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October 30, 2006

Comments

Thomas Pedersen

This technology is a major step forward!

There is one drawback, it seems. According to their own information (Fig 1 in pdf file), energy density is only half that of conventional Li-Ion batteries, at 90 Wh/kg. If we assume 250 Wh/km for a Prius size vehicle, that is almost 3 kg/km range (or 10 lbs/mile). Such weight is not prohibitive, but not excellent either. However, throwing away the gas engine, gearbox, fueltank, fuel, etc. most likely saves about 500 lbs, so the first 500 lbs of batteries are "free" in terms of weight. That gives about 50 miles range without any weight increase. That may not be enough for most people, even with < 5 min charging time.

The good thing is that with regenerative braking and high low-end torque electrical motors, extra weight has less consequences than in a gasoline driven car in terms of energy efficiency (= costs).

Well, everything else about these batteries sounds just peachy!

What about costs?

Engineer-Poet

These batteries would have ~40 year lifespan at 1 cycle/day.  If a different construction could get much greater energy density at the cost of 1/2 or even 1/4 the lifespan, it would be a good trade.

amazingdrx

I believe that 6 kwh stored in an electric vehicle is equal in mileage to one gallon of gas in an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. With this battery storing 6 kwh would take around 66 kg of batteries, about 145 pounds? So a range of 80 to 100 miles in a 40 to 50 mpg economy vehicle would weigh around 300 pounds.

With another 100 pounds for the motor and control systems that would leave another 100 pounds to equal the weight of the ICE and related components.

I believe a 150 pound backup solid oxide fuel cell/microturbine generator system could come in around that weight. So even driving your car further than 100 miles without recharging you would get 5 times the mileage of an ICE vehicle.

With almost the same weight and the same performance. Take note PLEASE, especially GM engineers and board roomates. Time to mass produce this drivetrain, or do you want to go bankrupt?

kent beuchert

Tesla Motors is using obsolete laptop batteries (8631 of them!!) for their vehicle, possibly the worst configuration imaginable.
They state 600 to 1000 pounds for their 50 Kwh of battery storage (various Tesla people have made various weight claims). The EV1 nickel metal-hydride 26 battery pack (of 25 kWhr) weighed around 1200 pounds. The key to a practical electric car is not so much as whether you have 250 or 350 mile range, as it is the ability to recharge quickly, which the Altair batteries can do (8 to 12 minutes). This makes public charging stations feasible, thus an unlimited range for electric cars. The battery will appear first thuis spring in a pickup truck aimed at fleet owners (utility companies, etc)
with a standard range of 140 miles and an optional range of 200 miles. An SUV will also be offered, both by Phoenix Motors,
which buys the vehicles, minus powertrains,
from Asian suppliers, and sends to Boshart Engineering for power plant, battery pack installation. I wouldn't be interested in an electric car unless its batteries were as good as the Altair NanoSafes.

amazingdrx

Also high tech metal and carbon fiber plastics or aluminum frame elements subsitiuted for enough components would reduce weight enough to make up for a couple hundred pounds of vehicle weight without breaking the budget for manufacturing costs.

This drivetrain has far fewer moving parts and in mass production should cost less than a comparable ICE system, with it's 1000s of moving parts and multiple microprocessors and sensors.

That leaves some dollars left over in the budget to reduce body and frame component weight with high tech materials,extra light after market substitutes already exist in the racing industry.

Greg Woulf

I don't believe that an 80 mile range would satisfy most people. I live 8 miles away from work, but I wouldn't want to travel to visit my friends with just a 40 mile one way.

I'd much prefer 900 pounds of battery with a 200'ish range, especially if they have a high cycle life.

I'd rather never go near a hydrogen economy, I think it's going to cost too much and divert from what we could have with straight electrics.

amazingdrx

Very encouraging news Kent! Similar weight estimates to mine. GM ought to buy the company asap.

But would they just shelve the technology?

amazingdrx

I agree Greg, I would accept 650 pounds for a 200 mile range for my driving and not worry about the added weight. I drive slowly anyway.

But the backup generator would be great to have for longer trips. Maybe one that could fit in the trunk that you keep in your garage or even just borrow from the dealer for your trip. This could be a very light moderately powered generator equivalent to a 18 hp/10 kw ICE unit.

I think 150 pounds for that 10kw power range for a fuel cell/microturbine unit would be feasible.

