I finally made it out to the LA Auto Show. GM and Ford had pretty much taken over half of their respective exhibition halls. Chevy was playing up its hybrid/hydrogen/electric effort FULL FORCE. There were fuel cell cars, hybrid cars, bronzed models of hybrid tranmissions, and lots of flashy plasma TV displays playing “Gas Friendly to Gas Free” propaganda ad nauseum.
Archive for the ‘Tesla’ Category
I wrote an earlier post concerning Martin Eberhard’s critique of series hybrids, in particular the lifespan of the Chevy Volt’s battery pack. In that post, I noted that Martin incorrectly assumes that all lithium ion cells are made equal, and also incorrectly assumes that a 40 mile range correlates to 100% depth of discharge of the pack, and thus a full (and brutal) charge/recharge cycle.
GM-Volt.com confirmed recently that the 40 mile range can be achieved with only 8 kWh of the pack’s available 16kWh, and that to maximize lifespan, the generator will kick at this point of 50% charge, and stop at 80% charge. This optimized charging cycle, combined with the innate durability of lithium-iron-phosphate chemistry, will help the battery pack last for years.
Some caveats though:
After almost 2 years of speculation and deliberation, the Automotive X-Prize (AXP) announced its list of registered teams, which ranges from upstart unknowns based out of garages, all the way up to established companies.
I was a big fan of the original X-Prize, but this new incarnation has some conceptual flaws.
I’ve been doing some research lately on the different battery technologies that are being formulated for EV use – all proven lithium ion chemistries and cell formulations. If you have a modicum of understanding about math, electricity and engineering, you might find what I found out rather interesting, because there’s stuff out there that isn’t well explained – or well publicized.
A couple months ago, GM announced its battery contracts for the Chevy Volt. Since then, there’s been a fair bit of buzz over exactly how -and when- those contracts are going to bear their electrified fruit. Some of that blog commentary has come from people within the EV industry itself – notably Martin Eberhard of Tesla Motors. In his rather scathing blog entry, Martin disparages the series hybrid concept as being flawed.
I have to disagree.