A123 Teams With SolidEnergy to Work on Prototyping its 800 Wh/Kg Battery Technology (w/video)

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 73

Is 800 Wh/Kg Coming Soon?

Is 800 Wh/Kg Coming Soon?

A123 Venture Technologies has agreed to team up with startup Solid Energy.

SolidEnergy claims that its solid electrolyte technology (developed by MIT and used under license by SolidEnergy) will eventually lead to a state-of-the-art battery that delivers an energy density of up to 800 Wh/Kg, or up to 4 times the amount of today’s current lithium-ion battery.

The partnership between A123 and Solid Energy combines the startup’s Solid Polymer Ionic Liquid electrolyte with the cell design and production capabilities of A123.

Prototypes using this potential breakthrough battery technology are expected to be seen sometime in 2014.  Tests will then be conducted on this technology in late 2014.

It’s not clear from the press release when SolidEnergy hopes to fully commercialize its tech, but it does seem to be the case that its Solid Polymer Ionic Liquid electrolyte is at an advanced stage of development.

Green Car Congress says this in regards to SolidEnergy’s tech:

“The SolidEnergy prototype battery combines a Li(NiMnCo)O2 (NMC) cathode; the novel electrolyte; and a solid-polymer-coated lithium metal anode. The electrolyte combines ionic liquid and liquid polymer to provide both the safety and wide temperature capability required for advanced batteries, while the solid-polymer-coated lithium anode significantly boosts energy density and cycle life.”

“The polymer and ionic liquid both have low vapor pressure and are safe up to 300 °C, while the solid polymer coating on the lithium metal anode prevents dendrite growth.”

“SolidEnergy PIL batteries are cathode-independent, but compatible with current and future cutting-edge cathodes.”

It’s encouraging to know that SolidEnergy’s technology was actually fully developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  It was then licensed exclusively to SolidEnergy.

Introductory video to SolidEnergy posted below:

A123 Venture Technologies press release on the teaming up with Solid Energy:

A123 Venture Technologies Agrees to Collaboration with MIT Start-up SolidEnergy

Agreement is First Example of A123’s Collaborative Development Approach

A123 Venture Technologies, a Massachusetts technology incubator, announced today its collaboration with MIT startup SolidEnergy. This strategic partnership leverages SolidEnergy’s transformative solid electrolyte technology enabling the safe and practical use of lithium metal anodes for high energy density batteries in a wide range of applications. It is also the first publicly announced agreement under A123’s expanded R&D model introduced earlier this year.

Together the companies will gain competitive advantage by accelerating a safer high energy battery chemistry with the potential of four times the energy density compared to conventional lithium ion batteries. SolidEnergy decided to partner with A123 Venture Technologies for its world-class labs, innovation and rapid scale-up experience, and battery design expertise. A123 Venture Technologies’ incubator business model was launched last spring at MIT’s Knowledge Foundation conference as a way to provide start-ups with access to its development facilities, battery know-how, and market access in exchange for services revenue, equity and cooperation on commercialization. A123 and SolidEnergy both began with MIT research making this partnership a natural fit.

This partnership combines SolidEnergy’s novel battery technology called Solid Polymer Ionic Liquid (SPIL) electrolyte originally developed at MIT with the mature cell design and prototyping capabilities of A123. “We are excited to embark on our respective new journeys and to commercialize this technology in the fastest and most efficient way,” said Qichao Hu, President and Chief Technology Officer of SolidEnergy.

The companies plan to jointly produce consumer electronics battery prototypes within the next year, followed by electric vehicle battery prototypes, and SolidEnergy staff will also be hosted in A123’s Waltham, Massachusetts development facility. Test results are expected to be ready for discussion with target customers in the latter part of 2014. Mujeeb Ijaz, President of A123 Venture Technologies, said, “A123 is delighted that SolidEnergy selected us as a development partner and we look forward to providing them with the ecosystem needed to bring this important technology to market in leading edge products.”