Cyrus

These batteries would have ~40 year lifespan at 1 cycle/day.

Clearly then, some factor other than charge / discharge stresses limit the lifetime of these batteries, possibly simply the lifetime of the vehicle that contains it.

At the size of the battery packs needed to power electric vehicles, does anyone know whether retirement of a Li-ion battery represents a net cost or credit? Does the value of the materials in the battery offset the cost of properly disposing of it?

Harvey D.

Very good news. Seems to be an ideal battery with a great potential.

Let's not forget that the early car ICE was less than 10 HP, would not start in cold weather unless you had a very strong arm, required careful maintenance and did not last 5% as long.

The Nanosafe 90Wh/Kg quick charge energy capabilty will most probably double within 5 years or reach about 200Wh/Kg. At 50 KWh and 250 Kg, an improved Nanosafe battery would propel an average mid-size car about 200 Km. This would make it an ideal vehicle to go to work and drive around. The quick charge capabilty also makes it suitable for longer drives. Alternatively, a small 200 Kg generator could be added, as an option, for those who do not want to stop every 200 Km for a quick 8 minute charge.

Wonder how much it will cost per KWh when in mass production (under license) in China or India.

kbeuchert@toast.net

Altair NanoSafe are just what they appear to be - environmentally benign. There are no expenses involved in their disposal, 25-35 years from now.

kent beuchert

By my calculations, after you toss all of th parts that aren't required in an electric V8 pickup (engine - around 650 pounds, differential, driveshaft, transmission, cooling system radiator and hoses and antifreeze, engine oil, gas tank and gasoline inside, fuels lines and fuel pump, assorted paraphernalia attached to the engine, battery,etc) you will have tossed well over 1200 pounds of parts, perhaps 1400 pounds. In come the Altair batteries (50 kWhr - 1400 pounds)and electric motors and its paraphernalia (guessing 200 pounds covers everything), and it looks to me like
a 200 mile range pickup weighs very little more than a gasoline version. A smaller car
would gain more weight, but the enormous
increase in fuel efficency (assume 5 miles
per kWhr for a small car, and kWhr costs between 5 and 15 cents). The Phoenix electric cars being offered in the Spring with Altair batteries are optioning the amound of range provided. This make a lot of sense. You are not locked in because you can always add batteries later if you wish. If
you don't travel long distances very often, a 200 or even 150 miles range would suffice.
Frequent long trippers would want 250 mile or greater range. I think its very savvy to market their first product (a commercial
fleet pickup truck) to electric and other utilities. A perfect fit for maintenence crews.

Matt

A new idea on the long road trip charging time dilemma.

All road side restaurants could have charging facilities. Restaurants could make extra money, improving local economies.

This way, the charge need only complete within 30 minutes or so.

And this 30 minutes of charging need only last until the Americans are hungry again...

which wouldn't be very long!

Matt

There is a big problem with buying batteries in your car for statistically rare long-trips.

Its the up front cost of the batteries, currently about $400 / kWh.

If most of your driving is around town & less than 60 miles. Then you could get by with a 20kWh battery pack. This would cost about 7000.

If you want to have a 150 mile range, you would need to pay 17500 for the same battery pack.

So you paid 10,000 more for your battery.

But how often do you use that extra battery?

lets say you rent an suv for the weekend instead. 100 bucks a weekend.

you could do that 100 times before its cheaper to buy the battery.

It looks like V2G within city area becomes very important -- to put that 10,000 extra battery cost to some good use -- and hopefully get some money back or free electricity in return.

Harvey D.

Matt:

With a battery total life expectancy of 20 to 40 years, you could spread the battery initial investment over 2 to 4 vehicles.

Alternatively, you could start with 10 KWh and add another 10KWh every year or so as the price goes down (and it will).

V2G may pay for a major part of the initial investment, specially in a place like Ontario-Canada, offering $0.42 Can/KWh during peak hours and recharging at less than 25% that price during night time hours.

With a 20 to 25 year contract, even $20,000 may be a good investment.

Oren T

On page 2 they have a chart comparing specific power/specific density with other battery technologies. Lead-acid is the only one which reaches more-or-less equivalent specific power but at much lower energy densities.

I wonder where firefly's new carbon-foam lead-acid battery would be on that chart.

Thomas

I agree with Matt; let's not break our necks trying to perfect a do-it-all EV in one go. Remember two things:

1) A very large fraction of American homes/families own more than one car. Get an EV for shopping + commuting and use your diesel Camry for long trips.

