Mar 09

Report Reveals Lithium-ion Battery Prices Already Dropping Steeper Than Expected

 

[ad#post_ad]Electrification of the automobile is well underway, with the first mass produced cars expected to hit the roads later this year.

There have been many speculative reports about whether these cars will catch on and be sold in high volumes over the next few years.

These predictions hinge on cost to consumers, both for the cars and for gas.  Other than for early adopters, plug-in cars must offer better cost of operation than gas-powered cars to win in the marketplace.

The bulk of an electric vehicle’s cost, however, is the cost of its lithium-ion batteries.

Reports predicting low EV sales volumes often use $1000 per kwh as the price for lithium-ion batteries, but that is unrealisticly high and should no longer be used.

A new report issued by Deutsche Bank indicates prices that are considerably lower.  They write “we continue to believe that the market underestimates the potential for growth in this segment” and “we’ve noted evidence of steeper than-expected battery price declines which will likely bolster the consumer value proposition and potentially lead to stronger demand than we originally envisioned.”

The firm notes the average lithium-ion cell price in 2009 has been $650 per kwh, but claims automakers are already seeing bids for $450 per kwh from battery companies for delivery contracts in the 2011/2012 timeframe.

Furthermore, they predict an additional 25% decline in price over the next 5 years and a 50% decline over the next 10 years along with a doubling of performance over the next 7 years.

Previously LG Chem subsidiary Compact Power’s CEO Prabahkar Patil told GM-Volt he expected cell cost to drop up to four-fold in the next 10 years, and said lithium ion cells for non automotive applications is already $350 per kwh.

Furthermore, last March GM vice president Jon Lauckner stated GM is already paying “many hundreds of dollars per kWh,” less than $1000 for the Volt’s lithium ion cells.

If one considers the Volt has a 16 kwh lithium ion battery, at $450 per kwh its total cell cost would be $7200.

Fuel costs about 2 cents per mile using electricity, and about 10 cents per mile using gas. At $450 per kwh at today’s gas prices, after 90,000 miles of electric driving fuel savings will cover the added cost of the battery.

Source (Deutsche Bank, PDF)
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This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 at 7:24 am and is filed under Battery, Financial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 173


  1. 1
    nasaman

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (7:24 am)

    I’m not at all surprised. Compact Power’s CEO Prabahkar Patil gave a paper at least 1 1/2 yrs ago that corroborated another one at about the same time from the DOE’s experts —the bottom line of both was that there was no real justification for the (claimed) high costs of automotive Li-Ion batteries even way back then. Lithium is plentiful, the separator material is a polymer that’s cheap to manufacture and the packaging is also fundamentally cheap. I thought profiteering?


  2. 2
    prowler

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (7:33 am)

    Let’s see.

    I can get a 53 Kwh battery pack today for $30,000, or $566 per Kwh.

    Per Elon Musk’s “weak Moore’s Law” of 8 percent/year, in 5 years it’s $373.

    Is this article saying anything different?


  3. 3
    Jim I

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (7:34 am)

    Finally, a report that seems to have really done their research!!!!!

    This is good news for all of us.

    Give people a problem to solve, and they will solve it…………

    :-)

    NPNS


  4. 4
    Dave G

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (7:41 am)

    prowler: Let’s see.
    I can get a 53 Kwh battery pack today for $30,000, or $566 per Kwh.
    Per Elon Musk’s “weak Moore’s Law” of 8 percent/year, in 5 years it’s $373.
    Is this article saying anything different?

    First, Elon’s law is 9% per year. Second, that figure is for energy density (kWh/Kg), not battery cost.

    But the cost of around $500 per total kWh today is correct.

    Many people were confused by an interview with the CEO of Compact Power Inc. He quoted a current cost of $1000 per usable kWh. Many people ignored that “usable” word and misquoted this. But in the interview, he made it clear that “usable” kWh was around 1/2 of total kWh.


  5. 5
    tom w

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (7:44 am)

    “Fuel costs about 2 cents per mile using electricity, and about 10 cents per mile using gas. At $450 per kwh at today’s gas prices, after 90,000 miles of electric driving fuel savings will cover the added cost of the battery”

    Using todays cost of gasoline to project cost of operations over the next 10 years is giving a huge disadvantage to EVs. I’ve been saying for the last year that EVs already have a price advantage over ICE cars for drivers that can drive 15,000 miles a year on their batteries.

    As long as the driver has access to plug in at home with overnight cheap electricity, and can frequently get a supplemental charge at work (except on high elec demand days) to extend AER, then the EV/EREVs are already the way to go.


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    RB

     

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (7:49 am)

    If one considers the Volt has a 16 kwh lithium ion battery, at $450 per kwh its total cell cost would be $7200.
    Fuel costs about 2 cents per mile using electricity, and about 10 cents per mile using gas. At $450 per kwh at today’s gas prices, after 90,000 miles of electric driving fuel savings will cover the added cost of the battery.

    It is great that costs are coming down even faster than expected, but let us not go too far to fast in our speculation. One does still have to allow for the cost to make the cells into the battery, and the battery into the battery system. GM’s considerable development time in this direction suggests that there is some complexity, and that’s not free. Optimistically, that cost will be coming down too, on a “per-vehicle” basis, as the process becomes better understood and more automated.


  7. 7
    JohnK

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (7:56 am)

    Question: presumably GM and CPI have some fairly firm agreements to mutually protect each other. What happens when cost factors fluctuate. I would guess that not all savings get passed on, what kind of business passes the best to its customer and keeps none of its fruit for themself?


  8. 8
    Dave G

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (7:58 am)

    From the article: If one considers the Volt has a 16 kwh lithium ion battery, at $450 per kwh its total cell cost would be $7200.

    That’s close to the $8000 figure Lutz mentions here:
    http://gm-volt.com/2009/08/04/why-the-volt-will-cost-40000/


  9. 9
    JohnK

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (8:00 am)

    Somewhat on topic – here is a link to an article on two companies involved with battery manufacturing at GM, Apriso and HP, to supply software used in automation at the GM Brownstown battery assembly plant. Link – http://www.fastcompany.com/1566338/gm-teams-up-with-apriso-hp-for-chevy-volt-battery-assembly-operations


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    joe

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (8:00 am)

    I’m convinced lithium batteries will come down like LCD television did!


  11. 11
    prowler

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (8:01 am)

    Dave G says, “First, Elon’s law is 9% per year. Second, that figure is for energy density (kWh/Kg), not battery cost.”

    That is incorrect, it is what I said – 8 percent per year, and it’s for price/performance.
    Do a Google Search for “Elon Musk weak Moore’s Law” and you’ll see MANY hits that include,

    The New York Times, for instance:
    http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/01/should-taxpayers-pay-to-back-tesla-motors/

    “Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, told Mr. Stross his company would benefit from what he called “a weak Moore’s Law,” referring to the 8 percent annual improvements in the price performance of lithium-ion batteries.”


  12. 12
    Dave G

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (8:01 am)

    RB: One does still have to allow for the cost to make the cells into the battery, and the battery into the battery system.

    The quoted costs are for the whole battery pack, not the cells.

    For example, non-automovie application cells cost $350 per kWh today. Automovie cells cells don’t cost much more, probably around $400/total kWh. The rest of the cost is the pack overhead.

    And in 10 years, battery pack prices will be 1/4 of what they are today.


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    tom w

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (8:01 am)

    RB: but let us not go too far to fast in our speculation.

    Yes, we are about 3-4 years away from costs coming down to where EV/EREVs will make more economic sense than ice cars as long as folks have access to cheap overnight charging.

    But the point is they won’t be able to scale up production fast enough to meet the demand for the next 3-4 years, so the path forward is pretty well paved. Certainly we don’t know and can’t predict the innovations in battery developement that will happen, only that things will be getting better and cheaper and fast enough that supply won’t be able to keep up with demand.

    The interesting thing is that we’ve come so far along this road the past 3 years, that the next time there is an Oil Spike (Israel attacks Iran, etc.), that all these comapanies already have their EV programs in place and it wouldn’t take much if Oil spiked to $200/barrel for a company like GM to decide to make all future passenger vehicles EREV/EV. Today a decision like that would seem idiotic, but in the middle of a middle east war with oil shortages and Oil over $200/barrel it would seem like a brilliant move.


  14. 14
    Rashiid Amul

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (8:02 am)

    Good morning, all

    From the article
    Furthermore, they predict an additional 25% decline in price over the next 5 years and a 50% decline over the next 10 years along with a doubling of performance over the next 7 years.

    This is awesome news. I especially love the part about doubling the performance.


  15. 15
    JohnK

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (8:04 am)

    #8, At the Detroit auto show, when I asked the Volt rep at the car about pricing, she mentioned only the $40K number, but suggested that you might be able to buy a Volt minus the battery with $5,000 knocked off the price and then lease the battery.


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    Brian

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (8:32 am)

    In comparision of ICE to EREV it really is apples to oranges. We allways try to reconcile it to yearly cost of operation, but for me its really about security and being able to weather any storm the middle east might throw at us. Imagine driving by gas stations and not having to fill up or watching the evening news seeing gas shortages forcasted and thinking I really don’t care I can still get to work and pay my bills.


  17. 17
    Rooster

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (8:33 am)

    The Learning Curve:

    http://maaw.info/LearningCurveSummary.htm

    In Wright’s Model, the learning curve function is defined as follows:

    Y = aX^b

    where: Y = the cumulative average time (or cost) per unit.
    X = the cumulative number of units produced.
    a = time (or cost) required to produce the first unit.
    b = slope of the function when plotted on log-log paper.
    = log of the learning rate/log of 2.

    For an 80% learning curve b = log .8/log 2 = -.09691/.301 = -.32196


  18. 18
    Exp_EngTech

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (8:39 am)

    These kind of wild, unbridled benefits from Evil Capitalism will not go unchecked.

    Expect a “Battery Tax” on Excessive Energy Storage & Usage.


  19. 19
    Tim Hart

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (8:52 am)

    This is great news for us EV enthusiasts. There is one issue we haven”t talked about that needs to be mentioned. Part of the cost of gas is the road use tax the states add on to fund maintenance of the roads. EVs will be using the roads but not buying gas. So with widespread use of EVs, there will need to be some sort of tax added on to EV use for the road maintenance issue.


  20. 20
    Tagamet

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (9:01 am)

    JohnK: #8, At the Detroit auto show, when I asked the Volt rep at the car about pricing, she mentioned only the $40K number, but suggested that you might be able to buy a Volt minus the battery with $5,000 knocked off the price and then lease the battery.  

    Ouch. I hope that that was just an ill-informed Volt rep, but as long as it’s an *option* to lease the battery, I guess I’m still on board. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that the Volt (or any part of it) doesn’t come out as a lease only vehicle. JMO.
    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


  21. 21
    Tagamet

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (9:05 am)

    Brian: In comparision of ICE to EREV it really is to oranges.We allways try to reconcile it to yearly cost of operation, but for me its really about and being able to weather any storm the middle east might throw at us.Imagine driving by gas stations and not having to fill up or watching the evening news seeing gas shortages forcasted and thinking I really don’t care I can still get to work and pay my bills.  

    Absolutely! It’s not all about the money.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


  22. 22
    nasaman

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (9:07 am)

    In addition to the fact that the “ingredients” for a Li-Ion battery are remarkably cheap in quantity (as I argue in post #1), another factor could very well come into play …one I’ve never mentioned here & have not seen mentioned elsewhere:

    Loss-lead marketing. Li-Ion automotive battery cells will become essentially a commodity like lead acid batteries are today. I believe its highly likely that a manufacturer like LG Chem or even A123 could adopt a marketing strategy similar to that followed by one US semiconductor industry giant in the 1960′s, namely loss-lead marketing of key transistor types (2N2222-NPN & 2N2906-PNP are famous examples). Texas Instruments deliberately sold these devices at a loss to increase their market share. It worked (like Boston Consulting Group said it would) and TI captured a large enough share of this key market that they effectively controlled the market for 2N2222/2N2906 transistors, which I believe helped them become the industry giant they are today. As a result 2N2222 prices dropped to <12c each in volume.

    No, Moore's law doesn't really apply to Li-Ion batteries, but I believe a strategy of marketing Li-Ion cells at breakeven, or even at a loss, could give a single manufacturer a large enough market share —as well as very large volume— that they could emerge as the market leader. And in the process drive the cost of Li-Ion automotive cells way below what studies like Deutsche Bank’s predict —since such predictions don’t consider this approach.


  23. 23
    Tagamet

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (9:10 am)

    Tim Hart: This is great news for us EV enthusiasts. There is one issue we haven”t talked about that needs to be mentioned. Part of the cost of gas is the road use the states add on to fund maintenance of the roads. EVs will be using the roads but not buying gas. So with widespread use of EVs, there will need to be some sort of tax added on to EV use for the road maintenance issue.  

    It’s possible that while these vehicles are in their infancy, that they may be “excepted” from the road taxes (essentially ignored). Similar to being able to use HOV lanes. After they get a numerical toe-hold – widespread use as you mentioned – I agree that they won’t escape the taxman (who *does?*).
    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


  24. 24
    Dave K.

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (9:11 am)

    Exp_EngTech: These kind of wild, unbridled benefits from Evil Capitalism will not go unchecked.
    Expect a “Battery Tax” on Excessive Energy Storage & Usage.

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see a tierd registration fee system. From 2 mode hybrid up to full BEV. As the price of lithium batteries comes down. The tax credit will as well.

    =D-Volt


  25. 25
    Randy

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (9:21 am)

    WHile battery cost is coming down ,electricity cost is going up,mine just jumped from 9C a KWH to 14C a KWH . ANd my home town is now putting restrictions on solar electric panels. It seems like we can,t catch a break from the Oil man.


  26. 26
    lousloot

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (9:25 am)

    Crouching tiger, burning LION

    Looks like the battery wars are heating up, with Lithium Ion in the hot seat.
    I remember back in the day, Nicads were the awsome rechargable.
    Then NiMH showed up. Now its Lion. Who/what is next? One thing to be sure, Battery Tech is going to be important — unless ultracapacitors and room temp superconductors appear… (never)

    Lion batteries can be cranked out cheap — tubes kinda like tinfoil with plastic wrap between em:

    “A lithium ion battery cell typically consists of a spiral wound roll of the two composite electrodes separated by a microporous film, containing the electrolyte solution, all sealed in a metallic case.”