Additional Source: Green Car Congress

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

73 responses to "A123 Teams With SolidEnergy to Work on Prototyping its 800 Wh/Kg Battery Technology (w/video)"

  1. Robert says:

    Ding. Dong. The ICE is dead 🙂

    1. kdawg says:

      Well they still need to solve the charging/swapping for long trips.
      Hopefully this chemistry allows charging at rates of 500mph.

      1. David Murray says:

        Not so sure about that. I mean if you can get 1,000 miles per charge, very few trips would ever require a recharge en-route. Even so, you would be driving for 14 hours straight so you’re going to want to stop somewhere for a while anyway.

        1. Michael says:

          And don’t forget the plug and cable to transfer that much power would be huge.

          1. scott moore says:

            Power is voltage times current. It means that when cables get untenable at 480v (the current DCFC standard), up you go in voltage. Its why power gets distributed at upwards of 1kv minimum.

            For the electric company, peeling of a high voltage line to an industrial customer (or potentially a “gas” station) is reasonable physically but not politically. If you wanted 1kv and were willing to pay for it, you would kick off a recalculation for that neighborhood. Ie., that 1kv line was supposed to power your block, but now you are using it for one single plug. It happens already for serious industrial customers.

            At above 480v, it is certainly not a home charge issue. But at above 220v, that happened already. 480v workers don’t worry about being electrocuted, 220v is good for that. They worry about flash blindness and equipment that spontaneously spot welds itself.

            So this is the defining characteristics of the “gas” station of the future.

      2. Aaron says:

        500MPH charging would be an amazing amount of current… somewhere around 250kW.

        1. SRSF says:

          More like 150KW I think (3.7 miles per KWH so 500/3.7 = 135 KW plus some losses)

  2. David Murray says:

    So basically 4x the energy density. Lets think about what that could mean for vehicles assuming they kept the same shape and size of battery they have now. A vehicle like the Plug-in Prius could get 44 miles per charge on their tiny battery. A Volt could get 152 miles per charge and a Leaf could get 304 miles.

    Needless to say, this would definitely revolutionize the plug-in car business.

    1. Sirming says:

      Tesla could get more than a thousand miles…

      1. Mint says:

        Tesla has no shortage of space for batteries. They’re just looking for the lowest cost.

        And I hate to be a party pooper, but the most lucrative market for 800 Wh/kg batteries are cell phones. A battery that dense will easily fetch $1000-2000/kWh in that market. A LOT of people would be glad to pay $50 to double the battery life and reduce weight in their $500 smartphone.

        Until multiple companies perfect this tech and decide to chase volume over margins, prices will stay high. I’m guessing 2025.

        1. Ryan says:

          Let the formula/chemistry be known and every battery maker in China will be making these. Wasn’t there a time when grey market/clone A123’s could be had back when those batteries were pretty much unavailable?

    2. Robert says:

      Imagine a 1000 mile Tesla. Or a Tesla with half the battery by weight, meaning around 500 miles plus the increase in efficiency, better acceleration, lighter suspension and breaks that are results of carrying less weight.

      Not to mention zero range anxiety.

      Just wish this stuff would happen sooner 🙂

      1. kdawg says:

        I’d settle for a Tesla the size of the Volt with a 250 mile range. Assuming an 80kWh battery using this chemistry would easily fit in a something Volt size.

        1. David Murray says:

          Agreed – I like the size of the Volt. I think it is the perfect sized car for me. With 250 miles of range, I don’t think a gasoline engine would be necessary.

      2. Bonaire says:

        This battery would end Tesla because every luxury brand would be able to make most of their models as electric cars. Camaros, mustangs, mercedes, bmw, jaguar, etc. Tesla could use the batteries but its uniqueness or long range today would become unimportant. They are already minimally profitable now.

    3. Lad says:

      How about installing a smaller, lighter, less-costly, battery that has twice the range instead of 4 x? A sub $25,000, 140 mile EV weighing less than 2900 lbs would then be pretty common.

      Again, “The future of EVs is in the ‘Better Battery.'” When finally available, The Better Battery will float all EV boats and sink the rest, including the ICE and the fuel cell auto myth.

