LG Chem Says It’s Ready To Supply 300 Mile, 120 kWh Batteries

1 year ago by Jay Cole 141

LG Chem Now Offering 80 and 120 kWh Sized Lithium-Ion Batteries

LG Chem Now Offering To Supply 80 and 120 kWh Sized Lithium-Ion Batteries

The 2018 Chevrolet Bolt Will Come With LG Chem Batteries Inside

The 2018 Chevrolet Bolt Will Come With LG Chem Batteries Inside

During the 28th Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exhibition in Goyang, South Korea, earlier this month, LG Chem announced that they were ready to supply much larger lithium-ion batteries packages to those interested in producing all-electric vehicles that would rival the Tesla Model S in range.

More specifically, the battery maker says it can supply EVs that have a target range of 200 to 300 miles.

LG Chem is already the chosen supplier for many plug-in vehicles with ranges under 100 miles – such as the Chevrolet Spark EV, Renault Zoe, Ford Focus EV, Volvo V60/XC90 T8, Chevrolet Volt, Renault Twizy – and many more.

As for future 200 mile EVs, LG Chem has already signed the deal to power the Chevrolet Bolt EV with next generation battery technology, which will likely arrive in early 2017.  But even with that deal, given the size of the Bolt (think Chevy Sonic small), the battery pack itself is likely to only be around 50 kWh, roughly double that of the current generation Nissan LEAF.

Renault Inks Battery Deal With LG Chem Earlier In 2014

Renault Inks Battery Deal With LG Chem Earlier In 2014

LG Chem said at EVS 28 that they were now beginning to offer to supply automakers even larger capacity battery packages (presumably in smaller 2nd generational packaging – relatively speaking) ranging from 80Wh to 120 kWh, that’s 40% larger than the largest pack found in the Tesla Model S.

This revelation might explain why the Volkswagen Group, users of LG Chem batteries, have been seemingly burying us under endless PR for future long range EVs of late – most recently with the 310 mile Audi Q6 e-tron SUV, and 265 mile Porsche sedan for 2017/2018.

Consumer Reports

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141 responses to "LG Chem Says It’s Ready To Supply 300 Mile, 120 kWh Batteries"

  1. Ron says:

    I don’t understand this article. Don’t bev manufacturers make up a battery pack by adding from cells? Couldn’t the Volt phev get 100 miles versus 38 just by building a battery with more cells

    Hasn’t LG always been ready to supply a 300 mile battery? The problem has always been weight and cost, and I would think the real news would be if LG could supply a 300 mile battery with the same weight and cost as current 100 mile battery

    If the Bolt is getting its 200 miles from a 50 kwh battery, how different is it from the current vw egolf getting 100 miles from a 26 kwh battery?

    1. kdawg says:

      I didn’t understand either. LG provides cells, not battery packs.

      1. Jay Cole says:

        There might have been something lost in translation, we believe what they are saying is they are offering volume packages on 2nd generation cells in the magnitude of 80kWh to 120 kWh.

        While some OEMs buy the cells to fit into custom applications, LG can do more than just produce raw cells, they can do entire packs/systems as well (which I am sure they would prefer), depending on what is required.

        1. no comment says:

          is it possible to follow up on this? it is my assumption that you can’t pack an infinite number of cells in a battery. it seems to me that at some point you would be limited by parasitic effects. to that extent, the battery cells would be engineered for battery packs up to some maximum size.

          1. Just_Chris says:

            Generally as the pack gets bigger (more cells) voltage will go up and, if you draw the same power from the pack, the current will go down meaning you efficiency will increase. You could increase the current by putting some cells in parallel with most packs having some batteries in series and some in parallel. It becomes a bit harder to balance but this is the top battery manufacturer in the world right now so I think they can handle it.

            There is a finite limit to the size of a battery pack on a car and that, combined with the battery weight, is the limit. The model S is pretty much a battery with seats and a steering wheel, I can imaging the battery pack getting much bigger (in terms of physical dimensions) than that found in the model S.

            I guess what LG is saying is we can make a battery as big and heavy as Panasonic but fit 30% more energy in it.

            1. Just_Chris says:

              sorry about the poor English, meant “can’t imagine bigger…”

            2. Danal says:

              Tesla battery pack could easily double in size. It is only a few inches thick. The car would only get a few inches “taller” if it were designed in.

              Or, there is GOBS of room in the Front Trunk, and the rear under floor area.

              Weight is the limit, not size.

              And perhaps cost.

              Anyway, horrible article. Says nothing, really.

            3. Lensman says:

              The limit isn’t absolute size of the battery pack, it’s the amount of space inside the car occupied by the battery pack. It’s not at all difficult to “imagine” a BEV with a higher percentage of interior space occupied by the batteries than in the Model S, which has huge amounts of luggage space both in the frunk and the hatchback. In fact, I imagine the Model S has a smaller percentage of interior space occupied by the battery pack than any other BEV.

              I’ve ridden in a Honda Insight; now that is a car with a big battery pack compared to the size of the car! (And it’s not even a plug-in EV; just a parallel hybrid, like the Prius.) As I understand it, the GM EV1 was also a small car with a battery pack so big that the passenger compartment was cramped for space.

              Now, practically speaking, there is an upper limit to the size of the battery. You can’t just keep adding batteries forever; eventually the car would become so heavy it couldn’t move. But long before that, it would be too expensive to mass produce, and that is the limit, the limit of cost, that is worthy of actual discussion here.

        2. Josh says:

          Does it mean they have cells with the energy/volume density to make 80 kWh and 120 kWh small enough to fit in a car?

          That is what I hope they mean.

          1. Bonaire says:

            That is what they mean. They have their flat prismatic-type cells with higher density now that can work with cars and larger. I do want more carmakers to make CUV and SUV type cars, pickup trucks and more. Higher density cells help and so will a fair price for them.

            LG Chem is acting like they want to be just as big a part of the EV and Grid Storage market as Tesla. They just get 1/100th the airtime and media play that Tesla gets. It is hard for media to swoon over more than one primary producer in a market – ie. Apple versus others, Tesla versus others, and so on.

        3. Scramjett says:

          That was how I read it. As Jay said, I don’t think they produce cells alone, I think they package them for OEMs also. Perhaps to OEM spec, hence the T-shaped Volt battery?

          1. Neromanceres says:

            GM builds their own battery packs (in Brownstown Michigan). They just source the cells from LG Chem as a contract manufacturer. In fact GM also owns the chemistry used in their cells. So LG Chem cells for Ford will not be the same as LG Chem cells for GM.

      2. Anton Wahlman says:

        LG does supply cells, but also entire packs if that how the automaker wants to do it. Same for Panasonic.

        1. Lensman says:

          Does LG Chem actually build battery packs for one or more mass produced EVs? If so, which ones?

          There’s a difference between a battery maker offering to build battery packs, and actually doing so in significant numbers for one or more customers.

    2. przemo_li says:

      kWh = kilo Watts per hour

      Electric motor use XY kiloWatts during operation.

      So to power EV for one hour it needs XYkWh’s

      Doubling range MUST meant doubling kWh’s in battery pack if motor&car exterior stays same.

      So indeed, batteries improve in such measures as kWh/kg and kWh/L, first relate to weight second to volume.

