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  • Coming: a Battery Supply Crunch?

    Posted by David Foster on October 26th, 2017 (All posts by )

    Several governments have signaled their intent to ban or greatly restrict the internal combustion engine from automotive use, requiring instead pure electrics or in some cases hybrids.  These include China, France, and the United Kingdom, as well as the US state of California.  Volvo says that from 2019 all its new models will be electric or hybrid, and General Motors is planning to introduce 20 electric models over the next six years.

    The core of an electric vehicle is the battery, and these are large, heavy objects:  the battery pack for a Tesla Model S comes in at 1300 pounds. Where are all the batteries for the envisaged exponential growth of electrics going to come from?…this question encompasses the mining and processing of the raw materials and the fabrication of these processed materials into battery cells, as well as the assembly of the cells into finished battery packs.

    Here is an analysis of battery components and their sources:  the key materials, in addition to lithium, are graphite, cobalt, and nickel, as well as the more common and less-expensive metals manganese and aluminum.

    Will severe supply constraints for some of these materials put a practical limit on the growth of electric vehicles, even in the face of government subsidies and draconian edicts?  Here’s a recent article in the Financial Times:

    Volkswagen’s failed attempt to secure at least five years’ supply of cobalt highlights the challenge facing the world’s biggest automakers as they attempt to secure the materials needed for their push into electric vehicles.  Last month’s tender came as other carmakers, such as BMW and Tesla Motors, are also trying to lock-in stocks of the metal.  That could test to the breaking point a niche market that is heavily dependent on a handful of mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo, one of the most impoverished and politically volatile countries in Africa.

    Demand for cobalt in EV batteries is expected to grow fourfold by 2020, and eleven-fold by 2025, according to Wood Mackenzie.

    The graph accompanying the article indicates that the price of high-grade cobalt has risen from $15/pound in January of this year to $30/pound in October.

     

    Bloomberg Businessweek is highly optimistic about the future of electric cars, asserting that “electric cars will be as cheap as gasoline models by 2025,” citing an analyst who says that “Lithium-ion battery prices are going to come down sooner and faster than most other people expect…There’s an element of competitive dynamics and a real possibility of oversupply in the lithium ion battery market that will serve to hammer down prices.”

    The article asserts that “production of lithium, cobalt and manganese will each increase more than 100-fold”…missing is any justification of this assertion by discussing new potential mines (and associated transportation logistics) and/or any scale efficiencies remaining to be achieved in the existing mines.  (While manufacturing processes generally demonstrate strong economy of scale curves, this is generally much-less-true of extractive industries involving scarce resources.)

    Electric vehicles are of course not the only source of expanded demand for batteries: wind and solar power sources require energy storage because of the intermittency of their electricity generation.  Indeed, if you have a solar-powered home…and you charge your car at night…you will need not only the battery capacity installed in the car itself, but an equivalent capacity in your home battery system to store the electricity between the time it is generated and the time it is transferred to your car!

    It is likely that battery designers will reduce the relative requirement for scarce/expensive materials in their products:  indeed, Tuesday’s Financial Times cited a UK-based company, Johnson Matthey,  which says it has “developed a battery material with higher performance using lithium and nickel but with less cobalt.  But the article also cites Stephen Irish, of the UK battery company Hyperdrive:  “People are looking for these magic chemistries in the future that don’t rely on these rare materials but they’re not viable now. Everyone asks whether there will be a revolution in battery technology, but it’s really been a series of evolutions.  It’s lots of increments.”

    A few related links:

    Five emerging battery technologies for electric vehicles

    10 alternatives to lithium-ion batteries

    Solid-electrolyte lithium batteries being developed at Toyota

    The impact of the Cobalt Cliff on Tesla

     

     

     

     

     

    52 Responses to “Coming: a Battery Supply Crunch?”

    1. CapitalistRoader Says:

      This article makes the case that EVs and gasoline hybrids have similar source-to-wheel efficiency and CO2 emissions:

      Comparison of Energy Efficiency and CO2 of Gasoline and Electric Vehicles

      If so, then we already have excellent batteries in the form of gasoline or E10 and an entire infrastructure in place to “recharge” those batteries. I can’t help but think that those governments and manufacturers vowing to eliminate ICE power plants in cars are doing little more than virtue signalling and it’s likely that most cars in 2040 will be powered by an internal combustion engine spinning an electric generator powering electric motor(s) driving the wheels. Perhaps compressed natural gas will be used instead of gasoline but they’ll still have ICE power plants.