  3. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

    What’s the volumetric energy density?

    1. Anthony says:

      Yes, if the Wh/L does not increase commensurate with the Wh/kg, then you get the same battery volume with less weight. That means EVs just get a range boost from reduced weight, not because you can cram more kWh in the same battery area.

      However, some of the solid-state battery research I’ve examined seems to indicate that Wh/L does go up a non-trivial amount. But unfortunately its all over the map, 700, 1000, 2500, etc. So I cant really say with any authority what I think it’ll end up being for mass-produced cells.

  4. Schmeltz says:

    So this is being referred to as Lithium Polymer batteries then? I say great if they can work out all the bugs in it!

    On a side note, I was relieved to read that this battery “prevents dendrite growth”. Dendrites are always so annoying. Glad to see they are finally being addressed for the annoyance they are.

  5. Lad says:

    EVs have always been about the battery…even a hundred plus years ago. The oil lobby has held up EV development for many years…God, we are slow studies!

  6. Priusmaniac says:

    This could even allow a plasma rocket for space access. Bye bye fossil fueled Falcon 9, welcome electrofan plasma discharge engine. Just kidding Elon, we are not there yet, although I am really thinking about it.

    1. Ocean Railroader says:

      Elon Musk has invented a lot of stuff for the space industry in the last few years then in the last 40. Such as there was a 1960’s Godzilla Movie called Godzilla vs Monster Zero where the main astronaut characters flew in a rocket that could land and take off on the planet’s surface. But it’s not till 2013 that you see a real life working version of it being worked on by Space X. There is also the case of the Moon Rocket which was scrapped in the 1970’s. Nothing like it existed for almost 30 to 40 years in till Elon Musk started work on building his own giant space rocket mover that he did mention would be able to go to the moon.

      1. Priusmaniac says:

        All right but the DC-X went above 3000 m and with an Hydrogen Oxygen rocket which are fuels that can be made in a renewable way. The Falcon 9 is using kerosene (RP-1) as fuel which is a fossil fuel. The effort to revive a great launcher is still a great achievement of course and the Merlin is a big improvement on the Apollo engines, but it remains that the kerosene used is a fossil fuel and as such should be replaced by something else. That something else could be renewable hydrogen or just air passing through an electrofan plasma discharge engine. That would be a kind of Tesla pure electric rocket. To do that you need to get in the market first like what Elon is doing perfectly and then you need a more powerful battery and a team to work on the new electrofan plasma discharge engine.

      2. Ted Fredrick says:

        Having worked at the competition to Elons Space X, I can say that what they are doing is nothing new. Don’t buy into the hype they have done a total of 2 launches for the entire company. We do two launches a week.

  7. Evil says:

    Looks very cool!
    Do you guys believe in it? How much time it takes to come into EV segment?

  8. MDEV says:

    A battery with this density will change the world as we know it, just think about how thin and light a cellphone can be, home power storage etc.

    1. Mark H says:

      Yes, we are focused on what a radical change for EVs, but this could change energy grid storage as we know it. I say “could” for we do not know the $/kWh.

      1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

        Exactly. This cell’s characteristics:
        – Specific energy density: high
        – Volumetric energy density: unknown
        – Power density: unknown
        – Durability: unknown
        – Cost: unknown

        Also a correction to the article. The company is SolidEnergy (no space).

        1. kdawg says:

          And how does it handle cold weather?

          1. kdawg says:

            Never mind. I just watched the vid.

      2. Mint says:

        Batteries have awful economics for grid storage. You need to get down to pennies per amortized kWh-cycle. EVs have yet to convincingly outclass gasoline’s ~40c per kWh (of mechanical energy).

        Energy density doesn’t matter for grid storage. Ultra low construction cost is the primary factor there.

        1. scott moore says:

          The cheapest way to store power is via water. Anywhere one high dam feeds a lower dam or even a canal, it could be used to pump the water back uphill and convert a dam to a battery.

          There are such dams in California, but it has taken off very slowly, probably because the water levels are so low here now its not justified to expand the program further.

