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« Next Generation Superconducting Cable Tested | Main | Toyota to Reduce Price Differential and Use Li-ion Battery in Hybrids »

May 11, 2007


Greg woulf

I love the Tesla, but I think maybe Phoenix/Altair is better.

The reason I think that is mostly the life of the battery, and the recharge time. With a 12 year life and the stats they have this will save a fortune on intra-city fleets. Maybe even enough to pay for itself.

More than that though, this is a car that people would get. The $45k price tag might be a little high, but it's getting close.

This has all of the convenience of the Tesla, range, performance, silence and adds a fast recharge.

I wish Tesla and Phoenix would team up and make a broad platform of electric vehicles based on the Altairnano.


I like Telsa also but I think Altair has partnered with somebody better to possibly come out with a sports car of their own. Remember a while back when Zap/Lotus announced the Zap-X but didn't give any details on who will be providing the battery eventhough the characteristics were similar to the Nanosafe. Well it is confirmed. Altair will be providing the battery according to this interview with Gotcher...


Although the fast charge is nice... I tend to lean toward the battery life. I don't thing people would like the fact of replacing the battery during the life of the car at the current battery costs. Even at .33/wh, you're looking at a repair bill of over $7000 for a 20 kwh battery (labor included).

And Kit P.... if you read this... thanks for the advice regarding the radiant barrier.

kit p

“The battery pack has a life of 12 years or more.”

This should be prefaced with, 'In our fantasy world, ....


The actual calander life, eventhough expressed at 12+ years, is my overall concern with the Nanosafe. Although tested at some 20000 six minute deep charges, the 12+ years is still theoretical. Real world trials to prove this haven't been achieved. My concern came about when I read somewhere that the warranty on the battery was only like 3 years. I would hate to be the owner of a Phoenix truck when the battery fails just past the warranty. How much would they charge to replace it??? Given the 3 year time span, if Altair can bring the cost down to their projected .33/wh, would it cost $11500+ labor to replace???

Kit P...

How long do you think the battery will last??? Do you have any insight on this matter???

Kit P.

No, insight would be nice. I think utilities with nuke and coal plants should be testing EV and PHEV now because they are the ones who will profit the most from increasing the demand for base load electricity. We need 10 years of data. If the guy working for the electric company will not buy an EV for his daughter to plug in, then EVs are dead.

When I say EV and PHEV are DOA, I am assuming that cheap reliable batteries will eventually be developed for a niche market. The present ICE POV are just to good to lose much of a market share.

Susan K

Kit, you are mistaken about EVs increasing demand on the electricity grid.

Per The Energy Department: even if 84% of us switched to electric cars, these could all be run without increasing grid demand :- if they were mostly charged at night.


That is because the grid has extra unused capacity at night. (thats why some places they they make it cheaper to run your washer at 3 AM)

Also they can feed enegry back into the grid by day (if plugged in to do that) to reduce hot afternoon peak demand, thats why PG&E Californias electric utility wants plug ins to have that capacity (of being able to store electricity from night-time, for them to suck out in the daytime.


"SUNNYVALE, Calif.--Plug-in hybrids could one day turn motorists into energy traders, according to Pacific Gas & Electric.

The utility demonstrated on Monday a twist on the concept of the plug-in hybrid, which uses a higher capacity battery than ordinary hybrids like Toyota's Prius. The idea? To let car owners sell electricity purchased overnight back to the grid for a modest profit or to power their homes in the event of an emergency with the Vehicle-to-Grid program, said Bob Howard, a vice president with PG&E."


Kit P, battery prices are still way too high for folks to afford an EV. But the price is going to drop steadily. Jimmi's figure of $330/KWh capacity is achievable (or already achieved).

Besides, you dont need 35 KWh for an EV. Most people will be happy with 10 KWh (40 miles) plus a 5 KW backup generator, which is a pretty small engine. With fast charging stations along the way, you could easily travel 240 miles with 3 stops.

That is only $3,300 for the battery. If it lasts 5 years, then it is well worth it.

I am pretty sure nLiFePO4 batteries will drop to $200/KWh. Then you can have a 20KWh battery for only $4,000, and a range of 300 miles with only 2 fast charging stops (also assuming an on-board 5 KW generator).

A 5KW generator costs almost nothing and could be an option. Therefore, such a PHEV/nBEV will be priced LESS than a comparable ICE (no transmission, no fuel injection or carburator, catalytic convertor, muffler, radiator, differential, big engine block, coolant pumps, emission control, etc.), and the utility guy will indeed get one for his kid.

Kit p

No, Susan I am not wrong. You are confusing peak demand with total demand. The electricity to charge batteries comes from burning fossil fuel to generate electricity. That fossil fuel is imported LNG.

Historically, PG&E is one of my least favorite utilities. I trust them about as far as I can throw a piano.


I would agree with Kit P. This study that 84% of vehicles can switch to the grid is total hogwash. Even if 10% switch to the grid, price of electricty will go through the roof, and you will get blackouts and brownouts. The system just does not have such capacity, at least not in the short term.

This study is to sell the green-renewable movement. I have no problem with it, as I am in this business. But lets face the scientific facts for the sake of being empirically correct. The grid cannot support 84% or even 25%, unless massive new transmissions and new generation is installed. This would mean LNG or nuclear, as far as I can see.


ALTAIR Nanosafe batteries will more than likely out last the car. They have been rapid charge and discharging the batteries in 6 minutes cycle for over 20000 charges and still getting 85%. That equates to over 54 years of daily charging. Lithium recycles too. As for cost they still are over $1000/KWH but ALTAIR is working on achieving $330/KWH including controller. That brings the 70KWH battery to a still high $23100 (35KWH $11550). I believe the price will be closer to half that once tens of thousands of battery packs are being sold. That ramp up is happening now. ALTAIR isn't tied only to Phoenix. They are pursuing and acquiring contracts for truck, ship, forklift, heavy equipment and even airplanes. AES is looking into using Altair’s power cells for solar/wind energy balancing. Lithium is far more abundant than lead and just a bit less abundant than Nickel. Some lithium minerals literally are lying on the ground in places like Chili. I haven't researched the process costs but supply should not be a problem. The Electric grid concerns are way too premature. US runs at about 66% capacity off peak. It will be years before EV's replace ICE and many power companies are growing solar and wind farms. Even in the case of coal the pollution rates are dropping and each EV is a huge drop in emissions. Anyone can try to argue the manufacture pollution costs but ICE loses on that count too. Maybe by 2009 or 2010 I'll be able to afford an EV. By then even the electric grid will be cleaner.


ElectRich, yes lithium is one of the most abundant minerals and is eminently recyclable. No problem here, unlike what the post-colonials are crying.

What about the manufacture of the nano materials and electrolyte. Does this submit to economies of scale? How about battery manufacture. How difficult is this process? Then there is packaging and balancing which I do not think poses a major cost problem.

Any light on nano material and battery manufacturing that you can shed?


Speaking of PG&E and Phoenix

PG&E has already purchased 4 of these vehicles, and have signed up to purchase 200 more of them on a yearly basis.



The actual manufacturing is proprietary but from the shareholders meeting I gathered the costs are not any greater than regular lithium battery manufacturing once equipment is operational. Check out Altair's website for more on battery technology. I think the whole cost problem is R&D and ramp up related. By the end of 2007 there should be a good idea of what kind of production quantities it takes to make the battery packs economical.

greg woulf

People will charge at night, it's not to save the world or anything, it's because people are lazy and they won't want to go to fuel stations.


I cant wait to see many of these on the road. Its a good thing nomatter how you look at it

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Batteries/Hybrid Vehicles