Nov 08

GM Applies for Patent for Lithium-ion Battery Cell Refurbishing System

 

[ad#post_ad]One of the problems inherent in electric cars is the fact that their batteries degrade. Lithium-ion cells work best when they are new, but over time their ability to hold a charge continually lessens. GM estimates the Volt battery will degrade by 10 to 30% after 8 years/100,000 miles. The company has worked hard to develop methods keep the cells as healthy as possible, and minimize degradation. These methods include keeping the temperature of cells in the ideal (roughly room temperature) range, and not permitting full charges and depletion.

Nonetheless, loss of function is inevitable, and batteries will eventually need to be replaced.

To maximize the potentiating for used cells, GM apparently has significant internal plans to refurbish used cells, as evidenced by a patent application submitted last year.

In the patent application called METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR REJUVENATION OF DEGRADED POUCH-TYPE LITHIUM ION BATTERY CELLS, the automaker spells out a system that would take used lithium-ion pouch cells and restore their function.

It is explained that at cells age, the electrolyte material in them breaks down and leads to the deposit of lithium salts and other polymeric materials on the surfaces of both the positive and negative electrodes. As well, magnesium may be deposited on the negative electrodes. It is believed that both these deposits as well as breakdown of the electrolyte solution itself causes the cells to lose power over time.

In the invention, old cells would be hooked up to a manifold and a specialized solvent would be pumped in under pressure and then heated for up to one hour. A series of potential solvents or mixtures thereof is given.

This treatment is expected to remove the contaminants from the surface of the electrodes, and allow infusion of fresh electrolyte. It is suggested that such treatment may restore the cells to their original level of function.

Much of the patent describes the various ways the tubing and pumping could be designed to fit variety of cells and work under variety of conditions.

The patent concludes that rejuvenation of cells would be much less expensive than manufacturing new ones. One vision describes vehicle owners waiting at a facility while their car battery is rejuvenated on-site. Another vision describes replacing an owner’s battery with a new one, and then rejuvenating the old one for secondary use.

You can read the whole patent here.

[ad#postbottom]

This entry was posted on Monday, November 8th, 2010 at 7:55 am and is filed under Battery, Research. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 128


  1. 1
    Tom

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tom
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (7:59 am)

    What do you think it would cost to have batteries removed and reinstalled . it may be in warranty .
    Tom


  2. 2
    Jason M. Hendler

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jason M. Hendler
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (8:01 am)

    Sounds like the right thing to do.


  3. 3
    tom w

    +8

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    tom w
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (8:02 am)

    Wow;

    There goes the biggest argument against EV’s. As REJUVENATION techniques are validated, battery cells could live longer then the car’s owners. The other major argument against EV’s is range and charging but thats pretty easy to see the future, fast charge stations on highways and trickle charging in large parking lots.


  4. 4
    Exp_EngTech

    +7

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Exp_EngTech
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (8:04 am)

    A rejuvenated “Juice Pouch”.

    I like it !


  5. 5
    Gsned57

    +37

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Gsned57
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (8:05 am)

    That could completely change the landscape of battery warranties. If they could get a process down that can renew a battery in a way that is equivalent to a glorified oil change and guarantee the batteries for 250,000 miles that would eliminate a lot of the resistance from potential customers that I personally have heard when talking up the volt. I constantly hear what’s it going to cost when the battery dies? This process could also keep the resale costs on a volt very high if you know worst case for the battery is an electrolyte recharge. I hope this works as well and simply as the patent seems to describe, but a patent alone doesn’t really mean anything without a working prototype and a price tag.

    electrolytes are the stuff batteries need


  6. 6
    Tom

    +13

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tom
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (8:05 am)

    Actually I love this it shows they are planning for a very long life for this car and will greatly increase the resale value.
    Tom


  7. 7
    Tom

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tom
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (8:11 am)

    Has anyone ever found it possible to rejuvenate standard lead acid batteries that actually works?
    Tom


  8. 8
    joe

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    joe
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (8:11 am)

    Given these statistics, I would conclude that the Leaf batteries will be in deep trouble in time, by not having the same or equivalent battery temperature control system as the Volt. Like I’ve always said, the Leaf will be a fad and we all know what happens to fads.

    I predict Nissan will pay dearly for that mistake.

    Keep up the good work, GM!


  9. 9
    tom w

    +4

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    tom w
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (8:11 am)

    Interesting that techniques to extend the lives of batteries is more advantageous to BEVs than EREVs. The point of the EREV is to carry less battery because batteries are so expensive. If these batteries can be rejuvinated making the battery cells last longer than the cars themselves, then it makes more sense to carry more battery cells instead of the ICE, and use roadside charging as needed. No need to overly worry about battery degradation.

    However I can see the battery rejuvination being the equivalent of what we do for ICE oil changes now. Maybe every 30,000 miles you go to Texas 30 minute Battery Rejuvination drive thrus. So this could increase the expected routine maintenance cost of an EV, but it would be worth it to maintain driving range over the life of the vehicle.


  10. 10
    Schmeltz

    +5

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Schmeltz
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (8:11 am)

    Would this be a “GM” machine or device that does this battery re-juvenization? I guess the reason I ask is, GM could stand to make a good deal of money if this became a proprietary process to re-juvenate spent batteries. Not sure how all of that will go down, but it seems like a good move to get a patent on this now, and sort out the details on proprietary processes later.


  11. 11
    JohnK

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    JohnK
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (8:14 am)

    Tom,

    That is indeed a factor with the Volt. The design of the Volt/battery makes battery swapping pretty difficult. From various postings the Volt battery is: 1) heavy, 2) integrated into the underbody of the car, 3) has many connections, including plumbing for heating/cooling. I’d like to hear about what it would take to make battery swapping feasible. ‘Course with an EREV battery swapping just is not necessary.


  12. 12
    tom w

    +5

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    tom w
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (8:21 am)

    joe: Given these statistics, I would conclude that the Leaf batteries will be in deep trouble, by not having the same or equivalent battery temperature control system as the Volt. Like I’ve always said, the Leaf will be a fad and we all know what happens to fads.
    I predict Nissan will pay dearly for that mistake.

    Actually all improvements to battery costs, lifespans and storage per weight moves the demand from EREVs to BEVs.

    Out of curiousity, how do you know Nissan doesn’t have their own plan to rejuvinate their batteries? Rejuvination of a pure BEV adds more value than to an EREV because 30% loss of range is death to a pure BEV. Plus it means BEV owners can do more Fast Charges on the highway without worry of shortening battery life, just means the next rejuvination might be needed earlier.

    GM knows EREVs will be here for a long time but could be a niche vehicle. I have a year in Ohio to decide between Leaf and Volt. I love the Volt, but I have no anxiety at all about a BEV only, since 95% of time it would cover my normal drives of 60-80 miles, and I’m not worried about stopping for a quick charge once in a while to get home.

    Battery rejuvination could be a big reason the volt went from 8 to 10.4 kwh use of their 16 kwh battery. It could also be what Nissan has up their sleeves in using over 20kwh of their 24kwh battery.


