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Old 12-23-2010, 08:38 AM   #1
Morbo the Destroyer
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Default A Proposal for Electric Vehicle Fueling

A Proposal for Electric Vehicle Fueling
There are three fueling issues that currently restrain the widespread market acceptance of electric vehicles:

• The range of vehicles is limited.
• The recharge time for the vehicle batteries is too long.
• Potential buyers are concerned about the lifespan and cost to replace their vehicle batteries.

The solution for all three of these issues is to create a standard for E-vehicle batteries similar to the thousands of other standards used in the industry for vehicle accessories such as tires, fasteners, coolant, etc. Portability and interchangeability need to be key components of the standard. The batteries should be designed and located within their vehicles in such a way as to allow them to be changed within a few minutes. .

Retail “Battery Stations,” similar to today’s gas stations, can be located along roadways or in other areas where vehicles concentrate. Given the potential weight and size of vehicle batteries, automation of the exchange process may be necessary. However, modularized batteries that may not all need to be changed at once, may negate the need for automation.

The best analogy in today’s commerce is household propane cylinders. Less than a decade ago, the use of propane grills or other accessories meant scheduling a trip to a (often) remote filling station and waiting for the tank to be filled. Frequently the filling stations would refuse to fill the tanks due to corrosion, valve problems, or other tank faults. All of those problems are in the past, as a number of companies have introduced propane cylinder exchange services. The “owner” of the propane cylinder simply exchanges theirs for a “new” one, which has been inspected, painted, and filled. The cost is the same or less than owning and filling the same tank, and the exchange companies are able to generate profit while absorbing the cost of tank maintenance.

Vehicle batteries could work the same way. A set of standard battery sizes, connections, power ratings, etc. for E-vehicles can be defined by ISO, IEEE, SAE, or another existing standards body. New E-vehicle designs can be integrated with the standard power supplies, just as countless other manufacturing standards are implemented worldwide today. Motocyzysz has already utilized a quick-change, modular battery strategy for their electric race bike. There is no reason electric automobiles cannot be designed the same way.

Several potentially profitable industries can develop around the battery standardization and exchange market. The development and marketing of new battery technologies to the vehicle manufacturers is one. Battery refurbishment, repair, and disposal is another. Existing gasoline retail outlets could add battery replacement to their product set, or dedicated battery recharge/replace stores could be opened.

Today we don’t concern ourselves about our ability to purchase fuel to run our gasoline or diesel vehicles virtually anywhere in the world where there are people. That was not always the case. About 110 years ago, when the automobile industry was in its infancy, there were multiple variations in vehicle fueling. However, it wasn’t until a dominant standard (gasoline and later diesel) emerged that a motorist could set out to distant points without having made prearrangements for fueling.

Electric vehicles are useful today, and will become more valuable in the future. However, until or unless there is a breakthrough in battery technology similar to the paradigm shift that semi-conductors brought to the electronics industry, a modularized, exchangeable battery platform that can be replaced as easily as fueling a car may be the best way to make E-vehicles a viable alternative to petroleum fueled vehicles.

K. Moore
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Old 12-23-2010, 01:08 PM   #2
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However, modularized batteries that may not all need to be changed at once, may negate the need for automation.

Note: and would also allow the consumer to buy only the energy they need at that point in time...e.g.: you don't always fill your gas tank
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Thomas Jefferson wrote that the 1st Amendment erected a "wall of separation" between the church and the state (James Madison said it "drew a line," but it is Jefferson's term that sticks with us today). The phrase is commonly thought to mean that the government should not establish, support, or otherwise involve itself in any religion.

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Old 12-23-2010, 02:39 PM   #3
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Interesting idea.

Such a scheme would also mitigate the spectre of having to replace a battery after so many years.
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Old 12-23-2010, 07:41 PM   #4
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Strong argument & vaild points. Good relation to propane cylinders too, makes people see the relation to how when the standards were set, it all got cheaper & easier & more importantly profitable.
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morbo the Destroyer View Post
A Proposal for Electric Vehicle Fueling
There are three fueling issues that currently restrain the widespread market acceptance of electric vehicles:

• The range of vehicles is limited.
• The recharge time for the vehicle batteries is too long.
• Potential buyers are concerned about the lifespan and cost to replace their vehicle batteries.

The solution for all three of these issues is to create a standard for E-vehicle batteries similar to the thousands of other standards used in the industry for vehicle accessories such as tires, fasteners, coolant, etc. Portability and interchangeability need to be key components of the standard. The batteries should be designed and located within their vehicles in such a way as to allow them to be changed within a few minutes. .

Retail “Battery Stations,” similar to today’s gas stations, can be located along roadways or in other areas where vehicles concentrate. Given the potential weight and size of vehicle batteries, automation of the exchange process may be necessary. However, modularized batteries that may not all need to be changed at once, may negate the need for automation.

