"History is a wonderful thing, if only it was true"

Monday, March 12, 2007

Ongoing Hybrid bashing ... possible reconsideration

Post from last October (following several prior posts)

Looney Dunes: Ongoing Hybrid bashing

Then, over the weekend, there was this:
A New Battery Takes Off in a Race to Electric Cars - New York Times

A step in the right direction.

1) on all electric :
"To date, all-electric vehicles have failed because their batteries were inadequate. General Motors’ futuristic EV1 car of the late 1990s was doted upon by environmentally conscious drivers who admired its innovative engineering, but because the car used large, primitive nickel metal hydride batteries, its range was limited, its acceleration degraded as the batteries weakened with age, and its two-seat layout was not very comfortable for big, corn-fed North Americans.

“The problem came down to usability,” said Nick Zelenski, G.M.’s chief vehicle engineer. “You had to plan your life around when you were going to charge the EV1.” G.M. built only 1,117 of the experimental cars because it believed that American drivers would not buy such an affront to the national ideal of the open road."

2) current (sorta pun intended) Li-"ion" batteries:
"Rechargeable lithium batteries have been used in laptop computers and mobile phones since the early 1990s. (Their common name, “lithium ion batteries,” is a tautology, since all batteries conduct electric current by allowing the passage of ions between two electrodes.) But despite their lightness, rechargeable lithium batteries — which often use a compound of highly reactive cobalt oxide — have hitherto been thought impractical for transportation because they are insufficiently powerful and might, if pierced, jarred or overheated, explode or burst into flames."

Note in particular the risk parameters of batteries. Fuel burns (cars only explode in Hollywood) releasing the potential energy in a measured manner. Batteries have the potential for rapid release of their potential energy.

3) I will argue that this will reinforce my argument on longevity of hydrocarbon fuels for personal transportation, presented here:
Long Bets [ 257: Hydrocarbon fuels will be the "fuel of choice" for personal transportation for the next 50 years ]

a) greater fuel mileage will extend the resource
b) these vechiles STILL use internal combustion power to suppliment the batteries and therefore I would argue will use hydrocarbon fuels.

When I first proposed the prediction, I was challanged about the issue of hybrids, and my response was and is ... proves my point. More fuel efficent, but still hydrocarbon based fuels.

Review of Chevy "Volt" here:
Power Play - AutoWeek

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