  13. 13
    JeremyK

    +25

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    JeremyK
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (8:25 am)

    Prismatic cells are typically laser welded and sealed. For a new solvent/electrolyte to be flushed through the cell, the seal would have to be breached or the cell punctured and resealed in some way.

    I don’t see this process working well for current battery designs. Future designs might allow for connection to the specialized manifold, but I don’t see an easy work around for current designs.

    Saw a Volt on the road on my way home from work on Friday (Southbound Telegraph in Southfield MI). It definitely stands out. I initially identified it by just seeing a corner of the taillight.

    43264642.jpg


  14. 14
    JohnK

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    JohnK
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (8:25 am)

    Just a thought about battery cells. The Volt has 288 cells. What if some cells age more than others? Indeed, if a BEV has more cells, you may design the system so that only a fraction of the cells are in use at any one time – so that some cells get cycled more times than others. These cells would need to be rejuvenated. Also, some cells may be needed to recycle more frequently in order to use them as a buffer for regen. Keeping such cells isolated (possibly just by maintaining good computer records) might be a good management scheme. Of course there can all kinds of details that complicate things.


  15. 15
    Tim Hart

    +7

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tim Hart
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (8:34 am)

    I want to keep my Volt for 20 years so battery refurbishment will be the key to that happening. It is great GM is really developing an EV future that is starting to look so hopeful.


  16. 16
    Loboc

    +4

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Loboc
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (8:44 am)

    Interesting.

    Some have speculated that replacing the electrolyte to recharge rather than using the present slow and energy-intensive charging method. If this ‘rejuvenation’ could be done in 5 minutes using simple connectors, there may be a way to just flush-n-fill to re-charge.

    There may also be a way to on-board the process so that cells are taken out of service one-at-a-time and rejuvenated in place. Like one cell every charge cycle. Kind of like a self-healing battery.

    Combine that with a drive-on charging station and we’re way ahead of ICE vehicle reliability and serviceability. I might get 20 years out of a car instead of only 8 or 10.


  17. 17
    crew

    +4

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    crew
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (8:48 am)

    tom w: Interesting that techniques to extend the lives of batteries is more advantageous to BEVs than EREVs.The point of the EREV is to carry less battery because batteries are so expensive.If these batteries can be rejuvinated making the battery cells last longer than the cars themselves, then it makes more sense to carry more battery cells instead of the ICE…

    That’s considering the use of the battery in small passenger cars. Step up to larger vehicles such as the Bright Automotive or the Opel Vivaro vans and the need for the GM system is a no brainer. The larger and more heavily used the battery, whether in an EREV, PHEV, or BEV, the greater the potential for this system.

    The second benefit for the battery, especially in an EREV, is that the battery can be drawn down to a lesser reserve. Less weight, greater efficiency, and significantly reduced battery life anxiety. Right now, the Volt is a heavy little item. The next version can be lighter in a number of ways. This adds yet another dimension to a redesigned Volt, and for EV ownership in general, that helps us to use less energy all around.

    For the benefit of BEV’s the system keeps cash in your pocket. Right now you can prepay for a Tesla battery and save a little bit of money, or you can use the GM system and save even more and the result would be virtually the same.

    I hope the system actually works.


  18. 18
    Shawn Marshall

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Shawn Marshall
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (8:48 am)

    That’s interesting and promising but I do think there would be a huge demand for the depleted batteries. I’d like to have a stack of 5 or 6 in my garage.


  19. 19
    Texas

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Texas
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (8:49 am)

    What about the swap out approach? Just swap in a rejuvenated pack and send the worn out pack to the refurbishing plant.

    Also, Better Place will also be interested in this because they own the battery and can simply reuse the rejuvenated battery pack in their vehicles until it’s no longer economically feasible to do so.


  20. 20
    Kevin R

    +11

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Kevin R
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (8:51 am)

    This opens up the holy grail of car electrification. Limits to the availability of lithium become rather mute. Rejuvenating your battery extends the lifespan of the car itself and its resale value too. I see this as a total win for the industry.


  21. 21
    Mark Z

    +23

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Mark Z
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (8:52 am)

    Lyle did it again. He found the exciting news buried in the patent and summarized it in his final paragraph. Here is the original text that will be revolutionary when it happens.

    “The lithium ion battery rejuvenation techniques described herein may provide a substantial cost savings, wherein the basic material costs for originally forming the lithium ion batteries is very expensive. It is envisioned that lithium ion batteries for use in vehicles, in one exemplary usage, may be rejuvenated and reused in an on-site facility while the vehicle owner waits. In another exemplary usage, the lithium ion battery may be removed from the vehicle and replaced with a new or rejuvenated lithium ion battery, while the removed lithium ion battery may be restored for subsequent use, thus saving vehicle owners and manufactures substantial costs normally associated with replacement and/or warranties.”

    Just pray that the oil industry doesn’t buyout the process and keep it from happening.


  22. 22
    Herm

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Herm
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (8:55 am)

    JeremyK: Prismatic cells are typically laser welded and sealed. For a new solvent/electrolyte to be flushed through the cell, the seal would have to be breached or the cell punctured and resealed in some way.
    I don’t see this process working well for current battery designs. Future designs might allow for connection to the specialized manifold, but I don’t see an easy work around for current designs.

    They are talking about pouch cells which are even more difficult to reseal since the container is a flexible pouch of mylar. I think the valve would have to be built in from the beginning.

    This would work well in a specialized larger hard prismatic cell, perhaps metal, with a valve and coolant radiator already built in.. the Volts pack could be simplified with fewer larger cells, you open up the case and run the modules thru the refurbishment machine.. an easy way to rebuild battery packs would revolutionize transportation and eventual reuse of the cells.

    The present pack that GM uses is complicated, with the coolant lines and radiators.. it can be simplified, mass produced etc.


  23. 23
    ClarksonCote

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    ClarksonCote
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (9:09 am)

    nasaman: Hey, Tag & ClarksonCote! When you guys say “Lauren” are you taking about our beloved LauraM??? Let us know here post haste or I’ll call security on you BOTH!!! (Advance Alert of TWO possible highly “inappropriate posts”, Lyle!)   (Quote)  (Reply)

    Now, now, nasaman. As tag mentioned, this was a representative from GM. :)

    I don’t know anything about LauraM, except that her posts are intelligent. It would be nice to meet her sometime, along with you and Tag, and Lyle of course. Maybe we can all have a meet-up one day.

    join thE REVolution


  24. 24
    JeffB

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    JeffB
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (9:11 am)

    I cannot “go by” on this topic without commenting. Since the Volt was slated for production, I’ve commented several times about battery capital costs and the lack of methods to rebuild them after degradation. If an inexpensive viable method exists to rebuild the Volt battery pack, the Volt just made another leap for the future of EVs.


  25. 25
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (9:24 am)

    ClarksonCote:
    Now, now, nasaman.As tag mentioned, this was a representative from GM.
    I don’t know anything about LauraM, except that her posts are intelligent.It would be nice to meet her sometime, along with you and Tag, and Lyle of course.Maybe we can all have a meet-up one day.join thE REVolution    

    I nominate Lyle’s Place, anytime after he gets his CAB Volt (wink). Now *THERE’S* a situation in need of heavy security!