    2. David Foster Says:

      From CR’s link:

      “Because low-voltage (110V+) charging of batteries takes a long time, higher voltage (220V+) charging is often used, because it reduces charging times. However, that negatively impacts:

      – Overall charging efficiencies, which increases energy consumption and costs

      – Battery aging, which requires earlier battery replacement, because of a loss of storage capacity, kWh, which negatively affects driving range

      – Delivering energy at required rates, which negatively affects acceleration and uphill driving.”

      Very interesting, haven’t heard those points made before. I’d like to see some *numbers* attached to them: for example, does the battery replacement time fall by 2% or 10% or 20%? If these effects are really significant, then the case for pure electrics is weakened a LOT. (not so much for hybrids or plug-in hybrids)

    3. Jonathan Says:

      Do the projections of increased EV use take account of the likelihood of continued incremental improvement of internal combustion engines? Gas engines are cleaner and more efficient than ever and petroleum reserves are bigger than ever.

    4. David Foster Says:

      “Do the projections of increased EV use take account of the likelihood of continued incremental improvement of internal combustion engines?”

      I don’t think the governments issuing edicts are taking that into account.

      But maybe they will if battery supply shortages do materialize and persist.

      An easy out for them could be hybrids, which of course require much smaller batteries than pure electrics.

    5. Jonathan Says:

      I don’t think the governments issuing edicts are taking that into account.

      A good reason for govts not to be in the edict business.

    6. Brian Swisher Says:

      Would powering EV with capacitors be a reasonable option?

    7. Brian Says:

      Hybrids/EVs do have their uses, the primary one being to shift emissions from the time/place of the driving to the time/place of the battery generation. So it would be a benefit to LA, for instance, and other smoggy places. (Although the air in LA has been incredibly cleaner starting about 20 years ago than it had been for a couple generations, and all without hybrid/electric cars). But I have never seen anything to indicate that it makes any sense from a global carbon emission perspective, if you even care about that sort of thing or some strange reason. Nor do I see much evidence it makes sense for individual drivers in any instance at all. It does seem likely that the push for electric cars is an opportunity for historic amounts of graft and that’s about it. And to those in favor of forcing them down our throats, I just have to say, how many CFLs do you have in your house now? Remember when those were the wave of the future, and we had to ban regular bulbs? The government can do many things well, picking and mandating consumer technology winners is not on the list.

    8. David Foster Says:

      Brian…supercapacitors have the advantage that they can charge and discharge very rapidly, but their energy storage per weight or per volume is inferior to batteries by a factor of 10X or more. They might be useful by themselves for a hybrid, for storing energy from regenerative braking, but more likely in combination with a battery.

    9. dearieme Says:

      Eventually the present environmentalist era will be looked on as being as mad and wicked as the late medieval and early modern period with its Inquisition, heretic-burning and and witch-hunting.

    10. David Foster Says:

      A very enthusiastic review of the new Chevy Bolt, in the WSJ:

      https://www.wsj.com/articles/chevy-bolt-meet-the-first-practical-mass-market-electric-vehicle-1508433885

    11. PenGun Says:

      “Because low-voltage (110V+) charging of batteries takes a long time, higher voltage (220V+) charging is often used, because it reduces charging times. However, that negatively impacts:

      – Overall charging efficiencies, which increases energy consumption and costs

      – Battery aging, which requires earlier battery replacement, because of a loss of storage capacity, kWh, which negatively affects driving range

      – Delivering energy at required rates, which negatively affects acceleration and uphill driving.”

      Oh my. Anyone can post crap to the internet.

      Any charging of the car is done by a ‘battery management system’. This system charges the batteries with DC energy. It extracts that from the power supplied. The so called low voltage system at 110 volts is exactly the same as a 220 volt system to the BMS. It’s just KW/h folks. The highest charge rates come from dedicated DC power outlets supplied by Charge Stations.