      However, LG Chem may just be saying that they have bigger batteries that are:
      a) not overheating
      b) cheaper per kWh
      c) integrated in stable way

      Or simply, LG Chem just may have refused to assemble bigger pack as there was not enough interest to mandate separate R&D/assembly lines.

      Bigger battery pack is more then just slapping two smaller battery packs together.

      1. J Stuyts says:

        kWh = kilo Watts (times) hour;
        kW/h = kilo Watts per hour;

        kWh is the amount of power (in kW) you can supply for a given amount of time (h). kW per hour is something entirely else (ramping rates). Just so that you know.

      2. Foo says:

        Also, the phrase “power EV for one hour” makes no sense. Powering an EV for an hour at freeway speeds takes much less energy than powering it a low speeds for an hour.

        You can consume up ANY amount of electric energy (measured in kWh) over ANY period of time. For example, you could consume 1 kWh in 10 minutes or 10 hours. The measure of energy, in kWh, has nothing to with an actual hour (of wall-clock time) elapsing.

        A kilowatt-hour is a CONCEPTUAL measure of energy of “power through time”. For example, 1 kWh is the energy you need to maintain a constant power level of 1000 watts for 1 hour. Of course, actual energy consumption (such as when driving an EV) occurs at different power levels and duration.

        1. Bill Gates says:

          Unsure about that comment, taking less energy on highway than lower speeds.

          Care to provide more info on that comment?

          1. Incredulocious says:

            I suspect what they meant was less energy to maintain a speed on the highway vs. more energy for frequent stop and go in the city. Which is very different than high speed vs. low speed. At speeds where air resistance really starts to take effect (like >35 mph), faster definitely consumes more energy than slower. And it gets much worse over 65 mph.

    3. Both, CHAdeMO and CSS standard, top out at 500 V. If you don’t want to make a pack with cells in parallel, the cells must have a minimum capacity to reach 120 kWh before they add up over 500 V.

    4. Lensman says:

      I don’t, either. Sure, EV makers could pay third party battery cell makers to design and build their packs for them, but I don’t think anybody does that. Doing it in-house gives you more control over design, engineering, quality control, and cost control.

      And why would any EV maker accept a pre-packaged size and shape? An EV’s battery pack should be designed to fit the EV, not vice versa.

      1. Lensman says:

        Edit: Well okay, Toyota (RAV4 EV) and Daimler (Smart ED) did pay Tesla to build battery packs for them, for compliance EVs. But that saved them money in development costs, since those automobiles were only made in small numbers.

      2. tedfredrick says:

        OEM’s don’t design anything themselves. For example BMW doesnt make their transmissions. There are no Japanese OEM’s that make their own electical components. The list goes on

        1. Lensman says:

          The amount of misinformation in the comments in this thread is almost overwhelming.

          I think it’s safe to say that auto makers design by far the majority of the components of their cars themselves. Sure, they farm out subassemblies for manufacture to other companies — subassemblies to be made to the auto maker’s design, under close supervision by the auto maker. Aside from “standard parts” like windshield wipers, wheels, and oil filters, the designs for automobiles and their parts are mostly in-house at the various automobile manufacturers.

          Boeing tried to farm out not merely the manufacturing, but also the design for subassemblies for their Dreamliner airplane, in an attempt to speed up the process of getting it into production. They discovered to their sorrow that the lack of detailed oversight lead to subassemblies that simply didn’t fit together. Instead of having a shorter time from “clean sheet” design to assembly, the Dreamliner wound up being delayed far beyond the original target date.

          So far as I know, no automobile manufacturer has been foolish enough to try what Boeing did.

    5. Speculawyer says:

      True. Every battery maker is ready to build a 300 mile EV.

      The question is whether they can do it with a battery that is affordable for people.

      And whether the car still has sufficient passenger and storage space.

    6. Speculawyer says:

      Well . . . I think the point of the announcement was to get attention and some press coverage.

      Mission accomplished.

    7. telveer says:

      To some extend, that is true. However, just adding more cells is not the full answer. Each cell has to be able to withstand larger amounts of power being withdrawn (or put in, which is more likely), which requires changes to the way the individual cell is built. It is a collaborative effort. Its not like LG is making cells and throwing them over a wall to GM, which then slaps them together in whichever size and config it wants.

      1. Lensman says:

        telveer said:

        “Each cell has to be able to withstand larger amounts of power being withdrawn (or put in, which is more likely), which requires changes to the way the individual cell is built.”

        No part of that is true. It’s entirely possible to build a larger battery pack using more of exactly the same cells. (And Tesla has done exactly that with the 85 kWh Model S vs. the 60/70 kWh version.) The individual cells don’t need to handle more power, neither charging nor discharging, merely because the entire pack can put out more power. It is other components, like the motor, the inverter, the electrical cables and bus bars, and the charger, that may need to be beefed up.

    8. YB says:

      Thats like saying a bus can be made up of 15 cars. Most likely the idea is that the 50 KwH batt will weigh and be of the same volume as the 26 KwH batt

  2. Robb Stark says:

    What is the cell cost per kWh and energy density?

    If they are actually selling battery packs a la Tesla for the RAV4EV and B Class then what is the pack cost per kWh?

    Haven’t they always sold in large numbers and given volume discounts? What is the news here?

    Range is dependent on the car weight and aerodynamics as much as the battery pack. And are the rated miles based on EPA,NEDC,or JEVS?

    1. Three Electrics says:

      Given that a Tesla is among the least efficient electric cars out there, as long as these packs don’t weigh significantly more than Tesla’s packs, I wouldn’t doubt the range. Tesla’s packs use a very complicated design to reduce the risk of thermal runaway, but other manufacturers use a significantly simpler design which (until now) had poor density. Perhaps this has changed with the LG announcement.

      1. Lensman says:

        Three Electrics said:

        “Given that a Tesla is among the least efficient electric cars out there…”

        Say what?!?

        The Tesla Model S has almost exactly the same efficiency rating, in miles per kWh, as the Nissan Leaf. Yet the Model S is a much heavier and somewhat larger car. In fact, the only EV bigger than a microcar which has a significantly higher efficiency rating is the BMW i3.

        Perhaps you meant to say “Given that a Tesla is among the most efficient electric cars out there…”

        1. Ryan says:

          Not only that, efficiency has a great deal to do with weight… compact, short range EVs are always going to have a bit of an edge efficiency wise… but double the battery size in the Leaf to 50KWh and watch how much your beloved efficiency goes in the toilet… the efficiency of the Model S is staggering considering the weight that pack has to move

        2. Steve Strange says:

          Re: relative efficiencies of EVs and Tesla being “as good as a LEAF”:

          This post contains a table that says otherwise: http://insideevs.com/bmw-i3-confirmed-efficient-ev-yet/

          1. Lensman says:

            Here are the correct numbers to use for comparing the Leaf to the Model S:

            Tesla Model S
            85 kWh
            EPA range: 265 miles
            Miles / kWh = 3.118

            Nissan Leaf
            24 kWh
            EPA range: 75 miles
            Miles / kWh = 3.125

            You’ll note that is less than a 1% difference; 0.225% to be exact.