    Be well,
    Tagamet


  26. 26
    CorvetteGuy

    +12

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    CorvetteGuy
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (9:33 am)

    The point of the story is that GM is developing this technology. It’s nice to see them taking the ‘leading role’ in battery development. Everyone will benefit.


  27. 27
    Eco_Turbo

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Eco_Turbo
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (9:37 am)

    Nice for this news to come after yesterday’s mention of LMPs, that might have left some thinking GM was barking up the wrong tree on battery type.


  28. 28
    tom w

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    tom w
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (9:39 am)

    crew: I hope the system actually works.

    We need to allow a few years at least for battery improvements. After all ICE cars have a hundred year head start. But now that EVs are in production, we’ll see yearly improvements because thats what the car companies do. They just keep making it better every year. Battery Rejuvination is a wonderful concept because it addresses the issue of scarce resources and recyling.

    But we are still in the month of Job 1 for the volt and the Leaf. These are exciting times as we watch these developments over the next few years.


  29. 29
    lousloot

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    lousloot
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (9:41 am)

    I don’t think this is feasible with current Volt Packs. This must be built into the car/pack beforehand, so no current packs will support it. The amount of plumbing to support in-car rejuvenation for a 300v pack would be incredible (100+ sealed — kinda) cells. Also some cells may rejuvenate better than others, making them unbalanced.

    I see a system where a pack is broken down, fried cells are recycled, bad (out of spec) cells are rejuvenated and a rebuilt pack is assembled out of balanced cells.

    Nice to hear the technology allows for rejuvenation ‘tho

    I suppose if a pack contains a small number of modules and have plumbing to individual modules… still EEKkk! Either way it will keep the mechanics gainfully employed.


  30. 30
    Dave G

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave G
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (9:53 am)

    JohnK: I’d like to hear about what it would take to make battery swapping feasible.

    Batteries are large and heavy. The shape of the battery and it’s placement within the car dramatically affects the car’s handling and crash safety. So for for design reasons, I believe many different battery pack sizes and shapes will be necessary, and the resulting business case for battery swapping will be unachievable.

    Also, a car battery pack is not like a flashlight battery. The embedded software within the battery pack communicates with all the other sys-systems, and many of the algorithms running within the battery pack are patented. Car makers will be very reluctant to open up their internal software interfaces and give up their intellectual property.

    In addition to all this, we have to remember that changes to the infrastructure take a very, very long time. For example, our current liquid fuel infrastructure took over 50 years to fully penetrate all areas.


  31. 31
    Dave G

    +8

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave G
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (9:55 am)

    JohnK: ‘Course with an EREV battery swapping just is not necessary.

    Exactly.

    And EREVs don’t require a new fast charging infrastructure either, since 80% of a typical driver’s fuel will be replaced by simply charging overnight.

    In addition, ethanol has recently become viable. Using cellulosic gasification, up to 35% of our gasoline can be replaced, with no affect on food supply, without any fertilizer or pesticides, for around $2.50/gallon retail.

    So if EREVs can replace 80% of our fuel with electricity, and cellulosic gasification can replace 35%, the combination is more than enough to completely replace gasoline! That’s a 100% carbon neutral solution using our current infrastructure of 110 volt outlets and liquid fuel filling stations.

    What’ not to like?


  32. 32
    T 1

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    T 1
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (9:55 am)

    So drop the lease rate already!


  33. 33
    JeremyK

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    JeremyK
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (10:00 am)

    Herm:
    They are talking about pouch cells which are even more difficult to reseal since the container is a flexible pouch of mylar. I think the valve would have to be built in from the beginning.This would work well in a specialized larger hard prismatic cell, perhaps metal, with a valve andcoolant radiator already built in.. the Volts pack could be simplified with fewer larger cells, you open up the case and run the modules thru the refurbishment machine.. an easy way to rebuild battery packs would revolutionize transportation and eventual reuse of the cells.The present pack that GM uses is complicated, with the coolant lines and radiators.. it can be simplified, mass produced etc.    

    Good catch. A pouch cell is what I was referring to when I was describing the laser sealing process. It really IS a lot like a juice box.


  34. 34
    Matthew B

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Matthew B
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (10:04 am)

    Tom: What do you think it would cost to have batteries removed and reinstalled . it may be in warranty .
    Tom    

    The pack is removable from below. I don’t think it would be too costly, maybe $100 in labor to swap a pack.


  35. 35
    Matthew B

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Matthew B
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (10:06 am)

    Tom: Has anyone ever found it possible to rejuvenate standard lead acid batteries that actually works?
    Tom    

    I doubt it.

    The wear out mechanism is for the positive plate material to fall to the bottom of the cell.


  36. 36
    Gary

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Gary
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (10:09 am)

    “In the invention, old cells would be hooked up to a manifold and a specialized solvent would be pumped in under pressure and then heated for up to one hour.”

    GM was really thinking ahead when they included the on-board generator. This way, they can use its exhaust manifold to refurbish the batteries as the car drives down the road in range-extended mode.

    Yeah, stupid humor. Couldn’t resist.

    Seriously though, what kind of manifold are they talking about?


  37. 37
    crew

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    crew
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (10:11 am)

    tom w:
    We need to allow a few years at least for battery improvements….

    We have seen quite a bit already over the last few decades. Right now we are all seeing a lot of vaporware.
    Seems like GM isn’t waiting for the vapors to materialize. It’s moving on with what we have and has been addressing drawbacks even before the EV-1. We can wait for 2 or 3 hundred mile batteries to cost less than a range extender but that’s not what we have today. We have a wonderful EREV and the possibilities and advances are continuing to prove the concept beyond the Volt.
    I originally thought of the Volt as a bridge vehicle to going BEV, and I still believe so, but the expanded use of the battery in an EREV system lends to a much more practical use in commercial vehicles. My work ride gets 10 mpg diesel. A redesign as an EREV with a refurbished battery at the initial purchase just might be the deal maker for a lot of fleets.

    Exciting times for sure.


  38. 38
    DonC

    +5

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    DonC
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (10:13 am)

    Herm: an easy way to rebuild battery packs would revolutionize transportation and eventual reuse of the cells.

    Yeah, this is a WOW. Especially for an EV which doesn’t have a lot of failure points, the problem would be getting completely sick of a car that was still running, and running, and running.

    Also a great point about how the construction of the cell might help in making refurbishing the cells easier and cheaper.

    This is one of those developments that seems so simple that, in retrospect, you wonder why you didn’t think of it. Those are always the best.

    CorvetteGuy: he point of the story is that GM is developing this technology. It’s nice to see them taking the ‘leading role’ in battery development. Everyone will benefit.

    Potentially it’s a lot more significant that this. A lot more. You’ve just taken the biggest cost factor out of the equation plus longevity is no longer an issue. Just for starters, no need to limit the battery discharge to 65%, which means either a less expensive battery or more range. Might not have to limit the discharge rate, meaning higher performance or larger bodies. (Think the Convrj). Plus the warranty costs should decrease as well, meaning a lower MSRP.

    Could be a huge breakthrough.