    “The key to electrochemistry are the processes of oxidation and reduction. Remember the phrase” “LEO (the lion) goes GER (grr??)”—L ose Electrons Oxidation—Gain Electrons Reduction. ”

    Its based on rusting and derusting. Kinda OT, but batteries are important — lets learn the basics.

    http://www.wppltd.demon.co.uk/WPP/Batteries/Chemistry/chemistry.html


  27. 27
    CBK

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (9:32 am)

    Some what off topic, but really is relevant where the cost of operation of EREV/BEV
    is concerned. The report is from MIT. I found the article in slashdot. If the auto manufacturers buy this it could make EV’s a difficult sell.

    http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/24701/?a=f

    What do you think? I realize that freeing ourselves from foreign oil is important, but …


  28. 28
    lousloot

     

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (9:42 am)

    Oops, looks like LIONs require electronics, so they aren’t just a roll of tinfoil…

    “Li-ion batteries actually include special circuitry to protect the battery from damage due to overcharging or undercharging.”

    http://www.greenbatteries.com/libafa.html


  29. 29
    Brian R

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (9:49 am)

    Brian: In comparision of ICE to EREV it really is apples to oranges. We allways try to reconcile it to yearly cost of , but for me its really about security and being able to weather any storm the middle east might throw at us. Imagine driving by gas stations and not having to fill up or watching the evening news seeing gas shortages forcasted and thinking I really don’t care I can still get to work and pay my bills.  (Quote)

    I agree. We have had a 2 year window of “benign” gas costs. When the next shortage hits, those who have a Volt will look like geniuses.


  30. 30
    Exp_EngTech

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (9:53 am)

    nasaman: In addition to the fact that the “ingredients” for a Li-Ion battery are remarkably cheap in quantity (as I argue in post #1), another factor could very well come into play …one I’ve never mentioned here & have not seen mentioned elsewhere:Loss-lead marketing. Li-Ion automotive battery cells will become essentially a commodity like lead acid batteries are today. I believe its highly likely that a manufacturer like LG Chem or even A123 could adopt a marketing strategy similar to that followed by one US semiconductor industry giant in the 1960’s, namely loss-lead marketing of key transistor types (2N2222-NPN & 2N2906-PNP are famous examples). Texas Instruments deliberately sold these devices at a loss to increase their market share. It worked (like Boston Consulting Group said it would) and TI captured a large enough share of this key market that they effectively controlled the market for 2N2222/2N2906 transistors, which I believe helped them become the industry giant they are today. As a result 2N2222 prices dropped to <12c each in volume.No, Moore’s law doesn’t really apply to Li-Ion batteries, but I believe a strategy of marketing Li-Ion cells at breakeven, or even at a loss, could give a single manufacturer a large enough market share —as well as very large volume— that they could emerge as the market leader. And in the process drive the cost of Li-Ion automotive cells way below what studies like Deutsche Bank’s predict —since such predictions don’t consider this approach.  (Quote)

    I agree with you nasaman.

    I’ve said it here before that Prismatic Cells could become a commodity in a few years.

    What I’d really like to see as this shakes out (hopefully soon) is a couple ISO formats.

    Some recent news on the subject…
    http://www.myistop.com/blogs/utownsbattery/japanese-automakers-strive-iso-certification-standard-lithium-battery


  31. 31
    MuddyRoverRob

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (9:54 am)

    The drop in battery prices bode well for dropping 2-mode AND Voltec prices.

    Good news without a doubt!


  32. 32
    Tagamet

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (9:56 am)

    CBK: Some what off topic, but really is relevant where the cost of operation of EREV/BEV
    is concerned.The report is from MIT.I found the article in slashdot.If the auto manufacturers buy this it could make EV’s a difficult sell.http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/24701/?a=fWhat do you think?I realize that freeing ourselves from foreign oil is important, but …  

    Yeah, I posted this yesterday, but my spin was positive – thinking it would “help” the range extender use even less fuel. I can see your thinking though. Maybe people would opt for a very efficient ICE over an EREV/BEV.
    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Van

     

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (10:01 am)

    I believe GM signed a contract with LG for 3 years ( model years 2011, 12, & 13) so perhaps the next contract and 2014 model year Volts will include a 33% reduction in battery cost (including management and cooling), from $12,000 to $8,000. Wouldn’t that be nice, especially if the rebate is curtailed to a degree.


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    Blind Guy

     

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (10:01 am)

    So it seems the question for me is, do we buy an ev. now and get 7500 from the gov. included in our tax return while paying the full price up front or do we wait to see if the price of the vehicle actually goes down and the battery capability goes up? Darn, that sounds like something Shakespear would say. Seriously, I think it is reasonable to expect more range from evs but it’s hard to picture vehicle prices going down. It seems that more bells and whistles are always added to have more product to include profit in. One thing I am sure of is that for us and probably alot of other folks, 30,000 is pushing the limit on our vehicle payment comfort zone including less maintenance and fuel cost.


  35. 35
    Schmeltz

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (10:05 am)

    Getting the battery cost lower is really key here. It is encouraging to hear remarks like:

    “Furthermore, they predict an additional 25% decline in price over the next 5 years and a 50% decline over the next 10 years along with a doubling of performance over the next 7 years.”

    I understand predictions can be wrong at times, even by industry insiders. But the context mentioned in the article, “lithium ion cells for non automotive applications is already $350 per kwh,” lends a lot of credence to the notion that the automotive batteries can/will drop in price as well.

    Who knows…with dropping prices for Lithium batteries, could it be possible a return of the Cadillac Converj may happen? I would welcome that.


  36. 36
    Peder Norby

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (10:05 am)

    Revolution!

    and a restoration of our independence.

    Cheers!
    Mini-E 183


  37. 37
    CorvetteGuy

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (10:08 am)

    A couple of predictions:

    1. Battery prices continue to drop this year and the VOLT goes on sale for $28,980.00 AFTER federal tax rebates.

    2. Costs continue to drop and the VOLT MSRP drops to $32,980.00 (about 3500) by the 2012 model year.

    3. This summer when the ‘official’ price is announced, I’ll get hit with 100+ angry buyers wanting to place deposits on VOLTs and we will not have that big of an allocation. (In my opinion)

    4. If the price IS below $30k after rebates, the boss will probably tack on an addendum JUST LIKE THE LOCAL TOYOTA DEALER did on the Prius models for years. But not any more.

    5. That will anger everyone else, so like I’ve been saying: Either way, I’m screwed.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (10:08 am)

    It will exciting to see the difference in battery capability when the Volt Gen 2 is baselined which will probably be about 4 years after the Gen 1 baseline. I know GM has indicated that they will stay with the 40 miles electric range, but if the price drops 8% per year and the density increases the same, we will likely see some impressive gains either in cost or capability.


  39. 39
    Tagamet

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (10:22 am)

    CorvetteGuy: A couple of predictions:1. Battery prices continue to drop this year and the VOLT goes on sale for $28,980.00 AFTER federal tax rebates.2. Costs continue to drop and the VOLT MSRP drops to $32,980.00 (about 3500) by the 2012 model year.3. This summer when the ‘official’ price is announced, I’ll get hit with 100+ angry buyers wanting to place deposits on VOLTs and we will not have that big of an allocation. (In my opinion)4. If the price IS below $30k after rebates, the boss will probably tack on an addendum JUST LIKE THE LOCAL TOYOTA DEALER did on the Prius models for years. But not any more.5. That will anger everyone else, so like I’ve been saying: Either way, I’m screwed.  

    Sorry about your “rock and a hard place” situation. When you say “tack on an addendum”, do you mean a dealer price increase? I’m not slamming it, I’m just trying to understand. I know it won’t help your situation, but I just hope that the demand for the Volt is as intense as many of us here thinks it will be. Hey, you’re screwed either way, so it might as well be toward a cause (g).
    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (10:30 am)

    Schmeltz: Getting the battery cost lower is really key here.It is encouraging to hear remarks like:“Furthermore, they predict an additional 25% decline in price over the next 5 years and a 50% decline over the next 10 years along with a doubling of performance over the next 7 years.”I understand predictions can be wrong at times, even by industry insiders.But the context mentioned in the article, “lithium ion cells for non automotive applications is already $350 per kwh,” lends a lot of credence to the notion that the automotive batteries can/will drop in price as well.Who knows…with dropping prices for Lithium batteries, could it be possible a return of the Converj may happen?I would welcome that.  

    I agree.
    One of the things that occurs to me is the memory from 2 years ago, when the debate was over whether the battery technology would BE ABLE to drive a vehicle reliably for a useful distance. I suppose that issue *technically* remains unanswered, but we’re sure getting close to finding out!
    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (10:33 am)

    Tagamet: Sorry about your “rock and a hard place” situation. When you say “tack on an addendum”, do you mean a dealer price increase? I’m not slamming it, I’m just trying to understand. I know it won’t help your situation, but I just hope that the demand for the Volt is as intense as many of us here thinks it will be. Hey, you’re screwed either way, so it might as well be toward a cause (g).

    I forgot to add: If the MSRP “drops” in 2012, it will only be because the federal tax credits are gone, and production capacity is higher…

    I’ve heard talk around here of a ‘dealer markup’ and I have been trying to explain just how badly that will turn around and bite them with bad press. As tough as things are right now, surprisingly, they don’t seem to care. However, as launch date gets closer, I’m sure they will “get it” by then.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (10:41 am)

    The future looks BRIGHT for Voltec and BEV vehicles down the road.
    I especially like the Reduced Maintenance Costs of BEV’s in the future.

    ….entering daydream state…..

    2020 Chevy Electron Mini Van (BEV)
    200 kW Lithium-Ion Pack

    100,000 Mile Dealership Service Check List

    1. Change coolant in E-Drive System
    2. Turn brake rotors and replace pads (if needed)
    3. Grease wheel bearings / suspension
    4. Check tire tread (try to sell customer new tires)
    5. Lube door hinges
    6. Check / Fill windshield wiper fluid


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (10:44 am)

    CorvetteGuy:
    I forgot to add: If the MSRP “drops” in 2012, it will only be because the federal tax credits are gone, and production capacity is higher…I’ve heard talk around here of a ‘dealer markup’ and I have been trying to explain just how badly that will turn around and bite them with bad press. As tough as things are right now, surprisingly, they don’t seem to care. However, as launch date gets closer, I’m sure they will “get it” by then.  

    Wow, if the tax credits are gone, then 200.000 Volts are out the door in 2012? I sure hope that you’re correct!
    I really hope that “the powers that be” aren’t too short-sighted about the pricing, but given how difficult things have been, I guess I could understand the feeling. I know it’s a double edged sword, but if you get a ton of orders, would that make a “markup” more or less likely?
    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (10:55 am)

    ______________________________________________________________
    The Missing Link: Fast Charge Stations

    10-15 years from now, I predict there will be fewer total gas stations but those fewer gas stations will also offer Fast Charge units similar in form factor to a gas pump….pull up your BEV…slide in your credit card…get a Fast Charge (80% SOC < 15 minutes, providing 150+ miles). Most charging (95%+) will be done overnight at home for the average consumer but Fast Charge service stations will be available for those times requiring extended range driving…that’s the future folks. That will be the tipping point to put the gas engine out of business for all new consumer cars sold.

    Until then, EREVs and limited range BEVs will rule for us many "early adopters".
    ______________________________________________________________


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (10:57 am)

    Blind Guy: So it seems the question for me is, do we buy an ev. now and get 7500 from the gov. included in our tax return while paying the full price up front or do we wait to see if the price of the vehicle actually goes down and the battery capability goes up? Darn, that sounds like something Shakespear would say. Seriously, I think it is reasonable to expect more range from evs but it’s hard to picture vehicle prices going down. It seems that more bells and whistles are always added to have more product to include profit in. One thing I am sure of is that for us and probably alot of other folks, 30,000 is pushing the limit on our vehicle payment comfort zone including less maintenance and fuel cost.  (Quote)

    Don’t forget that the third party companies that will convert your vehicle to electric will be there to compete and keep new car prices moderated to an extent.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (10:58 am)

    Exp_EngTech: The future looks BRIGHT for Voltec and BEV vehicles down the road.
    I especially like the Reduced Maintenance Costs of BEV’s in the future.….entering daydream state…..2020 Chevy Electron Mini Van (BEV)
    200 kW Lithium-Ion Pack100,000 Mile Dealership Service Check List1. Change coolant in E-Drive System
    2. Turn and replace pads (if needed)
    3. Grease wheel bearings / suspension
    4. Check tread (try to sell customer new tires)
    5. Lube door hinges
    6. Check / Fill fluid  

    And all for under 200 UC (Universal Credits)! I suppose that at 100K mileage, they’d also try to get you to “trade up” your battery, too. Significantly increased AER and Extended Warranty.
    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:07 am)

    lousloot: Crouching tiger, burning LIONLooks like the battery wars are heating up, with Lithium Ion in the hot seat.I remember back in the day, Nicads were the awsome rechargable.Then NiMH showed up. Now its Lion. Who/what is next? One thing to be sure, Battery Tech is going to be important — unless ultracapacitors and room temp superconductors appear… (never) Lion batteries can be cranked out cheap — tubes kinda like tinfoil with plastic wrap between em: “A lithium ion battery cell typically consists of a spiral wound roll of the two composite electrodes separated by a microporous film, containing the electrolyte solution, all sealed in a metallic case.”“The key to electrochemistry are the processes of oxidation and reduction. Remember the phrase” “LEO (the lion) goes GER (grr??)”—L ose Electrons Oxidation—Gain Electrons Reduction. ”Its based on rusting and derusting. Kinda OT, but batteries are important — lets learn the basics.http://www.wppltd.demon.co.uk/WPP/Batteries/Chemistry/chemistry.html  (Quote)

    Li-ion is not that new – my 11 year old Sony Camcorder has a Li-Ion battery.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:14 am)

    CorvetteGuy:
    I forgot to add: If the MSRP “drops” in 2012, it will only be because the federal tax credits are gone, and production capacity is higher…I’ve heard talk around here of a ‘dealer markup’ and I have been trying to explain just how badly that will turn around and bite them with bad press. As tough as things are right now, surprisingly, they don’t seem to care. However, as launch date gets closer, I’m sure they will “get it” by then.  

    Corvetteguy;

    I have several times slammed the “big bad dealers” but it’s clear you are one of the good guys.
    Here’s to hoping you can get the new reality through to the “old guard”.

    Since I live a few thousand miles away in Canada it won’t be practical to ‘use you’ as my sales rep but were I in the States I’d consider the travel to work with someone honest. My personal experiences with car dealers have been nothing short of brutal but I DO appreciate that there are at least a few good people in the industry.

    I grew up in Chevy family, we had a 68′ Impala 396 SS convertible with posi-trac in blue metallic/white top… miss that car! My dad sold it ‘just’ before I could drive… sigh.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:16 am)

    CDAVIS: ______________________________________________________________The Missing Link: Fast Charge Stations10-15 years from now, I predict there will be fewer total gas stations but those fewer gas stations will also offer Fast Charge units similar in form factor to a gas pump….pull up your BEV…slide in your credit card…get a Fast Charge (80% SOC < 15 minutes, providing 150+ miles). Most charging (95%+) will be done overnight at for the average consumer but Fast Charge service stations will be available for those times requiring extended range driving…that’s the future folks. That will be the tipping point to put the gas engine out of business for all new consumer cars sold.Until then, EREVs and limited range BEVs will rule for us “early adopters”.______________________________________________________________  (Quote)

    I agree. TEPCO is driving it.