          1. scott moore says:

            For those interested, this is an overview of PSH technology:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumped-storage_hydroelectricity

            It is already the largest form of power storage in use. Oddly, most of the media completely misses the technology when discussing solar and wind power.

            1. scott moore says:

              I was reading through those articles, there is some amazing stuff in there:

              – California operates 25% of the PSH units in the USA.

              – There are 8 proposed PSH projects with 6,330MWs of power in the permit process.

              California, which is taking the lead in alternative energy, is positioning itself to take off in every aspect from power generation to use. Although the press likes to talk about how increased use of alternative power such as solar or wind will make our power supply “unstable” (The Wall Street Journal has been pushing this line), that is essentially a solved issue here. There is a large number of dams that feed lower level dams that can be converted to store power, and it is possible beyond that to create closed loop systems that operate where no natural water feeds exist (like the San Luis Reservoir project).

  9. Taser54 says:

    Need more research on dilithium crystals.

  10. Brad B says:

    This is good news, last I read about two years ago, this tech was likely to be real somewhere in the 2020 to 2025 time frame for commercialization. The 400 wh/kg Envia looked like the most advanced tech for the 2015 time frame. But now it looks like, if this A123/Solid Energy partnership actually bears fruit, these guys could be direct competitors with Envia. Envia is claiming $150 per kWh price which is about half of the present price. If Solid Energy’s tech is competitive or better yet, half of that, they will be a complete world changer. If I remember correctly, It also has a 2000 cycle life and long calender life. If this tech replaced the batteries in a Tesla Model S, as mentioned earlier, you could drive more than 1000 miles on a single charge, but in addition, have a 2,000,000 mile life time range. Maybe Model E could have a 500 mile range right out of the gate in 2017.

    1. Ambulator says:

      The Model E will have to use other batteries. This won’t be in cars until several years later, at best.

  11. Ocean Railroader says:

    No offense at this but I have noticed that this is one of them super battery stories where they mention they have a battery that gets double or triple or four times the range but it never really pans out. Such as with Envia where they talked about 400kw batteries but when I checked their website they hadn’t of updated it since 2011 or 2012. This could be possibly be in the same boat.

    I would find it more believable if a company went out and said, “We have batteries that are 25% to 30% more powerful then existing batteries then these wild stories here.

    1. vdiv says:

      Yeah, but this video had a dramatic soundtrack. That surely makes it true! 😉

  12. Rick says:

    What does the new battery tech cost? A 1000 mile Tesla that costs $200,000 doesn’t help anybody. Once again, a critical part of the story is being ignored.

    1. Eric Loveday says:

      The critical cost part of the story is not being ignored… It’s not available. Nobody talks price/cost until something actually launches and in the battery world you’re lucky to ever figure out the cost.

  13. Dan Frederiksen says:

    If the product is as intelligent as the presentation then they are in trouble. Cause that’s facepalm territory.
    The over the top ridiculous music drowns out the mumbled speech at times… That’s something you would expect from a 12 year old. Who is not all that intelligent..

    1. Ambulator says:

      And he has an accent.

      But if the purpose of the video is to inform us that’s all fine. If they are trying to snag investors it needs to be redone.

  14. scott moore says:

    The lust for miles is the wrong answer to the wrong question. The average
    commute distance for Americans is 16 miles or 26 minutes
    (http://askville.amazon.com/average-commuting-distance-americans/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=2554434).
    Even doubling that, or quadrupling it, is within the capabilities of todays cars, which leaves
    room for lunchtime errands and those with longer commutes.

    The average gas car range is about 300 miles, making that a reasonable target for tesla.
    However, even at 200 miles range, that’s almost 3 hours at top speed or 70 MPH (of course
    assuming the range at that speed holds). In long distance travel that’s the limit of most
    people’s bladders and tolerance for sitting in one place. For such long distance travel,
    folks imagined pit stop like race with a gas user filling his car is just that,
    imagination. A real stop includes the bathroom, bad coffee, and telling yourself that
    doughnut won’t hurt just this once.

