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Nothing happens, the battery swap is a free benefit of the service.. it is a pay-per-mile plan that you sign up for. You are paying for the wear and tear on the battery pack and they measure that by miles driven. There are some rumors that if you choose a plan big enough you may also get the car at a reduced price or even free. Very similar to a cell phone plan.
Hmmm.... Does that mean there is no ability or benefit from home charging? I mean, if you're getting basically a 'free' recharge and then paying by the mile, charging up at home actually costs you more money. Kind of an odd choice. With only a 100 mile range, I would be pretty much replacing my battery daily due to my 58 mile commute.

If it was a Plug-In instead, I would simply be recharging overnight at home.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Hmmm.... Does that mean there is no ability or benefit from home charging? I mean, if you're getting basically a 'free' recharge and then paying by the mile, charging up at home actually costs you more money. Kind of an odd choice. With only a 100 mile range, I would be pretty much replacing my battery daily due to my 58 mile commute.

If it was a Plug-In instead, I would simply be recharging overnight at home.



LampCord, I think you might be missing the point. You are NOT paying for electricity. You are paying for miles. Put another way, you are paying bit-by-bit for the battery. Instead of paying $40,000 for an EV with an included A123 battery pack you are paying $20,000.

Instead of paying X for gas every week you are paying around $2 per gallon equivalent for your electric driving. When you plug in at your garage you are doing that because it's very convenient and you wake up with 120 miles of range and don't have to stop at the gas station. Your garage IS your own personal gas station with no waiting.

BP will work it out that if you are paying at your home and thus the BP charger is connected to your meter and you are getting charged by your utility then they will deduct that from your bill. You will pay a constant mile charge, no matter where you charge. You are paying the battery depreciation and network operating costs. It will be cheaper than your gasoline driving today (as long as the price of gas is $2 per gallon and above).

BP feels that if you go into a swap-station then it's an inconvenience. Think about it, do you want to go to the gas station? I would rather not. If I could just plug in at home and work then I would be a happy camper. Interviews with EV owners show that they are very happy with plugging in.

Anyway, I think you are just going to have to wait and see it all working to be convinced. Just remember, even with the expensive EV batteries we have today the EV is so efficient compared to an ICE that the overall operating cost is less. Those battery costs are only going lower while petroleum costs are only going higher. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to choose the better trend.
 

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LampCord, I think you might be missing the point. You are NOT paying for electricity. You are paying for miles. Put another way, you are paying bit-by-bit for the battery. Instead of paying $40,000 for an EV with an included A123 battery pack you are paying $20,000.

Instead of paying X for gas every week you are paying around $2 per gallon equivalent for your electric driving. When you plug in at your garage you are doing that because it's very convenient and you wake up with 120 miles of range and don't have to stop at the gas station. Your garage IS your own personal gas station with no waiting.

BP will work it out that if you are paying at your home and thus the BP charger is connected to your meter and you are getting charged by your utility then they will deduct that from your bill. You will pay a constant mile charge, no matter where you charge. You are paying the battery depreciation and network operating costs. It will be cheaper than your gasoline driving today (as long as the price of gas is $2 per gallon and above).

BP feels that if you go into a swap-station then it's an inconvenience. Think about it, do you want to go to the gas station? I would rather not. If I could just plug in at home and work then I would be a happy camper. Interviews with EV owners show that they are very happy with plugging in.

Anyway, I think you are just going to have to wait and see it all working to be convinced. Just remember, even with the expensive EV batteries we have today the EV is so efficient compared to an ICE that the overall operating cost is less. Those battery costs are only going lower while petroleum costs are only going higher. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to choose the better trend.
OK, its finally sunk in...

I guess that is a pretty good deal. If the final cost of leasing the battery and electricity per mile is the same as current gas prices and doing it this way means the rest of the car costs something reasonable like $20k instead of $40k for the Volt, I could see this being a very effective system.

