Archive for the ‘Batteries’ Category

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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Image credit: bus-bild.de


An attempt to put some of the blame on a tractor protest by farmers, holding up traffic, sounds a bit weak. A solution adopted by some e-bus builders is to use fuel-powered heating systems, described here as ‘an absolute oxymoron for the electric vehicle industry’.
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By 2030, Berlin wants all local public transport buses to be electric, says the Teller Report.

Passengers and drivers are already experiencing what this can mean in a cold winter.

Apparently one type of vehicle in particular causes problems.

According to information from The “Berliner Morgenpost” newspaper, a dozen of the electric buses operated by the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) are currently out of action.

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Not the latest model


Reluctance to having to waste time looking for and/or using public charging stations might be a factor, plus the old favourite of range anxiety. An EV may also be the second car in a household, in the US at least.
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New data indicates that electric vehicles may not be an easy future substitute for the gasoline-powered fleet, as EVs are currently being used half as much as conventional cars, says TechXplore.

That is according to a paper published from the University of Chicago, University of California, Davis, and UC Berkeley.

As the Biden administration voices its commitment to moving the country toward electric vehicles, or EVs, and states like California work to ban the sale of new fully gas-powered cars in the next 15 years, the pledge for an EV-powered fleet leaves a question unanswered: Are consumers actually driving them?

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Undermining reliable electricity supply is deemed to be sound policy by many governments. Their only escape route is to be out of office before the full force of such folly becomes only too clear to all.

STOP THESE THINGS

Gormless PM struggles to grasp his only solution to RE crisis.

The wind and solar industries were built on lies, run on myth and are fuelled by subsidies, so the only way forward is more of the very same.

It took politicians and punters around a decade to cotton on to the hopeless unreliability and chaotic intermittency of solar and wind power.  Which required an altogether new approach from the rent seekers’ spin doctors.

Over the last year or two, mythical mega-batteries have been pitched as the perfect answer.

But the economics clearly don’t stack up: the biggest battery in the world – that cost taxpayers a cool $150,000,000 – sits in a sheep paddock near Jamestown in South Australia’s mid-North and would power that purportedly wind and solar ‘powered’ state for all of four minutes when the sun sets and calm weather sets in.

Hardly bang for buck, particularly…

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Solar power complex in California [USA. Gov – BLM – Bureau of Land Management]


Welcome to the inglorious green revolution, where the lives of ageing gas power plants have to be extended and various other mini ‘solutions’, some relying on equipment owned by individual citizens, have to be adopted in a frantic effort to keep the lights on. Of course none of this was necessary before renewables were deemed to be the future of electricity supply, in the vain hope of altering the climate. What’s next if these measures are not enough?
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Sometime next summer, there’s a decent chance a heat wave will bake the American West, and California’s power grid will again be stretched to its limits, says TechXplore.

As the sun sets, solar panels will start generating less electricity even as temperatures remain high.

Power plants that burn natural gas will fire up as quickly as possible, in a race to keep air conditioners blowing and avert the need for rolling blackouts.

But the fossil fuel won’t be alone in riding to the rescue.

As power supplies tighten, lithium-ion batteries—some connected to sprawling solar farms in the desert and others tucked away in household garages—will dispense electricity produced during the afternoon sunlight.

A small but growing number of household batteries will be part of coordinated networks, discharging in unison as dictated by the needs of the grid.

Meanwhile, millions of people will cut back on electricity use in their homes, in some cases because state officials asked nicely and in others because they’re getting paid to conserve.

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Typical electric car set-up


Researchers cite lithium and cobalt production as the most likely to fall short of expected demand levels in the next few years, if EV take-up grows as desired or mandated by many political leaders. In short, new discoveries of supplies will be required if present battery technology is to be maintained. Failing that, ‘net zero’ may need a plan B.
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As the world shifts to electric vehicles to reduce climate change, it is important to quantify future demands for key battery materials, says TechXplore.

In a new report, Chengjian Xu, Bernhard Steubing and a research team at the Leiden University, Netherlands and the Argonne National Laboratory in the U.S. showed how the demands of a lithium, nickel, cobalt and manganese oxide dominated battery will increase by many factors between 2020 to 2050.

As a result, supply chains for lithium, cobalt and nickel will require significant expansion and likely additional resource discovery.

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All these battery systems can do is give power providers a brief window to figure out what they’re really going to do about the imminent blackout situation, due to the latest weather-related dip in renewable power generation.

PA Pundits - International

By David Wojick, Ph.D. ~

New York City will soon be home to the world’s biggest utility-scale battery system, designed to back up its growing reliance on intermittent renewables. At 400 MWh this batch of batteries will be more than triple the 129 MWh world leader in Australia.