            I think the confusion comes from comparing different years of EPA ratings, using different rating systems. As InsideEVs noted in a previous article:

            “On a technical level the [Leaf] range has increased from 75 miles in 2013 to 84 miles [in 2014], but this is due to the fact Nissan has eliminated the EPA blended range rating (which averages the 80% charge range and the 100% charge range) by deleting the option to charge to 80% on the 2014 LEAF itself… now only the 100% range number applies.”

            The Model S was rated on the blended system, so using the more recent (inflated) number of 82 miles for the Leaf is an apples-to-oranges comparison.

            1. ClarksonCote says:

              Hmmm… I didn’t think the Tesla was rated with a blended system, since it doesn’t default to a set lower charge point like the Leaf used to.

              1. Lensman says:

                It doesn’t now, but when first rated by the EPA you had to use the “Range” charge mode to charge it to what Tesla calls 100% (which is actually only 95%).

                Since then, Tesla has used a software upgrade to allow the driver to set any level of charge he wants.

                Even Consumer Reports used 80% as the basis for their range reporting, leading to some confusion about the actual range of the car. They said they did that because the owner’s manual recommended an 80% charge for everyday driving. While that is indeed appropriate for everyday driving, CS should have noted in their review that their reported range was with an 80% charge, not 100%.

            2. Mint says:

              We need more data to make that assertion. Maybe the Model S only does 80% DoD when you do a 100% charge, but only Tesla really knows.

              MPGe is the bottom line, though, taking into account all losses from plug to wheels. On the highway, the Model S does slightly more miles/kWh, while the LEAF is a solid 20-30% more efficient in the city.

              Highway range is what matters for cars with 100+ miles of real world range, so kudos to Tesla on that front.

              1. Lensman says:

                Personally, I always ignore comments like “The car has X kWh, but only Y is usable”. All EV makers should reserve some battery capacity on the top and bottom, so the driver can’t charge the batteries to maximum voltage nor completely discharge them. I’ve seen it reported that Tesla reserves 5% on the top, to prevent the batteries from being worn out quickly. I can’t swear this is true, since Tesla doesn’t make that info public, and it’s possible they have changed the percentage reserve with improved batteries. But I’m going to continue assuming it’s a 5% reserve at the top until I see reports to the contrary.

                But why does it matter? An EV has X kWh of batteries, it goes Y distance. What difference does it make whether one auto maker allows deeper DoD than another? The question is how efficient the car is at using stored energy. DoD is part of the equation, but it’s no more or less important than (for example) the drag coefficient or the mechanical efficiency of the car. It’s just one factor affecting efficiency, and I don’t see why it should be treated as something separate.

        3. Incredulocious says:

          Yeah, not so much. Tesla did a good job and it’s got a nice low cD rating but that’s a big heavy car and when you multiply that cD ratio by the frontal area, that’s a big hit. And then you add in the weight.

          In other words, smaller and lighter weight EV’s use less energy per mile, but that’s the usual trade-off. And that’s also why it’s so important to get the energy density up so we can have battery packs which much more energy capacity at the same weight.

        4. Incredulocious says:

          Or put more simply: you can easily get more than 4 miles per kWh in a LEAF versus around 3 miles per kWh in a Model S.

          (Of course that average will vary by temperature, speed, etc.)

          1. Lensman says:

            According to who?

            I’m sure you can find subjective reports that are all over the map for the efficiency of both cars. But in objective driving tests, using the same driving patterns over the same course for both cars, both the EPA and Edmunds.com both found the miles per kWh rating for the Leaf and the Model S were almost precisely the same. If there’s a significant difference, it comes from the driver, not the car.

  3. Alaa says:

    So much for the battery business now days! It looks like capacitors are soon going to take over. This Canadian company http://pesn.com/2015/05/25/9602623_Sunvault_and_Edison_Create_Massive-10k-Farad-Graphene-Supercapacitor/ made a large enough capacitor to replace batteries and it is much cheaper. That is according to the Canadian company! In addition a very active man by the name of Robert https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TkwoHgkuR0
    made a 1 Mega Farad capacitor that translates to more than 1000 wh/kg. To give you an idea the Tesla batteries is at best 300 wh/kg; so these capacitors can make a Tesla Model S go at least 3 times longer between charges and of course capacitors take much less time to charge and can be cycled much more than any battery etc etc etc. The thing that shocked me most is that this Canadian company claims that in Q3 the price will be less than $100 per kwh and by the end of the year the price will drop to $40. If all this is true than no one will need Li Ion batteries. In the case of Tesla the Giga factory is a good investment since be it batteries or capacitors a factory is needed to make these storage devices. I am not sure if this 1 Mega Farad capacitor is actually in the same range as Li Ion batteries when it comes to energy and volumetric density. At any rate if it is anywhere near the Tesla batteries numbers then the capacitors win due to many things. Price is the first thing then safety and life time. So please guys look into this story of Robert Murray-Smith add tell me what you think. He is working with this Canadian company and Edison energy in Canada. I am sure that Elon Musk is keeping a close look at capacitors since he was going to do his PhD in them.

    1. Jess Stanton says:

      If it sounds to good to be true, it probably – yes probably – isn’t true.

    2. CDAVIS says:

      lol…Fantastic Cheese

    3. Lou Grinzo says:

      I’ve been following energy and climate issues very closely for a dozen years. In that time I’ve probably read 100 articles about supercaps or ultracaps being right on the brink of revolutionizing energy storage for everything from phones to wind turbines. And so far, it hasn’t happened.

      I have no doubt that we’ll see very significant drops in the cost of energy storage, and caps might indeed provide a huge breakthrough. But right now, I’d wager on the next 5 to 10 years being some lithium variant, with caps continuing to look enticing but never quite making it to market in that time frame.

    4. Chris5472 says:

      That almost sounds too good to be true ! But hey, maybe I am wrong ?!
      Let them bring their product to the market and get it tested by independent Labs. And then we will talk again…

    5. Alan says:

      This does kind of fit in with what I have been told about a Graphene battery that Mitsu will be using from next year so I won’t knock this story !

    6. Ambulator says:

      It sounds like another EESTOR. There is almost no chance of this working as claimed.

    7. Lensman says:

      Those claims are almost certainly 100% B.S. If I were you, I certainly wouldn’t invest any money.

      If it’s real, then let them demonstrate it. I’ll bet that just like EEStor, they never will.

    8. telveer says:

      If you think Li Ion batteries have very low energy density, Supercapacitors are a 100 times worse. They may have their applications but I don’t think they will replace batteries anytime soon, if ever.

    9. Thanh Lim says:

      If I recall, the capacitor’s problem is the number of cycles it goes through before it completely degrades. They still need to improve that before it can really be used for cars. It was something like 300-500 cycles or so?

      1. Lensman says:

        Nope, supercapacitors can typically be cycled thousands or even millions of times without significant degradation. The problem, as telveer said, is that the energy density is on the order of 100 times worse than li-ion batteries.

        Imagine if an EV’s “battery” pack was 100 times as big! Not gonna happen, period.

          1. Lensman says:

            You’re pointing to a lab demonstration of something made on the nanoscale. Telveer and I are talking about commercial products; things that are actually mass produced at useable size; products which EV makers can actually afford to buy in large numbers.