    See…
    http://www.emc-mec.ca/phev/Presentations_en/S12/PHEV09-S12-3_TakafumiAnegawa.pdf

    Pictures of existing units are on page 11, 21, & 29.

    I like the one on page 29 better because the cord appears to be locked behind the door until you swipe a debit card.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:17 am)

    Dave G: The quoted costs are for the whole battery pack, not the cells.

    I think the costs are for the cells only, not the cells and the pack. In fact I think we worked out the cost of the Volt battery pack using the percentage of the cost attributable to the cells and the remainder of the electronics (from a presentation from December 2008). Using the figure of $1000 per usable kWh, the resulting cost came out to something like $11,200 or $11,400. That seems to be right on with all the information which has come out since then.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:19 am)

    Bruce:
    Don’t forget that the third party companies that will convert your vehicle to electric will be there to compete and keep new car prices moderated to an extent.  

    This will be a great opportunity as long as the battery costs come down. Right now, the cost to convert a Prius to a plugin seems prohibitive (~10K). People are still opting to do that, but once products hit the market that are being mass produced, won’t the cost of conversion almost have to come down? Or maybe the “reasonable” cost of converting my Jeep to a plugin will eventually put pressure on the price of the mfg’d vehicles? (beats me!)
    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:23 am)

    Schmeltz: Getting the battery cost lower is really key here. It is encouraging to hear remarks like:“Furthermore, they predict an additional 25% decline in price over the next 5 years and a 50% decline over the next 10 years along with a doubling of performance over the next 7 years.”I understand predictions can be wrong at times, even by industry insiders. But the context mentioned in the article, “lithium ion cells for non automotive applications is already $350 per kwh,” lends a lot of credence to the notion that the automotive batteries can/will drop in price as well.Who knows…with dropping prices for Lithium batteries, could it be possible a return of the Cadillac Converj may happen? I would welcome that.  (Quote)

    I can see the cost of the battery coming down due to the availability of all the chemistry… but a doubling of capacity, I seriously doubt that! Call me a Cassandra, but I’d expect that to happen only if you change the chemistry (eg. going from Nicad to Li-Ion, or Li-ion to some sort of ultra-capacity). Maybe there’d be a 20-40% improvement in power-to-weight… but there’s fundamental limits in the chemistry, surely! After all for the last 10 years we’ve had companies like Apple and IBM making laptop batteries… they’ve lowered the voltage of their devices and chips to the point where an Intel Atom runs on 1.1V… they’ve not doubled the battery capacity!!! Comments of doubling the battery are complete guess work by the author!!!


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:27 am)

    tom w: “Fuel costs about 2 cents per mile using electricity, and about 10 cents per mile using gas. At $450 per kwh at today’s gas prices, after 90,000 miles of electric driving fuel savings will cover the added cost of the battery”Using todays cost of gasoline to project cost of operations over the next 10 years is giving a huge disadvantage to EVs. I’ve been saying for the last year that EVs already have a price advantage over ICE cars for drivers that can drive 15,000 miles a year on their batteries.As long as the driver has access to plug in at home with overnight cheap electricity, and can frequently get a supplemental charge at work (except on high elec demand days) to extend AER, then the EV/EREVs are already the way to go.  (Quote)

    I’d have thought gasoline prices would rise just as sharply as electricity prices. So no point making guesses about future gasoline price rises… I’d expect the cost of manufacture (with mass production and reduced overheads per unit sold) causing prices to fall rapidly. Again talk of doubling capacity is as silly as IEA predicting 125million barrels a day of oil supply. Nicad = 70-100 W/kg, Li-ion polymer = 160W/kg. So WITHOUT changing the chemistry we’re going to jump the equivalent of 3 technology leaps (nicad, nimh, li-ion,li-ion polymer) in automotoive Li-ion chemistry… I cry BS on that!


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:28 am)

    RB: One does still have to allow for the cost to make the cells into the battery, and the battery into the battery system.

    Along the same lines, there is the additional costs of all the new systems that have to be developed to support the electronic drive train — HVAC, steering, etc. I think Farah said that the engineers even found they had to use custom bushings because the standard bushings were too noisy! All these new systems are low volume and therefore the cost per system is significantly higher than the standard parts, pushing the cost of EVs up.

    The rule with new product costing is to take the initial cost estimates and multiply by 2 pi. and even that often proves optimistic.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:31 am)

    nasaman: . I believe its highly likely that a manufacturer like LG Chem or even A123 could adopt a marketing strategy similar to that followed by one US semiconductor industry giant in the 1960’s, namely loss-lead marketing of key transistor types (2N2222-NPN & 2N2906-PNP are famous examples). Texas Instruments deliberately sold these devices at a loss to increase their market share. It worked (like Boston Consulting Group said it would) and TI captured a large enough share of this key market that they effectively controlled the market for 2N2222/2N2906 transistors,which I believe helped them become the industry giant they are today. As a result 2N2222 prices dropped to <12c each in volume.No, Moore’s law doesn’t really apply to Li-Ion batteries, but I believe a strategy of marketing Li-Ion cells at breakeven, or even at a loss, could give a single manufacturer a large enough market share —as well as very large volume— that they could emerge as the market leader. And in the process drive the cost of Li-Ion automotive cells way below what studies like Deutsche Bank’s predict —since such predictions don’t consider this approach.  

    The big difference between the TI situation and Li-Ion battery manufacturers is that the batterymakers face an oligarchy of five or six companies as a buying group. Thus it would be very hard to establish dominant market share and then squeeze buyers on price in the next generation. They would simply go to the next best offer from another supplier. You can’t perpetually sell at a loss in order to gain market share. You have to have some hope of making a profit somewhere. I believe that LG Chem is selling at a profit at $800/kwh and will continue to sell at a profit as it drops down the cost curve.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:34 am)

    CBK: Some what off topic, but really is relevant where the cost of operation of EREV/BEV
    is concerned. The report is from MIT. I found the article in slashdot. If the auto manufacturers buy this it could make EV’s a difficult sell.

    What do you think?

    I think that ICE is not dead yet and there is a lot of money at stake here. They (big oil) will invest a ton of money on research to postpone the inevitable and keep us hooked on oil.

    In the meantime, the Volt will be available next fall. This gismo, if it truly works, will not be adopted instantly.

    This is gonna be a very interesting war. Let’s hope people see the big picture.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:35 am)

    Once EVs take over (or at least have significant sales), what do we do about the weakening demand for gas? That would push the price lower and potentially give consumers a reason to buy Hummer-like vehicles again. Shouldn’t we all agree on phasing in a national gasoline tax? I know this is anathema politically, but this seems necessary to me in the long run.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:36 am)

    Fuel costs about 2 cents per mile using electricity, and about 10 cents per mile using gas. At $450 per kwh at today’s gas prices, after 90,000 miles of electric driving fuel savings will cover the added cost of the battery.

    The problem is that consumers apply an astonishingly high discount rate to new products. They want a payback in six months, not six years. Certainly not ten years. It’s a huge problem when trying to introduce energy saving products. Applied here, it suggests that selling the Volt based on cost-savings is a losing proposition.

    Sell the quiet ride. Sell the ability to give OPEC the bird. Sell the satisfaction of doing your bit for the environment. Just don’t try and sell the thing based on cost savings.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:36 am)

    Brian R: When the next shortage hits, those who have a Volt will look like geniuses.

    Well said. Be a trend setter, not a follower.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:42 am)

    CorvetteGuy: I’ve heard talk around here of a ‘dealer markup’ and I have been trying to explain just how badly that will turn around and bite them with bad press. As tough as things are right now, surprisingly, they don’t seem to care. However, as launch date gets closer, I’m sure they will “get it” by then.

    #41

    I hate “dealer markups” like poison but, as tough as things are, I’ve gotten to the point where I sort of don’t even begrudge the poor dealers a chance to make a few extra bucks off a hot product. We can all make our own decision whether to pay it or wait it out.

    What really blows me away is this decision to allow some 600 of the disowned dealers back into the fold. Why, so they can cannibalize each other for sales and service? If that’s just bowing to political pressure, it sure seems like a bad decision.

    As to the actual topic, it’s all good, hooray!

    LJGTVWOTR!! NMST!


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:43 am)

    DonC: …Sell the quiet ride. Sell the ability to give OPEC the bird. Sell the satisfaction of doing your bit for the environment. Just don’t try and sell the thing based on cost savings.

    Amen! +1

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:46 am)

    #45 Bruce Don’t forget that the third party companies that will convert your vehicle to electric will be there to compete and keep new car prices moderated to an
    extent.  
    Yes, that will be another option. For me I would rather have an ev. designed from the ground up for the purpose of being an ev. For some people with very short commutes, those transformed vehicles should be addequit.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:48 am)

    Brian R: When the next shortage hits, those who have a Volt will look like geniuses.

    #29

    That’s the plan, LOL. +1


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:48 am)

    nasaman: I believe its highly likely that a manufacturer like LG Chem or even A123 could adopt a marketing strategy similar to that followed by one US semiconductor industry giant in the 1960’s, namely loss-lead marketing of key transistor types (2N2222-NPN & 2N2906-PNP are famous examples). Texas Instruments deliberately sold these devices at a loss to increase their market share.

    I don’t know the specifics of this situation but lowering your price below long term average costs in order to gain a controlling market share would not seem to be a winning strategy. Not only would it be a a violation of the predatory pricing provisions of the anti-trust laws, it would be suicidal from a business perspective especially in the case of lithium batteries where the fixed costs are relatively low and the variable are relatively high (different than fabs where the fixed costs are high and the variable costs low).

    My guess is that this situation was unique in some ways.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:49 am)

    Tall Pete: Brian R: When the next shortage hits, those who have a Volt will look like geniuses.

    Well said. Be a trend setter, not a follower.

    #59

    Well said to you too. +1

    Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:55 am)

    Exp_EngTech: These kind of wild, unbridled benefits from Evil Capitalism will not go unchecked.
    Expect a “Battery Tax” on Excessive Energy Storage & Usage.

    Well said. I was listening to Obama talking about how terrible it is that health care companies want to deny Health Care to people who won’t pay for it, as if there is something terrible about a company making money. In Obama’s perfect world nobody should make any money, the Government should decide who deserves money and they will print it and give it to them.

    Next after health care reform will come restaurant reform, where companies like Outback Deny life Sustaining FOOD to people who won’t pay for it.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:58 am)

    nasaman: In addition to the fact that the “ingredients” for a Li-Ion battery are remarkably cheap in quantity (as I argue in post #1), another factor could very well come into play …one I’ve never mentioned here & have not seen mentioned elsewhere:Loss-lead marketing. Li-Ion automotive battery cells will become essentially a commodity like lead acid batteries are today. I believe its highly likely that a manufacturer like LG Chem or even A123 could adopt a marketing strategy similar to that followed by one US semiconductor industry giant in the 1960’s, namely loss-lead marketing of key transistor types (2N2222-NPN & 2N2906-PNP are famous examples). Texas Instruments deliberately sold these devices at a loss to increase their market share. It worked (like Boston Consulting Group said it would) and TI captured a large enough share of this key market that they effectively controlled the market for 2N2222/2N2906 transistors,which I believe helped them become the industry giant they are today. As a result 2N2222 prices dropped to <12c each in volume.No, Moore’s law doesn’t really apply to Li-Ion batteries, but I believe a strategy of marketing Li-Ion cells at breakeven, or even at a loss, could give a single manufacturer a large enough market share —as well as very large volume— that they could emerge as the market leader. And in the process drive the cost of Li-Ion automotive cells way below what studies like Deutsche Bank’s predict —since such predictions don’t consider this approach.  

    ==========================

    nasaman:

    I must be missing something here:

    TI took control of a market by selling the product at a loss. So in the end they owned a market that lost money on every sale. How exactly did this help the company?

    I must be really old school. I still believe that there should be some profit made, or why go through the effort???


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:59 am)

    Randy: WHile battery cost is coming down ,electricity cost is going up,mine just jumped from 9C a KWH to 14C a KWH . ANd my home town is now putting restrictions on solar electric panels. It seems like we can,t catch a break from the Oil man

    Eventually electric cars will significantly bring down electric prices by leveling the demand. but that will take at least 10 years.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (12:08 pm)

    It’s certainly good to see those prices come down, but to have any appreciable impact you need
    many tens of milllions of EVs on the road. We have 260 million cars in this country, so the simple math should convinve even the most wildly optimistic proponents that 10 million EVs won’t do much in terms of reducing oil consumption (and only half of oil we use goes to make gasoline, at that). So 10 million EVs would only reduce oil consumption by less than 3%. That’s essentially nothing. Even 40 million won’t have all that much effect. To really get competitive, EVs must be built that only require a battery – no expensive complete second driveline like the Volt. That requires more than simply lower priced batteries, but the ability to recharge quickly. Fortunately, there are two technologies on the horizon. One, the slippery surface MIT design, apparently works and can be produced in the fairly near future. The other, EEStor, is less certain but potentially a far better solution.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (12:13 pm)

    Mark A: Once EVs take over (or at least have significant sales), what do we do about the weakening demand for gas? That would push the price lower and potentially give consumers a reason to buy Hummer-like vehicles again. Shouldn’t we all agree on phasing in a national gasoline tax? I know this is anathema politically, but this seems necessary to me in the long run.  (Quote)

    When you said you knew it was political anathema – that there is plainly all you need to know. It aint gonna happen. Politicos who back such a bill will be soundly ousted from their cush jobs with health care and benefits none of us can ever hope to have.

    A gas tax is exactly what this country needs. It’s a consumer-driven market. Putting the weight of change squarely on the manufacturer, then subsidizing that manufacturer to pull it out of bankruptcy is typical government-think and why socializing America is bad bad news.

    Just think of what a 20 cent per gallon tax nationwide would do to cut into the national debt ( or should I say China’s ownership of America? ). Any hike in gas prices only sends consumers rushing to buy the most efficient vehicle they can get their hands on.

    Note how Prius prices and availability follow in tow precisely with the rise and fall of petroleum as it’s price rises in Summer like the scorching sun? When I bought my Prius they were offering it for zero percent interest with the $1200 tax break. By Summer there was a waiting list a month long! That was ’07 – it doubled during ’08′s gas spike.

    (Regular Unleaded in Seattle just went up 8 cents last week. Holding at $2.99/gal)

    RECHARGE! James


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (12:15 pm)

    I am encouraged and not surprised by the news. I think the price will drop even more as new technology comes on line. I was reading about the potential of Lithium Sulfur batteries with their extremely high energy density – about 4 times that of a lithium ion battery. One of the downsides of this technology is the problem of the loss of active sulfur due to the solubility of LiS_n in the electrolytes. This results in a battery that has very poor cycling and as a result a limited lifetime.

    If you remember, though, Planar Energy has demonstrated a solid electrolyte with good ion conductivity. I can’t help but think that this might be a potential path to making the Lithium Sulfur battery work, since I’m guessing that the lithium polysulfides shouldn’t dissolve in a solid electrolyte. And, it stands to reason that the solid electrolyte will lower manufacturing costs as well.