2) A 100 mile, 100 mph EV at reasonable cost would sell like hot cakes! There are enough frustrated Prius owners (who want infinite gas mileage) to soak up initial production of such EVs.

Let's get the first EVs going before we conquer the whole car market ;-) Charging stations need to be built first anyway.

Don't forget to power those EVs with PVs and wind turbines!!!

PS. Nice to see such enthusiasm. I noticed that most range/weight/energy estimates were more optimistic than mine, which is fine because I was aiming for a conservative estimate anyway. Does anyone know exactly what the power consumption of say a Prius is at highway cruising? (kWh/mile @ 70 mph)

hamerhokie

Thomas

I agree with your sentiments. I have often wondered what the actual performance/price sweet spot would be on an all-electric commuter car and I figure it would be something Prius-sized that gets 60-75 miles on a charge and tops out at 75 mph. That gets you to and from work in suburbia where you can often use the interstate. Right now you can get a lot less (like the Zap car) and a lot more (like the Tesla). It seems like they are intentionally avoiding the spec that would send demand soaring.

Thomas

hamerhokie,

You're probably right, a 75 miles, 75 mph EV would stand a much better chance at being reasonably priced!

I don't there are any "they" who are keeping it from us. I just think it's more difficult than it may seem. Normally, designing a new car takes 5+ years for a decent one and less for a crappy one. Three years ago, no one were talking seriously about mainstream EVs!

The major car manufacturers have 100 years experience in perfecting the engineering challenge of making such a complex piece of machinery so cheap.

I doubt any start-up company will be capable of accomplishing that any time soon, although that'd be great!

George

Altair's batteries have a lot of practical advantages, and that's great to hear. The comparison to Li-Ion seems like a bit of a straw man however, since they can't touch the energy density of Li-Ion. They should be comparing themselves to NiMH. Altair's power density is great, but at a kW per kg, I haven't heard any complaints about NiMH power density. Maybe I'm not listening to the right people. Finally, the fast charge is cool, if you have a small nuke plant to deliver the amperage you'd need. (ok, :-)) I really don't get the obsession with rapid charging, given that humans need to do things like eating and sleeping that provide natural opportunities for not-so-high-speed charging. Remember, it's probably going to be a second car. This battery sounds like it would be a pretty good PHEV unit, but it all hinges on cost.

Ender

The enormous advantage of these cell is the charge/discharge rate and the cycle life. I would be more than willing to trade of weight for these huge advantages. These cells would make electric cars truly viable as well as making them totally suitable for V2G.

I get in my calculations about 15kWh/100km with 50% regen braking. A 25kWh battery would weigh 270kg which would get 250KM range which is more that adequate particularly if you can recharge in minutes.

The sweet spot for most western families is 2 cars. One plug in multi fuel hybrid with 100km EV range (15kWh battery) at 100km/hr and a BEV with 200km range. One car families could just have the PHEV.

The fast charging batteries would not need ultracaps and perhaps the regen braking could recover more than the 50% I calculate.

Damion

I like all of the comments so far,but the only thing I would like to add is a question. How many people buy a car because of the weight of individual parts? Most of a mainstream production vehicles weigh 2900lbs+. My take on it is that the batteries will be able to be placed lower in the chassis creating a low center of gravity. This will allow the electric car to be on par or beat it ICE counter part.
Its the unibody that is most of the weight anyway.

Paul Dietz

One thing that had concerned me was the cost of making these batteries, but the process they developed for making the nanocrystals originally was for making titanium dioxide pigments, which if I am not mistaken go for around $1/lb.

auntiegrav

The biggest deficiency I see is in the people we have doing the driving. They all want gated communities, but don't ever want to borrow the neighbor's truck or car. If the gated communities used electric vehicles for daily drives, and each community owned, say, ten ICE vehicles for long trips, then the weight of the EV could be drastically dropped, and all of the marketing could be thrown away that tries to sell you on the range. What a waste. But, HEAVEN FORBID that Americans should slow down and talk to their neighbors except at the soccer games and forced PTA meetings. The problem with EV's, apparently, is that they don't waste enough resouces to make a 'statement'.