            We see articles about lab demos for breakthroughs in battery and capacitor tech at least once a month. But don’t hold your breath for any one of those to actually be commercialized. It seems inevitable that someday, one of them finally will be. But in this field, it’s generally best to treat any claim with a very large amounts of skepticism.

            “The battery industry has to have more B.S. in it than any industry I’ve ever encountered. It’s insane.” — Elon Musk

            I have no doubt that LG Chem has managed to achieve some sort of breakthrough, altho probably mostly in cost rather than making them smaller. But a nanotech capacitor being used to power a mass produced EV within the next few years? Not much chance of that.

    10. scott franco the greedy republican says:

      The capacity of supercapacitors is up for question. However, the capacity of the supercapacitor proponents in bovine scatology is virtually limitless.

    11. Alaa says:

      Robert now is a director at Sunvault.

  4. CDAVIS says:

    Coming soon to a theatre near you… Battle of the Batts!

    LG Chem vs Tesla GIGA…

    Will Panasonic continue to dance with Tesla or will Panasonic try to sneak away from the dance knowing Tesla intends to eat them after the dance?

    Perhaps LG Chem + Panasinic alliance vs Tesla GIGA?

    Get out the popcorn…will be fun to watch…

    1. Mister G says:

      It will be fun if the final product is better and cheaper batteries.

      1. vdiv says:

        “So how much does it cost to charge your 1 parsec EV?”
        “Billions and billions of dollars.” 😉

  5. soakee says:

    Another question: Isn’t the 200-300 mile range dependent on the vehicle (drag coefficient, vehicle weight, size of the installed motor, vehicle accessories, etc.)

    1. no comment says:

      it’s a target range so i assume it was based on a reasonable assumption about the number of miles you could get from a kWh.

    2. Lensman says:

      soakee asks:

      “Isn’t the 200-300 mile range dependent on the vehicle…”


      This is one of my pet peeves. The battery can’t go 200 miles, or even 1 inch, on its own. It can only power a vehicle which may or may not be able to travel that far, depending on many factors.

      Calling it a “200 mile battery” is gibberish; nothing but meaningless noise.

      1. Incredulocious says:

        Well, yeah, but not exactly. If you can make 120 kWh packs at a similar weight to say a 40 kWh pack, then you know you’re going to get on the order of three times the range in the same car that was using the 40 kWh pack. And if you know you can go 125-ish miles with 40kWh (RAV4 EV), than you can extrapolate. So the potential is there.

        But of course we don’t know the volume and weights of these packs. If it’s three times the weight or volume of 40 kWh packs then that’s a pretty bogus claim.

        1. Lensman says:

          Even if LG Chem has managed to do what Envia claimed (but failed) to do with its NMC batteries, that’s only a 75% improvement in energy density… not a 200% improvement!

          I can’t be absolutely certain, but LG Chem certainly isn’t claiming to have a breakthru in much smaller battery size. The most likely explanation for their claims is simply that they are building battery cells which are cheaper per kWh. Likely they’re also a slightly smaller size than EV makers were using a few years ago, but that’s to be expected, as ED (Energy Density) in li-ion batteries has slowly improved.

          If the battery pack has three times the kWh, it probably will have well over two times the volume. You can’t just stick a battery pack that’s something like two-and-a-half times as big as the old pack into the same car. You’ve got to design and build a larger car to hold it. And then your efficiency drops because it’s a larger, heavier car, so you need to make the battery pack (and the car) even bigger to compensate.

          That’s why it’s so amazing that Tesla has managed to make the Model S just as efficient as the Leaf. It shows just how advanced Tesla’s EV tech is over other EV makers’ tech.

  6. Warren says:

    The old cubic inch race has been replaced by the kWh race, “My package is bigger than yours.” What a pathetic waste. Efficiency gets no respect. Cooked planet anyone?

    1. no comment says:

      i find the focus on “performance” and 0-60 times to be a bit dismaying. first of all, batteries don’t have the energy density to support wasteful driving. if that’s your motivation, you’re better off with an ICE because if you blow through a tank of gasoline, it only takes 5 minutes to get another tankful. with an electric vehicle, you’re looking at 30-60 minutes minimum to recharge. it seems crazy to me. so if you give people “performance”, they’ll either: a)complain about not getting enough range; b)complain about the car costing too much [because you have to include extra battery capacity to accommodate the energy wasted from showboat driving antics]; or c)both (the most likely possibility).

      1. Regulus Black says:

        Yes. It is interesting to see so many Tesla Model S owners trading up to the latest and greatest P85D fwd. But it is really about efficiency. I don’t need to go 0-60 in 3 seconds. I just need to be able to go 200 miles in an electric car that I can afford.

        1. no comment says:

          i kind of doubt that the “insane” mode was implemented for efficiency. it’s all fine and well to implement the capability, but when the Volt was first developed, it was developed around the concept of energy efficiency. these days, the energy efficiency issue is being overshadowed by performance issues, which is hardly what i would call a “green” frame of mind.

          1. Nemo says:

            One purpose to creating high-performance electric cars is precisely to sell green cars to people who don’t care about being green, or at least, who don’t care about it as much as they care about performance. That’s probably a bigger market segment than the people who do care. What matters is the result, not the motivation.

    2. Surya says:

      Looking at cars like the i3 I would say you are wrong. They did a lot of things very different for the sake of efficiency. But a kWh will only bring you so far. You can never make a full size 5-star safety rating family car that goes 300 miles on 20kWh. It’s just not possible, so bigger batteries are the only way to go. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look at efficiency, but that can’t be the only tool for increasing range.

    3. Alonso Perez says:

      Don’t Worry.

      There is a bit of a bait and switch here. The acceleration is real enough, but what happens is that EV owners tend to watch range, even when they have plenty of it, and this quickly tempers their jack rabbit starts. Sure, every once in a while the animal spirits take over and they floor it, perhaps to show a friend, but I don’t think most Model S owners are constantly doing that. It gets old after a while.

      1. sven says:

        Alonso Perez said:
        “The acceleration is real enough, but what happens is that EV owners tend to watch range, even when they have plenty of it, and this quickly tempers their jack rabbit starts.”

        High performance ICE sports car owners don’t watch their range, because they have plenty of it. But do you know what quickly tempers the jack rabbit starts of owners of high performance ICE sports cars? Crashing your brand new ICE sports car the first time that you floor it. LOL!


    4. Warren says:

      All I ever hear from you guys is, “I need…five seats, super safe…for me, etc.”

      We have a decade or two to get over ourselves.

      I have this idea for a cartoon. White, well off boomers with a gun to the heads of their grandchildren saying, “Give me what I want, or they die.”

    5. Lou Grinzo says:

      I wouldn’t make that particular comparison.

      The cubic inch/horsepower wars were about brute force, in terms of how much power you could deliver to the wheels.

      The kWh wars are/will be about the total energy a battery can store for a given price, which greatly benefits us; higher kWh = more uses for big batteries from cars to wind turbines to whatever. Put an EPA-rated 200-mile EV on the market for $25k sans incentives and I guarantee we’ll see sales figures that blow away what this site reports every month currently.

      Also, the battery race isn’t just raw kWh, but kWh/$ (cost efficiency), kWh/weight, and kWh/volume. Advances in all those metrics are undeniably a good thing for consumers and the environment.

