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P.T.Barnum is at it again:

A report by Global Equities Research shows that Tesla recently filed patents 20130187591 and 20130181511, which describe a combination lithium-ion and metal-air battery pack. This hybrid battery pack would primarily use the lithium-ion side, only drawing power from the metal-air battery pack on extended journeys. Metal-air batteries, which use oxygen as an electrode, have a shorter lifetime when exposed to regular charging, but use more common elements like zinc or aluminum that drastically reduce battery costs.

Read On:
http://gas2.org/2013/09/18/tesla-patents-400-mile-hybrid-battery-pack/
 

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Patent application != patent.

I havent read the applications, but they seem likely to trigger obviousness rejections. This description seems to narrow any possible
claims to the controller as the other components are known and one versed in the art would be likely to combine the two battery elements.

It is good to push the range envelope. All vehicles suffer from range limitations - what we call "range anxiety" should be more rightly named "recharge anxiety." If electric range could be restored as quickly as gasoline range there wouldn't be any controversies around electric cars.
 

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Spare battery?
GM could incorporate a magnesium Sea battery for extra range.
"Just add water"
 

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This may actually make sense for a smaller Gen3 EV. Say put in a 40kWh battery pack with a Al-air battery as a range extender. Just need gas stations to carry replacement Al-packs on the highways. :) For day-to-day normal driving, you don't need a humongous 85kWh battery pack weighing the car down (and not to mention high cost).
 

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This is somewhat old-hat, Phinergy had announced their Al-air battery quite awhile ago. It makes sense to me, given that the 'fuel' can be a closed cycle (Al plates, recycle the post-redox aluminum) and is safer than gasoline or other traditional fuels. Presumably there'd be enough water on board to handle a full 'battery' of travel, and it'd be recycled out at a service station when the Al is replaced, like an oil change. And since Al smelting/recycling is done with electricity, Al-air batteries are just as clean or dirty as battery power, if not more so given how Aluminum producers tend to locate near hydro and other cheap power sources.
 

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Interesting idea. Different battery chemistry have different attributes. However, you'd probably need different heating/cooling and monitoring and control systems for the different chemistry, adding cost and complexity and rendering the dual battery idea impractical.

Am I correct that to get a patent you don't have to a have a working prototype?
Correct.
 

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Am I correct that to get a patent you don't have to a have a working prototype?
Not a requirement. I have >30 granted patents, but not once was I asked by a patent attorney or examiner about working versions.
 

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No you do not. I have a number of patents and patents pending, and have only had a physical prototype for one of them prior to filing.
That would be "Yes you do not". LOL He asked if he was correct in thinking that you didn't need a working prototype.

Just making clear that no one is suggesting that you do, that there is no disagreement, and that the smarti had the right answer to the question posed.
 

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It's a pretty obvious idea (I've had it myself) but as noted it's cheaper to patent than to fight a troll.
As DonC notes there's an issue of cost of two management systems, but I guess that doesn't stop the manufacture of hybrids. ;) More seriously it may well be that the key to making suchca system work would be easy re-conditioning of the air battery so that expensive controls in the battery are reused.
 

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It will be a hell of a lot less expensive keeping the primary battery size small and standardized with some extra management for the less expensive and variable "range extending" battery energy source than equipping and managing an ICE, gears, extra motor, clutches, and all other peripheral ICE components. The more legitimate concern is can it be made to be as functional?
 

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That would be "Yes you do not". LOL He asked if he was correct in thinking that you didn't need a working prototype.

Just making clear that no one is suggesting that you do, that there is no disagreement, and that the smarti had the right answer to the question posed.
oops, I guess I read that wrong...
 

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This is just to get ahead of the patent trolls...
Patents are never meant to be defensive. They are offensive weapons used to punish companies suspected of using your IP without licensing agreement. Tesla will use it to sue others not as a means to protect itself.

The best defense that is not used as offensive weapon is the prior art.
 

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Frankly, I think it's a great idea.

Get about 200 miles of range on a regular Li based battery, which will be used for most commuting (since most people drive less than 40 miles per day), then supplement the long range with a battery of a type that is much cheaper, but doesn't have as long of a lifespan. Given it would only be used in mostly rare circumstances, the secondary battery could effectively last the lifetime of the vehicle.

I think it would be quite awesome if Tesla produced a car that cost around $35k and had two battery units like that, both capable of about 200 miles range.

OR if the metal air battery packs could be produced cheaply enough and would last long enough (say 2 years), use those as a primary battery unit, but include replacements in the cost of the car.
 
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