      All of these systems go through the BMS, although the DC chargers do not use the AC/DC conversion part of the BMS.

      The entire point of the BMS is to provide useful charging for the battery pack and it’s source of power is almost irrelevant.

      The – points are almost meaningless.

      It is amusing that there are those who hate electric cars and will go to great lengths to diss them. That link is just a wall of stupid facts. Thanks Ronald.

      The battery world is changing and by about 2020 we should be starting to use quite different battery technology.

    12. David Foster Says:

      PenGun…you are of course correct that the current fed to the battery will be DC, regardless of whether the AC source is 110 or 220 volts….also, it will be fed at the battery voltage plus an increment, which is required to get the battery to charge. However, battery management systems can control the charging rate, within the limits of the power available. Presumably, what the author means is that the greater power available from a 220V circuit allows the battery management system to charge at a higher rate than would be possible given a 110V residential circuit. The 220V input does not *require* the BMS to charge at a higher rate, but there would be no point in using a 220V connection unless you wanted to enable the higher rate.

      So the question, restated, is whether a much higher charging rate causes the 3 bad things identified in the article. I’d like to see an actual link on this, one way or the other.

    13. David Foster Says:

      Here’s some actual data of the effect of charging rate on battery capacity. They compared Nissan Leafs with 220V (level 2) chargers vs 440V specialized chargers (about 5 hours versus 30 minutes)

      The study does show some performance degradation as a result of the fast-rate charger, but this is secondary to the considerable degradation that takes place as a result of total mileage driven.

      Doesn’t look like they compared the effect of the 220V charge rate with the 110V (10 hour) rate.

      https://simanaitissays.com/2014/03/16/quick-charge-quick-degradation/

    14. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

      @ dearieme – I would say a worse reputation eventually if evenhandedness prevails. Two of the three medieval horrors you list aren’t quite what we imagine them now. Bad, certainly, but in number of deaths apples-to-apples a bit overdrawn. (Heretic-burning I think actually does turn out to be as bad as popular culture suggests. Christians did not go in for invasive war nearly as often as they decided that the areas inside the border needed to be “purified.”) However, as physical cruelty was common to virtually everyone everywhere until quite recently, our recoiling at the behavior of our ancestors should be taken comparatively.

      https://assistantvillageidiot.blogspot.com/2006/01/big-bad-three.html

      I recommend both The Culture of Fear and The Science of Fear, which give evidence that we worry about all the wrong things. They don’t mention environmentalism that much, but it’s easy to apply from what they do mention. The truly horrible things that could happen, like plagues or EMP attacks don’t tend to be environmental. The supposed horrors that they threaten us with don’t worry me so much. If we have more extinctions, will young people no longer fall in love? Will music no longer enchant? Will wine cease to gladden the heart?

    15. Roy Lofquist Says:

      What about the Brady Bunch in the trunk?

      Mileage (MPG) is proportional to the weight of the vehicle. The average weight of fuel on board for a gas vehicle is less than 100 pounds (gasoline = 6.3 pounds/gallon). Weight of the battery, cited in the article, is 1300 pounds. An electric vehicle is packing an extra 1200 pounds back and forth to the super market.

    16. Overload in CO Says:

      Roy,
      You’re correct.
      I drove a Tesla S60 which got about 300 watts per mile. A P85D gets about 350W/mile. The new Tesla Model 3 is supposed to get 315 miles out of what is assumed to be a 75 kWh battery, or about 215W/mile.

      From there you can figure out $/mile by knowing you local rate. E.g. at $0.09 kWh, the P85D costs about $0.03 a mile.

    17. newrouter Says:

      Why is liquid storage of energy a difficult concept? Perhaps your energy ideas are stupid?

    18. newrouter Says:

      Batteries are prime example of stupid thought,

    19. CapitalistRoader Says:

      “The battery world is changing and by about 2020 we should be starting to use quite different battery technology.”

      And flying cars. They’re no more than two-three years away. Have been since 1935.

