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"Riding high on a bout of good press of its Chevy Volt, GM is putting $7 million into its next big bet on electric cars: cheaper, higher-energy batteries.

In his state of the union address yesterday, President Obama called for the U.S. to be the first country to put one million electric cars on the roads by 2015. While there’s great interest in electric cars, mass adoption is still hobbled by availability, price of the battery and consumer concerns about range limitations.

Today, GM announced it had invested $7 million in Envia Systems, a Newark, Calif.-based maker of lithium-ion cathode technology that it says can increase energy density of battery cells by one-third and for less money. Envia says it uses cathode materials that stores more energy per unit of mass than current cathode materials, meaning less of it can be used, yielding a cheaper battery. GM also licensed Envia’s advanced cathode material for use in future GM electric cars."
"Skeptics have suggested it would probably be many years before lithium-ion batteries with significantly lower cost and higher capability are available, potentially limiting sales of electric vehicles for the foreseeable future,” said Jon Lauckner, president of GM Ventures in a statement. “In fact, our announcement today demonstrates that major improvements are already on the horizon.”
I can't believe GM did not invest in EESCAM ;).
 

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It's good that they are progressing, but double digit improvements in capacity / performance aren't enough. Batteries need at least a 300% improvement to get to where they need for mass adoption of electric vehicles.

I am not trying to discourage their incremental improvements, just pointing out that they are far from where they need to be.
 

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Hey. Yes, ages to go. I heard that a senior guy at Tesla moved to Audi and has done wonders for the range of an electric car there. Still trying to find out details, anyone?

Cheers
J.
 

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Batteries need at least a 300% improvement to get to where they need for mass adoption of electric vehicles.

So I guess you will be very amazed when Better Place makes it happen with current battery technology. Yes, that will be amazing. Large scale testing starts shortly in Israel. They already have 130,000 EVs on firm order with 70,000 sold. All that with standard, off the shelf batteries.
 

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It's good that they are progressing, but double digit improvements in capacity / performance aren't enough. Batteries need at least a 300% improvement to get to where they need for mass adoption of electric vehicles.

I am not trying to discourage their incremental improvements, just pointing out that they are far from where they need to be.
Yep, these advances aren't much out of line with the 6 to 8 percent a year we can expect to see. But, at least that has not hit a wall yet.

1) 1.08 x 1 = 1.08
2) 1.08 x 1.08 = 1.166
3) 1.08 x 1.166 = 1.26
4) 1.08 x 1.26 = 1.36
5) 1.08 x 1.36 = 1.47

Without any far more profound breakthroughs, it's about 50% every five years. Will this become the Moores Law of batteries?
 

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Having to swap batteries every 100 miles is going to get tiresome for people, even if you have plenty of swap stations on your journey. We will see what we will see. For those who want it, great and God bless.
Works well for islands. Even if the Islands are created by political boundaries.
 
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