Andre

I wonder how much those batteries will cost
per kwh ? For example Valence's Saphion cost
over $1000/kwh and are not as good...However their performance is just right for EV's, good capacity, not affected by the cold, very
long life under heavy discharge and under 10 min recharge... I found reading this article very informative.

http://www.altairnano.com/documents/060926HOUSECARBZEV.pdf

Anthony

This and other battery technologies are promising, but the strong focus on lithium is troubling. Lithium is a very limited resource. Nickel and vanadium are also very limited in supply.

If batteries are to play a large role in cars and homes and in backing up power grids, then the most available elements must be used: sodium, magnesium, zinc, iron, lead, carbon, hydrogen, aluminum, oxygen, sulfur, and chlorine. Especially, sodium must be trained to behave as well as lithium despite sodium's resistance to transit through the interstices in solid and gel electrolytes.

Paul Dietz

Lithium is a very limited resource.

The Japanese are making a concerted effort to develop technologies for extracting lithium from seawater. If they can do this sufficiently cheaply, the supply of lithium will be effectively unlimited.

Jim from The Energy Blog

Anthony - See the post, and the previous post referred to in it, on Firefly's new lead-acid battery which promises performancae similar to lithium batteries at a cost equal or lesss than todays lead-acid batteries.

Sorry about the centering of text in comments, I haven't been able to find the cause.

Paul Dietz

Finally, the fast charge is cool, if you have a small nuke plant to deliver the amperage you'd need.

The fast charge capability provides headroom to allow moderately fast charge even when the conditions are off-nominal (for example, at -30 C). Also, fast charge is important for efficient regenerative braking, particularly in mild hybrids. The power delivered by pedal-to-the-floor braking at high speed could be quite high.

Jimmi

I really enjoy the day I found this blog. Energy management is so important to the future of this planet's resources as well as the outcome of our environment. I know it took this average Joe a while to be energy responsible but I made the transition.

I been holding hold a few shares of Alti for some time now and have been following their progress since before they made their Jan 2005 when they made their first announcement of the new technology. I made an earlier post saying that this is a good opportunity for the US Big 3 car makers to revamp the US car market (and was kinda laughed at). But I still feel that the direction of energy efficiency should be taken in smaller steps. I agree with the earlier statement in this passage that gas and wind turbines should be added to increase distance but moreover, if you have an on board generating system that can recharge the batteries while in use than you will have no need for an immediate need to build a recharging infrastructure (need to save tax payers money to make it easier for the public to swallow). Just pull up to a gas station and fill up a few gallons every 200+ miles for long traveling distances or just plug in the car at home for the more energy efficient way to charge your car. You would have to sacrifice the no emmisions aspect of the EV but I'm sure 50-75% reduction in emmisions is a feasible, next logical step that would be well within EPA guidelines through the year 2020 and beyond. By than we should have more awareness of the technology and the infrastruture can be slowly built. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for a pure EV and cut our oil dependency. But let's be a lil more realistic especially since the nano-sector may come under government regulation. I recently watched a CSPAN program that involved a committee being assembled to investigate the human and environmental impact of creating such nano materials. Altair may have a possible answer but they have many obsticles still ahead.

We really need our US polititians to get off this fuel cell jargon. Make our law makers aware of other alternatives such as Altair's battery. Better yet... keep an eye out for a new battery that Electro Energy might be putting out. If I'm not mistaken they are in collaberation with Altair and plan to incorporate their waffer design they use in their NiMH, NCad and super NCad batteries to come up with a high density Litium-ion battery utilizing Altair's nano materials.

I'm no energy expert as some of you are obviously. I'm just an average Joe. I want to be energy efficient but don't want to have to buy 2 vehicles to do so. I want one car that can do it all. I don't want to be limited to just a 40-50 miles driving distance... I want to travel the country without having to rent another vehicle. I really have no need to drive 95 MPH but my job requires extensive traveling. I've had many discussions with my friends and we are all in agreement that a type of super hybrid vehical is the first step. Just imagine the energy and resources it would take to build a charging infrastruture for the US market cause of a new car. We should build a car to utilize as much of the current infrastruture while being as efficient and environmentally friendly as possible. Compromise has always been the key. Remember "Rome was not built in one day!"

Engineer-Poet
I still feel that the direction of energy efficiency should be taken in smaller steps.
But not too small; that's how we got in the mess we're in.

As far as I'm concerned, the Prius+ is proven technology.  We should aim a bit beyond it, and fall back to it if the extras don't work out right away.

amazingdrx

Leapfrog or declare bankruptcy, that is the situation GM and Ford are in.