    20. Grurray Says:

      I was reading this article the other day Hydrogen is the future, not battery-electric cars

      “With the Tesla Superchargers, they don’t publicise it, but if you ‘supercharge’ a Tesla, one supercharge takes 20 charge cycles off the end of that battery’s life. Two supercharges takes 40 charges.

      “That’s simple chemistry; you can’t force the ions through the battery that fast without causing damage.

      “With hydrogen, we’ve got something that can fill a (Toyota) Mirai, or a Highlander, or a Honda, or a Hyundai, with a 200 to 400-mile range, in three minutes. You’ll buy that, your wife will buy that, and she’s going to pay about $4 (per gallon, or 3.8 litres) to fill it up, too, which is pretty great.”

      Although we should probably take that with a grain of salt. I’ve been hearing that hydrogen is the next big thing for about 25 years now.

    21. CapitalistRoader Says:

      This guy says that peak piston won’t happen ’till 2030 even with governments forcing the issue, and EVs won’t overtake ICEs until 2040.

    22. PenGun Says:

      Boy! Toyota among others will bring solid state batteries to market in a couple of years.

      Charging batteries. What we are talking about are 18650s and the newer Tesla copy that’s slightly bigger. These are Lithium Ion batteries and come in several flavors. The Lithium Cobalt batteries are perhaps the least likely to catch fire and that’s why they use em’ in cars.

      A Lithium Ion battery has a max voltage of 4.2 volts and good ones, Panasonic’s etc, will take a pretty healthy current to charge them. They are toast if they hit about 3 volts or under and the BMS that sits on the battery pack is there to make sure that never happens. As well it manages the charging of the battery. The DC current that actually charges the batteries is completely controlled, again by the BMS and it’s not hard, electrically, to make that pretty well bullet proof, in ignoring the input type and charging the battery pack properly.

      As we get almost 800 cycles out of these batteries, with proper BMS, they can provide well over 100,000 miles before they run out of life.

      I have over 100 of these little 18650 puppies, all nicely charged and waiting for me to do something with them. I harvested these from old laptop batteries and got about a 40% return from the pile I was given.

    23. CapitalistRoader Says:

      “Boy! Toyota among others will bring solid state batteries to market in a couple of years.”

      What will their energy density be? Better than Li-ion, otherwise they wouldn’t make sense. Better than wood? Sugar? Coal? Animal fat? They would really have to be as good as or better than gasoline or LNG to compete on an equal playing field, right? Otherwise you’re hauling around a half a ton of batteries to go a couple of hundred miles vs. 75lbs of gasoline.

    24. PenGun Says:

      They should be somewhat better but mainly very stable and even more bullet proof.

      Burning things in air is not good for humans. Using up a seriously useful resource by burning it for fuel is short sighted.

      You are welcome to pay far more for your fuel, I’d like to plug in. My power is all Hydro and is fairly cheap here, so I would pay great deal less per year using an electric car.

    25. Brian Says:

      I still don’t understand why, if EVs actually do overtake the ICE, which I’m not convinced of, the end state doesn’t have to be swappable batteries, so the charging is done by/at the charging station, which is what gas stations turn into, and you just pull up and your battery is taken out and a new one put in. Obviously the battery has to weigh less than 1200lbs, of course, and has to be placed in the car somewhere easily accessible and swappable, all in a minute or two. Any other charging paradigm doesn’t seem applicable to enough people to really take over.

    26. PenGun Says:

      All the car makers are pursuing electric cars. Several have said they will make nothing else and they will be the next common automobile. With several countries legislating emissions to very high levels, there is not much doubt electric vehicles are gonna take over quite soon.

      Why this is a problem for so many is hard to understand. I guess if oil is important to your portfolio one might want more fuel burning cars but apart from that I am kinda baffled.

      I think battery swapping might work on commercial vehicles, but a car with reasonable range, say several hundred miles, will seldom need anything like that. If you can charge your car overnight and not need to go further than it’s range, pretty well everyone, then you will never even need fast charging stations.