And as everyone here knows, the REST of the car should be mostly maintenance free. Just basic wear parts like brakes and tires.

I could definitely see this as a viable option at least as a commuter car. And if they have 8 stall recharging / swapping stations up and down the hiway, it would even make sense for long drives.

One thing I like about the swapping station vs the gas pump:

Where I live, we get morons who pull up to a pump, fill their car, then go inside and browse around for 10 minutes while their car is still parked in front of the pump depriving other customers of that stall. You wouldn't be able to do that at a swapping station. You're in and out of the way in less than a minute.

I wonder if anyone has thought about merging these stations with traffic lights?

After all, you often sit at a light for up to 3 minutes. That's more than enough time to swap!
 

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LampCord, I think you might be missing the point. You are NOT paying for electricity. You are paying for miles. Put another way, you are paying bit-by-bit for the battery. Instead of paying $40,000 for an EV with an included A123 battery pack you are paying $20,000.

Instead of paying X for gas every week you are paying around $2 per gallon equivalent for your electric driving. When you plug in at your garage you are doing that because it's very convenient and you wake up with 120 miles of range and don't have to stop at the gas station. Your garage IS your own personal gas station with no waiting.

BP will work it out that if you are paying at your home and thus the BP charger is connected to your meter and you are getting charged by your utility then they will deduct that from your bill. You will pay a constant mile charge, no matter where you charge. You are paying the battery depreciation and network operating costs. It will be cheaper than your gasoline driving today (as long as the price of gas is $2 per gallon and above).

BP feels that if you go into a swap-station then it's an inconvenience. Think about it, do you want to go to the gas station? I would rather not. If I could just plug in at home and work then I would be a happy camper. Interviews with EV owners show that they are very happy with plugging in.

Anyway, I think you are just going to have to wait and see it all working to be convinced. Just remember, even with the expensive EV batteries we have today the EV is so efficient compared to an ICE that the overall operating cost is less. Those battery costs are only going lower while petroleum costs are only going higher. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to choose the better trend.
So, basically, you are paying BP for the battery plus system administration costs plus their profit margin plus the cost of the electricity that goes in the battery. I'm pretty sure I'd rather buy my own battery since it will be cheaper. If I need to travel far I can rent a car, take the train, plane ....whatever.
 

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PBP sounds like a great idea but I don't believe it will be successful in certain areas of the USA.

The video is excellent showing how the system should work. It reminds of the EPA MPG claims on new vehicles. In the controlled EPA environment the new vehicle receives high MPG, but once you drive the vehicle in the real highway conditions you would never achieve EPA MPG.

I could vision PBP have severe problems in the Northeast. In the winter the battery replacement system would have to be ice, snow, and salt proof. On a cold icy day when the temp is below 32degF., 0deg.C., the battery case will not open up due to ice. Is the PBP system going to incorporate a deicing system? Also the salt used on the roads to melt the ice will cause corrosion and connection problems on the battery and the swapping system.

Another potential problem with PBP is do they actually trust the driver to align the vehicle over the pit? I would not. You have lot of weekend drivers who do not know how to stay in their lane any yet expect them to stop at an exact location over the battery swap mechanism...it ain't gonna happen. Maybe they could have full service drive thru for those drivers, but then the cost will be increased.

This is just my two cents for driving the last 45 years and residing in the Northeast.
 

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I could vision PBP have severe problems in the Northeast. In the winter the battery replacement system would have to be ice, snow, and salt proof. On a cold icy day when the temp is below 32degF., 0deg.C., the battery case will not open up due to ice. Is the PBP system going to incorporate a deicing system? Also the salt used on the roads to melt the ice will cause corrosion and connection problems on the battery and the swapping system.
I'm not a big believer in the battery swap either, but in the case of icing they should be OK. The reason why is because presumably you drive the car to the station, which means the battery pack will be warm, well above freezing. When batteries discharge, they also release heat. It's one of their inefficiencies. This natural heating should melt all the ice by the time you get to the station. Corrosion and dirt are another matter.
 