    In short, it seems that GM is in the right place at the right time. Batteries have crossed the threshold of viability. The electric car has arrived. All GM needs to do (and it’s no small task) is deliver a bullet-proof vehicle that people love to drive, and they’ll be out front of everyone else.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (12:22 pm)

    #44 CDAVIS The Missing Link: Fast Charge Stations

    10-15 years from now, I predict there will be fewer total gas stations but those fewer gas stations will also offer Fast Charge units similar in form factor
    to a gas pump….pull up your BEV…slide in your credit card…get a Fast Charge (80% SOC < 15 minutes, providing 150+ miles). Most charging (95%+) will be
    done overnight at home for the average consumer but Fast Charge service stations will be available for those times requiring extended range driving…that’s
    the future folks. That will be the tipping point to put the gas engine out of business for all new consumer cars sold.

    Until then, EREVs and limited range BEVs will rule for us many "early adopters".
    That is my best guess for now as well. As you know, there will be some fast charging stations installed starting this year. With the information the DOE gathers from all the charging stations installed should help them determine future placement of charging stations. Business's will enjoy the benefits of having customers around during your charge-up time.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (12:23 pm)

    Noah Nehm: …In short, it seems that GM is in the right place at the right time. Batteries have crossed the threshold of viability. The electric car has arrived. All GM needs to do (and it’s no small task) is deliver a bullet-proof vehicle that people love to drive, and they’ll be out front of everyone else.

    Well said. +1.
    Good note on which to take a break.
    /bbl
    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Mike-o-Matic

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (12:24 pm)

    Rashiid Amul: Good morning, allFrom the article
    Furthermore, they predict an additional 25% decline in price over the next 5 years and a 50% decline over the next 10 years along with a doubling of performance over the next 7 years.This is awesome news.I especially love the part about doubling the performance.  

    Right on, Rashiid!

    Just for giggles, I will pull the following semi-imaginary scenarios out of my ear:

    A hypothetical $4,000 Volt battery pack sounds GREAT.

    But imagine a $4,000 Volt Pack with a 80-mile AER. Or, (be still, my beating heart), a $2,000 pack with a 40-mile AER and 200 lbs lighter … that would be just phenomenal!

    NOW IMAGINE A BEOWULF CLUSTER OF THESE… (ugh, sorry, wrong website :-) )


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (12:27 pm)

    Mark A: Once EVs take over (or at least have significant sales), what do we do about the weakening demand for gas? That would push the price lower and potentially give consumers a reason to buy Hummer-like vehicles again. Shouldn’t we all agree on phasing in a national gasoline tax? I know this is anathema politically, but this seems necessary to me in the long run.

    Higher gas tax makes sense as EVs become available in larger numbers. Don’t have to worry about gas prices falling in ten years just because demand falls. Those drops would only be short term as the cost of drilling for oil will continue to go up. Fools argue that there are still some places to get oil at an affordable rate. But as time goes on the ‘MIX’ will be harder and harder to get at OIL, and the prices will go up even as demand falls.

    When demand falls sharply of course prices drop, but demand will drop gradually as people buy electric cars, and accordingly less money will be spent on new Oil Production. Yet at the same time the ‘less expensive’ oil fields will continue to dry up and over time Oil prices will rise much faster than inflation, even with lower demand.

    We are not talking about growing a crop but mining a limited resource that continues to get more scarce every year.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (12:29 pm)

    Tagamet: I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that the Volt (or any part of it) doesn’t come out as a lease only vehicle. JMO.

    I TOTALLY agree with you on that issue.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (12:29 pm)

    Sorry for the off topic, but found an interesting article. Good news for EV adoption, range anxitey not as big of a hurdle as thought.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35352973/ns/business-autos/


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (12:29 pm)

    Tagamet: but as long as it’s an *option* to lease the battery, I guess I’m still on board.

    Yes… so long as it’s an OPTION…

    But if it were a REQUIRED battery lease (and I don’t foresee that) … then “I’m out!” faster than a Cosmo Kramer with urges.


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    Colonel Miles Quaritch

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (12:30 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (12:43 pm)

    nasaman: In addition to the fact that the “ingredients” for a Li-Ion battery are remarkably cheap in quantity (as I argue in post #1), another factor could very well come into play …one I’ve never mentioned here & have not seen mentioned elsewhere:Loss-lead marketing. Li-Ion automotive battery cells will become essentially a commodity like lead acid batteries are today. I believe its highly likely that a manufacturer like LG Chem or even A123 could adopt a marketing strategy similar to that followed by one US semiconductor industry giant in the 1960’s, namely loss-lead marketing of key transistor types (2N2222-NPN & 2N2906-PNP are famous examples). Texas Instruments deliberately sold these devices at a loss to increase their market share. It worked (like Boston Consulting Group said it would) and TI captured a large enough share of this key market that they effectively controlled the market for 2N2222/2N2906 transistors, which I believe helped them become the industry giant they are today. As a result 2N2222 prices dropped to <12c each in volume.No, Moore’s law doesn’t really apply to Li-Ion batteries, but I believe a strategy of marketing Li-Ion cells at breakeven, or even at a loss, could give a single manufacturer a large enough market share —as well as very large volume— that they could emerge as the market leader. And in the process drive the cost of Li-Ion automotive cells way below what studies like Deutsche Bank’s predict —since such predictions don’t consider this approach.  (Quote)

    Hi Nasaman, this reminds me of my experience back in the late 50′s – early 60′s when my group was designing one of the first solid-state radar altimeters at Honeywell. At that time the mainstay in design was the use of germanium transistors as opposed to using silicon transistors because of their much lower cost and better (at that time) high frequency response characteristics. But silicon was clearly the way to go on a technology basis due to its lower leakage characteristics, higher temperature ratings, and a pathway to higher frequency performance due to new planar architecture as opposed to current junction type transistors. So we opted for silicon for its performance advantages, believing the cost would come way down by the time we went in into volume manufacturing (we were at the R&D stage of development). Sure enough, silicon transistor prices dropped hugely – even more than we had estimated.

    Any good engineering group will follow this path – it has to do so. I am sure GM has engineers, and now managers, that embrace this concept. They KNOW their battery costs are going to come down and they probably have a pretty good idea of the rate of decrease in costs. This also applies to other components of the drive train as well. I think we will all be pleasantly surprised when GM finally announces their pricing for the Volt. The first ones won’t have much profit, but they think now that they won’t build very many in the first year of production. If the demand is there and costs drop as anticipated, I suspect they can ramp up production very quickly, assuming the drive train supply capacity is there (battery, motor, generator, controller, etc.). They have quite a balancing act ahead for themselves, but if anyone can do it, GM can. Just my two cents based on what I’ve seen happen in the past. I’m quite optimistic – GM has a tiger by the tail and all it can do is hang on for dear life. But it has a huge advantage over other manufacturers – thousands of hours of practical manufacturing and testing experience with E-REV that no other manufacturer has.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (1:00 pm)

    Jim I: nasaman:

    I must be missing something here:

    TI took control of a market by selling the product at a loss. So in the end they owned a market that lost money on every sale. How exactly did this help the company?

    I must be really old school. I still believe that there should be some profit made, or why go through the effort???

    Read the 2nd paragraph of post #80 —great explanation.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (1:10 pm)

    Mike-o-Matic: Yes… so long as it’s an OPTION…But if it were a REQUIRED battery lease (and I don’t foresee that) … then “I’m out!” faster than a Cosmo Kramer with urges.  (Quote)

    Don’t forget about the value of these batteries as distributed storage units for grid power. And that will probably start happening just about the time leases start maturing. I hate to say it, but it might be stupid for GM to sell these batteries, given their future value.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (1:36 pm)

    OK, here goes, replying to a variety of the comments above — I don’t claim to be a lipo (lithium-polymer battery) expert, but I own 100 or more of them due to my r/c hobby. I understand how these batteries work pretty well (but not the internal chemistry though!).

    “but a doubling of capacity, I seriously doubt that!”
    “Again talk of doubling capacity is as silly as…”

    The capacity is *already there*! Remember that the Volt is only using *half* of the capacity provided by the battery, in order to extend battery life. If future battery chemistries can use more of their capacity without hurting lifespan, then we will effectively double capacity. I suspect this will be a slow learning process, i.e. it won’t suddenly jump from 50% to 100%.

    “Li-ion batteries actually include special circuitry to protect the battery from damage…”

    True for camcorders and power tools (and the Volt of course), but not true for hobby batteries, mainly due to the weight issues. I accidentally shorted a lipo once and it got really hot, really fast! The hobby ones don’t even have a fuse.

    “A lithium ion battery cell typically consists of a spiral wound roll…”

    Obviously this statement is for round cells, not the “prismatic” type as shown in the image. No, I don’t know why they call them prismatic instead of just “flat”, probably because it sounds sexier.

    “100,000 Mile Dealership Service Check List

    3. Grease wheel bearings / suspension”

    Do any new cars still require this?? My Saturn at least has nothing to grease (sorry, not battery-related). I’m sure the Volt will require no greasing either.

    Yes, any cost comparison of gasoline vs. electricity should probably take account of the higher taxes on gasoline (am I the only one who thinks “natural gas” when people just say “gas”?). The tax holiday on electric cars will be temporary, people will complain that electrics aren’t “paying their fair share”. I suppose this is one benefit of being an early adopter.

    For laughs I calculated the $/kwh on a typical cheap hobby battery and it came out to $780/kwh. Of course this is a packaged battery not purchased in bulk or anything. So the values in the article seem reasonable.

    Finally, if folks think that the cost of a widget is the cost of production + a fixed % profit, you might want to take a basic economics course at the local community college. If a product has no real competition then the cost will stay high, regardless of the cost of production. LCD prices only came down due to the cost of production lowering, AND the highly-competitive market. If the price of the Volt battery lowers by $1000, GM will not lower the price of the Volt by $1000 just because they are such nice guys. Definitely not, if they are selling every Volt they can make. So don’t expect reductions in battery cost to necessarily lower the price of the vehicle.

    Finally (#2), the main fly in the ointment for me is the CS mode mileage. GM is being so quiet about this, meaning it’s really good (50+) or really bad (32-). I unfortunately suspect the latter, as I can’t see how it can possibly be any better than the Cruze due to the increased overall weight and energy conversions. I hope I’m wrong.

    Carry on!


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (1:41 pm)

    CBK: Some what off topic, but really is relevant where the cost of operation of EREV/BEV
    is concerned. The report is from MIT. I found the article in slashdot. If the auto manufacturers buy this it could make EV’s a difficult sell.

    http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/24701/?a=f

    What do you think? I realize that freeing ourselves from foreign oil is important, but …

    Anything that reduces oil use is useful. It doesn’t matter how we do it, just that we do it. Batteries need a lot more development before they can work for the mainstream consumer. This sounds like a very useful bridge solution that people can use in the meantime.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (1:45 pm)

    Colonel Miles Quaritch: I do not understand why the United States has not taken over Bolivia. They should have done this two years ago. It’s not too late to lay claim to all those Lithium mines in Bolivia. It is our god given right of self determination that most of the World’s Lithium supply belongs to US, this is just the way it is.
    BTW, I don’t want to hear any crap from any liberal pansies about attacking a sovereign nation blah blah blah. We have been fighting wars over natural resources since the beginning of time and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this.Had the Pentagon put me in charge of this mission 2 years ago (before I retired) we would be drowning in Lithium today. How would you like $10 per kW/hr, yeah I thought so. Well you can thank Uncle Sam for their bonehead decision making a few years ago for the outrageously high cost of Lithium today.Quaritch Out.  

    Um, I’m not sure if you are joking or not, if joking haha, if not … Rant on/
    What the h@!! are you thinking? The exact last thing the us military needs right now is another mud hole, piece of poo, third world, country to save from itself and govern for the next two decades. That is the standard col/sgm speak that those of us in the ranks laugh at, the brain/mouth size ratio is way off kilter here. I guess there were NO leassons learned from the Iraq debackle where lots of GOOD men were lost for no Fing reason other than to bring democracy to another mud hole, piece of poo, third world, country. Well I say let them fight for themselves!

    /rant off. Sorry guys that got my blood boiling.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (1:46 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: A couple of predictions:

    1. Battery prices continue to drop this year and the VOLT goes on sale for $28,980.00 AFTER federal tax
    rebates.

    2. Costs continue to drop and the VOLT MSRP drops to $32,980.00 (about 3500) by the 2012 model year.

    3. This summer when the ‘official’ price is announced, I’ll get hit with 100+ angry buyers wanting to place deposits on VOLTs and we will not have that big of an allocation. (In my opinion)

    4. If the price IS below $30k after rebates, the boss will probably tack on an addendum JUST LIKE THE LOCAL TOYOTA DEALER did on the Prius models for years. But not any more.

    5. That will anger everyone else, so like I’ve been saying: Either way, I’m screwed.

    If battery prices drop to the point where GM can sell the Volt at that price at a profit, they will ramp up production. Especially if they have those waiting lists. There will still be shortages in the beginning like there were for the Camaro. But, after six months or so, you’ll have another model that doesn’t need incentives to sell.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (2:05 pm)

    Randy: WHile batterycost is coming down ,electricity cost is going up,mine just jumped from 9C a KWH to 14C a KWH . ANd my home town is now putting restrictions on solar electric panels. It seems like we can,t catch a break from the Oil man.  

    That’s strange. My electric rate is going from 14.9c to 10.3c when my contract is up in June. Also, the solar guys now have a 15 year lease. They do all the maintenance and repairs (It doesn’t go on your homeowners insurance, iow.). The customer (me) gets enough solar power to offset the lease and sell some back. They are also installing smart meters. It’s a win-win-win-win.

    And, this is in the oily state of Texas.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (2:06 pm)

    Randy: ANd my home town is now putting restrictions on solar electric panels. It seems like we can,t catch a break from the Oil man.  

    What are they doing? There are some pretty strong federal laws to stop local anti-solar laws.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (2:09 pm)

    By chance there is a very pertinent article over at autobloggreen today dealing with battery costs and EV penetration. Very interesting reading:

    http://green.autoblog.com/2010/03/08/at-witz-end-it-s-the-battery-stupid/


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (2:20 pm)

    Hi Nasaman, this reminds me of my experience back in the late 50’s – early 60’s when my group was designing one of the first solid-state radar altimeters at Honeywell. Dwwbkw. Quote:

    On behalf of pilots and aircrewmembers everywhere, thank you. Your actions saved more lives than you will ever know.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (2:22 pm)

    Crookieda: /rant off. Sorry guys that got my blood boiling.

    troll

    v.tr.
    a. To fish for by trailing a baited line from behind a slowly moving boat.

    n.
    A supernatural creature of Scandinavian folklore, variously portrayed as a friendly or mischievous dwarf or as a giant, that lives in caves, in the hills, or under bridges.

