Government Standardization Of An Electric Car Battery

edited August 2012 in General
It occurs to me that if you had small battery or two that can be quickly removed and replaced, you would take the one hour charge time off the table. Standardization would allow the gas station, or fueling station to offer another service. Infrastructure is nothing more than a rack of charged batteries plugged into the wall. You guys need to hire some lobbyists and create some real competition for gasoline.


  • edited November -1
    Standardization specifically of the batteries would stifle innovative companies like Tesla. Any time the government gets involved, specifically in the US, the screw it up.
    Think about it this way, whose battery would you choose to be the standard? Probably GM's since the US government owns a significant part of the company. The battery is very modular, which makes it easy ti embed in different parts of the car (e.i. flat plate, block where the engine would be, T shaped, etc). Then you may run into the situation of switching a battery for a lower battery, etc, etc. Honestly, I would not want to go to a switch up station and have some shaddy attendant put a 160 mile range and take my 300 mile range.
    I would go even further and encourage different battery shapes (less theft). In the US, people are jacking up cars and taking off the catalytic convertors, I don't want to go out to my car and see my pack missing because so criminal took it and sold it to a person with a "Leaf" to extend their range. Make it so no one else uses that design, that way, less of a black market for stolen batteries
  • edited November -1
    Technical standards are generally developed by industry committees, not by the government.

    Standards are also a double-edged sword. They can improve flexibility and compatibility, but they also tend to lock in the current generation of technology.
  • edited November -1
    Please stop forcing me to go to the gas station.

    Right now we have 300 mile batteries. In the future we might have 1000 mile batteries. If we standardize the pack to one size and shape we might be stuck with a 500 mile limit and paying fees to gas stations for battery rentals plus charging.

    If the battery size is standard then it would obviously have to be a small battery that could fit into a small car. I guess Tesla owners would have to rent 3 or 4 batteries at a time.

    With electric charging stations, it eliminates the need for special locations like gas stations. Hotels would have charging stations to rent with the room. Restaurants, rest stops, parking garages, hundreds of places could all offer charging options.

    I am curious what happens to a dead lithium battery tho. What goes in land fills? What gets reused? I'm sure you all have discussed that already.... where's it at?
  • edited November -1
    Lithium is almost 100% re-usable, and is quite valuable. No disposal issue there!
  • edited November -1 is about installing a network of charge points and battery swap stations. They solved the two problems mentioned above:

    <li>swap stations are capable of handling all types of batteries as long as the robotic apparatus can handle the weight and can swap it from unterneath the car. No need to squeeze everybody to one standardized pack.</li>
    <li>in their business model you buy the EV car but you lease the battery pack. So the capacity and quality of the battery pack will not worry you as long as it carries you the desired distance. </li>

    It is a radical different approach to EVs, compared to Tesla. The potential of battery tech advancements (capacity+price) to betterplace and Tesla cannot be judged as of today.
  • edited November -1
    Someone opined recently that BP and similar ideas were toast, that the model had been bypassed by developments in longer range batteries. Are you up to date with progress, or lack of same?
  • edited November -1
    Thanks for the update on recycling Brian H.
  • edited November -1
    I don't agree with that opinion.
    My information is from the better place web site and interviews with Shai Agassi (CEO) and Carlos Ghosn (CEO Renault/Nissan) on Youtube. Shame on me! If things go astray that would be the last places where problems would be reported in full concern.
    IMHO, the BP business model takes into full account possible improvements in battery tech. The model doesn't break if battery packs with range>100m become a commodity. It would even help them by allowing greater distances between their battery swap station and by having customers do less battery swapping (for which they get a refund in some circumstances). The BP model is about selling you the electric miles, like a cell phone operator is selling you minutes. Cheaper batteries will decrease their costs, not their revenue.

    As BP isn't coming to Germany, I will stick with Tesla instead.
  • edited November -1
    Maybe I should be more clear. I'm not talking about the cars main battery pack. I'm talking about adding an extended range battery, or two, or three. Example, You would never need to do a battery swap unless you needed to get somewhere fast. It will always be cheaper to charge at home. Did you know when the electric starter was introduced many cars still had the hand crank as a back-up. It's psychological more than anything else. As long as customers think they have to wait an hour before the can drive five miles, they will continue to pay three dollars a gallon for gas. The free market can improve the mileage of the battery, and I'm sure they will figure out a way of exchanging old for new. Your Electric Car will be able to perform self diagnosis, so you will know if someone is trying to pull a fast one. What do you think now Brian H
  • edited November -1
    If it's a small battery it will not do you much good.

    With quick charging to 80% in 40 minutes while you are on the road, it makes exchanging batteries much less attractive.
  • edited November -1
    And just where would you stash this "extended range battery"? People have weird ideas about towing trailers etc.

    It's all nonsense.
  • edited November -1
    One major hurdle to the widespread adoption of electric vehicles is the time needed to recharge them. This one ph raze is common to all Electric Cars and is the reason they will only get five percent of the vehicle market. The oil company will tolerate this because it doesn't hurt their profit. I have talked to Oil Company lobbyists, they are laughing at the idea of putting charging stations everywhere you can possibly park a car. They know as long as they control the price of gas and takes an hour to charge a battery, they win. Better Place, has the right idea, but without standardization it won't work. Chargeme those quick chargers that you are talking about require allot of infer structure, so not allot of businesses are going to do it unless they can charge you a service fee. To Brian H, I hope you are being sarcastic, if not you don't understand the technology you're speaking of. A lithium-ion battery the size of a briefcase will drive a one thousand pound car 20 miles. So why not add another battery to the family of batteries we already have standardized. Remember it cost nothing to the tax payer to standardize.
  • edited November -1
    The S is a 4000 pound car, so it might get you 5 miles? You will need a trailer full of suitcases to get any meaningful range.

