EV’s – not cost, heat management the issue.

The advisor to the minister responded to a call from a colleague – we want to talk about saving an industry. Advances in electric car technology can make it viable to say many of the limits for production are no longer the problem – the batteries that is.

We went looking for the facts, and a quick search then found a story ( http://www.bbc.com/autos/story/20140204-a-false-charge ) Why do electric vehicles use so many batteries? From that story we learnt the cost of batteries are only part of the issue. It is the battery technology that is the dominant problem. “The world’s most recognisable electric vehicles (EVs), such as the Tesla Model S and Nissan Leaf, run on hundreds, or even thousands, of small battery cells.” Then there is the type of battery construction “BMW’s new i3 electric runabout spreads 96 battery cells across eight modules in its pack. The Leaf uses almost 200 thin laminated film cells that are packaged into 48 modules, and the Model S has more than 6,800 small lithium-ion battery cylinders.”

However, cost is important in the decision on the number of cells to be used. Explaining Tesla’s decision to use lap top type batteries: “Leigh Christie, an EV engineer, says manufacturers’ embrace of smaller batteries boils down to cost. “The capital cost for manufacturing equipment for 18650-size cells is as about as low as it gets,” he wrote. “This cell has been manufactured longer than pretty much any other lithium-ion cell.”

From what is said http://www.quora.com forums note “a nuanced view of why so much variation exists around how many batteries an EV uses, and why the industry is not quite ready for a mega-battery.” So it is not that mega batteries are not available, it is they are more expensive to produce. And, smaller batteries offer temperature control benefits, and were “easier to stack in unique ways to distribute weight and make use of small spaces in a vehicle chassis.”

All that said on further reading it becomes obvious heat is and the managing of heat is the bigger cost issue. Yes, that is correct the cost of managing heat and heat from EV battery cells is something all manufacturers must learn to manage. “The gaps between the cells allow for cooling and minimize the possibility of thermal runaway,” and “That’s why Nissan’s flat laminated cells are designed with a large surface area that quickly disperses the batteries’ heat. Because of this, the Leaf does not require a separate battery-cooling unit, such as those in the i3 and Model S.”

Co2Land org must now conclude electronic vehicles still need more time to be mainstream and the issues with the batteries are the matter that needs the most attention. Namely,

The cost of manufacture, the number required to be diverted from other product needs for similar batteries, the size range available, the matter of managing heat.

Therefore to be fully desirable those problems and issues need to be overcome for long-term success.   It follows we have success in making plant available, we just need technology to catch up with the battery needs.

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