    27. freddie_mac Says:

      Hydrogen is the future, not battery-electric cars
      ’cause I really want to drive something called a Hindenburg. Maybe the young uns won’t have such a visceral reaction to hydrogen-powered vehicles …

      I also have never understood the glamour/allure of battery-powered vehicles, which are supposed to be better for the environment because they run on electricity. Where do the owners get electricity? For most of us, from power plants that burn … fossil fuels. I’m certainly interested in a vehicle that has a better processing system for the fuel source, but I haven’t seen one yet. Also, keep in mind that the current battery/hybrid cars are only suitable for cities/towns; what happens when you go out into the country? In some US states, towns can be a few hundred miles apart.

    28. PenGun Says:

      Oh yeah, I forgot. Chevrolet’s most reliable vehicle is the Bolt. Electric vehicles are inherently more reliable than ICE vehicles.

    29. PenGun Says:

      Oh well, and the range on the Bolt is 240 miles.

    30. Brian Says:

      “Several have said they will make nothing else”
      Yeah, and look at how many EVs they said they would have on the road by now. What they say and what they do don’t exactly line up, especially when the consumer still has a say in the matter.

    31. CapitalistRoader Says:

      “Oh well, and the range on the Bolt is 240 miles.”

      In Los Angeles. However:

      Post-CES, an e-mail was duly sent to Chevrolet asking for some time with the Volt, which arrived during the second week in February. The Volt wasn’t the only thing to arrive that week, however. The polar vortex delivered the East Coast some epically cold weather soon after. In fact, it only rose above freezing here in Washington, DC on the day we gave the car back (February 14 in particular was bitterly cold, with temperatures ranging from -3 degrees Celsius to -10 degrees Celsius [26 degrees Fahrenheit-13 degrees Fahrenheit]).

      Despite the inhospitable weather, the car got as much use as possible for several days. And as winter transportation, the Volt did itself proud. The handling on snowy roads was predictable, and the fact that heated seats (front and rear) and a heated steering wheel were standard equipment was most welcome information.

      But there was just one hitch. When the mercury drops that low, forget all thoughts of gas-free commuting. It didn’t matter that we plugged the car in at every opportunity, keeping the lithium-ion battery bursting at the seams with 18.4kWh-worth of electrons. No, when it’s that cold, the car’s 1.5L range-extender internal combustion engine becomes your constant companion.

      Sadly, all thoughts of matching 106MPGe went out of the window. After five days, I was able to slightly better the gasoline-only economy—43.8MPG vs EPA’s 42MPG—but some trips fared worse, and numbers as low as 21.2MPGe showed up on the Volt’s central touchscreen display.
      Jonathan M. Gitlin | ARS TECHNICA |8/9/2016

    32. CapitalistRoader Says:

      A map of EV range based on location:

      The best—and worst—places to drive your electric car

      Too bad it’s just the contiguous US. North Dakota and Michigan and upstate NY along with VT/NH/ME look like a witch’s tit in a brass bra.

    33. PenGun Says:

      “Yeah, and look at how many EVs they said they would have on the road by now.”

      So who said this? When was that said, and was it Elon Musk, ;)

    34. PenGun Says:

      “In Los Angeles. However:”

      Wow. That’s DC, if you read the story, and it’s a Volt if your comprehension is working.

      Not at all the same thing …. any of em’. ;)

    35. David Foster Says:

      Democratic Congresswoman introducing bill to ban IC cars in the US by 2035:

      https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/dem-lawmakers-want-ban-gas-powered-vehicles-u-s-2035/

    36. Brian Says:

      It is pretty hilarious to see our resident troll completely misread a post and then attack the poster for poor reading comprehension skills.

    37. Anonymous Says:

      PenGun, you may want to hold off on buying a new Bolt since it will likely depreciate rapidly:

      In the real world, electric cars are still showroom poison, they are still slow sellers at best, and they are still remarkably unpopular with consumers.
      The Truth About Cars
      , When It Comes to Electric Car Resale It’s Still Dog Bites Man, Jack Baruth, 18 Oct 2017

      Most likely there will be some really sweet deals on low-mileage used Bolts next year.

    38. PenGun Says:

      “Most likely there will be some really sweet deals on low-mileage used Bolts next year.”

      I would be pleased but I’ll probably buy a Ford Fiesta ST. I’m old and fun is what matters.

      “It is pretty hilarious to see our resident troll completely misread a post and then attack the poster for poor reading comprehension skills.”