    Thus, the real range necessary of an electric car is 200-300 miles max. Tesla already
    exceeded what was really required, and they did it to cover the immaturity of the
    charging structure in America. The game changer is faster charging, which has remarkably
    little to do with battery chemistry. There is no reason to increase the range beyond
    that. Just as putting second gas tanks onto a car is unnecessary for most people, it
    is actually counterproductive. You end up dragging weight with the car that you could
    leave at the gas station.

    The graphs around the web that show battery energy density only slowly growing are
    very popular in the press right now. However, equally impressive would be graphs of
    weight per KWH and cost per KWH. If the leaf could have a battery half the weight
    and half the cost, I would argue this would be as revolutionary as battery energy
    density improvement of 4 times.

    There are two salient facts that every electric car owner realizes, one quickly, and
    one slowly. The first is that the rules of gas cars change completely with an electric
    car. You have a filling station at home. Having a car that can do 300 miles or more
    on a fillup is not something you need in every day life. It is how you avoid the
    work of going to the gas station. The electric car completely removes that. Its a wonder
    to me that the electric car companies aren’t making more of that. Perhaps instead of
    showing a Leaf driving around with graphs on the screen, they could show you a gas
    station next to your house every morning.

    If they did that, they should also show the second astounding fact of electric cars.
    They are, compared to gas cars, a fraction of the maintenance. Further, the maintenance
    on these cars is essentially flat. That is, where a gas car generates larger and larger
    repair bills as it crosses into the 5, 7 and 10 year ages, electric cars won’t
    generate larger bills as they get older. This fact has been swamped by the fear of
    battery replacement. This one fact can and probably does scare the hell out of the
    car industry. A car that lasts twice as long generates half the revenue for the
    motor makers.

    Although a 200 mile or 300 mile car will go a long way to establishing the legitimacy
    of the electric car, the effect is mostly psychological. If in 10 years a 200 mile
    range car like the Spark emerges with a battery pack half the size and a fraction of
    the cost, the game changes entirely. A cheap car with little or no maintenance,
    and an abundance of charging options is a new world.

    California envisions that %15 of new car sales may be ZEVs in 10 years. I would argue
    that at %5 to %10 levels, instead of the %1s at present, electric cars will start
    to send shock waves through the structure of the American economy. Gasoline demand
    falling. Oil companies restructuring radically and sending more oil overseas with
    falling stock. The millions of car repair mom and pop shops having to change their
    business models and many going out of business.

    1. Brian says:

      Well said.

      One thing I will point out is that with today’s technology, charging rates are limited by battery size. A battery twice the size can charge twice as fast (all else remaining the same). This is because batteries are actually composed of many cells, each of which charges and discharges in parallel. If you have twice as many cells, you can charge them each at the same rate, thus the pack charges at twice the rate (provided you can get enough power into them from your charger, of course).

      Of interest, today’s technology can charge up to 80% in about 30 minutes. This is true whether you have a Nissan Leaf with 75 miles of range, or a Tesla Model S with 265 miles of range. Thus, to have your breakthrough in charge rates, you can either wait while new batteries are developed, or do what Tesla does, and put in many more of them in parallel.

      1. scott moore says:

        Parallel, and I suspect with water cooling channels running through the pack.
        Americans excel at taking things to extremes. We’ll have 5 minute charges and folks racing between gassing up and charging as a stunt (even though that has little to do with real world use).

    2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      Capacity
      ~ range ~ charging rate (mph) ~ performance (Desirables)
      ~ cost ~ weight (Undesirables)

      Tesla works to maximize desirables and minimize undesirables. As cost falls and density increases the marginal financial and practical cost of long range decreases and grows the market for long-range cars.

      Although the large battery costs more the larger cell volume accelerates the growth in manufacturing and helps drives down the core costs faster than HEV, PHEV and mid-range BEV.

      The range issue is not psychological. It’s economic and practical. If you drive regularly beyond range (me v Leaf/Spark/smart/FFEV etc) you lose too much time (charging) or money (rental). Tesla understands this very well and is not content at 120kW. 135kW is coming for Germany and they also see to 150kW and beyond. It’s not just about avoiding the long stops (some BEV proponents might pretend, but real people don’t stop for half an hour or more every 2 hours), it’s about charger contention.