    And yes, EVs would be helped as well perhaps, as suggested, even more than would be EREVs.


  39. 39
    ClarksonCote

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    ClarksonCote
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (10:15 am)

    Tagamet: I nominate Lyle’s Place, anytime after he gets his CAB Volt (wink). Now *THERE’S* a situation in need of heavy security!Be well,Tagamet  (Quote)  (Reply)

    LOL… works for me!

    join thE REVolution


  40. 40
    John

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    John
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (10:17 am)

    Eco_Turbo: Nice for this news to come after yesterday’s mention of LMPs, that might have left some thinking GM was barking up the wrong tree on battery type.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    I read up on LMP tech since yesterday’s post. Looks like they are actually growing and have been around a while. Companies in China appear to use the battery for busses, cars, etc. If that kind of technology would also allow for ease of refurbishing, that would be good.

    I have to think that oil is one commodity that has limited capacity – how about Lithium? It’s a rare earth material and probably does not have unlimited supply either. Lithium, if over-mined, could indeed be of a limited supply and since China is a big supplier of Lithium – do we now need to start pushing to get Lithium mined out in Utah or down in South America where it is pleantiful? Bolivia the new Saudi Arabia?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1166387/In-search-Lithium-The-battle-3rd-element.html


  41. 41
    Nelson

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Nelson
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (10:18 am)

    Hummm…how much money would I be willing to pay to get my 8 year old cars battery rejuvenated?
    $1,000 ?
    $2,000 ?
    $3,000 ?
    Sounds like the making of a good a poll question.

    NPNS!


  42. 42
    stuart22

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    stuart22
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (10:21 am)

    Texas: What about the swap out approach? Just swap in a rejuvenated pack and send the worn out pack to the refurbishing plant.Also, Better Place will also be interested in this because they own the battery and can simply reuse the rejuvenated battery pack in their vehicles until it’s no longer economically feasible to do so.    

    The economics of battery swapping don’t support an independent business such as Better Place ‘owning’ the batteries. Given a battery cost of $5000 and a population of only 100,000 EVs, BP’s investment in batteries alone would be half a billion dollars – and that’s not including the hundreds of millions needed for infrastructure creation costs.

    The more one looks at the Better Place idea, the less realistic of a solution it appears to be.


  43. 43
    jscott1

    +5

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    jscott1
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (10:28 am)

    This cell rejuvenation process is not something that is going to be feasible in the field any time soon in my opinion. Battery cell technology requires a high integrity seal to keep out contaminants and maintain a certain amount of pressure. If you were to install valves to make it easy to flush electrolyte now you have a leak path.

    This procedure sounds like something you would only be able to do at the end of life, and the rejuvenated cell would not be as good as the original. So at best this makes for a good secondary use for the cell after it’s days in the Volt are finished.

    It’s easy to patent an original idea as something new and interesting. It’s quite another to actually build it as a practical device. This idea might not be the least bit practical.

    So for those envisioning a fast charging station with new electrolyte flushed in while you get some coffee… I don’t foresee that happening soon if ever.


  44. 44
    BLIND GUY

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    BLIND GUY
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (10:40 am)

    A whole new battery pack design would need to be done IMO to have this process done efficiently and practical. Another possibility might be to find the right combination of materials that would not result in the crystalization biproduct which degrades the cells in the first place. Lead acid batteries use to get the crud build-up on the post, now they have made improvements to prevent this chemical reaction and hopefully the same kind of improvement can be found with Li-ion batteries.


  45. 45
    Texas

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Texas
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (10:41 am)

    stuart22:
    The economics of battery swapping don’t support an independent business such as Better Place ‘owning’ the batteries.Given a battery cost of $5000 and a population of only 100,000 EVs, BP’s investment in batteries alone would be half a billion dollars – and that’s not including the hundreds of millions needed for infrastructure creation costs.The more one looks at the Better Place idea, the less realistic of a solution it appears to be.    

    Your math is a bit off. Are you telling us that your calculations show a huge flaw in Better Places’ business plan that escaped the last round of financing by the “Big Boys” that netted Better Place another couple of hundred million dollars?

    Please, enlighten us with your financial acumen.


  46. 46
    Jim I

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jim I
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (10:43 am)

    This is interesting technology, but I think the used rejuvenated batteries will find more of a home in secondary applications.

    After all, how long does the average person keep a car? I know that where I live, most people are changing vehicles about every five years or so. I keep mine for eight to ten, and that is considered to be a long time.

    And even with a refreshed battery pack, how many other things are starting to wear out, and the body starting to rust through???

    When I buy a new car, I want a new battery pack, not a ten year old refurb………

    JMHO

    NPNS

    Have Outlet – Ready For EREV In Ohio!


  47. 47
    Loboc

    +4

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Loboc
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (10:46 am)

    jscott1: I don’t foresee that happening soon if ever.

    Um… didja foresee GM making an EREV vehicle when you were forecasting way back in 2006?

    Or is it EVRE now. Things change so fast ya can’t keep up sometimes.

    never say never.


  48. 48
    Tall Pete

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tall Pete
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (10:50 am)

    Tom: Has anyone ever found it possible to rejuvenate standard lead acid batteries that actually works?Tom  (Quote)  (Reply)

    Since new batteries were so cheap, was it worth the trouble to rejuvenate these ?


  49. 49
    Loboc

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Loboc
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (10:50 am)

    Jim I: And even with a refreshed battery pack, how many other things are starting to wear out, and the body starting to rust through???

    That’s a consideration.

    My brother is a owner-operator truck driver. He replaces his driver’s seat and windshield more than any other parts. His truck has over 2million miles on it. His last one was worn out after only 1,750,000 miles. But the guy he sold it to is still driving it.

    Some people can keep the same car for a decade or so. I’m not one of them.


  50. 50
    Starcast

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Starcast
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (10:53 am)

    Battery warranty? What is the warranty? Not how long but what is the battery warranty for? When is a battery replaced? Is the warranty only for total breakdown? If a battery has 50% of a new one will it be replaced? 70%? 40% 10% What is the warranty? I hear 8yr 100K miles but what is covered?

    Is this the same on the Volt and the leaf?


  51. 51
    Eco_Turbo

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Eco_Turbo
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (10:54 am)

    Man, I’ll be glad when we can look at how some things worked out, instead of always predicting about things that are always a couple years away or more.


  52. 52
    Grumpa

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Grumpa
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (10:54 am)

    Matthew B:
    I doubt it.The wear out mechanism is for the positive plate material to fall to the bottom of the cell.    

    Actually, it is positive grid corrosion that is the primary failure mode. Positive plate material fallout is not much of a problem anymore with modern separator technology. So, no it is not really feasible to rejuvenate lead acid batteries.


  53. 53
    Tall Pete

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tall Pete
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (10:55 am)

    tom w: Actually all improvements to battery costs, lifespans and storage per weight moves the demand from EREVs to BEVs.

    Two other factors to consider : a) charging infrastructure and b) how long it takes to recharge the battery.

    As long as it takes at least half an hour to recharge a BEV, and several hours at home, EREV is justified. I’m not even mentionning the absence of a solid charging infrastucture for at least a decade or two.


