the fields, says the Mail on Sunday (via The GWPF).

It’s coming from a group of bland metal cabins sitting on land that was once used to grow wheat and barley.

Yet these new agricultural buildings are nothing to do with food production. Instead, they contain huge batteries storing electricity for the National Grid – a new form of crop for farmers scrambling to cash in on the ‘green’ energy revolution.

And, according to a troubling new report from leading physicists, these vast batteries amount to electrical bombs with the force of many hundreds of tons of TNT.

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flyingferry

Image credit: Brittany Ferries

Battery weight is always a problem for electric-powered flight. No reason to think this type of machine would be any different, meaning the economics of the idea remain questionable.
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Ferry operator Brittany Ferries has announced that it will work with US-based start-up Regent Craft to develop sea-skimming “flying ferries” that could reduce sailing times between England and France to as little as 40 minutes, says E&T.

Brittany Ferries described the proposed battery-powered vehicle as combining “the convenience of passenger ferries with the comfort of hydrofoils, the aerodynamic efficiency of hovercraft and the speed of aircraft”.

It resembles a small aircraft which skims the surface of the sea. It uses the wing-in ground effect, which would involve riding on a cushion of air trapped between a wing and the water surface; this is similar to how a hovercraft supports itself as it moves.

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e-bike1

E-bikes

Electric bike, aka ‘active travel’, that is. That’s the proposed option for those who don’t want to walk, don’t have access to an electric car, or do but hit recharge problems, in the wondrous(?) net zero future. The real obsession is that with minor trace gases in the atmosphere, leading to all sorts of improbable and foolish policy ideas and decisions.
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Globally, only one in 50 new cars were fully electric in 2020, and one in 14 in the UK, says TechXplore.

Sounds impressive, but even if all new cars sold were electric, it would still take 15-20 years to replace the world’s fossil fuel car fleet.

The emission savings from replacing all those internal combustion engines with zero-carbon alternatives will not feed in fast enough to make the necessary difference in the time we can spare: the next five years [Talkshop comment – says who?].

Tackling the climate and air pollution requires curbing all motorized transport, particularly private cars, as quickly as possible.

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corsa-e

Vauxhall Corsa-E [image credit: carmagazine.co.uk]

Car makers are getting nervous about the high cost of electric cars compared to fuel burners. Sales figures for EVs aren’t impressive, and uncompetitive prices are just one of several negative factors. Being pushed around by climate-obsessed governments is causing problems, to say the least.
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Driving could become the preserve of the rich as Britain and other countries around the world impose bans on diesel and petrol cars and embrace electrification, the boss of Vauxhall owner Stellantis has warned. The Telegraph/Yahoo Finance reporting.

A global rush to go electric could make cars too expensive for the middle classes, said Carlos Tavares, chief executive of the world’s fifth-biggest car maker – and it may even fail to significantly reduce carbon emissions because the vehicles are so much heavier than petrol ones.

The comments are the most outspoken public criticism of electrification by any car boss and will likely cause consternation in Downing Street, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said new fossil fuel cars will be banned from 2030.

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Model_3

Tesla Model 3 [image credit: Vauxford @ Wikipedia]

Climate or environment? The confusion, or conflation, of the two is obvious, often deliberate, and not by any means confined to Tesla’s boss. If the company is waiting until ‘mining shifts to using more sustainable energy’, it could have a long wait.
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Tesla has suspended vehicle purchases using Bitcoin due to climate change concerns, its CEO Elon Musk said in a tweet.

Bitcoin fell by more than 10% after the tweet, while Tesla shares also dipped, reports BBC News.

Tesla’s announcement in March that it would accept the cryptocurrency was met with an outcry from some environmentalists and investors.

The electric carmaker had in February revealed it had bought $1.5bn (£1bn) of the world’s biggest digital currency.

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EV_charge

EV charging station [image credit: Nissan UK]

A prediction from Bloomberg. Only 5-6 years to wait to see if it comes true. If EVs and plug-in hybrids are going to be much cheaper by then, there’s even less incentive to buy one now. A looming shortage of battery materials could put a spanner in the works.
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Electric cars will be cheaper to build than fossil fuel vehicles across Europe within six years and could represent 100 percent of new sales by 2035, according to a study published Monday, says TechXplore.