The best analogy in today’s commerce is household propane cylinders. Less than a decade ago, the use of propane grills or other accessories meant scheduling a trip to a (often) remote filling station and waiting for the tank to be filled. Frequently the filling stations would refuse to fill the tanks due to corrosion, valve problems, or other tank faults. All of those problems are in the past, as a number of companies have introduced propane cylinder exchange services. The “owner” of the propane cylinder simply exchanges theirs for a “new” one, which has been inspected, painted, and filled. The cost is the same or less than owning and filling the same tank, and the exchange companies are able to generate profit while absorbing the cost of tank maintenance.

Vehicle batteries could work the same way. A set of standard battery sizes, connections, power ratings, etc. for E-vehicles can be defined by ISO, IEEE, SAE, or another existing standards body. New E-vehicle designs can be integrated with the standard power supplies, just as countless other manufacturing standards are implemented worldwide today. Motocyzysz has already utilized a quick-change, modular battery strategy for their electric race bike. There is no reason electric automobiles cannot be designed the same way.

Several potentially profitable industries can develop around the battery standardization and exchange market. The development and marketing of new battery technologies to the vehicle manufacturers is one. Battery refurbishment, repair, and disposal is another. Existing gasoline retail outlets could add battery replacement to their product set, or dedicated battery recharge/replace stores could be opened.

Today we don’t concern ourselves about our ability to purchase fuel to run our gasoline or diesel vehicles virtually anywhere in the world where there are people. That was not always the case. About 110 years ago, when the automobile industry was in its infancy, there were multiple variations in vehicle fueling. However, it wasn’t until a dominant standard (gasoline and later diesel) emerged that a motorist could set out to distant points without having made prearrangements for fueling.

Electric vehicles are useful today, and will become more valuable in the future. However, until or unless there is a breakthrough in battery technology similar to the paradigm shift that semi-conductors brought to the electronics industry, a modularized, exchangeable battery platform that can be replaced as easily as fueling a car may be the best way to make E-vehicles a viable alternative to petroleum fueled vehicles.

K. Moore

Keep posting stuff like this, and they'll start calling you Morbo the Creator (especially since you quote him in your subtext

I'm told there are a few practical impediments to this.

Among them is that it's a nice concept - but "at this point in time battery technology is every EV manufacturers' secret sauce – whether it's the chemistry or the packaging, the performance or the pricing. So there is zero incentive to cooperate."

Secondly, "if you look at the current shape of vehicle batteries they are very complex in shape in order to maximize the amount of battery you can get into the car or bike and are deeply integrated into the vehicle." -- so an all-new type of vehicle would have to be made.

While there's been some talk of it, how many other EV makers won't want to spend the millions and millions needed to start building these cars and/or motorcycles?

Who will at the same time arrange for at least the first several few regional battery stations? These could require machines to lift out the heavy batteries -- which drain as a system, so the entire several-hundred pound battery in a car would need replacement at once. Keeping lots of batteries charged would take lots of space and a massive power supply. How many times a day does a gas station dispense a tankful of gas to paying customers? Imagine if this idea actually took off? Now imagine keeping 150 or more 400-lb batteries all on their own trickle chargers? This could make for a good movie scene for Steven Spielberg to produce starring Will Smith, maybe.

Also, what if you take a 100 mile trip on your 105-mile range EV, and get a dud of an exchange battery for the return trip which while still within spec, is at the low end, and maybe good for only 89 miles?

The EV makers would all have to cooperate to make this really broad based.

EV makers now are still holding out in the hope that energy density will rise fast enough that this won't be necessary in 5 years.

But who knows? I don't. At the moment it looks possible, if not fraught with risk. There are probably other impediments to the idea, though I have heard it's been proposed already, such as by Better Place.

Does anyone else think this can work as a mass solution?

Last edited by Jeff Cobb : 12-29-2010 at 09:03 PM.
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Old 12-30-2010, 09:05 AM   #6
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Jeff,

Thanks for the serious critique. I really appreciate it.

A lot of the downsides and issues you stated are real and crossed my mind while I was considering this. It's not clear at all that swappable batteries can evolve as a market-driven technology. As you noted, there's a pretty big up-front investment, and bringing together an industry coalition to drive the concept might be impossible.

Thanks for the link to Better Place. I guess the old adage that "Nothing is original" proves true again.
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Old 12-30-2010, 10:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
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The batteries should be designed and located within their vehicles in such a way as to allow them to be changed within a few minutes. .
I'm sorry but that whole article sounds like just so much fluff to me.

The battery "design" has gone about as far as the current understanding of physics and chemistry will allow it to go, not only for recharge rate but for basic capacity. A "breakthough" is needed to go much farther.