  54. 54
    stuart22

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    stuart22
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (10:59 am)

    Texas:
    Your math is a bit off. Are you telling us that your calculations show a huge flaw in Better Places’ business plan that escaped the last round of financing by the “Big Boys” that netted Better Place another couple of hundred million dollars?Please, enlighten us with your financial acumen.    

    Ok, smart ass – why don’t YOU show some numbers that show how feasible an idea battery swapping will be.

    And as EVs need to ‘refuel’ more often than a typical gasoline car, are there going to be enough swapping stations available, or will there be lines of cars waiting to get service?

    How many battery swapping stations are going to be built, and when will it happen? And how many EV’s can one of these stations handle at any given time? A standard gasoline station can handle 8 to 12 cars at once. Is Better Place ready to provide that level of available service?

    As I said, the closer one looks at the BP idea, the less likely it appears to be a solution. If I am wrong, please state your case.


  55. 55
    Tall Pete

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tall Pete
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (11:01 am)

    Mark Z: Just pray that the oil industry doesn’t buyout the process and keep it from happening.

    As long as GM is own by the government, it should be fine. Private interests and the good of the people are sometimes two different things.


  56. 56
    tom w

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    tom w
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (11:01 am)

    jscott1: So for those envisioning a fast charging station with new electrolyte flushed in while you get some coffee… I don’t foresee that happening soon if ever.

    It doesn’t have to happen that soon, as there won’t be any significant quantity of batteries needing refurbishing for at least 5-8 years. It’s the fact that in a couple years they might be designing batteries to allow easy rejuvination. Rejuvination is as important as lowering costs and weight of these batteries because that not only adds life to the batteries but also addresses concerns of displosal, limited resources to build millions of batteries etc.

    Rejuvination can be a very big deal and I’m sure lots of resources will go into this area.

    Perhaps another interesting poll would be, which EV enabling technology will see the greatest breakthroughs in the next 3-5 years.
    1) Weight and Power density of batteries
    2) Cost of batteries (total manufactured cost)
    3) Rejuvination of degraded batteries
    4) Availability of Charging stations


  57. 57
    JohnK

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    JohnK
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (11:15 am)

    So Lyle, how did you do in the marathon?


  58. 58
    Loboc

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Loboc
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (11:18 am)

    BLIND GUY: Lead acid batteries use to get the crud build-up on the post, now they have made improvements to prevent this chemical reaction

    Older lead-acid batteries were truly made of lead (not antimony/lead alloy) and were not sealed. They could not be sealed because the charging process caused hydrogen gas build-up that had to be vented. Newer batteries do not have this build-up and can be sealed. Some are even gel electrolyte, not watery acid.

    It was the small leak of acid through the venting that caused corrosion. Now you can mount them in the trunk with no problems.


  59. 59
    DonC

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    DonC
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (11:23 am)

    Loboc: Or is it EVRE now. Things change so fast ya can’t keep up sometimes.

    +1 for this truism. Just a few years ago Qualcomm concluded that smartphones would never exceed 10% of the cellphone market. Oops! LOL And that’s a company which is a in the industry and that’s not so long ago.


  60. 60
    JohnK

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    JohnK
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (11:38 am)

    stuart22,

    One could argue that both Stuart and Texas are way off. I would argue that for each EV that Better Place is servicing they need three or more batteries. Maybe once they get a great deal of market coverage then they will be able to have less than 2 to 1 coverage, but at startup time you need more like ten to 1, unless of course the coverage area is so restricted that no-one would use it. I would not call BP a scam, but it surely is not a slam dunk to make it work. And it would work much more in their favor if all cars had compatible batteries. And maybe multiple smaller batteries so that the swap is not an all or nothing swap. (Half a tank sir).


  61. 61
    BLIND GUY

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    BLIND GUY
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (11:42 am)

    #58 Loboc It was the small leak of acid through the venting that caused corrosion.

    Exactly right, and I believe they will discover what causes the crystalization problem and make the change to greatly improve the life of current Li-ion batteries as well.


  62. 62
    Noel Park

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (11:43 am)

    Excellent! Great work GM.


  63. 63
    myriad

    -1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    myriad
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (11:50 am)

    I guess it’s not good…


  64. 64
    Lyle

    +24

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Lyle
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (12:01 pm)

    JohnK: So Lyle, how did you do in the marathon?    

    3:46, thanks for asking.

    I told GM marketing several times last year and 2 years ago they should get the Volt to be the sponsored car for the ING NYC Marathon. They blew off the idea.

    Guess which car sponsored the event, was the official pace car, and was shown off to the 45,000 runners at the Expo? …the Nissan LEAF.


  65. 65
    Herm

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Herm
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (12:08 pm)

    Jim I: This is interesting technology, but I think the used rejuvenated batteries will find more of a home in secondary applications.
    After all, how long does the average person keep a car? I know that where I live, most people are changing vehicles about every five years or so. I keep mine for eight to ten, and that is considered to be a long time.
    And even with a refreshed battery pack, how many other things are starting to wear out, and the body starting to rust through???
    When I buy a new car, I want a new battery pack, not a ten year old refurb………

    What it does is support the value of used BEVs, whats the point of buying a 10 year old Volt if you know the battery is pretty much dead?.. now perhaps for $500 you can get it refreshed. It also allows GM to use a smaller battery and not coddle it so much.


  66. 66
    stuart22

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    stuart22
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (12:11 pm)

    JohnK: ,
    One could argue that both Stuart and Texas are way off.I would argue that for each EV that Better Place is servicing they need three or more batteries.Maybe once they get a great deal of market coverage then they will be able to have less than 2 to 1 coverage, but at startup time you need more like ten to 1, unless of course the coverage area is so restricted that no-one would use it.I would not call BP a scam, but it surely is not a slam dunk to make it work.And it would work much more in their favor if all cars had compatible batteries.And maybe multiple smaller batteries so that the swap is not an all or nothing swap. (Half a tank sir).    

    Yes I was way off – the numbers are far worse than I suggested. The more you look at it, the more unlikely the Better Place idea can work. Where is BP going to get the $$$ to buy all those batteries? No – it is not a scam — it is just an idea that has too many leaky holes to fill.

    It falls into the same category as the Maginot Line in concept. Aside from the astronomical costs, it’s way too static of an approach to be workable. As you have figured out, swap stations would have to inventory large stocks of batteries just to be able to satisfactorily serve a highly mobile and unpredictable clientele. Periodic shortages are bound to happen at each swap station – not good.

    And what’s going to happen with all those expensive batteries after the next big battery breakthrough renders them obsolete? Bankruptcy? Bailout?


  67. 67
    edvard

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    edvard
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (12:18 pm)

    So a good question is do Li-Ion batteries degrade more so than Nickel Cadmium? The reason I ask is that we own the first gen Prius and its now going on 10 years old. So far the battery seems to be doing fine. If I could get another 5 years out of the car I’d be happy. But if such an option was available for a Volt assuming I’d also keep it for 10-15 years, I’d probably want the procedure to be inexpensive as by the time I’d need it the car would be approaching old age. Its also key to remember that the Volt also has a conventional engine under the hood which like all engines will have potential problems from wear.