      There will certainly be some measure of marketing idiocy mixed in with the genuine advances. Given the immense amounts of money involved, that shouldn’t surprise us, even though it is annoying.

    6. Lensman says:

      Warren said:

      “The old cubic inch race has been replaced by the kWh race, ‘My package is bigger than yours.’ What a pathetic waste. Efficiency gets no respect. Cooked planet anyone?”

      What is your obsession with tiny battery packs? If all you care about is energy efficiency, then get rid of your car and ride an electric bicycle. Or better yet, just walk everywhere.

      Most of us want a vehicle which has an enclosed cabin to keep the rain, snow, and cold out. We want a vehicle which has more than one seat in case we need to carry a passenger or three. We also want it to be able to carry luggage or other stuff. In other words, an actual car, and not merely a bicycle or scooter, which apparently is what you think everyone should use.

      Furthermore, we want an EV which can travel more than 100 miles before we need to stop and charge it up.

      Your continued insistence on EVs with tiny battery packs is self-defeating. If only short-range EVs are offered by auto makers, then the vast majority of car buyers will continue to prefer gas guzzlers — just as they do now.

      To move the EV revolution out of the “early adopter” era, we need EVs with significantly larger battery packs. Apparently, Warren, you wish EVs to remain a tiny niche product that very few people will ever buy.

      1. philip d says:

        Also another benefit of EVs compared to higher hp ICEs is that there isn’t an efficiency penalty for having a larger motor output. You can have a powerful electric motor and still get the same efficiency as a smaller electric motor if you accelerate at the same speed. Of course you loose efficiency when you get on the throttle but it then becomes the driver’s choice. This is not true for larger displacement gas engines even with tricks like cylinder deactivation.

      2. Warren says:

        You mentioned at least three times what you want. I am not talking about what we want. I want to live in a castle with slaves and a harem. It doesn’t matter a whit what you, or I want. I am talking about what we can actually have and leave a livable world for our kids. I know I won’t change your mind. You think we are brilliant, and will fix everything we destroy with technology. And if we can’t we’ll fly off to some sci-fi fantasy.


        1. Incredulocious says:

          Huh? This is a reasonable goal: enough energy density (and efficiency) to create all electric vehicles that can be used not just for local trips but any trips – to replace the existing gas burners.

          Yes, there’s much more that can be done to help in terms of not dedicating tons of resources and land area to personal transportation vehicles, but higher energy density batteries for all electric vehicles (and lots of wind/solar/hydro power) is still going to be a great help.

          1. Warren says:

            I don’t see how it will help. We have had the ability to build 100 mpg vehicles for decades. Only a handful people have had any interest in them. How would the ability to make them electric change that? Only hardship, and the force of government/military rationing will cause people to conserve.

            1. Lensman says:

              Thank you for finally making it quite clear that what you want is for the government to force everyone to live as if they’re poor. This was apparent to me from the first time you posted on the subject, but perhaps was not obvious to everyone.

              Personally, I’d much rather use technology in a sustainable fashion to make the average person rich. I realize this isn’t currently a realistic goal; we’ll always have poor, and in the poorer areas of the world we’re already seeing wars primarily due to overpopulation and the resultant resource depletion. But the solution isn’t to try to make those who are rich voluntarily become poor. People aren’t built to do that, and trying to force them to do so will merely start another war.

              The answer is to work toward changing human society, eliminating overpopulation thru emphasis on birth control and education, over time reducing the world population to the point that the remaining population is sustainable and there are enough resources for most people to be rich.

              Yeah, that’s a pretty lofty goal, and one which almost certainly won’t be achieved until the world population is brought down somewhat thru “traditional” methods such as wars, famine, and epidemic disease. But it is a goal which it is actually possible to get most people to agree to, given time… unlike your goal of trying to force everyone to be poor.

              1. Warren says:

                Thank you for being honest. You are OK with class warfare, since you figure you class will win. Good luck with that.

              2. disgustedandamused says:

                Lensman, I agree with your general direction (use tech to make life better for as many as possible?), but I’d take some issue with the birth rate as a factor. Birth rates have been falling globally for some time; in fact, almost the only places with birthrates above classic replacement level are Africa, India and the poorest, most backward corners of the Middle East (Afghanistan, Yemen). Even the most basic levels of education and media exposure, plus access to reasonably price contraception directly to women, have been enough cut birthrates to near 2 kids per woman or below. Globally, we all worry about birthrates, but nationally (worldwide), politicians worry about low birthrates and worker/retiree ratios… at least until robotics becomes an obvious factor (maybe this next decade’s big issue?). Population growth is now due to old people surviving longer (and the second half of the worker/retiree ratio problem). Given the political, social and economic power of older people in most societies, this phase of population management is a very different problem than “getting women to make fewer babies.” In fact, I’m feeling a little uncooperative myself on this whole “getting out of the way of the young ones” idea.
                The second issue I have with these types of discussions has to do with “resources.” No substance can be called a resource except as a function of a specific set of technologies — until that’s defined, it’s just generic matter, energy, space or time. The result is that, with an increasingly more powerful set of technologies, the objective amount of “resources” really does increase — even though the amount of physical stuff remains the same, something our traditionally tech-illiterate economic and social sciences still haven’t grasped at the most fundamental levels (although economists have started to). When you look at how much energy and material we already have here on earth, there’s a good chance, with sufficiently advanced near-term technologies, we have enough “resources” to support this centuries’ likely populations — if enough people become literate in the technologies necessary, and social elites are willing to organize local institutions to allow those technologies to be deployed quickly enough. That, apparently is still an open question in every society in 2015.

        2. Incredulocious says:

          Oops, and I forgot to say: and efficient designs to make the most of those high energy density vehicles. Yeah, some people will still go for huge displays of power and size, but at least we can get them to stop burning oil while doing it.

  7. Bill Howland says:

    This news item should dispell the myth that mainstream cars can’t be made to drive 200 miles on batteries alone.

    LG’s 120 kwh battery would propell my ex-roadster at least 500 miles, 600 with a light foot. Now if they can make the price point right, its an even better deal.

    So an inexpensive honest 200 miles out of a BOLT doesn’t seem science fiction.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      Boy, would I love a 500 mile BEV. I would never have to use gas again! 🙂

  8. shane says:

    An ability to make a very large, heavy, expensive battery was never a problem. The question is what size, weight, cost, & reliability. Presumably the real progress is that they are getting closer to targets that will provide a tipping point to larger scale deployment.

    1. Lensman says:

      I presume the “innovation” here is merely, or at least mostly, just a lower price per kWh. But I could be wrong; I’m eager to see the specs on volumetric energy density (and gravimetric energy density) for LG Chem’s new cells.

      Currently, the main barrier to longer range EVs is price. Volume and weight in li-ion batteries have already come down far enough that they are no longer the main barrier. Tesla has certainly proved that you can make a compelling, high performance EV even if it has a 1200+ pound battery pack.

    2. no comment says:

      so can you pack these LG battery cells in increasingly large arrangements without limit? or does it ever get to the point where you would need larger individual cells in order to achieve a given total stored charge goal?