      Tesla has joined-up thinking and proactivity that’s sadly lacking from other manufacturers. Roadster, Model S, Gen 3 and then after that maybe a lower-cost Gen 4 with a hybrid battery.

      1. scott moore says:

        roughly:

        30 minutes per 2-3 hours – Average family long distance trip (feed Mcdonalds to the kids).

        15 minutes per 3 hours – Road warriors.

        15 minutes per 5-6 hours – serious nuts like me with bottles (I think this is even illegal).

        This is assuming that having a car that does long distances is even a goal. The point is that achieving the first two is well within technological reach in 5 to 10 years. It does not even require 4 times the battery capacity.

    3. ClarksonCote says:

      I have a 375 mile one-way commute to visit family. I usually stop for gas and a bite to eat, and am back on the road in 20 minutes.

      Until a pure EV can either charge to nearly full in 20 minutes, or I can have an EV with 375-mile ALL WEATHER range, I will need a gas engine.

      And for the most part, I think the country would be in agreement, not so much because they NEED it, but because they don’t want to have to change their habits.

      1. scott moore says:

        Its a good example. But you don’t have a 375 mile commute. Nobody does. Allow me to explain. Even at 70 miles an hour, thats 5+ hours of driving. Nobody does that every day, which is pretty much the definition of a commute.

        No I don’t debate that most people equate the 300 mile range of their cars as being “minimum useful range of the car”. But that is potential range, not a capability you use every day.

        What people use their 300 mile range for is to avoid going to the gas station. If you had 100 mile range in your gas tank, and thus had to fill up every 2-3 days (as a commuter), you would be annoyed, and you would have a right. if you don’t have to go to the gas station at all, that paradyme goes away.

        That’s why electric cars are as much about teaching people a new way of life as they are about physics.

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          I apologize. I didn’t mean “Commute” I meant to say “Trip Distance”

          The rest of my post still stands. 😉

          While I don’t use that range everyday (nor do most), people will still want to take those long trips every couple weeks, every month, etc. It’s what most Americans do, and that’s why I feel it is a 500 mile range that BEV’s will need before they are considered acceptable by 90% or more of the population.

          1. Clarkson, the trip you are describing can be done today with a Model S 85, except that instead of a 20 minute stop, you make one 30 minute stop.

            And you save $200 in fuel cost. And create no tailpipe emissions.

            The upfront capital cost is a little pricey. But Tesla has already committed to change that within just a few years.

            I believe most people will eagerly trade in their ICEs when they can buy a similar capability for a price even close to what they paid for their ICE. That $200 savings adds up, even around town.

            Btw, my estimate is not speculation or even estimation. I just drove from Seattle to San Diego, arriving yesterday. All electric. Free fuel.

            500 mile trips. 30 minute refueling. Free. The word is out. Pass it on.

            1. ClarksonCote says:

              Hi ElectricCarInsider,

              You’re right, assuming that their charging station infrastructure existed along my route, but it does not.

          2. scott moore says:

            Ok, lets do the math on that. Since you said you were going to take a 20 minute break, I am going to assume 375 miles is one way to your family. since I assume that you don’t take that break at your family’s house. So that is 187 miles, a break, then 187 miles. Lets say you have a car that does 250 miles on a charge, you fast charge in 187 miles. At %80 charge (lets assume that does not improve), you get 200 miles of charge, so you have 13 miles of reserve left when you arrive.

            So:

            250 mile range.
            20 minute charge
            (hopefully) reasonably priced car.

            All likely to be possible by 2025, maybe even 2020. If you scratch the last (cost) one, then you already have your car, the Tesla, provided you wait 10 more minutes.

            1. scott moore says:

              Actually, that has a flaw in it I realized after I hit send. You would drive the first leg of the trip at 240 miles, because you would have a full charge. The second leg would be far less than your %80 range.