    Otherwise- bravo to GM! Great for them to be so forward thinking!


  68. 68
    nasaman

    +4

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    nasaman
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (12:26 pm)

    Lyle, post #64: JohnK: So Lyle, how did you do in the marathon?

    Lyle: 3:46, thanks for asking.

    I told GM marketing several times last year and 2 years ago they should get the Volt to be the sponsored car for the ING NYC Marathon. They blew off the idea.

    Guess which car sponsored the event, was the official pace car, and was shown off to the 45,000 runners at the Expo? …the Nissan LEAF.

    ATTN GM MKTG: “I told GM marketing several times last year and 2 years ago they should get the Volt to be the sponsored car for the ING NYC Marathon. They blew off the idea.”

    “Guess which car sponsored the event, was the official pace car, and was shown off to the 45,000 runners at the Expo? …the Nissan LEAF.”

    GM MKTG is acting like the OLD GM …the “we’re smarter than you” company! C’mon, GM! LISTEN, for crying out loud! You’ve promised to build the best cars in the world from now on —but HOW CAN YOU KNOW WHAT CONSUMERS CONSIDER TO BE “BEST” WITHOUT LISTENING?!?!

    /Great run, Lyle —26.3 mi w/o using a drop of gas! :)


  69. 69
    Herm

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Herm
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (12:28 pm)

    jscott1: This cell rejuvenation process is not something that is going to be feasible in the field any time soon in my opinion. Battery cell technology requires a high integrity seal to keep out contaminants and maintain a certain amount of pressure. If you were to install valves to make it easy to flush electrolyte now you have a leak path.

    The pouch cells are actually in a vacuum.. similar to a vacuum sealed steak in a plastic bag.. the reason they do this is so that atmospheric pressure can press the laminations of the lithium-ion battery together, otherwise the layers lose contact with each other and ion exchange gets harder. In a cylindrical or prismatic cells the case itself provides mechanical pressure to the laminations so the cell can be at neutral pressure, even vented if anyone needed that.

    The electrolyte is not corrosive or even necessarily poisonous, but its not cheap. Wang from BYD did a famous demonstration in which he drank electrolyte from his batteries.. probably cured his constipation real quick :)

    I dont think leakage is big issue, after all this not something that will be done very often.. probably every 5-10 years or so, a couple of times.. no one is going to keep using the same batteries for 20 years. It will be very beneficial for commercial users like delivery vehicles, trucks and taxis.


  70. 70
    nasaman

    +4

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    nasaman
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (12:40 pm)

    JUST TO BE SURE GM GOT MY LAST POST:

    nasaman: GM MKTG is acting like the OLD GM …the “we’re smarter than you” company! C’mon, GM! LISTEN, for crying out loud! You’ve promised to build the best cars in the world from now on —but HOW CAN YOU KNOW WHAT CONSUMERS CONSIDER TO BE “BEST” WITHOUT LISTENING?!?!

    Hey, does it sound like I’m angry? IT SHOULD! BECAUSE I AM! You, GM, are using my money, my children’s money and my grandchildren’s money. Money borrowed from the US taxpayer for who knows how long —SO START LISTENING!!!!


  71. 71
    Herm

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Herm
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (12:45 pm)

    stuart22: The economics of battery swapping don’t support an independent business such as Better Place ‘owning’ the batteries. Given a battery cost of $5000 and a population of only 100,000 EVs, BP’s investment in batteries alone would be half a billion dollars – and that’s not including the hundreds of millions needed for infrastructure creation costs.

    They plan to lease the batteries by the minute of driving time, similar to cell phone plans, in places where gas is very expensive. 100k batteries, at $150 a month for 3 years is $540 million.. and the batteries will probably last longer and have a secondary usage once they are retired. They will also make money providing services to the utilities companies with their extra batteries.

    There will be relatively few swapping stations, the vast majority of these batteries will be recharged in the normal way.. slowly, overnight and while installed in the car. Hard to say if they will succeed, it depends on lots of people having range anxiety.


  72. 72
    Herm

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Herm
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (12:47 pm)

    Hey Lyle, why do I have a post in mod?.. no links in it..


  73. 73
    Anthony

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Anthony
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (12:49 pm)

    I would expect that GM would follow the Apple method for refurbished batteries using this method.

    1. Show up at dealership, workers replace your worn-out battery with a previously refurbished, tested, sealed up battery pack. You’re out the door in under two hours, for $2500 or whatever they end up charging.
    2. They take yours to be sent off on a truck to be refurbished at a central plant.
    3. Someone somewhere else gets your old battery pack.

    At the central plant, they can refurbish all the cells, pick out bad ones out of the pack and consolidate packs (if 1 in 100 cells are irrevocably bad, then 100 packs become 99 after the bad ones have been removed), update any software in the pack, test the pack and make sure its good (both the cells, the heating/cooling systems, etc).

    I’m really interested to see what the recovery rate would be – if after 8 years they’ve degraded to 70% and you’re using almost 100% of the pack to get 25-50 miles EV, can they get it back up to 90%? 95%? 100%? 100% seems almost too go to be true. I figure it has to be something closer to 95%, which is fine if it lasts another 7-8 years. Fifteen years or more out of a battery pack would go a long way to improving the ROI on these cars over gasoline, especially if the battery can be refurbished more than once (and at that point, probably put into stationary, secondary use applications like backing up the power grid).

    It wouldn’t be an oil change style visit simply because the plumbing to do that in place would be really cost inefficient if you only have to do it once every 8-10 years. It is, like I mentioned above, getting the battery in your iPod changed (which in reality, they’re just giving you a refurbed iPod).


  74. 74
    edvard

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    edvard
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (1:10 pm)

    Anthony,

    The only problem I see with your analysis is that $2,500 is a lot of money to most people when it comes to car repairs. $2,500 will usually get you a refurbished engine in most econo cars and at that point most people will sell or junk the car even though it actually makes more economic sense to replace the engine instead of blowing $25k on a new car. Thus I can’t imagine people acting any different when it comes to battery replacement/refurbishment. Perhaps the Volt is different and those who own them won’t mind spending the money on a new battery.

    This proposition from GM makes it sounds more like an oil change or tranny flush. That would probably seem more appealing to the consumer versus the idea of having to replace the unit entirely.


  75. 75
    kdawg

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (1:23 pm)

    If Project Better Place actually had swapping stations everywhere, that would make me more inclined to buy a BEV. But what would also help, is just a second battery at home I could swap myself.

    Yes, this would be expensive at this time. Yes, it would require automation or a lift assist to swap a 400lb battery. But it seems like a stepping stone in battery swapping technology. If my 30Kwh battery takes 24 hours to charge, then I want 2 of them, so when I get home, I can swap in 10 minutes, and be on my way.

    Until this happens (or I’ll throw in fast-charging), EREV is the way to go for the most driving freedom.


  76. 76
    kdawg

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (1:36 pm)

    My ballpark estimate for a battery refurb would be $500. There’s not really any new materials (just solvent & electrolyte). Basically its just the time, and it looks like it can be done in just over an hour. If GM can design the battery so it can be refurbed while its still in the car, that would save a lot of time/effort.

