GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,314 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
News from CNET
http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-9960585-54.html?tag=cd.blog

A two-year payback for buyers of future hybrids?
Posted by Martin LaMonica


Car battery company EnerDel predicts that consumers will start getting a two-year payback on hybrid electric cars, once a new generation of batteries are mass-produced.

Charles Gassenheimer, the chairman of parent company Ener1, gave a presentation at the Jefferies Global Clean Technology Conference on Thursday in New York, where he said lithium ion batteries in development will bring costs down substantially.



(Credit: CNET Networks)

He said EnerDel intends to have a manufacturing line operating in 2010 that is capable of making 300,000 car batteries a year for hybrid electric vehicles that run partially on a battery and partially on an internal combustion engine.

With gasoline prices at about $4 per gallon, current market conditions would enable a person upgrading from an SUV to a Toyota Prius to recoup the initial cost in about seven years, according to a Wall Street Journal column Wednesday.

That figure subtracts the money received from unloading a tough-to-sell SUV. (See this online calculator at Fueleconomy.gov for a more general assessment.)

Gassenheimer at EnerDel said long-sought advances in lithium ion battery technology can bring that payback period down to fewer than two years. The auto industry is following what the consumer electronics business did in the early 1990s, when it moved from nickel-based batteries to lithium.

"Why we're shifting to lithium from nickel is because it's half the size, half the weight, and two times the energy density. Most important is a substantial reduction in cost," he said.

The company has a deal to supply car batteries to Think Global in the "2009-2010 time frame" for its all-electric towncar. Gassenheimer predicted that EnerDel will sign on to supply two more automakers with batteries before the end of this year.

EnerDel is designing batteries for hybrid electric vehicles like the Prius, as well as plug-in hybrids, which use the internal combustion engine to charge the battery that runs the car.

Gassenheimer claimed that the company's battery chemistry and design are safe, and promise better battery life and performance. A lithium ion cell phone battery can only take half its original charge after two years. But EnerDel batteries maintain the same capacity after 300,000 cycles, the equivalent of 10 years of life, he said.

Farther out, supplying utilities with energy storage "could be bigger than the auto market in front of us today," Gassenheimer claimed. Specifically, he said utilities need ways to store electricity generated by variable renewable sources, wind and solar power.

There are several other battery companies moving into the electric-vehicle market, some of which are using lithium-based batteries, while others, such as PowerGenix, are using nickel zinc because it promises lower costs than lithium ion.

Gassenheimer said that by 2011, there will be 75 car models with lithium ion batteries.

"It's pretty clear some real players are starting to commit real dollars to this space," Gassenheimer said.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
How can you look at the time it takes to pay back the investment of switching from an SUV to a Prius? It's apples and oranges.

If you want to look at cost payback periods for hybrids you have to compare similar cars or you are crediting the hybrid with the added gas mileage earned by switching to a smaller car versus just the battery.

So you can compare the payback period of a Tahoe vs. Tahoe hybrid. Or a Civic vs. Civic hybrid. Or a Prius to a similar car running an ICE. I would imagine a Prius running a 4 cylinder fuel efficient engine would get about 30mpg.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,314 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I find it amusing that switching from SUV to Prius is nowadays called an upgrade. My, times have really changed!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Well... this is exactly what we did. One gas guzzler SUV for two Volts. Two year payback on each Volt looks quite possible for us. In approximately four years of not purchasing around 10 gallons/day on average, these cars will be paid for with fuel savings alone!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,464 Posts
Well, if there is a five-year payback period between a Cruze and Volt, what is the payback period between a comparably-equipped car and the Volt? Say a base 3 Series BMW or Lexus IS250?
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
8,680 Posts
Well, if there is a five-year payback period between a Cruze and Volt, what is the payback period between a comparably-equipped car and the Volt? Say a base 3 Series BMW or Lexus IS250?
Well... The comparable cars have nearly comparable price tags, depending on the exact comparison you choose - and none of them qualify for federal and state rebates. So generally the payback comes the instant you file for your rebates, when compared to a similar new car purchase.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
912 Posts
Seriously the guys name is Gassenheimer! LOL, you couldn't make this stuff up! Good article, but funny name for a guy toting the virtues of not burning gas! I see an Austin Powers villain in that name! Convincing the world to drive EV so he can horde gas! I wonder if he is a professor? LOL

Sorry I didn't get much sleep last night!:rolleyes:;)
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top