    ..well, you get the general idea. Best to just ignore them (or down-rate them out of existence).


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (2:32 pm)

    Blind Guy: So it seems the question for me is, do we buy an ev. now and get 7500 from the gov. included in our tax return while paying the full price up front or do we wait to see if the price of the vehicle actually goes down and the battery capability goes up? Darn, that sounds like something Shakespear would say. Seriously, I think it is reasonable to expect more range from evs but it’s hard to picture vehicle prices going down. It seems that more bells and whistles are always added to have more product to include profit in. One thing I am sure of is that for us and probably alot of other folks, 30,000 is pushing the limit on our vehicle payment comfort zone including less maintenance and fuel cost.

    It depends on how long you’re willing to wait. If you can wait another five-ten years, it will probably be cheaper. Otherwise, I’d go for the tax credit. Except that there will probably be dealer mark-ups in the beginning…


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (2:37 pm)

    RogerE333:
    troll…well, you get the general idea. Best to just ignore them (or down-rate them out of existence).  

    An old (and long), but very disturbing article about the troll-world. Ignoring them is the best course, imo.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/03/magazine/03trolls-t.html


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (2:49 pm)

    DonC: I don’t know the specifics of this situation but lowering your price below long term average costs in order to gain a controlling market share would not seem to be a winning strategy. Not only would it be a a violation of the predatory pricing provisions of the anti-trust laws, it would be suicidal from a business perspective especially in the case of lithium batteries where the fixed costs are relatively low and the variable are relatively high (different than fabs where the fixed costs are high and the variable costs low).

    My guess is that this situation was unique in some ways.

    Actually, in practice, unregulated markets usually lead to monopolies. They sometimes happen through consolidation. Or new technology will lead to lower costs for one producers. But lowering prices to drive out your competition is actually pretty common. Even if it means losing money in the short run.

    Look at the whole Amazon/Macmillan dispute. That happened because Amazon was paying publishers more than they charged consumers ebooks. They’re still doing it for many of them. They’re doing it so that more people will buy kindles and lock in their monopoly. But they don’t plan to do it forever.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (2:51 pm)

    CBK: Some what off topic, but really is relevant where the cost of operation of EREV/BEVis concerned. The report is from MIT. I found the article in slashdot. If the auto manufacturers buy this it could make EV’s a difficult sell.http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/24701/?a=fWhat do you think? I realize that freeing ourselves from foreign oil is important, but …  (Quote)

    I followed the link you provided, and it looks great. 64 mpg with minimal increase in vehicle cost. And the best part is, if it was not true, they could not put it on the internet.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (3:01 pm)

    Crookieda:
    I guess there were NO leassons learned from the Iraq debackle where lots of GOOD men were lost for no Fing reason other than to bring democracy to another mud hole, piece of poo, third world, country. Well I say let them fight for themselves!/rant off.Sorry guys that got my blood boiling.  

    I understand a lot of civilians have mental issues wrapping their brain around a new world order. Let me make myself perfectly clear. The primary reason we are still engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan is because it has been approached as a police exercise instead of a full on war.

    Had this Colonel been in charge we would have gone Roman on those M.E. bastards and we would be in the cleanup phase right about now. No doubt. Spineless leadership that refuse to use our total capabilities is what got us in the mess we are in today.

    I will gladly come out of retirement and implement my Phase Zero annihilation plan that would install a lasting peace under full USA domination in short order. I have cleared my schedule and await the phone call from my brethren in the Pentagon. Unleash this Colonel today and you will sleep in peace tomorrow. LETS DO THIS !


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (3:25 pm)

    Tom Harwick: I followed the link you provided, and it looks great. 64 mpg with minimal increase in vehicle cost. And the best part is, if it was not true, they could not put it on the internet.  (Quote)

    I thought you could already order those from JC Whitney. A friend once ordered every fuel saving device JC Whitney sold and put them on the same car. He had to stop every few blocks and drain gas from his tank so it wouldn’t overflow.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (3:25 pm)

    tom w: The interesting thing is that we’ve come so far along this road the past 3 years, that the next time there is an Oil Spike (Israel attacks Iran, etc.), that all these comapanies already have their EV programs in place and it wouldn’t take much if Oil spiked to $200/barrel for a company like GM to decide to make all future passenger vehicles EREV/EV. Today a decision like that would seem idiotic, but in the middle of a middle east war with oil shortages and Oil over $200/barrel it would seem like a brilliant move.

    By the time the supply systems and plants were developed, testing was complete and tooling was installed, the war would be over, then what would happen with the grand plans?

    IMO the only thing that could occur in that scenario’s time frame is that additional shifts would be added for Hamtramck Volts and for Nissan’s Leafs. If other EREV’s or EV’s were out I’d guess the same would be basically true for them also. If we see great news and the plants were running at full capacity due to initial demand, OEM’s wouldn’t be able to react quickly enough to oil price events at all.

    Model changes require long lead times huge amounts of cash. Sudden market changes leave OEM’s staring at possible bankruptcies.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (3:29 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (3:37 pm)

    Crookieda: Um, I’m not sure if you are joking or not, if joking haha, if not … Rant on/
    What the h@!! are you thinking? The exact last thing the us military needs right now is another mud hole, piece of poo, third world, country to save from itself and govern for the next two decades. That is the standard col/sgm speak that those of us in the ranks laugh at, the brain/mouth size ratio is way off kilter here. I guess there were NO leassons learned from the Iraq debackle where lots of GOOD men were lost for no Fing reason other than to bring democracy to another mud hole, piece of poo, third world, country. Well I say let them fight for themselves!
    /rant off. Sorry guys that got my blood boiling.

    Crookieda,

    relax the trolls can’t hurt you. Besides the US (and the rest of NA) has it’s own lithium mines and lithium is so cheap no one wants to work them right now. It’s kinda like the whole troll premise thing swirls around the porcelain a few times before the smell goes away doesn’t it?


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (3:39 pm)

    Crookieda: Hi Nasaman, this reminds me of my experience back in the late 50’s – early 60’s when my group was designing one of the first solid-state radar altimeters at Honeywell. Dwwbkw. Quote:On behalf of pilots and aircrewmembers everywhere, thank you. Your actions saved more lives than you will ever know.  (Quote)

    Crookieda, thanks for your kind comment. You made me tear up. Actually the first platform we were aiming at was the F-111 as an adjunct to its terrain-following radar system. Ours was a short-pulse system as opposed to the FM sytems most people favored. Our design ended up being used mainly in helicopters, where indeed it did/does yeoman’s service. I’m very proud to have been able to contribute to helping all of you guys out.


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    Tagamet

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (3:41 pm)

    V=IR: RogerE333:
    troll…well, you get the general idea. Best to just ignore them (or down-rate them out of existence).

    An old (and long), but very disturbing article about the troll-world. Ignoring them is the best course, imo.

    That fits solid psychological practices as well. Any attention is rewarding and increases the (mis)behavior.
    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (3:50 pm)

    kent beuchert: It’s certainly good to see those prices come down, but to have any appreciable impact you needmany tens of milllions of EVs on the road. We have 260 million cars in this country, so the simple math should convinve even the most wildly optimistic proponents that 10 million EVs won’t do much in terms of reducing oil consumption (and only half of oil we use goes to make gasoline, at that). So 10 million EVs would only reduce oil consumption by less than 3%. That’s essentially nothing. Even 40 million won’t have all that much effect. To really get competitive, EVs must be built that only require a battery – no expensive complete second driveline like the Volt. That requires more than simply lower priced batteries, but the ability to recharge quickly. Fortunately, there are two technologies on the horizon. One, the slippery surface MIT design, apparently works and can be produced in the fairly near future. The other, EEStor, is less certain but potentially a far better solution.  (Quote)

    Out of 260 million cars, only a fraction are used to total up commuting, errands and any real mileage daily. I’d wager that half of those are sitting on the front lawn gathering cobwebs most days. The real workhorses of the fleet would be vastly smaller in number. IMO if you replace the 30 to 50 million hardest working passenger vehicles you’re done!!


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (3:53 pm)

    OK, I am getting CONTEST ANXIETY. lol :) So far I count 2 “Why I Want A Chevy Volt” videos on YouTube. The 3rd seems not to be there anymore – the one with the cute baby at the wheel of a Prius.

    Has anyone gotten any information about the contest yet? Have the 100 essays been read? I know I am getting jumpy here, but I REALLY WANT TO SEE A VOLT!

    Does Lyle collect the video entries from his email or are the contestants supposed to post directly to YouTube? It seems now that if anyone puts their mug in front of a camera by the 12th and says ” I Want A Chevy Volt”, they win. The number of entries seems very disappointing at best.

    RECHARGE! James


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (3:54 pm)

    Crookieda: Um, I’m not sure if you are joking or not, if joking haha, if not … Rant on/
    What the h@!! are you thinking?

    #85

    Amen! +1


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    Noel Park

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (4:02 pm)

    Tom Harwick: And the best part is, if it was not true, they could not put it on the internet.

    #95

    LOL. Thanks. +1

    Kind of like all of the magic carburetors that got 100 mpg that Ford and GM bought up 60-70 years ago and buried. “Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.” Unless it’s on the internet, in which case it’s more like negative half, hahaha.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (4:03 pm)

    James: OK, I am getting CONTEST ANXIETY. lol So far I count 2 “Why I Want A Chevy Volt” videos on YouTube. The 3rd seems not to be there anymore – the one with the cute baby at the wheel of a Prius.Has anyone gotten any information about the contest yet? Have the 100 essays been read? I know I am getting jumpy here, but I REALLY WANT TO SEE A VOLT!Does Lyle collect the video entries from his email or are the contestants supposed to post directly to YouTube? It seems now that if anyone puts their mug in front of a camera by the 12th and says ” I Want A Chevy Volt”, they win. The number of entries seems very disappointing at best.RECHARGE!James  

    RELAX James! (LOL). I haven’t heard anything, but aren’t essays and videos both being considered for the contest? The way I read your post, it sounds like you feel that it’ll be one video and one essay? I may be reading your post wrong, but why else would you be concerned about the number of video entries?
    Help me out, but in any case, worrying won’t help.
    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (4:05 pm)

    Bruce: He had to stop every few blocks and drain gas from his tank so it wouldn’t overflow.

    #97

    Same response as to #95. LOL. +1 Watch out Leno and Letterman, here comes GM-Volt.com!


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (4:06 pm)

    DonC: The problem is that consumers apply an astonishingly high discount rate to new products. They want a payback in six months, not six years. Certainly not ten years. It’s a huge problem when trying to introduce energy saving products. Applied here, it suggests that selling the Volt based on cost-savings is a losing proposition.
    Sell the quiet ride. Sell the ability to give OPEC the bird. Sell the satisfaction of doing your bit for the environment. Just don’t try and sell the thing based on cost savings

    Or do what many here resist, lease the battery for less then what it costs monthly for gasoline.
    Then you can save when buy and every month.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (4:22 pm)

    kent beuchert: It’s certainly good to see those prices come down, but to have any appreciable impact you need
    many tens of milllions of EVs on the road. We have 260 million cars in this country, so the simple math should convinve even the most wildly optimistic proponents that 10 million EVs won’t do much in terms of reducing oil consumption

    Though it is true there are 260 million or so cars, not all of those cars drive 40 miles a day. If you assume people aren’t going to buy an EREV or BEV (With few exceptions) unless they can drive 15000 miles a year AER (on average some will plug in at work and some won’t), THEN 10 MILLION cars that displace 13 million gallons or perhaps 300,000 barrels of oil a day, and we are importing what around 9 million barrels a day or something like that. So does that mean we need 300 millions EVs?

    I think it just means we are on the right road. It has been discussed her many times that we need more than electric cars. But at least in addition to bringing down imported oil it gives the owners of these cars freedom from the price increases. We’ll just have to wait and see how long it takes till there are a million EREV/BEVs sold per year in this country. My current goal is to reach one million units of EREV/BEVs per year by 2013 and have it continue to increase from there.

    We of course need to address fuel oil and 18 wheelers etc. etc.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (4:35 pm)

    dwwbkw:
    Crookieda, thanks for your kind comment. You made me tear up. Actually the first platform we were aiming at was the F-111 as an adjunct to its terrain-following radar system. Ours was a short-pulse system as opposed to the FM sytems most people favored. Our design ended up being used mainly in helicopters, where indeed it did/does yeoman’s service. I’m very proud to have been able to contribute to helping all of you guys out.  

    Dwwbkw,
    You are welcome, sincerly, from this chopper jockey. The short pulse radar altimiter is the only reliable altimiter IMHO. 6yrs UH-60A/L 7+yrs OH-58D.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (5:02 pm)

    JohnK: Question: presumably GM and CPI have some fairly firm agreements to mutually protect each other.What happens when cost factors fluctuate.I would guess that not all savings get passed on, what kind of business passes the best to its customer and keeps none of its fruit for themself?  

    A business that has worthwhile competition?

    A business that hasn’t turned itself into an oversized market-strangling monopolistic institution?


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (5:06 pm)

    Why am I not surprized by this information. With technology going through the roof, it seemed very unreasonable for batteries to stay high priced for very long. Its not just the development of the batteries but revolutionary processes to make them are rapidly changing. Batteries are bound to get both better and cheaper to make. No wonder the oil giants were afraid of battery technology.
    I can remember when hand held calculators were $700 each with a red diode display and a few trig functions. These calculators were priced in 1970 $. What’s that about $5000 in todays money. With technology doubling every couple of years everyone can see pretty much where things are headed. Will the day eventually come when technology doubles every month ?


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (5:07 pm)

    Tim Hart: This is great news for us EV enthusiasts. There is one issue we haven”t talked about that needs to be mentioned. Part of the cost of gas is the road use tax the states add on to fund maintenance of the roads. EVs will be using the roads but not buying gas. So with widespread use of EVs, there will need to be some sort of tax added on to EV use for the road maintenance issue.  

    This is an issue for everyone who uses alternative transportation.

    The tax-folks can send me a form asking my to swear-under-penalty-of-perjury that the odometer is in my car after each year. That’s not at all unlike the way most taxes are done now. Easy. The politicians just have to do something proactive, rather than trying to destroy healthcare, the environment, and their personal lives.

    A counter-argument, though, is that since EVs are only practical for local travel, increasing the property taxes to cover road-maintenance for EVs and bicycles may be fair.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (5:09 pm)

    tom w: Or do what many here resist, lease the battery for less then what it costs monthly for gasoline.
    Then you can save when buy and every month.

    At the cost of not owning the vehicle. No thanks.
    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    West Coast Driver

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (5:25 pm)

    Great News!

    Soon EVs will be going plus 150 miles for under 30K and the range anxiety monster will be gone!

    Project “Thunderhole” is going according to plan!

    GO EV !!!!


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (5:53 pm)

    Grouch: …A counter-argument, though, is that since EVs are only practical for local travel, increasing the property taxes to cover road-maintenance for EVs and bicycles may be fair.