              1. Brian says:

                Exactly. This is a point that many miss. What our good friend, Mr. Cote, is missing is that he DOESN’T need to charge to full. If he has 250 miles of range, he only needs to charge another 125 miles to get to his parents’ house.

                I will point out, though, that it does require a supercharger at the appropriate place. So now we’re talking about infrastructure. Tesla’s planned supercharger locations will not work for many many trips without going well out of the way.

                1. scott moore says:

                  The good news is that I believe DCFCs require a LOT less infrastructure than gas. You have to bury gas tanks, arrange to have them filled by truck, and, of late, the EPA cracked down on older, leaking underground tanks, leading to a lot of gas stations going out of business or having to dig up and replace the tanks.

                  220v chargers benefit from virtually every building in America being wired for 220v/2phase. 480v is a different story mainly because the power company is not used to seeing requests for it outside of industrial use zoning. 3 phase was a possibility, but I suspect that the DCFC makers decided anywhere 3 phase is available, 480v/3p is also available, so why not.

                  If the power company sees one request for 480v/3p in an area it doesn’t expect, they will do it, but kick the cost of the transformer back to you ($$$) and also try to get you to pay for a line extension based on “you will be drawing more load than is designed for the area” (yes, I talked to them once). This kind of nonsense goes away with multiple customers, or people who can get the power company hot with the idea of all the power you are going to pay for. My Nissan dealer gave me an earful about the cost to install their DCFC.

                  The point is that right now DCFC is mostly confined to industrial areas, but that can change rapidly as more of them get installed. Then the main factor is do existing gas stations climb on board or get bypassed. Mom and pop gas stations already had a mass die off during the oil shocks, most got bought out by major concerns or shuttered. When EVs take off, there is going to be a mass dieoff that makes that one look tame, and it will happen at levels of %25 or more in EV takeup. Imagine seeing %25 of BOTH your gas and service revenue drop off suddenly.

                2. ClarksonCote says:

                  I don’t feel I’m “missing” anything. The plan of attack posited by Scott assumes that I have chargers where I need them, have a battery that doesn’t result in less range in colder temperatures, and also that I have the coin to purchase a Model S or equivalent EV with the necessary range.

                  My original point was that you want a solution for the masses. A $70k price point is not that, and an EV with the ranges stated without a very diverse and robust DC charge network is also insufficient.

                  For acceptance of the majority of the “Mass market” you need to overcome these hurdles. My claim is that, assuming present battery advances continue, the cheapest way to attain this is through a 500 mile BEV. That will be less costly than the infrastructure to have a fast charger every 20 miles on all our roadways.

              2. ClarksonCote says:

                This theoretical plan also assumes zero range degradation in cold weather, and that the fast charger is more or less located where I need it upon reaching an empty battery.

            2. ClarksonCote says:

              That assumes a sufficiently diverse fast charging network exists to provide that stop where you need it, plus or minus some percentage. It’s certainly not in place today, nor will it be at that granularity for decades.

              Tesla’s graph looks nice with the white circles of their superchargers covering the country, but I don’t want to go 50 or 100 miles out of my way to find a station.

              1. Brian says:

                Agreed completely. We need a ubiquitous charging infrastructure. You need to be able to stop when you notice you are running low. Contrast that with Tesla’s map, where you still need to plan out your trip ahead of time. And many trips (like yours) require going well out of your way.

                My issue is with your claim that you need either 375 miles of range, or to be able to “charge to nearly full in 20 minutes”. What is missing from that statement is that a car with less range that 375 miles doesn’t have to be charged to full – it just needs to be charged enough to make up the difference between its range and your total trip.

                We are generally used to topping off the gas tank whenever we stop. With an EV, if your destination has a charger, you only need enough energy to get there. This can mean that a car that takes an hour to recharge, but gets 300 miles, will need to stop for only 15 minutes to get 375 miles.

                1. ClarksonCote says:

                  The point still ignores the fact that total range capability varies greatly with temperature. In a perfect scenario where you always get the same miles out of a battery regardless of terrain and temperature, your assumption is correct.

