Battery Electric Vehicles

Welcome to Pembury U3A Forums Climate Crisis Battery Electric Vehicles

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    • #2256
      Rick
      Keymaster

      There has been much discussion lately about the use of BEV’s in emission reduction plans. However there are undoubtedly hurdles to overcome and the battery technology is still evolving. Lack of infrastructure is also often cited as a factor which will delay introduction as is the high cost of BEV’s compared to standard combustion engines.

      Some manufacturers, notably Nissan, Tesla and Renault have been enthusiastic in promoting the technology but many other major car makers have made only token efforts so far. Some pundits believe this may be influenced by the massive investment in conventional engine manufacture in the car industry but there are signs that attitudes may be changing with more majors now offering new BEV models.

      I thought it would be worth starting a new topic on this subject so that we can follow developments as they occur.

    • #2434
      Rick
      Keymaster

      I have just heard that Samsung have developed a new solid state Li ion battery with an energy density of 900 Watt hours per litre. This compares to current technology producing 200-400 Wh per litre. Even better the batteries are smaller, lighter can be charged more often and will be cheaper to produce. Scale up to production levels is expected to take 2-3 years. A technology of this type will allow BEV’s with longer range to be produced at lower cost with the prospect of reducin range anxiety and moving the market away from combustion engines more rapidly.

      Charging infrastructure remains an issue but longer range may mean overnight charging at home becomes all that is needed for many people. As we move on from the current crisis a major investment in charging points is also a worthwhile investment in our national development. If air travel is to be much reduced perhaps the investment planned for Heathrow expansion could be diverted for this purpose.

      Meanwhile it seems that China is moving rapidly to BEV adoption in urban areas driven at least in part by the need to deal with very serious air pollution. A number of Chinese companies are producing or developing BEV’s and a major effort is under way to provide chargers in urban areas. One very advanced design was recently featured on the Fully Charged YouTube channel but there are no current plans to market it in Europe. The MG crossover EV currently being sold in the UK is also produced in China. European car makers with the possible exception of Renault appear to be moving very cautiously into this market. Could this be because of the major investment which they have made in ICE production plants?

    • #2435
      John Hawker
      Keymaster

      This Samsung development sounds almost too good to be true! Batteries that are smaller, lighter, cheaper and with a longer range seem on the face of it to be challenging the laws of Physics. A very exciting project, but it would be interesting to know how it is achieved? No doubt other companies will be equally curious. The Lithium market has been extremely volatile in the past. Main supplies in Australia (solid rock) and South America (brine) but China and Canada are finding some – nothing much in Europe, a little in Portugal.

    • #2481
      Rick
      Keymaster

      John, your point about the rarity of lithium is well made but I know that work is under way (could be ~10years in development) to replace this with less environmentally sensitive alternative. I will try to find a reference. On another topic I note that a German company is now operating to 100% recycle electric vehicle batteries. Previous recycling by smelting has led to sacrifice of some elements to recover others. This seems to be a promising development. Some details at https://www.duesenfeld.com

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