    Lost me. How is it fair to tax property owners, for the use of EV’s or Bikes?
    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (7:02 pm)

    tom w: “Fuel costs about 2 cents per mile using electricity, and about 10 cents per mile using gas. At $450 per kwh at today’s gas prices, after 90,000 miles of electric driving fuel savings will cover the added cost of the battery”Using todays cost of gasoline to project cost of operations over the next 10 years is giving a huge disadvantage to EVs. I’ve been saying for the last year that EVs already have a price advantage over ICE cars for drivers that can drive 15,000 miles a year on their batteries.As long as the driver has access to plug in at home with overnight cheap electricity, and can frequently get a supplemental charge at work (except on high elec demand days) to extend AER, then the EV/EREVs are already the way to go.  (Quote)

    Don’t forget as well about the much lower maintenance costs of running an EV as compared to an ICE. That’s a cost saving that’s available today for drivers as opposed to having to wait another 10 years down the road.

    As for future savings, in addition to lower battery costs, there should also be lower costs associated with the non-battery components of the Volt–due to R & D, mass-production, economies of scale, improved efficiencies, etc. These cost savings will further offset the high initial costs of the battery.

    Then there’s the $7,500 rebate, the possibility of selling back one’s surplus power to the grid, and I could go on & on…

    Sincerely, George, Sudbury, Canada…Go Volt!


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (7:27 pm)

    LauraM: Actually, in practice, unregulated markets usually lead to monopolies. They sometimes happen through consolidation. Or new technology will lead to lower costs for one producers. But lowering prices to drive out your competition is actually pretty common. Even if it means losing money in the short run.

    Actually it’s almost unheard of. I’d be most interested in any authority that documents any real cases of successful predatory pricing. Unless there are unusually high barriers to entry, high margins always encourage competitors to enter the market. Successful predation can happen, but Blue Moons can happen as well.

    We need to have a clear idea of what the situation is. You brought up the Amazon Kindle but the relevance to lithium car batteries isn’t obvious. With tied products the point is to make a profit on all the products. You can either sell the more expensive product at a loss — which is what happens with razors, ink jet printers, and even cars (dealers make their money from the service department), or you can make a profit on the main product and sell the consumable at a loss — which is what Xerox has done by offering free consumables with its solid ink jet printer. The best of all worlds would be the iPhone or iPod, which Apple sells at a profit and then sells apps or songs at a profit as well. But at the end of the day you need to make a profit.

    In this regard, lithium batteries are remarkably unsuited for gaining a sustainable market share by lowering price. The fixed costs are relatively modest and the variable costs are relatively high, which means that cutting price below costs in order to secure higher volumes just causes higher losses. (Different than products with high fixed costs and low variable costs). Plus, since the barriers to entry are relatively low, as soon as you increase prices the increased margins will draw in more competitors.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (7:31 pm)

    West Coast Driver: Project “Thunderhole” is going according to plan!

    That was a James Bond movie… right? :)


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (8:06 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: West Coast Driver: Project “Thunderhole” is going according to plan!

    That was a James Bond movie… right? :)

    #120

    I’ve been fighting that one off, but you’re just determined to get me into trouble, aren’t you, LOL? Maybe it’s a San Fernando Valley sendup of a the James bond movie “Thunderball”. Sorry!


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (8:18 pm)

    #92 Laura M It depends on how long you’re willing to wait. If you can wait another five-ten years, it will probably be cheaper. Otherwise, I’d go for the tax credit.
    Except that there will probably be dealer mark-ups in the beginning…  
    (Quote)

    I value your opinion Laura M. and enjoy reading your posts. I am definatly leaning toward buying while the tax credit is available. It would be very hard to wait to see if prices actually go down enough to make the wait worth while. It’s time to get serious about saving up for that down payment.


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    GM Volt Fan

     

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (8:27 pm)

    These are the posts by Lyle that get me fired up about the Volt and the future of electric cars. News about upcoming battery technologies and battery prices coming down. No doubt about it … the lower the “cost per kilowatt” the more cars like the Volt are going to get popular.

    If the “cost per kilowatt” of the battery keeps going DOWN while the “price per gallon of gas” keeps going UP, we’ll probably see a stampede of people trying to get out of their old fashioned IC engine cars and into EREV cars like the Volt.

    No doubt … “cost per kilowatt” going DOWN is going to be the #1 thing for us to get excited about in the months and years ahead. That and quick charging capability, durability, reliability, all electric range, etc.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (8:38 pm)

    I hope to see some form of mainstream EV transportation in my lifetime, unfortunately once you go past first 50-100 miles the charge limitations kick in and the whole story becomes less of a battery and more of an infrastructure problem, sort of like owing a fast computer on a slow network. Infrastructure projects are huge investment and take decades if ever to pay off. Battery swap is a stupid idea cause it completely changes the whole approach to transportation, which is to radical and logistical nightmare. In my opinion liquid fuel will dominate the market of personal transportation in the form of high efficiency diesels, small displacement turbo gas engines and eventually high efficiency fuel cells (ethanol, bio fuels, hydrogen with solid state storage). Electrical generation will come in the form on large scale thermonuclear (150 years) or nuclear (medium term). Wind and solar are a joke on the industrial scale.


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    LRGVProVolt

     

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (9:31 pm)

    I posted this link very late yesterday:

    http://evworld.com/article.cfm?storyid=1816&first=4199&end=4198

    At the time I didn’t realize that todays post would be more on topic. It links to an article titled “The Affordability of Plug-in Hybrids”

    It compares the cost of batteries to the cost of gasoline and what the risk factor for buying an EV is in Europe, Japan, and U.S.A. “At a battery price of $1,000 per kWh and recent gasoline prices, the ROI for a gasoline PHEV would be decidedly negative in the US, marginally negative in Japan and about 5% in Europe.” The situation changes for Europe where the margin is decidely positive and Japan, marginal.

    Another article in EV-World, discusses “Mobility in the World of $200 Oil”!

    http://evworld.com/currents.cfm?jid=92

    It states what I have long indicated could be the situation with China’s and Indian’s demand for petroleum in order to sustain their economies. Even without another war breaking out, we are likely to see a spike in petroleum prices in the near future.

    The more recent report on battery “prices already dropping steeper than expected” must be welcomed by many concerned over the growing problems that will occur globally because of impending peak oil and the soaring demand for what petroleum is left. Developments in battery technology fortunately are happening at a rapid pace and will either drive the battery price down to a more affordable level or/and increase AER.

    The demand for non-ICE vehicles will be high under those circumstances and suggested solutions to the “Mobility” problem will become more prevalent. The EV in all its forms beginning with hybrid plug-ins, and continuing in succession with E-REV, BEV, and fuel cell vehicles will be inevitable. We are fortunate that the EV revolution has arrived. I only hope that it is not too late and that all manufacturers including GM will prepare, like Nissan intends to be doing, to increase production to meet the huge demand that will likely occur.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (9:33 pm)

    Brian R: It will exciting to see the difference in battery capability when the Volt Gen 2 is baselined which will probably be about 4 years after the Gen 1 baseline. I know GM has indicated that they will stay with the 40 miles electric range, but if the price drops 8% per year and the density increases the same, we will likely see some impressive gains either in cost or capability.  (Quote)

    Or space! For a 5-seater.


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    Red HHR

     

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (9:37 pm)

    GM Volt Fan: These are the posts by Lyle that get me fired up about the Volt and the future of electric cars. News about upcoming battery technologies and battery prices coming down. No doubt about it … the lower the “cost per kilowatt” the more cars like the Volt are going to get popular.

    Yes, Thank You Lyle for all the good news.

    I was watcingh Top Gear yesterday and Jeremy was lamenting the end of the highly powered V12 beauty of internal combustion… Yes the ICE has served us well. A highly tuned internal combustion engine is a joy to behold. However the fuel will become more expensive and scarce. I have been hearing that story ever since I was a child, I would have never guessed the rise of the SUV. But now, I think the balance of trade has been adversely affected by our, dare I say it, addiction.

    So can I become as passionate over a chemical reaction and a spinning armature as I would over a well fueled combustion chamber? LJGTRVWOTR and find out.

    Cheers


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (9:56 pm)

    Volt45: Brian R: It will exciting to see the difference in battery capability when the Volt Gen 2 is baselined which will probably be about 4 years after the Gen 1 baseline. I know GM has indicated that they will stay with the 40 miles electric range, but if the price drops 8% per year and the density increases the same, we will likely see some impressive gains either in cost or capability. (Quote)

    Volt45: Or space! For a 5-seater.

    Yes, that too! I really believe that once *demand* is actually demonstrated, companies will start to offer a smorgasbord mix and match of different attributes like AER, capacity, price, etc to provide a variety of choices. Big cars, with small AERs, Cheap(er) small cars with longer AER’s. *really* expensive big cars with big AER’s. etc. Granted, your child who needs that 5th seat may well be *driving* by then….. Still, exciting times.
    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (10:05 pm)

    Red HHR: So can I become as passionate over a chemical reaction and a spinning armature as I would over a well fueled combustion chamber? LJGTRVWOTR and find out.

    I don’t know, but I’m sure anxious to find out!

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (10:09 pm)

    DonC: Actually it’s almost unheard of. I’d be most interested in any authority that documents any real cases of successful predatory pricing. Unless there are unusually high barriers to entry, high margins always encourage competitors to enter the market. Successful predation can happen, but Blue Moons can happen as well.We need to have a clear idea of what the situation is. You brought up the Amazon Kindle but the relevance to lithium car batteries isn’t obvious. With tied products the point is to make a profit on all the products. You can either sell the more expensive product at a loss — which is what happens with razors, ink jet printers, and even cars (dealers make their money from the service department), or you can make a profit on the main product and sell the consumable at a loss — which is what Xerox has done by offering free consumables with its solid ink jet printer. The best of all worlds would be the iPhone or iPod, which Apple sells at a profit and then sells apps or songs at a profit as well. But at the end of the day you need to make a profit.In this regard, lithium batteries are remarkably unsuited for gaining a sustainable market share by lowering price. The fixed costs are relatively modest and the variable costs are relatively high, which means that cutting price below costs in order to secure higher volumes just causes higher losses. (Different than products with high fixed costs and low variable costs). Plus, since the barriers to entry are relatively low, as soon as you increase prices the increased margins will draw in more competitors.  (Quote)

    Or you could be a msssive conglomerate that sees great potential in a near-term future market. You could sell at a loss or no margin to starve the competition and disuade others from entering the market. I’m not saying and don’t have enough reason to believe this is what LG is doing but it is plausible.


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    Mar 9th, 2010 (10:12 pm)

    Don#119 C: Actually it’s almost unheard of. I’d be most interested in any authority that documents any real cases of successful predatory pricing. U

    Apparently you are not aware of the unfair trade practice termed dumping. A really good example of dumping, creating a monopoly, is that of Japanese fasteners. Through dumping they decimated the U.S. fastener industry. Once the competition from U.S. manufacturers was gone, they raised the prices to U.S. customers. That case is only one case of dumping that has succeeded. A major anti-dumping case was issued against many multinational bearing manufacturers. If it wasn’t for the Anti-dumping Statutes and the successful action to successfully bringing the case more bearing companies would have gone under. Bearings are a strategic defense commodity. They are found almost everywhere. Before the case was initiated some twelve ball bearing plants had closed and others were struggling to remain profitable. So you can understand what I am talking about, the definition of dumping a product is selling it at lower than the countries fair market value. Automotive manufacturers do something similar to maintain some market presence for a type of vehicle that doesn’t sell well for them. These loss leaders demonstrate their ability to manufacture all types of vehicles. Loss leader sales are not an example of the predatory sales like you are talking about. But never the less, dumping is clearly something you weren’t aware of. Laura is correct about “lowering prices to drive out your competition” being common.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Volt45

     

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (10:24 pm)

    LRGVProVolt: If it wasn’t for the Anti-dumping Statutes and the successful action to successfully bringing the case more bearing companies would have gone under. Bearing are a strategic defense commodity. They are found almost everywhere. Before the case was initiated some twelve ball bearing plant had closed and others were struggling to remain profitable.  (Quote)

    My father-in-law worked for Timken in Canton, OH.
    He worked on the bearings for one of the space shuttles, but Timken makes all kinds.
    Timken is named after the inventer of case bearings and is, I think, the biggest bearing manufacturer.
    Canton depends on Timken and when Timken hurts, Canton hurts.
    They’ve been hurting for a while.
    Dumping isn’t just abstract, it’s real, and we’ve suffered for it.
    The Asians are especially good at this, and I get irritated when they’re touted as free market heroes… free market warriors maybe.


  133. 133
    Blind Guy

     

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (10:30 pm)

    #127 Red HHR I was watcingh Top Gear yesterday and Jeremy was lamenting the end of the highly powered V12 beauty of internal combustion… Yes the ICE has served us well.
    A highly tuned internal combustion engine is a joy to behold. However the fuel will become more expensive and scarce. I have been hearing that story ever
    since I was a child, I would have never guessed the rise of the SUV. But now, I think the balance of trade has been adversely affected by our, dare I say
    it, addiction.

    So can I become as passionate over a chemical reaction and a spinning armature as I would over a well fueled combustion chamber? LJGTRVWOTR and find out.

    There will always be a place in my heart for 60′s muscle cars. The roar you can feel in your chest when the raw power is unleashed and you are planted back in your seat. It is time to move on and embrace a new kind of love. Who knows, maybe some day we will have an ev. like a used Tesla that can give the performance without the roar. Nope, still wouldn’t be the same.


  134. 134
    Volt45

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (10:36 pm)

    Off Topic: Review of the Volt here:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/new-cars/reviews/verdict-on-the-volt/article1493898/

    The most common mistake by journalists and amateur newbies (but I repeat myself) about the Volt:

    GM says the Volt will do 64 kilometres on a single charge. When out of juice, you have two choices: plug it in (for three to five hours in a household outlet for a full charge) or let the on-board 1.4-litre, four-cylinder gasoline engine kick in, acting as on on-board generator. The latter will charge the lithium-ion battery pack, not drive the wheels.

    Point is, the Volt always runs on battery power. Theoretically, the Volt could run in generator-charging mode for 500-600 kilometres, until the gas tank is dry.

    Corrected:

    GM says the Volt will do 64 kilometres on a single charge. When out of juice, you have two choices: plug it in (for three to five hours in a household outlet for a full charge) or let the on-board 1.4-litre, four-cylinder gasoline engine kick in, acting as on on-board generator. The latter will charge the lithium-ion battery pack supply electricity to the electric motor that drives not drive the wheels.

    Point is, the Volt always runs on battery power electricity. Theoretically, the Volt could run in generator-charging mode for 500-600 kilometres, until the gas tank is dry.


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    Wayne

     

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (10:38 pm)

    Tried to post note this AM about LiOn Battery Breakthrough and it did not work… just checking.


  136. 136
    Zachary Taylor

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (10:46 pm)

    For most of the 40 years that the electric car has been “10 years away,” the issue was a “chicken vs egg” problem of who was going to make EVs with no suitable batteries, and who would invest in suitable batteries without EVs.