      Ummm it’s a Volt he’s talking about. That’s a hybrid with not much battery. As well the story titled “In Los Angeles. However” is set in DC.

    39. tomw Says:

      Not addressed:
      1) battery ‘lifetime’, disposition after final use, replacement cost and environmental costs of initial and replacement production. Who controls the ‘rare earth elements’ used in the magnets in the motors… PRC?
      2) hydrogen storage and volatility. Drive your H2 Bimmer to LAX, and park it while you travel a bit of Europe, full tank. Come back to an empty fuel tank as the hydrogen, to my knowledge, cannot be contained for any length of time using current technology. (normal, available technology)
      3) the cost per mile – .09 or ??? — who will be paying for the upkeep, repair, and building of roads when the gas tax revenue falls? Where will the subsidy for electric cars come from? The current situation is subsidizing Tesla product which is a) priced out of reach of the average consumer, and b) in very limited production with no evidence of any sort of ramp-up of production. Other models are subsidized, but not so extensively.
      The Nisan Leaf is/was subsidized by GA(state) government until recently. I was told of the Leaf being ‘The Car’ purchased by H1B visa workers at the IT building in a northern suburb. Arrive from India or Pakistan, and buy a Leaf seemed to be the ‘thing to do’ in that environment. The subsidy went away, and Leaf sales fell through the basement. I see one now and again now.
      The product, all of them, cannot stand on their own, and must be ‘assisted’ by the government, they escape taxation to help maintain the roads, another subsidy, and transfer the pollution their energy source creates to ‘other places, the do not eliminate the pollution, and add unknown(to many) origination pollution sources and final disposition pollution problems.
      Doncha just love the guv-mint telling you what to buy, and propping up their ‘favorite’ industries? Wanna buy some Solyndra Glass? Cheap? It only cost you about a half-billion so far(I think)

    40. Brian Says:

      “As well the story titled “In Los Angeles. However” is set in DC.”
      Ha ha ha. You really are very slow. Are you sure English is your first language?

    41. PenGun Says:

      In Los Angeles. However:

      Post-CES, an e-mail was duly sent to Chevrolet asking for some time with the Volt, which arrived during the second week in February. The Volt wasn’t the only thing to arrive that week, however. The polar vortex delivered the East Coast some epically cold weather soon after. In fact, it only rose above freezing here in Washington, DC on the day we gave the car back (February 14 in particular was bitterly cold, with temperatures ranging from -3 degrees Celsius to -10 degrees Celsius [26 degrees Fahrenheit-13 degrees Fahrenheit]).

    42. Brian Says:

      Ha ha ha. Let me clue you in on how those who know how to read English processed the post that is confusing you so badly:

      “Oh well, and the range on the Bolt is 240 miles.”

      [Yes, that is correct] In Los Angeles. However [let me show you an example of why that sort of performance for an EV isn’t going to hold everywhere]:

      I guarantee everyone else here knew exactly what he was saying.

    43. PenGun Says:

      In modern electric vehicles the difference between 20C and -20C is about 20% of the range. As the batteries are the same it should apply pretty well everywhere.

    44. CapitalistRoader Says:

      Reading the available studies I’ve found, from 20°C to -20°C the Nissan Leaf lost about a third of its range. What’s interesting is how drivers get better range by not heating the cabin but instead using the seat warmers and steering wheel warmer. That’s great if you’re alone but kids in car seats have neither steering wheels nor heated seats. Carnegie Mellon has a 2015 paper on cold weather EV performance but it’s behind a paywall. Fleetcarma has some graphs of Nissan Leaf range at various temps but it’s pretty old–2013.

      I’m hoping EVs remain the showroom dogs they are and rapidly depreciate. I’d like to pick one up cheap and play with it. It’d sorta be like a slot car w/o the slots. Here’s a 2013 w/31K on it in my area for <$10K. Check out the ad verbiage:

      transferrable service warranty
      maximum charge: 85-90 miles
      Please email me for more details. The car is in great shape, but as a single person, I’m finding that, as my only car, it does not give me the option of any road travel.

    45. PenGun Says:

      I have googled one thing in this thread. The range against temperature.