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DaV8or,
I don't believe the heat from the battery would be sufficient to melt the ice and icicles under the vehicle.
Example, this year we had many below freezing days in the Northeast. What was unbelievable to me was there was icicles hanging on the sides of my Equinox in the morning...by the end of the day when I arrived home the icicles were still hanging on the vehicle. The heat from the exhaust system did not melt the icicles. I attempted to kick some of the icicles with my foot, let's say my foot was damaged. I learned my lesson, don't mess with icicles:).
BTW-I don't believe any heat would help in those battery swap stations even if they close the doors. If the garage doors need to open and close every 2 minutes for the next vehicle, the heat would be wasted right out the entrance and exit doors. I would not be happy with my heating bill if I was PBP.

Again, what I have stated would only create a dilemma during the winter months.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
OK, its finally sunk in...

I guess that is a pretty good deal. If the final cost of leasing the battery and electricity per mile is the same as current gas prices and doing it this way means the rest of the car costs something reasonable like $20k instead of $40k for the Volt, I could see this being a very effective system.

And as everyone here knows, the REST of the car should be mostly maintenance free. Just basic wear parts like brakes and tires.

I could definitely see this as a viable option at least as a commuter car. And if they have 8 stall recharging / swapping stations up and down the hiway, it would even make sense for long drives.

One thing I like about the swapping station vs the gas pump:

Where I live, we get morons who pull up to a pump, fill their car, then go inside and browse around for 10 minutes while their car is still parked in front of the pump depriving other customers of that stall. You wouldn't be able to do that at a swapping station. You're in and out of the way in less than a minute.

I wonder if anyone has thought about merging these stations with traffic lights?

After all, you often sit at a light for up to 3 minutes. That's more than enough time to swap!




That a good idea! I just had this future flash where people stop at a traffic light and a few battery pack robots scamper to the cars and perform a swap-out. The robots then dart back to their stations before the light changes. Freaky image. ;)

If you think about it, the cars in the future are most likely going to be connected to the Internet full-time. Let’s say the car reports to BP that the battery pack is getting very low (or there is a problem) and it will not be able to reach the next swap-station. The driver is not even aware of the problem. BP and your car schedule a swap at the next light and prepare everything in advance. The car notifies the driver with a small message, “Mr. Davis, a battery swap at the next traffic light has been scheduled. Is that acceptable?”. The driver gives the go-ahead and at the next light the robot dance begins. Man, that would make a cool movie scene.
 

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Obviously it is cheaper to buy the battery yourself, just like leasing or buying a car.. but for the next few years (5-10 years) it would be better to lease the batteries (or use BP) and buy the car.. at least until we know that batteries have gone thru a couple of design cycles and proven themselves.

So, basically, you are paying BP for the battery plus system administration costs plus their profit margin plus the cost of the electricity that goes in the battery. I'm pretty sure I'd rather buy my own battery since it will be cheaper. If I need to travel far I can rent a car, take the train, plane ....whatever.
 

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In states with severe winters, like Utah (a state I lived in for 2 winters), you have thick ice on the side of your car all the time, and it's true, a gas engine is far less efficient (creates far more heat) than a battery. Although I can only speculate what the cost will be, I have a feeling that leasing a battery will be more expensive than owning a battery. GM is offering 10 years warranty on the Volt. Like I've said before, BP simply will never charge you (to lease it) less than owning it would cost you anyway. If they did, they would be losing money, and therefore have no interest in doing it in the first place.
 

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assuming the battery costs $10k, has a 10 year warranty and interest rate is 4%, with a 36 month lease then the monthly lease payment on the battery is $140.. and you will pay $5040 total for that 36 month lease.

Although I can only speculate what the cost will be, I have a feeling that leasing a battery will be more expensive than owning a battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
I'm surprised to hear that someone would come to the conclusion that buying the battery (at this stage of battery development) would be cheaper than leasing it. Perhaps we need to look at the big picture.