    Don't let the government get involved. Another department or tzar for standardization of EV batteries. Taxes wasted. They will screw it up and then find a way to tax you to try and fix it.
  • edited November -1
    Seems awfully unlikely. Batteries aren't standardized by the government for anything else, including current car batteries. There are standards, industry driven, and the government has safety standards, but dictating standard EV batteries is incredibly unlikely.
  • edited November -1
    One thing I learned about the ongoing nuclear accident in Japan: after the backup battery racks ran out, emergency power could no longer be provided to the reactor cooling systems. Mobile power generators had been trucked to the site, but could not be connected to the emergency power system. The plugs did not match.

    So please, Tesla engineers, GM engineers, Nissan engineers, Better Place engineers: make sure our charging cables will plug. Always. Everywhere. Get over the desire to design a "better" plug that fit's your business model and go with the standards.

    Consumers want interoperable charge points by mid 2013 all over the continent, be it AC 1 phase in North America or AC 3 phase in Europe.
  • edited November -1
    VolkerP, since I have had interesting discussions with you before please go to the "Esoteric Ramblings" thread and check out the experiment and underlying objucetive, any input will be appreciated.
  • edited November -1
    I just heard a different story about the mobile connections: the control/electrical room was under water! That would have made "short" work of any connectors.

  • edited November -1
    I personally don't want the Oil Company infrastructure anywhere near my future Tesla. That just gives them the control over the new "Fuel" and the ability to overcharge us just like they do with oil. I'd much prefer money be spent on R&D of better, faster charging batteries so that we can take the control back from Big Oil, and keep it.
  • edited November -1
    Congrats! I think you added 'Get off gas!!!' to your standard post. At least that's a change.
  • edited November -1
    The Feds don't even seem to be able to handle standardization of power input plugs for EVs. A very smart idea are the inductive charging mats that take car of everything, including using the source power that will result in the fastest charging for your
    particular car.
    As for BetterPlace, I don't have any confidence that it will even get built before batteries get so cheap that the concept falls on its sword. I also wonder whether this technology can handle battery packs with cooling systems. Certainly that would at least require a standard cooling hose interface, which doesn't exist and probably never will. There is also the rather absurd notion that one could build enough of these stations to handle something like the Leaf's 75 miles of range. The idea of stopping for a swap every 65 miles or so is just plain crazy.
    Considering the time spent getting into these stations, waiting in line and so forth, I would be willing to bet that these stations will consume more travel time than would be spent with a Model S 300 miler. There is also the cost of Better Place - all that money bulding these stations and buying those batteries will be paid by the consumer, and include a profit for Better Place. Even if you recharge at home, you will pay more for your batteries by using Better Place. But if your Tesla , for example, only has a 160 mile range, you can still travel. I haven't taken a trip in 5 years
    over 300 miles. So exactly why do I need to save a few minutes
    on a couple of days every couple of years? Better Place doesn't really solve the problem of battery prices, since those batteries
    from them will cost more than they would otherwise cost. And with faster recharges available (like the 10 minute fast charge some proposed EVs will have), Better Place quickly becomes the worst way to handle battery and charging costs.
    Battery prices, according to Elon, are dropping 6 to 8% per year. In five years, that makes BetterPlace obsolete, even if not
    already obsolete. Now someone please explain why it would have any significant effect, on anything, if Better Place were built and allowed, let's say, five times more EVs on the road during that 5 year span? We're talking peanuts here. We have 265 million cars in this country. Transforming even 5 million into electrics ain't gonna do nothin'. Period. You can rather fraudulently cast the effect in terms of thousands of tons of CO2 etc, to exaggerate its importance, but the fact is that all this cost and effort would eliminate less than 2% of anything undesirable associated with gasoline combustion. So exactly why is everyone so hyper and anxious to rush into buying into a technology that clearly, at the lower price points, is not economically competitive? The problem with so many greenies is that they are often unbelievably unrealistic and are driven almost 100% by their emotions, not logic. How else explain their opposition to nuclear power, especially when fast reactor technology has now arrived. I pin my hopes on the next generation, which, as always, will correct the extremes of the previous generation (and add some of their own, most likely).
  • edited November -1
    Hi Ramon,

    lot's of topics in your post, will try to address a few.
    taking care of 256m ICE cars will take some time. TESLA does the top-down approach and better place tries to introduce the EV for Joe Sixpack. Obviously, neither one will replace all existing ICE cars within the next few years.
    The BP model addresses the problem of high up front cost for entry level EVs. And yes it takes a lot of initial investment in infrastructure. But BP is not run by greenies. Their business plan doesn't appear to me to consist of wishful thinking. They plan for battery technology to improve. It will allow them to undermatch the price for ICE car.
    Finally: Every generation gets the next generation they deserve :-)
    Tomorrows world should be designed to match our visions, not to be a linear extrapolation of quarterly reports for the shareholders.
  • edited November -1
    VolkerP, That last sentence was cool, ever consider doing any political speechwriting on the side,ha.
  • edited November -1
    I am not allowed to disclose for whom I write speeches :-)
    Listen carefully and you might detect my quirky English in some places.
  • edited November -1
    VolkerP, I know someone who "your people" could contact "their people" and bet you could get a sustantial contract with,ha. That line was a "classic" for sure, actually contained a lot of truth in it to. You got to be thinking "next presidential election in the USA",ha.<p> Don't sweat any quirky english, mine is worse than quirky and I live in the USA. I am having a lot of trouble with spelling lately although I am now proofreading, just not carefully enough.
  • edited November -1
    I think standard battery types would be a good thing. This would allow for more competition which would drive the price down.
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