      1. Lensman says:

        Tesla has proven it’s entirely possible — nay, it’s better — to use many many small cells than to use a few larger ones. No, there’s no practical limit to how many cells you can put in, except that if the battery pack becomes too large, there isn’t room in the car for other things.

        Speaking of too large: The Tesla Roadster had an approx. 10 cubic foot battery pack, but a small (some would say cramped) passenger cabin with only 2 seats, and a trunk that literally was barely large enough for a bag of golf clubs.

        Things have improved since.

  9. Breezy says:

    Early 2017 for the Bolt now? I thought late 2016.

    1. Chevy announced 2018 for the Bolt, like kids near Xmas holiday, wishing an early date to open a gift is not going to change the calendar timeline.

      1. kdawg says:

        I thought late 2016 was announced for production start. Deliveries early 2017.

        1. philip d says:

          That’s what I’ve always heard as well

  10. Scramjett says:

    “…given the size of the Bolt (think Chevy Sonic small)…”

    Welp, that settles it then. Tesla Model 3 it is!

    1. Speculawyer says:

      What if the Model 3 is that size too?

      1. Scramjett says:

        Well, from what Tesla (Elon) has said, it will be the size of a 3-series Bimmer. However, if it ends up being more Sonic sized, I won’t be getting it at all. I’ll probably have to bide my time and wait for something family sized that is more affordable.

  11. This LG reference to 80 – 120 kWh lacks details on weight and volume. Without specs or details on packaging, there is almost zero info here.

    It could be the case that 80-120 kWh packs are being used in buses, or larger trucks that can carry the extra weight. It could also be the case that 80 – 120 kWh packs are just energy storage containers (without wheels).

    1. evnow says:

      Did you read the linked article ?

      1. JakeY says:

        It doesn’t say on that site either, only that LG chem is looking to supply 80-120kWh packs to car manufacturers.

  12. Speculawyer says:

    Honestly, I think 300 miles is pretty stupid. At least right now. If there is some miracle breakthrough that pushes batteries below $100/KWH then it could make sense.

    But 300 miles of range would mean people paying literally thousands of extra dollars for something that they only use like 1% of the time. And not only that, it takes up space and add weight to the vehicle.

    If you are really going to drive 500+ miles often then get a hybrid. If you do it rarely, then have a nice hour long supercharger break with a meal every few hours.

    1. Ryan says:

      I believe this is precisely Elon’s point of view… could they make a bigger battery with more range? Sure, but the value of incremental range increases significantly drops after 250-300 miles

    2. no comment says:

      depending upon the service conditions, a “300 mile” battery can get you a lot less than 300 miles, say, 150 miles. in a metropolitan area you can easily drive over 100 miles in a day. this raises the second problem that you identified: the amount of time that it would take to recharge.

      i’m really beginning to think that fuel cell is eventually going to carry the day. yeah, there are significant infrastructure issues, but you’re going to have those issues whether you go BEV or FCEV. i just think that transportation that is less than 100% dependable is a going to be a non-starter for the general public and BEVs require behavior changes that only EV enthusiasts and elon musk fanboys are going to be willing to accept.

      for trucking, i don’t see any viable option to FCEV. there was the company that was building interstate PHEV trucks, but 60-120 miles of range is of incremental value at best because you would be doing most of your driving using gasoline. there the infrastructure problems may not be as great because interstate truck stops are not as great in number as gasoline stations for cars. PHEVs are probably practical for automobiles because you can engineer enough battery for most expected driving while still allowing people to feel that they have reliable transportation for daily and/or unexpected driving.

      1. Ryan says:

        you do realize that a fuel cell vehicle, driven by an electric motor will have the exact same decrease in range based on driving habits and habitat right? a hydrogen tank can still only produce a fixed amount of electricity per tank… so if you drive your 300 mile FCV like a race car you’re going to have the same problem as an EV

        as for the fueling time and infrastructure, we are seeing 1000x the growth in the EV space as we are in the FCV space… in 5 years there will still be less than 10,000 FCV on the roads in California only… how far ahead will the charging infrastructure be by then?

        1. no comment says:

          the problem with BEVs is that while you can conceivably scale the number of charging stations, there is a limit to how fast you can safely charge a battery. what FCEVs get you, that you can’t get in a BEV, is a 5 minute refill cycle, which is similar to the time for refilling a gasoline tank in an ICE.

          were it not for the issue of recharge time vs. refill time, i don’t think there would be any reason to investigate FCEVs.

          1. Mike says:

            Meh, I don’t understand the handwringing with charge times. Cars spend 90-99 percent of their time completely idled, parked, doing nothing. Just so long as I have a place to plug in at night (my garage), my Leaf is fine. Unlike hydrogen, places to get electricity are everywhere. All we need are sufficient range for BEVs and plugs and charge time effectively doesn’t really matter.

            1. no comment says:

              you’re making the assumption that the only times that you would run out of range would be at times that were convenient for you. that’s a big assumption…

              1. Mike says:

                Not at all. I plug in every time I get home as I walk into my house from my garage. I basically have full charge (a full tank) every morning. My driving habits, as most people’s are, are completely predictable. This has worked out so well for me over the past two years I sold my Lexus I had initially kept out of worry I might need to drive further sometimes because I never used it. When the odd emergency comes up (I attended two funerals over the past three months) or I go somewhere on vacation, I fly anyways and/or rent a car or Uber. With a Tesla that has double or triple the range of a Leaf, it wouldn’t even be a thought to worry about range.

                Frankly, when I had rental cars, it was quite annoying to me to have to go to a gas station to refuel when I never even think about it with my Leaf normally. Time to recharge means nothing for an electric car with sufficient range if you have a place to charge at night and/or at work. Your car spends the vast majority of its time idled, so the time to recharge is essentially invisible because it’s done when you’re not using your car. If you don’t have a place to charge, then a BEV isn’t for you yet. But establishing places for people to charge (even just trickle charging from a standard 120v outlet helps) would be a heck of a lot easier and cheaper to do with our extensive electrical grid than establishing brand new infrastructure from the ground up for hydrogen FCVs.

      2. Lensman says:

        “no comment” said:

        “BEVs require behavior changes that only EV enthusiasts and elon musk fanboys are going to be willing to accept.”

        That’s going to look like a rather short-sighted prediction in just a decade or two, as EV charge times continue to drop at a fast pace. Once we get down to a charge time of 10 minutes or so, there won’t be any significant advantage left for gasoline powered cars for the average driver. Only those drivers who drive, say, 200+ miles per day are going to stick to gas guzzlers.

        “for trucking, i don’t see any viable option to FCEV.”

        Fuel cell powered vehicles will never be economically viable if they use hydrogen for fuel, period. More likely solutions for long distance trucking are switching to natural gas for fuel, or battery pack swapping.

        1. no comment says:

          i actually own an electric vehicle, so maybe i’m a bit more familiar with the limitations of them.

          when you see Tesla advertise 250 miles of range, that is a figure based on a set of assumptions. the thing about electric vehicles is that in the real world, there are circumstances under which you’ll get more than 250 miles, and there are circumstances in which you will get less than 250 miles. when people buy a car, they generally aren’t looking to play games of statistics; they’re looking for reliable daily transportation.