The cost of the asset (from cradle to grave):

1) There are the production costs. If you have small volumes the cost is more. BP should have far more volumes per standard battery pack than all the different custom battery packs for each car model. How many cars are going to use the Volt battery pack, for example?

2) There are the maintenance costs. If a cell goes bad in your volt they have to pull out the whole pack, make the fixes (if they have the parts) and bolt it back in. This takes time and labor and it inconvenient for the customer. BP can fix the battery pack at their leisure because it’s in the battery bay and the customer is happily on their way with a different, fully charged and checked battery pack.

3) There is a cost if the battery does not perform up to task for the length of the ownership. Let's say your battery pack falls below 85% rated at 7 years in. Who pays for that? GM. They have to put that into the purchase price of the car. As you said, someone has to pay. It's the car owner eventually.

4) There has to be some form a recycling operation. The bigger the operation the more cost effective it is.

5) Is there a market for partially used batteries? Let's say the cell is not at 85% and thus cannot give good performance in the EV. Can it be used for stationary grid backup? If so, the bigger the operation the more cost effective it will be.


Thus, because BP will own the battery they will not only have a huge market with standardized battery packs but can get to them in 60 seconds with no labor (swap-out station), can have a huge recycling and stationary electrical energy storage operations that can be very cost effective. Perhaps they collect sub-standard packs, at the most cost effective schedules and send them to a factory to be reconditioned very cost effectively.

BP could have a battery bay on wheels that can transfer to and from the swap-out stations very easily with no human labor. Imagine how the GM dealership operation would compare (bolt out, jack up, move, load on a pallet, load on a truck using a fork lift, etc.). Now imagine the BP system (special truck pulls into the swap-out station, transfers 4 good battery packs into the station and 3 packs that need repairs out, goes to the next station until ready to return to the reconditioning center with a full load of batteries).

The owner of the BP vehicle does not even know or care about the state of the battery pack, other than the charge level. All they know is that they get to their destination. If the battery is bad, it will be caught during the communication between the swap-station or at the charge-point. Everything can be handled without the driver being inconvenienced.

Now, do you think the vast majority of EV owners want to deal with finding a market for their used or sub-standard battery? Do they want to deal with recycling? Does a small GM shop want to deal with the problem? Are they trained? Will it be efficient?

Thus, If we look at the whole picture and take into account that the battery is far less reliable than an ICE car but the EV platform without the battery is the most reliable of all, you can start to see the economies of scale when dealing with new battery technology.

The BP owner can get upgrades and not even know it! They get their miles and slowly their cars will get lighter or they can go further (not less capacity) as BP upgrades their technology at a pace that is best for their financials. All in all, not having to deal with the battery is not only cheaper but far more convenient.

The more I think about the swap-out idea and the implications for cost, maintenance and customer convenience the more I like it.
 

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DaV8or,
I don't believe the heat from the battery would be sufficient to melt the ice and icicles under the vehicle.
Example, this year we had many below freezing days in the Northeast. What was unbelievable to me was there was icicles hanging on the sides of my Equinox in the morning...by the end of the day when I arrived home the icicles were still hanging on the vehicle. The heat from the exhaust system did not melt the icicles. I attempted to kick some of the icicles with my foot, let's say my foot was damaged. I learned my lesson, don't mess with icicles:).
BTW-I don't believe any heat would help in those battery swap stations even if they close the doors. If the garage doors need to open and close every 2 minutes for the next vehicle, the heat would be wasted right out the entrance and exit doors. I would not be happy with my heating bill if I was PBP.

Again, what I have stated would only create a dilemma during the winter months.
I bet your exhaust system had no ice on it though. I never claimed the battery would deice the whole car, and I think it's a stretch to expect the exhaust system to either.