    How much will the battery pack design cost go up to allow for a future refurb? Check valves, manifolds, etc? Is LG on board with this?


  77. 77
    MetrologyFirst

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    MetrologyFirst
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (1:46 pm)

    Lyle:
    3:46, thanks for asking.I told GM marketing several times last year and 2 years ago they should get the Volt to be the sponsored car for the ING NYC Marathon.They blew off the idea.Guess which car sponsored the event, was the official pace car, and was shown off to the 45,000 runners at the Expo? …the Nissan LEAF.    

    Great job, Lyle. I have yet to break 4 hours in a marathon( 4:07 best); its tough. Thats a nice time.

    And, Yes, I saw the LEAF dribbling along, always in the back ground of the TV coverage of the lead pack ladies. I thought the same thing; why wasn’t a Volt there instead?


  78. 78
    kdawg

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (1:50 pm)

    Did anyone else notice the patent date was May 20, 2010?
    So GM thought of this 1/2 year ago.


  79. 79
    nasaman

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    nasaman
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (1:56 pm)

    kdawg: Did anyone else notice the patent date was May 20, 2010?
    So GM thought of this 1/2 year ago.

    No, the date of filing was Oct 30, 2009, just over a year ago. But for all we know, they could have originally thought of it 3 or more years ago then taken a couple years to “reduce it to practice” and to file.


  80. 80
    Loboc

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Loboc
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (1:58 pm)

    kdawg: I can swap in 10 minutes, and be on my way

    This is a very fringe idea.

    Just the equipment (lifts and power tools) not to mention the liability would make this unfeasible for regular Joes. Much less regular soccer moms. You’re talking about swapping out something the size of a transmission except that it’s high voltage! Most people won’t even swap out a spare tire by themselves.

    Even if it were modular (25-50 lb units) it’d still be a major pain compared to just plugging in the car.

    I think it’s much more feasible to have a system to do dc-to-dc fast charging and then re-charge the charging-system battery with your solar system during the day.

    These are all Armageddon suddenly-off-the-grid ideas imho. Won’t happen while we still have gasoline, NG, H2, alcohol, bio-diesel etc. It takes a lot for people to be inconvenienced these days.

    Guess that was the point by reference in the last sentence of your post :)


  81. 81
    Anthony

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Anthony
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (2:03 pm)

    edvard,

    $2,500 is only a large repair bill if you don’t know its coming. And you can continue going and skip it if you don’t want it (and get degraded EV range and/or power). If your 0-60 times start to become very slugging (11-12s) and your EV range is between 20-30 instead of 25-50, is it worth spending $2500 to fix those issues? It depends what you want to end up doing. Regardless, the price still matters – either you’ll suffer with the degraded performance, pay the cost, or just get a new car but take the hit for the dealer to refurbish it and then sell the car to the next owner.

    Plus, if GM’s standard literature on EREV maintenance says that after 8 years or 100,000 miles, you should spend $2,500 or whatever to have the battery pack refurbished, then you can plan ahead. Unlike most car repair, this wouldn’t be sudden or unexpected (hopefully!). If you get monthly email diagnostic updates from OnStar then maybe it would give you indicators as to how much time your batteries have left until they need this service (e.g. approx 5 years, 2 years, etc).


  82. 82
    kdawg

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (2:12 pm)

    Loboc,

    Yeah, for a 400lb pack, you either need automation or a lift assist. But maybe they could break the battery appart into easier to handle sizes. Let’s assume energy density increases, and I dont need to mess w/the heating/cooling system, just the cells. 16Kwh of cells could maybe break down into 8 pieces, at 20lbs each. That may be more feasible for an average Joe to swap in 10 minutes. It all depends on where the technology goes.

    I like fast charging.. but that requires infrastructure change (won’t hold my breath on that)


  83. 83
    Raymondjram

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Raymondjram
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (2:14 pm)

    Loboc: That’s a consideration. Some people can keep the same car for a decade or so. I’m not one of them

    I am one of them. My present Buick Regal is 16 years old, and my past Olds Ciera was 26 years old when I sold it to my neighbor, and it is still running. If I get my Volt, I may use it for more than ten years, and pass it on to my brother’s grandson, who would be old enough to drive it by then. GM autos last a long time!

    Raymond


  84. 84
    kdawg

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (2:15 pm)

    nasaman: No, the date of filing was Oct 30, 2009, just over a year ago. But for all we know, they could have originally thought of it 3 or more years ago then taken a couple years to “reduce it to practice” and to file.

    I see the Oct 30th date now. May 20th was the publication date.


  85. 85
    Loboc

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Loboc
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (2:44 pm)

    Raymondjram:
    I am one of them. My present Buick Regal is 16 years old, and my past Olds Ciera was 26 years old when I sold it to my neighbor, and it is still running. If I get my Volt, I may use it for more than ten years, and pass it on to my brother’s grandson, who would be old enough to drive it by then. GM autos last a long time!Raymond    

    While it’s good that these pieces are not being junked, it’s not good that they are polluting at past decades levels and using resources faster than a new car. It’s better to let go of the past sometimes. :)

    In the BEV world (or in our case here, strong hybrid) it will be less of a pollution problem to keep them for a longer time.

    Just pointing out a few things. I’m the one with the glass house (Hemi V-8) and shouldn’t be throwing stones.


  86. 86
    LauraM

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (3:00 pm)

    nasaman: ATTN GM MKTG: “I told GM marketing several times last year and 2 years ago they should get the Volt to be the sponsored car for the ING NYC Marathon. They blew off the idea.”

    “Guess which car sponsored the event, was the official pace car, and was shown off to the 45,000 runners at the Expo? …the Nissan LEAF.”

    GM MKTG is acting like the OLD GM …the “we’re smarter than you” company! C’mon, GM! LISTEN, for crying out loud! You’ve promised to build the best cars in the world from now on —but HOW CAN YOU KNOW WHAT CONSUMERS CONSIDER TO BE “BEST” WITHOUT LISTENING?!?!

    /Great run, Lyle —26.3 mi w/o using a drop of gas! :)

    Maybe they didn’t think New York City fits their target demographic? After all, we don’t exactly buy a lot of GM cars here. Personally, I’m hoping the Volt will change that. And they’ve added it to their initial launch site so maybe they’ve changed their minds?


  87. 87
    LauraM

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (3:04 pm)

    ClarksonCote: nasaman: Hey, Tag & ClarksonCote! When you guys say “Lauren” are you taking about our beloved LauraM??? Let us know here post haste or I’ll call security on you BOTH!!! (Advance Alert of TWO possible highly “inappropriate posts”, Lyle!) (Quote) (Reply)

    Now, now, nasaman. As tag mentioned, this was a representative from GM. :)

    I don’t know anything about LauraM, except that her posts are intelligent. It would be nice to meet her sometime, along with you and Tag, and Lyle of course. Maybe we can all have a meet-up one day.

    join thE REVolution

    Off topic, but I did try to get to the drive this weekend. But Saturday, one of my best friends got married. And Sunday, I couldn’t get there in time.

