Sunday, 10 January 2016

Li-air batteries - electric car prospects

With environmentally friendly fans of electric cars bouyed by the performance of Li-Ion batteries and the increasing installation of PV (photo-voltaic) cells on residential roofs and industrial premises, the outlook is now even brighter with the advent of Li-air batteries.

BMW i3 2013 electric car



The new BMW i3 claiming a 100 mile range is due to go on sale in September 2013. BMW predicts great improvements in range and energy to weight ratio of batteries in the next 5 to 10 years (more below).

BMW i3 electric vehicle




Li Air batteries



Li-Ion batteries use air (the oxygen) as the cathode, so the energy density is higher than Li-Ion. Diesel engines can deliver about 1.7 kW·h per kg of fuel to the drive wheels and as the calculated energy density of the lithium-air battery is 12 kW·h/kg (43.2 MJ/kg) the same 1.7 kW·h per kg of battery mass should soon be available to the drive wheels.

Ian Robertson of BMW has stated that the range of electric vehicles should double in 5 to 10 years from now, based on Li-Air batteries, and analysts expect 10 times the range 'eventually'. If the PV and electric vehicle industries follow the pattern of other high-tech industries their estimates are likely to be pessimistic.

Tesla all-electric cars



Tesla all electric cars are in the news, because residents of Arizona can't buy them locally without the sellers breaking the law. This isn't an evil plot by the gas-guzzling automotive industry, as far as we can tell, but simply Arizona state law that protects its residents by demanding in-state servicing and repair by authorised distributors for any car sold in the state.

Tesla is circumventing this by offering online sales, but fistycuffs between the state and Tesla are likely to ensue :)

The big corporations have the funds to develop greener technologies, but it's always the individual that has the power, if they did but realise, by voting with their money. Every time anyone succumbs to consumerism, the corporations go their own sweet way, motivated solely by profit. Every time  anyone votes with their wallet, by supporting good business, the world gets slightly brighter and greener ...

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