My brother in law recently moved to Connecticut and his first winter there, they had one of those awful ice storms. He came out in the morning to find his car had a thick sheet of ice on the top. Well, he was able chip away enough on the windshield so he could see and he drove off. Being that is was freezing out, he turned the heater on in the car. Several miles down the road, the huge sheet of ice came flying off the roof, taking the glass in his Moon Roof with it and almost caused an accident.

The point is, the heating of the cabin air to probably around 75 degrees uniformly heated the metal on the roof to just above 32 degrees and created a thin liquid layer between the ice and metal, allowing the ice to slide right off. The battery pack will heat uniformly too and it only needs to get just above 32 degrees. I believe this will be sufficient to remove most of the ice from the pack itself and it's attach bolts. Any residual ice will break free when they lower a 400-500lb battery pack down. The ice can be dealt with.

Again though, I am not a supporter of battery swapping stations or PBP. I believe that letting one company dictate charging standards, having a monopoly on public charging and then getting people hooked on their product with artificially low lease rates is a bad idea. Also the battery swap station is a big investment with it's own set of complexities (ice being one of them) and will soon be obsolete. In short, a waste of money and resources.
 

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. . . I am not a supporter of battery swapping stations or PBP. I believe that letting one company dictate charging standards, having a monopoly on public charging and then getting people hooked on their product with artificially low lease rates is a bad idea. Also the battery swap station is a big investment with it's own set of complexities (ice being one of them) and will soon be obsolete. In short, a waste of money and resources.
As long as Project Battery Place wastes private money and resources, I don't have a problem with it. It seems like a solution looking for a problem, and I don't see it working for me. However, as long as public resources are not used to support it, I won't stand in its way.
 

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As long as Project Battery Place wastes private money and resources, I don't have a problem with it. It seems like a solution looking for a problem, and I don't see it working for me. However, as long as public resources are not used to support it, I won't stand in its way.
Well, that's the thing. What you see is them cozying up to various governments. I doubt very much that they don't expect a dime of money or some other favor from the tax payer. At the very least, I'm sure they want to have exclusive rights to charging stations within a municipality. Systems that will require a membership with them.

I agree, if they want to spend their own money and build whatever with no aid from government, just like gas station operators, then fine. I have no problem with it. What it appears more like though is an effort to lock in PBP as a monopolistic provider of electric vehicle power supply. They are laying the ground work now.

Think about it, they go around and secure exclusive rights to all public charging stations in your town, and all those charging stations will require a PBP membership and card to use. Then they flood the market with cheap leased batteries and cars that will require you to pay them even if you do charge at home or work, because you are being billed by the mile, not charge. For a time they operate at a total loss, but this is the necessary investment to reap huge profits in the future. People sign up because it's cheap and as battery costs come down, they keep those savings and the consumer pays the same. Within five years, PBP becomes the dominant battery standard and all other auto manufacturers are forced to start making PBP compliant cars. Soon, the consumer has little choice but to sign up. Now they're making money.

With near complete control of the market, battery innovation, quality and reliability go down. There just isn't a great incentive for PBP, who makes it's money off of you charging your battery frequently, to design better batteries. Competitors try to spring up, but without the public charging stations, they are forced to be second best. Eventually it looks kind of like Mac vs. PC. The non-PBP company's products work better and allow you some independence and a choice, but they cost a lot more and work in fewer places, so most people still chose PBP.

This is not the future I hope to see. Municipalities don't need PBP or anybody else. They can build their own charging infrastructure and servicing of those stations can be provided by private enterprises that bid on locations and only hold something like 5 year leases that need to be renewed. Companies compete to become the provider, much like gas stations do now. Auto companies and the aftermarket are free to build whatever battery they can think of. People can charge at home for just the cost of the electricity. They can charge for free at work as a company perk. Batteries get so good, that they only need charging once every two weeks. This is the future I want to see.
 