They need to go to electric drivetrains with backup fuel cell/microturbine generation to get back on track. One step beyond Toyota, Subaru, and Honda.

But I suspect they want to go bankrupt in order to justify not meeting their pension obligations and moving the rest of their manufacturing out of the US.

Energy efficiency and renewable distributed generation and storage ought to be speeded up as if we were in a war. Because we are, war over oil and nuclear power/proliferation. And battling global climate change.

And mother nature employs forces far more powerful than even nuclear weapons.

mds

Three increasingly viable market solutions:
1. PHEV with true series hybrid design, meaning that fuel (gas/ethanol/deisel) motor is used only for generating electricity for electric motor. (i.e. fuel cell or microturbine suggested above, for very high efficiency obtained by operating on/off at single speed)
This would be good solution for those of us that need extended range driving.
2. Neighborhood electric vehicles (NEV) with just commuting range at much lower cost of purchase. Now they will have 75 mph freeway performance and faster charging times with one of these new battery types.
3. True electric vehicles (EV) like Tesla Roadster, that are more expensive, but have higher driving performance and longer range.

If battery technologies keep improving like this and gas prices remain as high as they are, we may see gas stations, restaurants, or espresso stands (in Seattle anyway) start to supply fast-charge electricity. Enough of this happens and you no longer need the PH in PHEVs. All of this new battery technology seems to be fast charge capable. You need this for more efficient regenerative breaking and for fast electric accelleration. You get fast charge times as a bonus. The market will switch over for us.

No question that Prius+ is proven technology. Next Prius will be higher mileage and/or lower price. Amazing that Tesla Roadster is built with old Li ion technology. I think their next effort will be better. GM and Ford even Toyota and Honda better hurry up or they will lose market share to startups. Leap-frog to one of the above or lose out. If Elon Musk can do an orbital launch startup company (www.spacex.com), then he can help crack the car market too. Then there's Pheonix Motorcars and a number of other EV company's. I think Mitsubishi sees this. Toyota may be too worried about vehicle cost...maybe they're right and this needs to come first. Doesn't matter...
THE RACE IS ON!

Jimmi

Poet

I agree with you that too little of a step can be damaging but too big of a step can also have adverse effects also. It almost seems that the next step is an improvement of the current hybrid market but not to the point of a pure EV. Too much has to be accomplished regarding infrastructure, public perception and the possibility of regulation (regarding nano materials).

I'll definately need to do more research on the current hybrids available today. So much to learn and so little time. From my understanding the battery systems of hybrids are supplemental systems to the gas engine. Reversing those roles or having the battery storage element to take center stage with some kind of turbine regenerating system, to me seems very very promising.

Dr X

I'm afraid bankruptcy will be the decision that Ford and GM will make. I live in the Hampton Roads area in VA. All of us here are feeling the effects of the Ford plant closure in Norfolk, VA. The Big 3 have lost so much of the market share that drastic measures have to be implemented. So the obvious choices are regaining market share, which would mean putting out a product people want to buy, or declaring bankruptcy and restructure. We all know which of the two is the easiest to implement.

I also agree with you 100% that the electric drivetrain is the way to go. You definately opened my eyes a bit when you mentioned earlier about wind turbines. What a great concept, almost like a turbo fan but not directed at increasing HP but recharging your power source. Keep the ideas flowing, one day somebody will listen and hopefully make it happen.

Just curious... is there a political blog that people from The Energy Blog go to to express ideas and concerns? I would like to see the perception of these ideas in a political arena. Especially with the election coming up next week. If there isn't a specific blog maybe you guys need to start doing so. So much more can be accomplished if one utilizes a political blog to educate publc perception of energy use and it's global effects.

Jimmi

MDS

The race is on and I even think OPEC and others industries are starting to get a lil concerned. The perception of the price of a barrel of oil at the start of the year was pretty scary. Some analysts seeing the price reaching as high as $80 a barrel and even $100 a barrel by year end. Ofcoarse when prices at the pumps almost hit $4 a gallon, the public cried out in rage. SUV and truck sales plummeted. That right there is fact that people are really getting tired of oil. They want their big cars but the cost of gas was at a point that people were willing to sacrifice the idea of having that big SUV. Now oil is expected to hit $50 a barrel by years end as some analysts see it. SUV sales are starting to climb. I thought it was pretty smart of Altair to put out an electric SUV and P/U truck. These are the vehicals of choice.