    There was government and consortium sponsored research galore, of which nothing ever came … because there was no ready market for a product which would offer a payoff.

    The real genius of hybrid cars has turned out to be the ramping up of a market for large-scale advanced batteries. A battery/EV proved too big a bite for industry to take all at once, but the hybrid provided a manageable nibble. Assist hybrids led to strong hybrids, which are leading to plug-in hybrids — and now, the Volt has resulted; which has made a market for a large-scale application of Li/Ion technology.

    What most of us see in this progression is the Volt’s enabling path towards pure EVs. But what I’d like to point out is that now there is a ready market for new chemistries to be developed. Li/Ion is now practical for EREV, and yet there is much more room for continued research. The resulting market for more advanced Li/Ion isn’t the end of the story, it’s the beginning. What new glimmer is only now beginning to dawn in a test-tube somewhere which will carry forward in the 2020′s?


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    Zachary Taylor

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (10:58 pm)

    The need to make a battery pack last for 100K miles has resulted in a design philosophy for the Volt which requires an engine/generator to come as close as possible to the demand load at any given moment (once the battery pack has been depleted to minimum usable charge). This has required a fairly conventional Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) which throttles over a fairly wide range of speeds.

    We’ve heard about lowering costs and increasing power densities, but if cycle life (the number of overall cycles a battery can sustain) can be increased, then more becomes possible. As others have said, this may result in opening more than 50% of the pack for the drivers’ use. However, it also means that you can afford to cycle the battery more to buffer the difference between what the engine/generator provides and what the demand load requires. For peak acceleration, you would draw from the pack, expecting the engine to make it up in the future; when loads aren’t as great. The more buffering which can be allowed, the closer the engine/generator can be sized down towards the average energy requirement of the car.

    A future Voltec vehicle capable of this will need a smaller, lighter engine; which can be tuned to run more efficiently over a narrower range of speeds: which will get spectacularly better fuel efficiency in Charge-Sustaining mode.


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    Loboc

     

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:01 pm)

    tom w:
    Though it is true there are 260 millionor so cars, not all of those cars drive 40 miles a day.If you assume people aren’t going to buy an EREV or BEV (With few exceptions) unless they can drive 15000 miles a year AER (on average some will plug in at work and some won’t), THEN 10 MILLION cars that displace 13 million gallons or perhaps 300,000 barrels of oil a day, and we are importing what around 9 million barrels a day or something like that.So does that mean we need 300 millions EVs?I think it just means we are on the right road.It has been discussed her many times that we need more than electric cars.But at least in addition to bringing down imported oil it gives the owners of these cars freedom from the price increases.We’ll just have to wait and see how long it takes till there are a million EREV/BEVs sold per year in this country.My current goal is to reach one million units of EREV/BEVs per year by 2013 and have it continue to increase from there.We of course need to address fuel oil and 18 wheelers etc. etc.  

    Ya don’t need to displace all the oil at once. We (the USA) import like 10% from Persian Gulf countries. If we just cut out the OPEC guys, we are making a huge dent in our funding of non-friendlies. It’s a baby-step scenario. Yeah, gasoline *may* fluctuate downward temporarily, however, oil is a finite resource. The overall price trend will always be upward.

    I’m still thinking that CNG is one huge way to displace more foreign oil more quickly. Solar (or other renewables) to cars to grid is very expensive especially infrastructure. CNG is here now. Large enough pipes are in the ground. We don’t have to worry about lithium shortage or oil shortages under a CNG push. If the Pickens plan wasn’t done by an oil guy, it would probably get more traction.


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    Tagamet

     

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:03 pm)

    Volt45: …The most common mistake by journalists and amateur newbies (but I repeat myself) about the Volt:…

    Thanks for the link, but this guy would have had to work hard to get it this wrong. Isn’t he one of the “big names” among the reviewers? (Cato) At least he liked the transition from battery to CS mode. Is Canada’s electric grid the same as Europe? The short charging time reported seems to say that it is.
    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Blind Guy

     

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:08 pm)

    #145 Volt45 So now I’m wondering if the Volt will have a spare tire when it goes on sale or are the high mileage tires also run flat tires?


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    Tagamet

     

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:15 pm)

    Blind Guy: #145Volt45 So now I’m wondering if the Volt will have a spare tire when it goes on sale or are the high mileage tires also run flat tires?  

    According to the review, no spare. Now, whether or not he got that RIGHT is open to debate.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    LauraM

     

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:15 pm)

    DonC: Actually it’s almost unheard of. I’d be most interested in any authority that documents any real cases of successful predatory pricing. Unless there are unusually high barriers to entry, high margins always encourage competitors to enter the market. Successful predation can happen, but Blue Moons can happen as well.

    We need to have a clear idea of what the situation is. You brought up the Amazon Kindle but the relevance to lithium car batteries isn’t obvious. With tied products the point is to make a profit on all the products. You can either sell the more expensive product at a loss — which is what happens with razors, ink jet printers, and even cars (dealers make their money from the service department), or you can make a profit on the main product and sell the consumable at a loss — which is what Xerox has done by offering free consumables with its solid ink jet printer. The best of all worlds would be the iPhone or iPod, which Apple sells at a profit and then sells apps or songs at a profit as well. But at the end of the day you need to make a profit.

    In this regard, lithium batteries are remarkably unsuited for gaining a sustainable market share by lowering price. The fixed costs are relatively modest and the variable costs are relatively high, which means that cutting price below costs in order to secure higher volumes just causes higher losses. (Different than products with high fixed costs and low variable costs). Plus, since the barriers to entry are relatively low, as soon as you increase prices the increased margins will draw in more competitors.

    If you mean a black and white case of predatory pricing, there isn’t one. At least none that I know of. Real life is much more complicated than that. You’re right, at the end of the day, most companies need to make a profit. And we do have pretty strict anti-trust laws. (That, IMHO, we don’t enforce nearly enough.)

    The Amazon pricing thing–to me that’s a pretty obvious case. There’s no reason they can’t charge different prices for different books. Print booksellers do it all the time. Yes. They’re making a profit elsewhere, but still. I doubt they’re planning on subsidizing ebooks forever, When Barns & Nobles first showed up in New York, they discounted every book in the store 10%. Hardcovers were 20%. And when they became dominant, they cut out the discount. I’m sure there were other issues involved, but still…The point is that it had the same effect.

    Microsoft sells some software at a loss. You could view it as a loss leader. Or even blame it on unrealistic expectations. (Microsoft’s variable costs are basically zero, so if they sold more copies they might have made money.) But when it puts other companies out of business, it has the same effect.

    Then there are cases where you have a company or a country with an artificial temporary advantage. Like an undervalued currency. They drive the other companies out of business. The currency is revalued, and their prices go up. No. They’re not deliberately taking a loss. And they often don’t gain a monopoly. But, again, it has the same end result.

    I wasn’t saying that it makes sense with lithium batteries. At least not for the the actual battery producer. (Assuming that the battery producer is not also the automaker.) Or, at least, I didn’t mean to imply that. My point was about overall predatory pricing…


  143. 143
    Zachary Taylor

     

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:30 pm)

    For those who recall my anti-2-mode explosion yesterday, today’s topic has helped show me the error of my ways.

    If plug-in 2-mode was being hampered by a lack of Panasonic NiMH batteries (a point which emerged later in the thread), then this may have accounted for it’s sole inclusion in expensive option trim levels. The use of Lithium Ion batteries instead may make the technology less expensive and more plentiful.

    It also explains why they are talking about a plug-in version of 2-mode.

    Most early critics of Li/Ion in cars correctly pointed out that the need for the chemistry to be more tightly managed/pampered means that a direct size/type replacement for an equivalent NiMH pack probably isn’t practical. The strain on the same number of Li/Ion cells would be too great for expected vehicle lifetimes. HOWEVER, as we’ve learned at gm-volt, the larger number of cells in an EREV minimizes the strain at the cell level; and the larger pack can be more effectively managed within it’s narrower charge requirements.

    Could it be that the larger-pack, plug-in version of 2-mode is the only way to use Li/Ion in place of NiMH?

    Further; we know that the design of the Volt GEN I’s pack is likely frozen for production, yet news like today’s indicates that the state of the Li/Ion art isn’t standing still. Could it be that the 2-mode battery will be a later design having greater power density than those in the first Volt (also needed to make the packs small enough to make less impact on interior space)? It could be that plug-in 2-mode would be the initial venue for newer cells destined for GEN II Volt.

    I do not back down at all from my insistence that initially plug-in 2-mode should be offered only in stylish models which do not offer a lesser-priced drive train (IOW, 2-mode should not be a higher-priced option). Once the new vehicle is released and makes it’s splash, then optional 2-mode for other models could be considered. I think GM would be better served to gradually convert model-lines over to plug-in 2-mode exclusively.

    I also do not back down at all from my assertion that plug-in 2-mode must be as inexpensive as possible, even if it means a loss per vehicle in the first year or so. Optional 2-mode has left a bad taste in most consumers’ mouths, IMO. If the new version is better for less money, you have to give it a chance to prove that. It won’t have a chance as an option, at least at first.

    Wouldn’t it be glorious if GM became an all-hybrid/EREV/BEV company?


  144. 144
    Ed M

     

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:31 pm)

    Tagamet: Is Canada’s electric grid the same as Europe?

    This info is all on the net but just fyi Canada’s grid is the same as the US or at least it had better be because your grid failures effect us and vica versa. Much of the US power comes from Canada.


  145. 145
    Blind Guy

     

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:35 pm)

    Correction, my post at #140 was in response to post #134 Volt45.


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    Zachary Taylor

     

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:43 pm)

    In paragraph 2 in my #143,

    “If plug-in 2-mode was being hampered by a lack of Panasonic NiMH batteries”

    should have read:

    “If the earlier 2-mode was being hampered by a lack of Panasonic NiMH batteries”

    I also suggested yesterday that the plug-in 2-mode being contemplated for the new Cadillac (and other future models) needed it’s own name to help distance itself from that earlier, optional 2-mode system. Several other posters made suggestions. I think the name should probably end in “tec,” in order to fit in better with “Voltec.” Sorry, can’t think of more than that right now.

    Too tired, logging off.


  147. 147
    Tagamet

     

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:48 pm)

    Ed M:
    This info is all on the net but just fyi Canada’s grid is the same as the US or at least it had better be because your grid failures effect us and vica versa. Much of the US power comes from Canada.  

    Thanks Ed,
    Then the reviewer even got THAT wrong. Looks like we get reviewers from Canada too.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


  148. 148
    Tagamet

     

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:50 pm)

    Zachary Taylor: In paragraph 2 in my #143,
    “If plug-in 2-mode was being hampered by a lack of Panasonic NiMH batteries”should have read:“If the earlier 2-mode was being hampered by a lack of Panasonic NiMH batteries”I also suggested yesterday that the plug-in 2-mode being contemplated for the new Cadillac (and other future models) needed it’s own name to help distance itself from that earlier, optional 2-mode system.Several other posters made suggestions.I think the name should probably end in “tec,” in order to fit in better with “Voltec.”Sorry, can’t think of more than that right now.Too tired, logging off.  

    ‘Nite, Zack.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


  149. 149
    Ed M

     

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:51 pm)

    DonC: In this regard, lithium batteries are remarkably unsuited for gaining a sustainable market share by lowering price. The fixed costs are relatively modest and the variable costs are relatively high, which means that cutting price below costs in order to secure higher volumes just causes higher losses. (Different than products with high fixed costs and low variable costs). Plus, since the barriers to entry are relatively low, as soon as you increase prices the increased margins will draw in more competitors.

    I can’t resist your oration and I’m not a economics major, but it seems to me that if companies don’t bring down their prices they’ll soon be extinct in this very competitive global market. Many of the products that were made by American unions are now made by non union companies in other countries or is this what you have already said ?


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    LauraM

     

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    Mar 9th, 2010 (11:52 pm)

    Blind Guy: I value your opinion Laura M. and enjoy reading your posts. I am definatly leaning toward buying while the tax credit is available. It would be very hard to wait to see if prices actually go down enough to make the wait worth while. It’s time to get serious about saving up for that down payment.

    Thank you for the complement. I enjoy your posts too. But I’m hardly an expert. And even if I was–these things can be unpredictable. There are numerous factors that could change things. It depends on competition, technology, overall demand, economies of scale, and numerous other factors that are hard to predict.

    Prices usually fall for new technologies. But $7500 is a huge percentage for the price to fall. And then there are the usual long development times for autos in general. So my feeling is that it will take a while. And I believe GM is locked into a contract with LG for the next five years. But who knows?


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    jbfalaska

     

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    Mar 10th, 2010 (12:08 am)

    Interesting. Dumping is hardly fiction. Routine practice by many nations against US manufacturers.

    On we go to the test drive of the Volt. I’ve set aside a good chunk of money to put this in my garage. The battery cost is just that much more good news. Hopefully the price of the Volt reflects this positive news. Wouldn’t it be nice at $35K, THEN the incentives kick in.

    CHEVY VOLT: American-made, American-FUELED.


  152. 152
    Tagamet

     

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    Mar 10th, 2010 (12:09 am)

    Well, I’m about to turn my computer off for the first time in two days, since my monitor woes (I need to install updates). If I’m not back tomorrow (later today), I probably had to assault it again.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


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    Mar 10th, 2010 (12:12 am)

    After all these years of posting with so many of you, only 8 months to go. Amazing to see not only the Volt come into being, but the complete turnaround by the whole industry. Wonderful to see so many copy the electrification of the automobile. Long overdue.

    Ready to buy.


  154. 154
    LRGVProVolt

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    Mar 10th, 2010 (12:30 am)

    #132 Volt45:
    My father-in-law worked for Timken in Canton, OH.
    He worked on the bearings for one of the space shuttles, but Timken makes all kinds.
    Timken is named after the inventer of case bearings and is, I think, the biggest bearing manufacturer.
    Canton depends on Timken and when Timken hurts, Canton hurts.
    They’ve been hurting for a while.
    Dumping isn’t just abstract, it’s real, and we’ve suffered for it.
    The Asians are especially good at this, and I get irritated when they’re touted as free market heroes… free market warriors maybe.  

    From your vantage point, you have a good understanding of the issues. For a long time China couldn’t make precision rollers for their bearings; they just didn’t have the proper machinery to make them to tolerance. The same for roller chain. Many people were injured when roller chain used on fork lifts broke: those chains were made in China, falsely marked as German products made to the DIN standard. I can name a few more cases that I know of where they violated trade laws.

    That isn’t the situation anymore: they now have the industrial equipment to compete with developed nations, and will be an economic and industrial force to contend with. For a long time, China was using prison labor to make all sorts of gadgets and products. I’m out of the loop now so I can’t say for sure whether or not they still use prison labor which is against our trade laws. With the Chinese being our largest lender, I don’t see us in a tenable position anymore. We need to find a way to produce domestically and have our countrymen buy American. The problem is one big conundrum.