          200 miles is a good figure for a BEV but if you live in a major metropolitan area, where you might run from suburb to suburb at different shopping areas, you can easily run up well over 100 miles of driving in a single day; that’s just the way that things tend to be laid out in the U.S. if you live in a cold weather area, where you have to run heat during colder months, that “200 mile” BEV is going to get you a lot less than 200 miles.

          it would be nice if you could recharge in 5-10 minutes. i suppose such would theoretically be possible now if you have megawatt charging stations. but the potential hazards of such stations are such that, even if you could get regulatory permission to build such a thing, i can’t imagine that any insurance company would be willing to touch it because of the potential liability issues.

          in the real world, most people are going to look at the prospect of spending 1 or 2 hours recharging a BEV, versus 5-10 minutes refilling an ICE. that’s not a difficult choice for most people. in my case, i have a Chevrolet Volt, so if i really do need more “range”, i really can fill up in 5-10 minutes. so i can drive 200+ miles in a day and not have to worry about it. in my case, it is very rare that i do drive 200+ miles in a day, but i am covered if unexpected circumstances require that i do so. on the other hand, if i am parked somewhere for a long period of time and had access to a free charging station, i could also recharge.

          this is why i just don’t see BEVs are being practical and see the PHEV as being the better way to go for electrification of the automobile. it appears that most companies that actually make cars (other than Tesla) have that same view.

          with regard to trucks, maybe natural gas is a viable option, but BEVs are not: if battery swapping is not practical for automotive use, it’s too much of a logistical nightmare to ever be considered for trucking use.

          1. Lensman says:

            “no comment” said:

            “it would be nice if you could recharge in 5-10 minutes. i suppose such would theoretically be possible now if you have megawatt charging stations. but the potential hazards of such stations are such that, even if you could get regulatory permission to build such a thing, i can’t imagine that any insurance company would be willing to touch it because of the potential liability issues.”

            It never ceases to amaze me that people blithely talk as if ultra-fast-charging of BEVs was especially difficult or impossible, or as if high-voltage equipment didn’t already exist. As if this is an engineering challenge that hasn’t already been safely solved, and solved for quite a few decades now. This is every bit as short-sighted as someone in the days of the Model T Ford saying there is no way that an automobile could ever run reliably for hours at a steady 55 MPH or faster.

            On another forum, we had a detailed discussion of this subject with an actual engineer who actually works with high-voltage equipment on a daily basis. He was of the opinion that there wasn’t anything particularly hard about charging 100 kWh in 10 minutes, assuming both the car and the charger are designed for it. According to our back-of-the-envelope calculations, it would require a charging connection about equal in cross section to a one inch diameter copper bar, to carry that current without significant heating, but this requirement could be met far more cheaply by an aluminum connector of slightly larger diameter.

            The Chief Technical Officer of Tesla Motors has been quoted as saying they want to get down to a 5-to-10 minute charge time. I’m gonna go out on a limb here, “no comment”, and guess that he knows more about what is and isn’t possible — and practical — than you do.

            1. no comment says:

              with a level 3 dc charging station you could theoretically recharge an 85kWh battery in 10 minutes.

      3. Waiting for hydrogen is like... says:

        …waiting for consensus. Get over it. Pull back the curtain so you can see that man hiding behind it pretending to be the wizard of oz!

        The INDUSTRY pushing hydrogen is non other than: fossil! why is that? because it takes massive quantities of natural gas and electricity to be converted into hydrogen! 3 parts energy in, one part out. how is that not wasteful and inefficient?

        Hydrogen is ONLY financially suitable for space craft and submarines, where there isn’t an option for a power line or a smoke stack, just as nuclear is.

        For the rest of applications, such as trucks, cars, etc., there are far cheaper and easier options such as batteries, capacitors, etc.

        1. Waiting for hydrogen is like... says:

          …oh and I forgot, hydrogen “cars” are still guess what? ELECTRIC!

          “but my elected official like hydrogen and he’s a conservative like me”

          This is like saying you only want your car to be black, white or silver because colors make you look gay! COME ON!

    3. Anthony says:

      Yup! 120kWh * $250/kWh = $30,000 for the battery pack, nevermind the cost of the rest of the car. Unless you’re building a higher end luxury car in the 70-90K range, you’re not going to be using a 120kWh battery pack.

      1. no comment says:

        i’ve got to believe that over time they will eventually be able to get the cost of batteries down significantly. there will still be the problem of recharging time.

    4. Incredulocious says:

      Not that stupid. Not everybody spends their days only traveling to/from local destinations. A good number of us like to travel and go on excursions and I don’t want to have to burn any gas at all (or deal with the extra complexity of a gas/hybrid engine). And even with 300 miles, I would still have trouble even with the usage of Superchargers to go from home (Santa Cruz, California) to remote locations (in the Sierra, for example). So I will be happy to see energy density that eventually brings greater than 300 miles to a pack comparable in size/weight of a 40 kWh pack now. In the meantime, my RAV4 EV (I don’t want a big Model S) gets me all around the San Francisco Bay Area and I revert to a gas vehicle for trips to remote areas.

      But of course, people should be able to decide how much range they need for their lifestyle. (150 miles vs 300 miles, etc)

  13. Jeff Songster says:

    I too may be ready to ship 120 kWh batteries if I can just collect enough 10000 mAh Nimh D cells and those little battery carriers. That and my trusty soldering iron… wait… this isn’t the Maker Faire? Nevermind… back to our previously scheduled Lucky Goldstar Ad. I just hope they are serious and the cells are dense! Bring them on!

  14. Priusmaniac says:

    Great this will make 100 KWh plus batteries become the norm and hopefully we will soon have a 150 KWh battery able to achieve 400 miles autonomy for real.

    1. Loboc says:

      Anything over 200 mi range for most people is a waste of batteries and thus money. Personally, I can get around most of the time with 120mi nominal range. The four times a year I travel more than 120 mi in one trip can be done with a rental or airfare. Giving me 400 or 300 or 200 mi real range is a waste of money as I would never use it.

      1. Incredulocious says:

        You may want to choose a smaller pack then, yeah?
        No problem, right?

        I mean, I have no need for a pickup truck, racing car, delivery van, semi, etc. but I think it’s okay that others have them. 😉

      2. no comment says:

        the “i can rent a car anytime” story sounds a lot better when speaking hypothetically than it would if you actually had to do it. i assure you, you would be a lot less enthusiastic about the idea after you have had to do it a few times.

        1. Dave says:

          Renting isn’t that much of a pain. My employer encourages us to rent when we travel to customers that are a bit of a drive but too close to fly to. Say, over 100 miles away. It’s cheaper to pay for a rental than to pay us mileage. There’s an Enterprise nearby, the rental process takes a few minutes once you’re an established customer.

          1. no comment says:

            you’re talking about corporate rentals. here’s what happens when you do a personal rental, and it’s a bit different: first of all, personal rentals are generally off-hours and at non-airport locations and are done under non-corporate terms. the first thing you have to deal with, particularly with suburban rentals is the hours of operation of the rental station; and on weekends they typically close at noon. that means you might end up eating a couple of extra days’ rental since they are probably going to be closed on sunday. thinking about returning to an airport location (which typically has longer hours)? you might have to pay a drop off charge.

            you get the idea…it’s not the same as when you land at the airport and go to the nearby car rental counter that has a dozen different rental agencies from which to choose.