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I bet your exhaust system had no ice on it though. I never claimed the battery would deice the whole car, and I think it's a stretch to expect the exhaust system to either.
The battery itself might not have ice on it (although I am sure it will get muddy over the months of use), however that's not the issue, all of the locking mechanisms on the edge of the vehicle may still get frozen, especially those who wake up in the morning after an ice storm and decide to get their battery swapped out on their way to work.

I'm gonna love it when I'm in line at the swap station and the guy in front of me gets his battery stuck and there's 3 people behind me.
Within five years, PBP becomes the dominant battery standard and all other auto manufacturers are forced to start making PBP compliant cars. Soon, the consumer has little choice but to sign up. Now they're making money.

With near complete control of the market, battery innovation, quality and reliability go down. There just isn't a great incentive for PBP, who makes it's money off of you charging your battery frequently, to design better batteries. Competitors try to spring up, but without the public charging stations, they are forced to be second best. Eventually it looks kind of like Mac vs. PC. The non-PBP company's products work better and allow you some independence and a choice, but they cost a lot more and work in fewer places, so most people still chose PBP.
On the bright side, I highly doubt BP will be able to get to every city, there's a lot of conservative states like Iowa and Nebraska that will not bite on this kind of thing. Besides that, we still have the majority of auto manufacturing and coincidentally battery research in Asia. It's the kind of thinking you're describing Dav8or that got the domestic auto manufacturers in the situation they are in. They thought they controlled the entire auto market, and people would always buy whatever they made because they had the corner on the market. If BP thinks they can do something similar with electric cars, they have another thing coming. The full fury of Asia's tech and manufacturing dominance is only about to come to full fury, especially in the EV and automotive grade battery arena. China is just now coming to the table. Companies like BYD are vowing to take over the world. Morons who think they can monopolize a lucrative industry and tell people what to buy and how much they're going to pay are really living in the old days.
 

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1) It's an open network. They ask the government to keep it open. No monopoly. Like a mobile phone company with free roaming (that is how they describe it).

2) Car 2.0 will be plugged in most nights and can have the cabin just how you like it when you take off in the morning. Cars in cold climates have engine block heaters. Same thing to get the battery and cabin perfect for your trip. This can be timed or you can contact your vehicle some time interval before.

3) The battery pack will generate heat. This will be transferred to the battery pack skid plate (or the battery pack skid plate could have an electric blanket-like heating grid on the inside to pre-heat the plate and melt the snow prior to arriving at the station on a cold and snowy day).

4) The station could then have heat lamps and or hot water spray if needed.

5) The system is like a mobile phone company. The company cannot sell the phones before the network is fully functional. That is why BP wants to put in the infrastructure in first.

6) America is just too big and critical to be a first market for this (nationally). Thus, Israel, Denmark, California, Australia, Canada, Hawaii, etc. will act as pilot projects to flush out the concept. If there are major problems, the U.S. will not go forward. If it works great, we can hack it out then.

7) The concept is not "dumb" or "a waste of money". Even if it fails it will provide valuable answers to EV market questions. BP is fully funded for these initial projects. Americans do not need to be concerned that their tax dollars are being spent unwisely.

8) The infrastructure and test cars proving out the system are scheduled to be operating in Israel around the same time that the Volt is to hit showroom floors. We can then see the forest though the trees.
 

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Americans do not need to be concerned that their tax dollars are being spent unwisely.
On the contrary, U.S. citizens must remain very concerned that their hard-earned tax dollars are being spent wisely. The government has a piss-poor record on this so far.
 

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"will act as pilot projects to flush out the concept"

I suspect you are correct. LOL. I think the word you are looking for here is FLESH.
 

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"will act as pilot projects to flush out the concept"

I suspect you are correct. LOL. I think the word you are looking for here is FLESH.




Mike, Thank you once again for your helpful spelling, grammar, and spell checker corrections. I'm glad you are making yourself useful.


BTW: I wish I could flush you out of this forum. Then again, it's nice to get grammar feedback.
 
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