    Everyone wants to buy cheap and have quality merchandise and do not think one iota about quality of life in the future like sustaining meaningful jobs.

    I make it a practice not to buy Chinese goods if possible. Years ago, it spent $400 on Christmas gifts for my children; the toys were all broken in three days. Granted they have begun selling better products than in the past but that experience has killed any desire to buy their goods. I have been an owner of Toyota’s for the last ten years, and generally have been satisfied with the vehicles. Not so of their dealerships repair shops! And recent news of their lack of quality control has turned me away from buying another Toyota.

    What GM has demonstrated to me through their effort with the Volt has me back to buying American made cars. I think they need to compete on a broad base with hybrid vehicles as well as E-REVs, etc. but they will need to get the mpg up to near equal or better than Toyota with their hybrids before I would buy one. As for the Volt, it’s all there baby! The more we examine the trends, the better the Volt looks! And Voltec included! I want GM to build more models on the Voltec platform as they promised. That will result in the need for greater quantities of components for Voltec vehicles that will bring down the vehicle’s price. That combined with changing to cheaper but adequate materials and improved production methods, we will see Voltec vehicles that are very affordable.

    Economic factors in the future will necessitate a shift to electric vehicles. IMHO, it will happen much sooner than many believe. And they better be prepared to greatly increase production.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    jeffhre

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    Mar 10th, 2010 (12:57 am)

    Zachary Taylor: We’ve heard about lowering costs and increasing power densities, but if cycle life (the number of overall cycles a battery can sustain) can be increased, then more becomes possible. As others have said, this may result in opening more than 50% of the pack for the drivers’ use. However, it also means that you can afford to cycle the battery more to buffer the difference between what the engine/generator provides and what the demand load requires. For peak acceleration, you would draw from the pack, expecting the engine to make it up in the future; when loads aren’t as great. The more buffering which can be allowed, the closer the engine/generator can be sized down towards the average energy requirement of the car.
    A future Voltec vehicle capable of this will need a smaller, lighter engine; which can be tuned to run more efficiently over a narrower range of speeds: which will get spectacularly better fuel efficiency in Charge-Sustaining mode.

    Agreed. I’ve maintained for over a year thaat the Volt will be “overengineered” and gen II will find some ready targets for reducing costs. A also lot hinges on cheaper more energy dense batteries which will give the engineers many, many more flexible options in power train design.


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    DonC

     

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    Mar 10th, 2010 (1:53 am)

    LRGVProVolt: Apparently you are not aware of the unfair trade practice termed dumping

    Dumping is not predation. Different concepts. Different analysis. The Chinese manipulation of the Yuan is one giant case of dumping IMHO, but that’s not predation either.


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    DonC

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    Mar 10th, 2010 (1:56 am)

    LauraM: Then there are cases where you have a company or a country with an artificial temporary advantage. Like an undervalued currency. They drive the other companies out of business. The currency is revalued, and their prices go up.

    You wouldn’t have particular country in mind, would you? LOL

    Interestingly enough there are documented cases of predatory pricing — court cases. Most times it doesn’t work in anything other than the very short term. But it can work. The keys to success, which of course damages the economy, are barriers to entry and the elasticity of demand.


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    Volt45

     

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    Mar 10th, 2010 (2:00 am)

    Tagamet: Thanks for the link, but this guy would have had to work hard to get it this wrong.   (Quote)

    And he gets paid! How many here would have done this job and gotten it right just for the pleasure of driving a Volt, touching history.


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    Volt45

     

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    Mar 10th, 2010 (2:25 am)

    LRGVProVolt: I have been an owner of Toyota’s for the last ten years, and generally have been satisfied with the vehicles. Not so of their dealerships repair shops! And recent news of their lack of quality control has turned me away from buying another Toyota  (Quote)

    I remember in the 80s the MSM kept blathering on and on about The Japan Business Model, Japan, Inc., etc. I even remember a 60 Minutes interview with a Japanese PM or CEO, can’t remember, where he said something like, “The student is now the teacher.” People were all worked up about Japan, how it was going to be the world’s economic superpower and eclipse America (before the “lost decade” of the 90s when Japan’s real estate bubble burst, it was somewhat like how we talk about China today).
    In my town, I went to church with the local Nissan dealer. He was a nice man, a gentleman. He was always well dressed and well mannered. If he had been a little less humble, you would call him ‘suave.’ I was a young man, just out of high school. Having read or viewed all this hype about Japan, one Sunday I asked him something like, “So… Japan seems to be really about to pass us by, maybe we should try and do things more like them?”
    He tugged my sleeve and pulled me aside and said, “Don’t be fooled about all this hype. I have met some of the highest executives. They’re not superior, but they will do anything… will not stop at anything… until they totally dominate us and the world. We should not try and be like them but we should watch out.”
    Needless to say that made an impression on me. And I could see how his low-key sophisticated personality could bring out frankness and honesty from people he might deal with.


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    Itching3it

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    Mar 10th, 2010 (2:49 am)

    tom w: Though it is true there are 260 millionor so cars, not all of those cars drive 40 miles a day.If you assume people aren’t going to buy an EREV or BEV (With few exceptions) unless they can drive 15000 miles a year AER (on average some will plug in at work and some won’t), THEN 10 MILLION cars that displace 13 million gallons or perhaps 300,000 barrels of oil a day, and we are importing what around 9 million barrels a day or something like that.So does that mean we need 300 millions EVs?

    I read your post as seeming to purport if every last American auto was replaced with a car that went 15,000 miles per year on electricity alone it still wouldn’t be enough to reduce our oil imports to zero. I believe you were trying to make the point that extrapolation of kent’s logic led to an illogical conclusion.

    I found myself wondering where the errors were, and after digging for a while I am still a bit confused, though I spotted some problems or questions in your numbers.

    #1 From my reading, it appears the US uses about 21M barrels of oil per day, of which it produces only about 6M barrels. That would be an import of about 15M barrels per day rather than the 9M you assumed.

    #2 Oil does get used for many things other than gasoline, though I wasn’t able to come up with any percentage breakdowns. I did see generalities like “the primary use is for motor fuels,” which of course would include diesel and jet fuel. Would the percentage used for gasoline account for the difference between 15M barrels and 9M barrels above? (I do realize that this gets very tricky, since oil is actually split into multiple products during refining.)

    #3 Your ratio of 13 million gallons to 300,000 barrels was apparently based (incorrectly, I believe) on the simple volume conversion of 1 barrel = 42 gallons. The sources I checked seem to agree that refineries can generally get a bit less than 20 gallons of gasoline out of a barrel of oil.

    #4 15,000 miles/year is about 41 miles/day on average, so your million EVs are traveling 41M miles per day. You claim that would save 13M gallons of gasoline. Surely this can’t be right – those cars we replaced were only getting a bit more than 3 miles/gallon??

    #5 There is a compensating error, though. Scaling from 300,000 barrels to 9 million barrels is only 30:1, while you scaled the number of cars up 300:1.

    So, assuming you meant 30 MPG, not 3 MPG, #4 and #5 would cancel each other out. It is possible that #1 and #2 may cancel each other out. That leaves #3 which says the EVs are roughly twice as good as you claim at reducing oil usage, so we’re making progress.

    But I would guess, admittedly without having done any research on this, that US autos as a whole get much less than 30 MPG. As you point out, many of them are driven less than 40 miles/day. But the DOE says we used about 3.3 billion barrels of gasoline in 2008. That’s about 533 gallons for each of those 260 million cars (yes, we do use 42 gal/bbl this time). If we were to assume 30 MPG that would be an astounding 16,000 miles average travel for every car in the country.

    So if the DOE has its numbers straight, and the 260 million is right, there is no way you are going to convince me those cars are getting more than 20 MPH, which would still be a average of nearly 900 miles/month.

    2:1 savings times 1.5:1 savings – I think I just cut your 300 million EVs down to 100 million. SIGH! We’ve still got a Augean Stables scale job in front of us. Anybody know some rivers we can divert?


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    DK

     

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    Mar 10th, 2010 (4:18 am)

    My friend just paid $8,000 cash for a brand new Cobalt. $40,000 for a Volt is a joke. Until it is priced for the masses, it will just be a novelty.


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    nuclearboy

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    Mar 10th, 2010 (5:46 am)

    LRGVProVolt: Laura is correct about “lowering prices to drive out your competition” being common.

    Dumping was the method used by the Japanese to kill off the US TV and Radio manufacturers many years ago. They clearly sold electronics at a loss in the US and a quick trip to Best Buy will verify that the US brands no longer exist.


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    Bruce

     

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    Mar 10th, 2010 (5:52 am)

    DonC: Dumping is not predation. Different concepts. Different analysis. The Chinese manipulation of the Yuan is one giant case of dumping IMHO, but that’s not predation either.  (Quote)

    If you are implying that Americans don’t do this, there are probably people involved with Airbus, Embraer and Saab who would beg to differ with you.


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    DriveOn

     

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    Mar 10th, 2010 (6:47 am)

    nasaman: Li-Ion automotive battery cells will become essentially a commodity like lead acid batteries are today. I believe its highly likely that a manufacturer like LG Chem or even A123 could adopt a marketing strategy similar to that followed by one US semiconductor industry giant in the 1960’s, namely loss-lead marketing of key transistor types (2N2222-NPN & 2N2906-PNP are famous examples). Texas Instruments deliberately sold these devices at a loss to increase their market share. It worked (like Boston Consulting Group said it would) and TI captured a large enough share of this key market that they effectively controlled the market for 2N2222/2N2906 transistors, which I believe helped them become the industry giant they are today. As a result 2N2222 prices dropped to <12c each in volume.

    What might also be relevant is that the 2N2222 transistor (designed by Motorola) is one example of a device that became an industry standard, and just about every transistor manufacturer that ever existed has marketed a version of the 2N2222 at some time.

    So while TI might have been loss leaders with particular ranges of transistors at some point, I don’t think they did too much harm to Motorola, RCA, Fairchild, National Semiconductor, Philips and so on, while those companies were also forces in transistor production in the 60s and early 70s. There was a big market and a slice of the pie for everyone.

    Now if battery manufacturers could standardise on a range of tightly spec’d building-block cells which could be incorporated into packs used by multiple auto manufacturers, then we might see a similar “2N2222″ effect at work to reduce inventory, raise competition and lower prices.
    Unfortunately standardisation and commonality of components across multiple battery and automotive manufacturers starts to sound too much like communism to ever catch on.


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    LauraM

     

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    Mar 10th, 2010 (10:39 am)

    DonC: You wouldn’t have particular country in mind, would you? LOL

    Interestingly enough there are documented cases of predatory pricing — court cases. Most times it doesn’t work in anything other than the very short term. But it can work. The keys to success, which of course damages the economy, are barriers to entry and the elasticity of demand.

    In fairness, that isn’t just about one country. Every country, in general, becomes more competitive. when its currency goes down. That’s why adopting the euro created so many problems for countries like Italy, Spain, etc. Greece, too, but their problems go way beyond inability to devalue. And when the country becomes more competitive, ideally, their currencies go up again. However, certain countries take it to the extreme.

    Barriers to entry are far more common than most people think. That’s why monopolies have been so successful historically. And why we need anti-trust legislation.


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    LauraM

     

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    Mar 10th, 2010 (10:45 am)

    DonC: Dumping is not predation. Different concepts. Different analysis. The Chinese manipulation of the Yuan is one giant case of dumping IMHO, but that’s not predation either.

    No. But they have similar consequences. Admittedly, you generally don’t wind up with a monopoly. But you do wind up with a transfer of productive capacity that is very damaging to the receiving country.


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    Mar 10th, 2010 (11:07 am)

    Bruce: If you are implying that Americans don’t do this, there are probably people involved with Airbus, Embraer and Saab who would beg to differ with you.

    Are you serious? Yes. American companies, like those in every other country, do engage in “unfair” trade practices. But dumping? Boeing? The only reason Airbus even exists is because of massive continuing illegal government subsidies from certain EU companies. Ditto for Embraer from the Brazilian government. Subsidies that Boeing never got from the US government.

    Yes. They use profits from their defense division to tide them over the rough times in the commercial aviation business. It’s called diversification. Lots of companies do that. And those defense contracts are open to any bidders. In fact, Boeing lost the bidding for a $40 billion defense contract to Airbus last year. Which I think is ridiculous, given that it should get subsidies from the US government in order to compete with Airbus. But there it is.

    Instead, they have to go to the Japanese government which provides illegal support for Boeing’s Japanese suppliers. But that’s not the US government’s fault.

    I don’t know what your issue is with Saab. Although GM owned them, and imported SAAB models to the US. So I’m not sure where the “dumping” comes in. But accusing America of currency manipulation, in general, is absurd given our massive current account deficit. We’re the world’s “reserve currency,” which keeps our currency artificially high. Not artificially low.

    We do dump corn and other food products on the world markets. But that’s a different issue. And it hurts us as much as the receiving countries, IMHO.


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    Lousloot

     

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    Mar 10th, 2010 (12:25 pm)

    The “Colonel” made me spit up in my glass. How DARE you SIR! go implement your “Phase Zero annihilation plan” on some other board.

    Good job ignoring the troll people!

    A troll-attack can be funny (the third post sucked, but the second one was funny) Expec if everyone keeps their head.

    The “Colonel” should have used allcaps. Yea, i am troll-baiting but this thread should be dormant so
    no harm no foul?


  169. [...] few years ago, indeed – batteries had been expensive – an estimated figure systematically used by those who are against EVs is $1000 per kWh for a Li-Ion battery. The [...]


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    Noel Park

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    Mar 10th, 2010 (3:10 pm)

    Bruce: If you are implying that Americans don’t do this, there are probably people involved with Airbus, Embraer and Saab who would beg to differ with you.

    #163

    I heard a report the other day about Boeing and Airbus joining forces to pursue illegal subsidy claims against a new plane from Bombardier which will compete with their established models. Nobody’s perfect, LOL.


  171. 171
    Ipod Touch – Experience the Real Fun

     

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    Mar 10th, 2010 (6:05 pm)

    [...] Report Reveals Lithium-ion Battery Prices Already Dropping Steeper Than Expected [...]


  172. [...] The firm notes the average lithium-ion cell price in 2009 has been $650 per kwh, but claims automakers are already seeing bids for $450 per kwh from battery companies for delivery contracts in the 2011/2012 timeframe. Furthermore, they predict an additional 25% decline in price over the next 5 years and a 50% decline over the next 10 years along with a doubling of performance over the next 7 years. If these numbers were to hold true, this would obviously bode very well for manufacturers and owners of hybrid and electric vehicles alike. Share and Enjoy: [...]


  173. 173
    Eschew Obfuscation : Lithium batteries - $450 kWh

     

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    Mar 11th, 2010 (11:02 pm)

    [...] (Source: GM-Volt.com. Report Reveals Lithium-ion Battery Prices Already Dropping Steeper Than Expected.) [...]