                  But my original point was always in reference to what is needed for mass consumer adoption/acceptance, not the particulars of my trip which were simply an example. For mass consumer adoption, I think what I stated is still quite valid.

                  They’ll want 375+ mile range with 20 minute recharge capability, so they can keep going without lots of long breaks.

                2. ClarksonCote says:

                  … or a 500+ mile BEV with slower recharge capability. Either way, the point was simply that we don’t have what we need today to have mass adoption of pure electric vehicles.

                3. Brian says:

                  I’m hardly ignoring the fact that range drops with the temperature. Trust me, I know. I don’t even have to tell you what I went through to get to a ski resort 34 miles away last winter…

                  I agree with you in terms of all weather range. That’s why I’m talking about range, not battery size.

                  My point still stands that 375 miles / 20 minute recharge is not really what people need. What we need is a high power charger in places people stop on long car trips. The charger doesn’t need to get you to full – only enough to get to the next charger. If I charge to get to my destination, but then arrive with half a charge in the battery, I’ve wasted time charging.

                4. Brian says:

                  Also, what exactly do you mean by “mass adoption”? Do you mean replacing every car on the road, or 20% of them? I would argue the latter is still mass adoption. You could conceivably get there today if every multi-car household traded one car for an EV. For single folks like yourself, the Volt is an excellent option.

              2. scott moore says:

                mmmmmm a decade.

    4. DanCar says:

      My biggest issue with my Nissan Leaf is range. Love the car, but hate having to worry about range, for weekend trips or vacations. Renting a car for two week vacation doesn’t sound interesting. I think the cheap answer will come when there are half a million EVs on the road and trailer generators will become common.

      1. Ben says:

        before I bought My Volt, I sometimes drive as much as 150 MI in a day but most days less than 45 miles, but typically average out to about 85 a day, and generally don’t have time to stop and charge, hence I own a Volt. so far 22,407 EV miles, and have saved about 1200 (US) gallons of Gasoline if I have road trip round trip of 300+ miles.I rented a car, Why you ask because it is cheaper to rent a car any day of the week VS any car, at that mileage because of the wear and tear costs, and if you have a old car the chance of break down on the road is very expensive . I still do that with my Volt. Why because I can rent a cheap Yaris for like 25$ or less a day. I think i have seen as low as 9$ a day on weekend rates, for some companies. SO far I have saved about $3500 in fuel cost, avoided about 11 oil changes that is about $350 plus any other deferred maintenance visits. just in 17 months (odometer 44640). I think there is room in the savings for a occasional rental Even for a two week vacation…..
        Just don’t rent a Lexus or a caddie.

    5. Ryan says:

      The Leaf just needs a cheaper/bigger battery. If Nissan had any brains; they’d offer two or three versions of the Leaf with different battery sizes.

  15. Bonaire says:

    Cars is one thing. This kind of density is best for the real oil users. trucks.

  16. Nelson says:

    A123? Burned once shame on me. I’ll believe it when I see it in a production vehicle.

    NPNS!
    Volt#671

  17. jumpjack says:

    Amazing, my e-scooter would be able to travel 90 km with 1,5 kg of batteries rather than 20! (Or I could have same batteries but 700 km range LOL! ) I would get back the space under the seat for the helmet.

    A 700-km-range-twho-wheeled…. could become the Harley Davidson of the future! Imagine the freedom of a biker… who is also free from petrol!

  18. Clarkson, thank you for elaborating, I understand your position much better now, and appreciate your point of view. It’s very pragmatic, no rose colored glasses for you.

    I agree that the limitations of today’s affordable electric cars are not going to work for everyone and for long distance travel. But I do believe that Telsa, and perhaps others, will deliver a viable solution within the next three years. And that it will be a combination of 200-300 mile batteries, and a reasonable network of fast charge stations.

    Albeit with a market price limitation, Tesla is demonstrating the viability of the strategy today.

    I concede your point today. But I believe the solution is a combination of your point about greater battery capacity, and Brian’s about fast charge. These are synergistic are they not?