            1. David says:

              I’m not treated any differently whether renting for personal or business use. Neither at airports nor locally near my home or near my office. I do resist any bargain hunting though. National and Enterprise are easy to deal with. I have heard some horror stories regarding dealing with the smaller, cheaper players.

            2. Lensman says:

              At the risk of sounding like a commercial, Enterprise car rental service has a weekend rate which (if I recall correctly) is the same as their weekday rate. So while the closest office does close at noon on Saturday and is closed on Sunday, you don’t pay anything extra for keeping the car all weekend. And you can drop off the car at any time, even when they are closed. Our airport (Kansas City International, or MCI) is only 35 minutes drive from our home, and the Enterprise office there is open 6:00 AM – 11:30 PM every day, so even that wouldn’t be so terribly inconvenient if we needed an emergency weekend rental. I realize that won’t work for everyone.

              Enterprise will also come and pick you up, at no extra charge! That’s why I’m happy to give a shameless plug for their service.

              1. no comment says:

                the way car rentals work is that there is a weekday PER DIEM rate, then there is a weekend PER DIEM rate that is typically significantly lower the the weekday per diem rate. in any event, in order to minimize your cost, you don’t want to have to pay to rent the car any longer than is needed. yes, you can make after hours drop offs at many rental stations, but if you drop the car off on saturday afternoon (when the station is closed) you’re still going to have to pay through to monday when they next open. under those circumstances, it makes no sense to return the car and still be paying on the rental; it makes more sense to keep the thing until monday, or go to another station that is open, and paying the drop off charge (which is typically more than the weekend per diem rate).

                you get the picture…

                1. Lensman says:

                  Perhaps I didn’t make it clear. As I recall, Enterprise’s “weekend special” rate is the same rate as renting the car for ONE weekday. You can keep it for Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday, and bring it back Monday morning, all for the price you’d pay for renting it for a single weekday.

                  So, no problem at all with the office being closed Sunday. They’re not charging for that day anyway!

                  1. no comment says:

                    in the past, when you called a rental car company and asked about their weekend rate, they would quote a daily rate; these days when you ask about a weekend rate, they quote you a total charge for rental from friday to monday. what’s going on here?

                    i think the rental car companies are doing what the supermarkets do. when supermarkets say “3 for $10”, you don’t actually have to buy 3 of the item; the reason why they promote the sale that way is because the suggestion that you buy 3 will increase the likelihood that you actually will by 3 of the item instead of 1. but, of course, if you bought 1 item, they would only charge you $3.33 and not $10.

                    when given a “weekend quote”, if i follow up to ask for the daily rental rate, they will give me the daily rate, which is 1/3 of the “weekend quote”. the rental car companies don’t really want you to rent a car for 1 day on a weekend; if you take the car out on friday and return it on saturday, it is unlikely that they will be able to rent the car again that weekend. it is better for them to try to convince you to take the car for the whole weekend.

          2. Priusmaniac says:

            A rented car can do the job, except you don’t have it immediately and it is not your own personal car. If you have child seats in it, it is not easy to move everything from one car to the other and when you want them in the rent car you pay extra and are sometimes in for bad surprises, like simply not having them. In your car you are 100% sure they are isofix quality and inside the car.
            It also takes some time to get used to a car and I don’t like switching for nothing. If you can’t recharge on the spot, it is not possible to rent a car each time you want to go at 200 miles, just at sea for instance. For me the magic number is 200 miles range so that is 400 miles autonomy. That gets me a return to the sea, to Paris, to Köln, to Amsterdam, to Luxemburg, something I wouldn’t want to have to rent a car for. Sure you can supercharge, but that needs to be available on your way and still ask time. It is better if you can charge at home.

  15. Ron says:

    As regards a battery breakthrough using a new technology, the graveyard is full of bankruptcies. eestor, evira, a123, etc

    However, VW is making a go/no go decision in July about a Quantum Scape solid state battery promising such. VW made a 5% investment with an option to purchase more. Presumably VW would have picked what it thought was the best of the breakthrough technologies to invest in

    If it turns out no go, I would guess that the 200 mile car is going to be mostly a bigger battery with some minor improvements in density and that li-ion will be the technology for many years. Tesla for one seems to believe this, and appears to be using a modified S 60 kwh cylindrical battery for it’s Model 3, counting on 30% cost reduction carrying the day


  16. PVH says:

    I believe no “tipping point” will take place before a significant increase in energy density takes place. No matter how seldom long trips are people will want as little limitation as possible. With present energy density (about 140 Wh/kg for most car makers except Tesla), no mass market acceptance, just the usual 2% enthousiast.

    1. evnow says:

      Reading between the lines, I infer that LG now has densities that allow small batteries to be as large as 80 to 120 kWh – so that they can go in cars. This means lower price/kWh as well, hopefully.

  17. Omar Sultan says:

    Seems like a somewhat empty proclamation without discussing production capacity and $/kWh. A 120kWh pack at today’s prices is not moving the needle in terms of broader adoption of EVs.

    1. Lensman says:

      I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t be seeing multiple car makers talk seriously about nominally “200 mile” EVs unless the per-kWh price for batteries has come down significantly. Apparently LG Chem has had some sort of breakthru in making batteries which are cheaper per kWh. Or if not an actual breakthru, then the annual incremental decrease in cost has reached and passed a tipping point at which EV makers think it’s worth the extra cost to get significantly more range.

      But I see nothing in LG Chem’s press releases which lead me to think they have significantly shrunk the per-kWh size of the batteries. These EVs with significantly longer ranges will almost certainly have significantly larger battery packs… just like a Tesla Model S.

  18. scott franco the greedy republican says:

    “LG Chem Says It’s Ready To Supply 300 Mile, 120 kWh Batteries”

    I would presume, and hope, that 120KWH batteries deliver more than 300 miles, especially since we presume the power to weight efficiencies have got better.

  19. Steve says:

    Anyone can make a bigger battery. What doesn’t seem to be covered in the article right now is how many they can produce. How many GWh of battery can they supply per year?

    Tesla will deliver about 4GWh of battery in 2015, assuming 50,000 cars averaging 80KWh in each. If LG Chem ships 100,000 120KWh batteries that would be 12GWh. However if they only ship 10,000 of these larger batteries, that’s only 1.2GWh shipped. What are the quantities here?

    1. Lensman says:

      That is indeed the problem. LG Chem is promising to produce roughly as many GWh (Gigawatt-hours) of batteries as Tesla plans to produce in its Gigafactory, but LG Chem has to divide its battery supply among several customers. Tesla gets the output of its Gigafactory all to itself, or at least as much of it as they can use.

      Tesla plans to ramp up to 500,000 Model ≡’s per year by 2020. (Realistically, it will probably take them a year or two longer.) The other EV makers? Don’t expect high volumes, because the battery supply just isn’t there.

  20. Ian says:

    LG Chem should build 200 and 300 mile battery for a Nissan LEAF and put a price tag on it and tell us where we can purchase one. Is Nissan stopping companies from building them. Hope not. This would let Nissan build cars Today and not worry how to proceed with marketing. We already love the car, let us get the range.