As far as a standard charging station........they are already in place all over the country: Standard 110 V or 220 V power plugs. Home charging is no problem.....or shouldn't be. It's easy enough to put timed pay stations in public places too. The biggest drawback there might be keeping them repaired and in good working order.

How OLD is that piece ??
It sounds kind of like it could have been written back in the 1940's sometime when electric vehicles were just a dream.

[edit] If YOU are the author, then sorry for the negative comments. No offense intended.
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Old 12-30-2010, 10:29 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Easy Rider 2 View Post
I'm sorry but that whole article sounds like just so much fluff to me.

The battery "design" has gone about as far as the current understanding of physics and chemistry will allow it to go, not only for recharge rate but for basic capacity. A "breakthough" is needed to go much farther.

As far as a standard charging station........they are already in place all over the country: Standard 110 V or 220 V power plugs. Home charging is no problem.....or shouldn't be. It's easy enough to put timed pay stations in public places too. The biggest drawback there might be keeping them repaired and in good working order.

How OLD is that piece ??
It sounds kind of like it could have been written back in the 1940's sometime when electric vehicles were just a dream.

[edit] If YOU are the author, then sorry for the negative comments. No offense intended.
You obviously completely missed the whole point of the article when you mis-read "changed" as "charged." That's the only way your post makes any sense at all.

The idea of battery "changing" stations, (versus "charging" stations) addresses your core concern that battery technology as it exists today won't work for long range.

Why don't you carefully re-read it and see if it makes more sense to you now.

No offense intended.
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:27 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Morbo the Destroyer View Post
You obviously completely missed the whole point of the article when you mis-read "changed" as "charged."
Oops. Guilty as charged.

So....let's try again.

That is one interesting twist on making battery technology really useful in cars but it ignores the real question of: Does the use of batteries in cars REALLY gain us anything......as long as most of the power plants that produce the electricity are still fired with non-renewable resources ??

I think the answer is a resounding NO (except maybe for a short term cost advantage) and a lot of resources should NOT be spent on any technology that still relies (mostly) on fosil fuels......unless maybe it is a LOT more effecient than engines are now......which electric generation and delivery is NOT.

If the real net energy use goes UP versus a "standard" petrol engine, then what's the point.......except for show ???.....and maybe the chance of a revolutionary breakthrough ??
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:36 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Easy Rider 2 View Post
Oops. Guilty as charged.

So....let's try again.

That is one interesting twist on making battery technology really useful in cars but it ignores the real question of: Does the use of batteries in cars REALLY gain us anything......as long as most of the power plants that produce the electricity are still fired with non-renewable resources ??

I think the answer is a resounding NO (except maybe for a short term cost advantage) and a lot of resources should NOT be spent on any technology that still relies (mostly) on fosil fuels......unless maybe it is a LOT more effecient than engines are now......which electric generation and delivery is NOT.

If the real net energy use goes UP versus a "standard" petrol engine, then what's the point.......except for show ???.....and maybe the chance of a revolutionary breakthrough ??

First, I respect a man who'll admit a mistake, so good on ya for that!

Second, I'm not an eco-nut pro-electric car/bike zealot. I love my gas bike and gas car. But, I know we are completely dependent on oil for almost all tansportation, and that is a dangerous situation. If you consider that China and India are going to be sucking up more and more of what oil is out there, the price alone is going to make oil a dicey proposition. We need to find alternatives now, before the **** hits the fan.

Third: yes, IMO, electric vehicles DO gain us something: 1. electricity comes from US coal, natural gas, nuke plants, etc., so there is diversity. 2. There is an enormous reserve of electricity at night; in CA alone they could charge 500,000 cars at night without adding any plants. 3. Large power plants are an order of magnitude more efficient than small IC engines; so you are NOT "moving the pollution from Point A to Point B," there is a large net reduction. There are efficiencies of scale with electric power that IC simply can't match.

Fourth: petroleum is a priceless resource for so much more than just fuel. If you look around you, everything from your clothes to your food to your furniture...even the roads, are made of, or with, petroleum. Burning it for fuel when it has so many other uses is a crime.

Fifth, I think electric cars should be one of many solutions we should be looking at. If we just keep hoping that cheap oil will always be there, I think we're in for big problems. It was only a few years ago that we had prices near $5 and market shortages; remember what a mess that was? If there are alternatives that can be made to work, why wouldn't we want to dig into them and see what makes sense?

Lastly, I love new technology of all types. It seems like IC vehicles have pretty much gone as far as they can go. Finding a whole new type of bikes and cars to mess around with sounds like fun to me!
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Thomas Jefferson wrote that the 1st Amendment erected a "wall of separation" between the church and the state (James Madison said it "drew a line," but it is Jefferson's term that sticks with us today). The phrase is commonly thought to mean that the government should not establish, support, or otherwise involve itself in any religion.

Its.......A FACT!
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