      I know a fair amount about Lithium Ion and Lithium Polymer batteries, having quite a few myself. I also know a bit about electric cars and the companies that are starting to make them in larger numbers. I offered some knowledge about this area.

      It’s amazing, to me, that so many in this thread really don’t like electric cars, and have googled up whatever they could to make them less appealing.

      I really don’t have a dog in this fight and am happy to let the market decide what cars become the future. I am convinced electric cars will be the future, because of what I have read, and the fact that all car makers are investing heavily in this.

      That one has a serious opinion about things, one has little knowledge of, is a modern thing, it’s strange to see the aged taking this modern stupidity and running with it.

      Oh well, I’m an idiot as well so ….

    46. CapitalistRoader Says:

      It’s amazing, to me, that so many in this thread really don’t like electric cars, and have googled up whatever they could to make them less appealing.
      —PenGun

      Hey, Pen, I’m just reading what EV owners themselves are saying, specifically that range drops to half or less in very cold weather:

      …in warmer weather(above 60F) I can get ~80 miles on my ’13 (with full bars). When it gets down to 30F that drops to maybe 60-65, in the teens it’s closer to 50 and the last few days(0 F) it’s only about 40 miles and teens below zero F it’s not unheard of to be closer to 30 miles :(

      I’ve found temperature(and to a lesser degree strong wind) has a huge effect on range, especially when it gets sub zero F. Because of this I like to plug mine in every chance I can when it’s cold, even just if it’s to warm the cabin prior to departure, everything helps.

      I live in a cold winters part of the country and can’t imagine having a vehicle like that as my only car. Maybe as a summer plaything, like a motorcycle or and old British roadster, but not as reliable winter transportation.

    47. David Foster Says:

      PenGun…”I know a fair amount about Lithium Ion and Lithium Polymer batteries, having quite a few myself.”

      The actual subject of this post is battery supply-chain issues. Experience owning/using batteries may be interesting, but doesn’t really tell much about the geography of the relevant minerals, the processing required, or the potential improvements to reduce the quantity of the critical minerals required per KW of energy storage.

    48. PenGun Says:

      For one thing, Cobalt is just what they use, as it’s the least likely to go up in smoke. Lithium is well understood and it’s resources, all the way to seawater, are fairly well understood. The various types of LiIon battery chemistry will be explored more as Cobalt becomes difficult.

      The solid state, solid electrolyte really, batteries will probably take over in the not too distant future and present charts, of distribution etc, will not help greatly there.

    49. Kaiser Derden Says:

      ICE vehicles can be safely “recharged from empty to full in less than 10 minutes and usually in less than 5 minutes at dozens of locations within 5 miles of most locations in America RIGHT now. Anyone who thinks that EV’s will replace ICE within 20 years is not thinking but “wishing” in some sort of virtue signaling haze. Go back to selling tulips …

    50. Joe Wooten Says:

      [quote]Although we should probably take that with a grain of salt. I’ve been hearing that hydrogen is the next big thing for about 25 years now.[/quote]

      And it always will be the next big thing. Hydrogen power is a net energy loser. It takes much more energy to make hydrogen than you get out of burning it for any use. The bonds of hydrogen to any other element, like carbon or oxygen are very strong and take a lot of energy to break. Also, like electric vehicles, the entire life cycle pollution rate is higher than an IC engine burning gasoline or diesel.

      Also, let it be noted if everyone went all EV, the power grid would have to be expanded several times over and those in areas with mostly hydro power, like Washington, Oregon, Quebec, and BC would have to build gas, coal, and (horrors) nuclear plants to make up the deficit along with more of the ignored infrastructure like transmission/distribution lines and transformer substations to step-up/down voltages. Wind/solar will not cut it at all, even with huge numbers of battery stations to store the intermittent power productions of those two inferior sources of power.

      That, or everyone except for the “elites” would have to endure a drastic cut in lifestyle……..

    51. 192.168.1.1 Says:

      It is pretty hilarious to see our resident troll completely misread a post and then attack the poster for poor reading comprehension skills..

    52. Source (Clip Art Look) Says:

      Most likely there will be some really sweet deals on low-mileage used Bolts next year..

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