mds

JIMMI and DRX
I don't think people were getting tired of oil. It was just economics. They were worried about affording it or could not afford it.
I disagree about a large step by the automakers. No offense intended here, just a different oppinion. The big 3 spend millions on concept cars and there is a lesson in the Prius. A small production levels will have a market and can be scaled up when demand goes up due to higher fuel prices, better batteries, or better economics for whatever reason. PHEV cars are the future steelbelted radials of this market. There's an old story about the CEO of Goodyear asking his board about switch over to steelbelted radials. They all had good reasons not to: existing infrastructure, sales of existing tires were still good, maintaining profit margin, etc. Everyone of them is against the switch. After listening, he says something like: "Ok, I understand your views, but we are making the switch. Steelbelted radials are the future." ...and of course they were.
The switch has started with the Prius using NiMH batteries. Li batteries are better, FireFly Pb acid batteries are better, and then there's the dark horse EEStor (if it turns out to be real). I don't think producing a PHEV in small quantities is a big risk for the big 3. More of a risk not to right now.
JIMMI
Existing HEVs use combination electric and gas motors to push the drive train. Honda Civic uses the electric to assist the gas when extra power is needed. (A poor design decision in my opinion.) Toyota Prius uses gas motor to assist the electric. This makes it easy to convert the Toyota Prius to PHEV by adding more batteries and a charger. Both optimize gas use by charging the batteries when there is excess power from the gas motor. The dual drive system is expensive, but makes use of lighter electric drive possible without sacrificing overall power. (I'm no expert on this stuff, so please chime in and correct me if needed. This is just my understanding the whats there.) The power density of new battery technology coming to market may make a "True" or "Series" hybrid more viable. This is basically an HEV with just the electric drive system. A gas motor is used to generate electricity at very high efficiency (microturbine or fuelcell) and this saves on battery weight. Internal Combustion Engines are very inefficient because they must run over vaible speeds. A single speed generator microturbine can be optimized for very high efficiency at a single speed and just get turned on when the batteries get low. It is easy to convert a "Series" hybrid (HEV) to a PHEV, just add charger. To convert to EV just use more batteries, or better batteries, and remove the generator. A staged evolution to match market and available technology is possible.
By the way, think you may be confusing "microturbine" with wind turbine. Think wind turbine on car might increase wind drag more than you get back. Maybe a sail would be nice under the right conditions. Rigid sail used on Australian solar boat might be interesting. Not sure this works for larger market on cars. Mid-west option? Solar is starting to be done on a few EV cars.

amazingdrx

Good analysis mds! That's it Jimmi, like he said the fuelcell/microturbine employs a microturbine that runs on the hot pressurized gases coming out of the solid oxide fuel cell.

It's a ceramic that gets glowing hot from the oxygen and fuel combining and giving electrons up to the fuel cell electrodes. That high temperature in effect wastes a lot of the chemical energy from the fuel, so the turbine then spins from that waste energy in the form of hot gas.

It's a very simple system with few moving parts, the turbine is direct coupled to a high RPM generator. Then the electricity is combined in the batteries from the fuel cell and the generator. That combines the efficiency, about 50% for the fuel cell and another 25% from the turbine.

My idea is to also add a new typed of infrared photovoltaic cell also, for maybe another 10 to 15% efficiency. They would be mounted around the glowing hot ceramic fuel cell.

But even that 75% is 5 times the efficiency of a normal internal combustion engine, meaning 5 times the mileage completely leaving out the effect of driving the first 50 to 100 miles on batteries alone with no fuel used at all.

And the Franklin Fuel Cell CeO2/copper design runs on multiple fuels, gasoline, ethanol, biodiesel, even biogas or utility piped natural gas when plugged into a gas source while parked to serve as an auxilary generator for a home or business.

The Franklin design also eliminates the fouling problems related to fuels containing sulfur and other contaminants.

I think this sort of hybrid is the world beater. Just like the jeep was the world beating utility vehicle that the US government encouraged the auto industry to develop for WW 2.

Now we need a government that will act to encourage the US auto industry to use this technology to leapfrog the competition and save itself. Right now corporate boardrooms are filled with people who have the interests of multinational oil companies as their main concern.

That needs to change. And for that we need a change from this oil enabling mob now in power. Please vote!!!!!!! Save our manufacturing jobs!!!