Carmakers are shifting en masse to electric and hybrid models in order to bring average fleet emissions under a European Union limit of 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre, or face heavy penalties.

The study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance found that electric sedans and sport-utility vehicles will be as cheap to make as combustion vehicles from 2026.

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e-range

Not the latest model

That sinking feeling when your EV wheels stop turning…
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PARIS: Electrically-powered Formula E racing fell flat on Saturday (Apr 24) when 12 of 24 cars taking part in the Valencia Grand Prix ran out of energy and failed to finish, reports Channel News Asia.

On a wet track where collisions were frequent, the safety car was called upon five times.

However, the regulations provide that the level of energy available to the single-seaters is recalculated downwards during such pauses in racing.

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EVs are looking more and more like the non-solution to the non-problem.

PA Pundits - International

By Ronald Stein ~

With half of the EV’s in the entire country being located in California, the recent 2021 California study may be a downer for the EV excitement as it shows that EV’s are driven half as much as internal combustion engine vehicles. The study illustrates that EV’s are generally second vehicles and not the primary workhorse vehicle for those few elites that can afford them.

To date, zero and low emission vehicles are generally from the hybrid and electric car owners which are a scholarly bunch; over 70 percent of EV owners have a four-year college or post-graduate degree. This likely explains why the average household income of EV purchasers is upwards of $200,000.

If you are not in that higher educated echelon and the high-income range of society, and a homeowner or resident of a NEW apartment that has charging access there may…

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battery_ev

Typical electric car set-up

Making cars is one thing, selling them another. A production slowdown is only a problem if demand exceeds supply, and to date demand for EVs has been weak in most countries. More expensive batteries forcing prices up obviously won’t help shift them. Maybe the mining firms have doubts about sales volumes and don’t want to over-produce, which could lead to price cutting.
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The global market share of electric vehicles is set to rise so quickly that battery manufacturers will not be able to meet production requirements, a Rystad Energy analysis shows.

The reason is that the mining capacity of lithium – a key ingredient in EV-purposed batteries – will fall short of demand unless investments in new mines accelerate, says OilPrice.com.

Under the current pipeline, capacity deficits could triple lithium prices towards the end of this decade.

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deepsea

Deep sea mining illustration [image credit: youtube]

Deep sea mining supporters argue along the lines that the ocean floor is such a big place that scraping a few bits of it won’t matter on a global scale. Is this a row between the haves and have-nots, as limited supplies on land of the required materials are fought over?

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A long-running dispute over plans to start mining the ocean floor has suddenly flared up, reports BBC News.

For years it was only environmental groups that objected to the idea of digging up metals from the deep sea.

But now BMW, Volvo, Google and Samsung are lending their weight to calls for a moratorium on the proposals.

The move has been criticised by companies behind the deep sea mining plans, who say the practice is more sustainable in the ocean than on land.

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Struc_batt

Schematic of a laminated structural battery cell containing carbon fiber electrodes and a structural battery electrolyte [image credit: Quay2021 @ Wikipedia]

Another day, another battery ‘breakthrough’, you may be thinking. The idea being to make the battery part of the device itself, rather than being inserted into it. Tesla has already designed its own version of the idea.
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Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology have produced a structural battery that performs ten times better than all previous versions, says TechXplore.

It contains carbon fiber that serves simultaneously as an electrode, conductor, and load-bearing material.

Their latest research breakthrough paves the way for essentially ‘massless’ energy storage in vehicles and other technology.

The batteries in today’s electric cars constitute a large part of the vehicles’ weight, without fulfilling any load-bearing function.

A structural battery, on the other hand, is one that works as both a power source and as part of the structure—for example, in a car body.

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We’re gonna need a bigger world!

PA Pundits - International

By Ronald Stein ~

The worldwide plans for EV domination of the vehicle population are like having the plans to build a large house without sufficient materials available to ever finish the house.

The pressure to go Green is increasing as countries are announcing plans to phase out petrol and diesel cars. Germany will stop the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, Scotland from 2032, and France and the UK from 2040.

Even California, the current leader in America with 50 percent of the EV’s in country being in that state, has jumped onto the EV train with Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, who will be on the 2021 Recall ballot, issued an Executive Order in 2020 to ban the sale of gas-powered vehicles in California by 2035.

A Tesla lithium EV battery weighs more than 1,000 pounds. While there are dozens of variations…

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