The City of New Yorks director of sustainability (I am not making this title up), Mark Chambers, is ecstatic, bragging: Expanding battery storage is a critical part of how we advance momentum to confront the climate emergency while meeting the energy needs of all New Yorkers. Today’s announcement demonstrates how we can deliver this need at significant scale.” (Emphasis added)

In reality the scale here is incredibly insignificant.

In the same nonsensical way, Tim Cawley, the president of Con Edison, New York’s power utility, gushes thus: Utility scale battery storage will play a vital role in…

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Credit: carsdirect.com


Critics may struggle to stifle a yawn, as battery ‘breakthroughs’ are regularly promised or hinted at, but the actual pace of change in EV battery tech seems quite slow. On the other hand, solid-state batteries may be the best way forward if tests can be successfully turned into full-scale production. The original report headline says: ‘VW and Bill Gates-backed QuantumScape releases performance data…’, so plenty of industrial and financial muscle behind the project. No cost estimates available.
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California-based QuantumScape Corp (QuantumScape), a company focussing on the development of next-generation solid-state lithium-metal batteries for use in electric vehicles (EVs), has released performance data, which it says demonstrates its capability to address fundamental issues holding back widespread adoption of high-energy-density solid-state batteries, including charge time (current density), cycle life, safety, and operating temperature. Autocar Pro reporting.
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The company says a commercially viable solid-state lithium-metal battery is an advancement that the battery industry has pursued for decades, as it holds the promise of a step function increase in energy density over conventional lithium-ion batteries, enabling electric vehicles with a driving range comparable to combustion engine-based vehicles.

QuantumScape claims its solid-state battery is designed to enable up to 80 percent longer range compared to today’s lithium-ion batteries.

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Power lines in Victoria, Australia [credit: Wikipedia]


Come the next potential blackout situation, the battery could give Victorians up to an hour to find a way out of trouble. But making the wind blow harder or the sun shine more won’t be among their options, of course.
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Australia is poised to construct one of the world’s largest batteries, using Tesla’s technology for lithium-ion batteries, reports TechXplore.

The football-field sized battery will provide up to 300 megawatts of power output and 450 megawatts-hours of storage in a country that has been struggling to meet energy demands during skyrocketing power usage triggered by record-breaking temperatures.

Last year, Australia suffered its hottest and driest year ever, with temperatures topping 121 degrees Fahrenheit last December.

The battery, known as the Victorian Big Battery Megapack, will be located in the state of Victoria, Australia’s second most populous region.

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Some extraordinary claims are being made, or at least suggested, here. The idea of charging a battery in a few seconds, especially a lithium one, using microwaves (not the kitchen version) sounds a bit hairy to say the least.
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A team of researchers from the Polytechnic University of Valencia and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) has discovered a new method that makes it possible to transform electricity into hydrogen or chemical products solely using microwaves — without cables and without any type of contact with electrodes, reports TechXplore.

This represents a revolution in the field of energy research and a key development for the process of industrial decarbonisation, as well as for the future of the automotive sector and the chemical industry, among many others.

The study has been published in the latest edition of Nature Energy, where the discovery is explained.

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It’s much cheaper to cut off your electricity supply for a while than it is to provide adequate backup from supposedly ‘green’ sources like batteries. Who knew?

STOP THESE THINGS

Cough up, or the kid gets it!

So-called smart meters are a very dumb response to intermittent wind and solar, even dumber energy sources. Wherever governments attempt to run on sunshine and breezes, the push to control and micromanage household power use, quickly follows.

Over the last few Australian summers, we’ve been treated to power rationing on a grand scale – which the Market Operator euphemistically tags “demand management”.

‘Demand management’ is not about supplying power consumers with what they need, it simply means shutting off power to industry, businesses and households – and even forcing hospitals to switch their lights and air conditioners off – among other indignities, whenever the sun sets and/or calm weather sets in. That’s what our ‘inevitable transition’ looks like at the macro level.

At the micro level, there’s the push to have smart meters installed in every home or business premise, in order that…

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Typical electric car set-up


There may be trouble ahead, as the song goes. But are we ready to face the music of industrial-scale lithium battery volatility, brought to us by government edict? Below we look at the second part of a BBC News story.
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Batteries that power mobile phones and other devices are causing fires because they are not disposed of properly, says BBC News.

Lithium-ion batteries, which power mobile phones, tablets and toothbrushes, can be extremely volatile if damaged.

CCTV footage taken at several recycling centres shows explosions sending flames and debris shooting across sorting areas.

And those sorts of batteries are a growing menace.

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