Exxon and it's cohorts are not loyal patriots. They have and will continue to sell US out for their bottomlines.

ps. Yep Jimmi I like that Altair design of a bigger drivetrain for PU/SUVs. There is no reason electric hybrids need to be tiny. although I prefer an economy car myself, I also need a bigger vehicle ocasionally. That new induction motor than Jim featured has a fantastic power to weight ratio!

It weighs much less than even the transmission on a standard iCE vehicle, and makes transmissions obsolete for tthe most part.

Jimmi

MDS

When I mentioned peps were getting tired of oil I really meant to say getting tired of paying for the high price of the stuff. You can say I'm aware of the economics of it. I found Altair and this blog when I decided to switch my portfolio to a higher percentage of "green" technologies and alternative energy resources. Wanna know something funny... I'm using my XOM dividends to buy ALTI... kinda my way of using big oil to defeat itself =)

And thanks for the info. You just saved me from a dozen searches... most appreciated.

Doc

Trust me... there will be that super ecomony car coming out soon after. If you look at overall auto sales and look at the SUV/truck market... makes sense to go after that market. Wish Ford bought this battery concept so we wouldn't loose our plant over here... funny that the Norfolk Ford plant is actually their #1 f150 plant in the country... yet it's still closing in 2008.

And as far as the vote thing... I always vote but let's be honest... no matter republican or democrat it's still just another crook in different clothing. Voting is the bare minimum civic responsibility we have to do... I think it's time to take it up a notch... lotta new technologies and voices out there that people need to hear and learn about. I'm going to start going to a few political blog sites... maybe like Arriana Huffington's blog. She's getting alot of exposure and that Playboy article should only add to that. Voting is good but we need to bring up public awareness. You'd be amazed to know how little people know about what's out there now or people still have the old ideas instilled in thier heads. Teach the public and let them vote I say =)

Jimmi

MDS

I forgot to mention that I'm in complete agreement with you about PHEV. It is the next viable concept. I'm in disagreement and disappointed with the design of the Phoenix Motor EV. Don't get me wrong I love all the capabilities it has. I just think that this day and age a pure EV is just a niche market. It's a start. Fleet vehicals will eat this up I would guess since it will bring down the bottom dollar for the tax payer, city and state vehicles saving taxpayers money and being green will easily make it's way through the channels. The Air Force already has plans to start replacing some of there base fleet vehicles with EVs. If i remember correctly UQM will be providing the electric drivetrains. EVs will have a niche but PHEV have a real chance to thrive.

PHEV are the thing for the near future... in my opinion. It provides the most COST EFFECTIVE plan, when dealing with the next generation concepts of the automotive industry, for future energy comsumption while encompassing environmentally friendly technologies, adaptability to current infrastructure, easy transformation into public perception (they don't have to make major changes in their lives to accomondate the new car), reduction in oil dependency, and before I forget cheaper fuels cost while being more efficient.

Once again thanks for taking the time to read and respond. It is very most appreciated.

mds

DRX
Didn't realize you were talking about Fuelcell AND microturbine conjoined. Nice idea. TPV addition too. Somebody at another site was complaining that truck drivers ussually have nothing in the bed. Why not take the Pheonix P/U, put your generator in the back, and plug in to charge the P/U when needed? Get Pheonix to give you a serial output indicating battery charge level and you could have a microcontroller turn the generator on/off at predetermined levels. A series PHEV. Seems like you'd have room in the back or on the roof with an SUV too.
JIMMI
You're more than welcome. Liked your points on P/U and SUV. Definite market there too. Good luck with political stuff.

laptop battery

I agree with your sentiments. I have often wondered what the actual performance/price sweet spot would be on an all-electric commuter car and I figure it would be something Prius-sized that gets 60-75 miles on a charge and tops out at 75 mph. That gets you to and from work in suburbia where you can often use the interstate. Right now you can get a lot less (like the Zap car) and a lot more (like the Tesla). It seems like they are intentionally avoiding the spec that would send demand soaring.
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evolver

At $2US a wh/hr the Nanotech 35kwh pack is 70,000 USD!!!!!

That means the Phoenix SUT with the 35kwh battery packs are the bargain of a lifetime!

I hope the best for Altair these are trying times.

batteries

Nice to know how little people know about what's out there now or people still have the old ideas. And thanks for the info. You just saved me from a searches... i really appreciated.

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Batteries/Hybrid Vehicles