    As soon as the dealers start offering test drives, I’ll go for one, and let everyone know what I think.


  88. 88
    Loboc

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Loboc
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (3:32 pm)

    LauraM: As soon as the dealers start offering test drives, I’ll go for one,

    Me too. I’m not running all over he11s half-acre to test drive something I can’t even buy for a year or more. Plus, these are not test drives. They are “sit in the car and ride around with some people ya don’t know” drives.

    Besides, I’m already sold. I don’t need a test drive other than making sure my parts and my wife’s parts fit the car’s parts. I’m pretty sure that’ll take about 5 minutes.


  89. 89
    Dave K.

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (3:50 pm)

    REJUVENATION OF DEGRADED POUCH-TYPE LITHIUM ION BATTERY CELLS

    This really is thinking forward. Seems the patent application is more about owning the technology than actually flushing 12 year old T batteries. GM will be recycling degraded batteries for next to no cost before selling them to energy providers as “refurbished”.

    With GM, Tesla, Fisker, and about 15 other manufactures headed straight into the electric future. Dominance may be won by the provider of the better value added recycled battery.

    =D-Volt


  90. 90
    freetimecreations

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    freetimecreations
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (3:57 pm)

    I don’t know how GM plans to implement this patent or the time frame to market but to me it does not matter. I can always keep postponing my purchases waiting and waiting for a newer technology to come around when the current technology would work for me. Cars are supported by the manufacturer for 10 years after they are discontinued and my EV will still work and I can probably find parts for any EV that makes it to 26 years from now. Look at Daewoo cars.

    Nowadays, clutches wear out, timing belts need changing. I see in the future batteries wearing out and as frustrating as it is now I and everyone else is going to visit a repair facility to have the energy storage device worked on. Or the fringe do it yourself types will do the work themselves.


  91. 91
    Raymondjram

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Raymondjram
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (4:36 pm)

    Loboc:
    While it’s good that these pieces are not being junked, it’s not good that they are polluting at past decades levels and using resources faster than a new car. It’s better to let go of the past sometimes.
    In the BEV world (or in our case here, strong hybrid) it will be less of a pollution problem to keep them for a longer time.Just pointing out a few things. I’m the one with the glass house (Hemi V-8) and shouldn’t be throwing stones.    

    Thanks for the reminder. Although both cars do pollute more than the Volt, I still have to move around until I can sell off the Regal and buy a Volt, which may arrive late 2012. My usage of the Regal is light (only 136,000 miles), so my carbon footprint is less than others who claim that their car gives more MPG but they run as if gasoline was cheap and unlimited. Driving style is a bigger factor on saving gasoline (and the environment) than just MPG.

    But changing you car every few years is worse! There is a unknown amount of contamination for the manufacturing of each new car, and another amount for junk car disposals. I strongly believe in stretching out your car and giving it the best care to keep it in perfect running conditions as long as possible, passing the annual emissions tests. So if I keep my Volt as long as possible, I do my part in reducing my carbon footprint, and passing a legacy to others.

    Raymond


  92. 92
    Dan Petit

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dan Petit
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (4:37 pm)

    DonC,

    Hey DonC,

    Didn’t we talk about scrubbing the plates right here a few years ago?
    If I remember correctly, I think it was you who gave us some details on that.
    I had talked about reprocessing the plates by scrubbing them or resurfacing them,
    (much like you can resurface a hardwood oak floor several times), the plates remaining as whole parts as opposed to breaking them up and reconstituting them somehow.

    Do you remember that conversation?

    Of course, it would be far easier to utilize any system that leaves as much intact as possible.
    This is an exciting development, because once you get a critical mass of these batteries out in the market,
    you are building and building upon the feasibility of everything else.


  93. 93
    Eco_Turbo

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Eco_Turbo
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (5:15 pm)

    #65 Herm said:

    It also allows GM to use a smaller battery and not coddle it so much.

    Or use a bigger battery, and not coddle it so much. 8-)


  94. 94
    MichaelH

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    MichaelH
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (5:17 pm)

    Loboc: I’m the one with the glass house (Hemi V-8) and shouldn’t be throwing stones.

    That’s OK, cause rumor has it that it’s a “Semi-Hemi.” ;-) Trivia question: Is it only a “Semi-Hemi” if half the cylinders are shut off half the time? 8-)


  95. 95
    Eco_Turbo

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Eco_Turbo
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (5:32 pm)

    # 88 Loboc said:
    Besides, I’m already sold. I don’t need a test drive other than making sure my parts and my wife’s parts fit the car’s parts. I’m pretty sure that’ll take about 5 minutes.

    You’re not considering the fact that a Volt is fun as hell to drive.


  96. 96
    koz

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    koz
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (6:07 pm)

    Dan Petit: DonC, Hey DonC,Didn’t we talk about scrubbing the plates right here a few years ago?If I remember correctly, I think it was you who gave us some details on that.I had talked about reprocessing the plates by scrubbing them or resurfacing them,(much like you can resurface a hardwood oak floor several times), the plates remaining as whole parts as opposed to breaking them up and reconstituting them somehow.Do you remember that conversation?Of course, it would be far easier to utilize any system that leaves as much intact as possible.This is an exciting development, because once you get a critical mass of these batteries out in the market,you are building and building upon the feasibility of everything else.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    Yes, EREVs (and to a lesser/greater extent BEVs) provide a wonderful world of opportunities for dramatic improvements. That is why it’s so critical to get them into production and real world iterative development.

    The first Volts, while over-engineered in many respects, will be the worst Voltecs ever built but in a good way.


  97. 97
    koz

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    koz
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (6:19 pm)

  98. 98
    koz

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    koz
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (6:25 pm)

    LauraM: Maybe they didn’t think New York City fits their target demographic? After all, we don’t exactly buy a lot of GM cars here. Personally, I’m hoping the Volt will change that.

    In an informal survey on the Volt Owners Section of the Forum regarding what car the Volt will be replacing; about 25 will be conquest sales, 2 will replace other Chevys, and 2 will replace other GM brands.

    http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?5374-What-is-your-Volt-replacing/page5

    Voltec may be a long way from being a significant portion of GM’s total sales, but they could be a decent amount of GM’s conquest sales. If they want to grow market share in the mature North American Market, they have to come from someone else and Voltec is proving it can do this for them.


  99. 99
    xRB

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    xRB
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (6:40 pm)

    Lyle:
    3:46, thanks for asking.I told GM marketing several times last year and 2 years ago they should get the Volt to be the sponsored car for the ING NYC Marathon.They blew off the idea.Guess which car sponsored the event, was the official pace car, and was shown off to the 45,000 runners at the Expo? …the Nissan LEAF.     

    Lyle, you’re a winner. The race was sponsored by an electric car, a big step. No, not the Volt, but still an electric car, a big big shift for which you’ve been a major advocate.


  100. 100
    Noel Park

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (6:43 pm)

    Lyle: 3:46, thanks for asking.

    #64

    Awesome!!! +1 How you find the time and energy to do your day job, write this blog, and train to run marathons at all, let alone 3:46, is beyond my understanding. My hat is off to you.


  101. 101
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (6:45 pm)

    Raymondjram: GM autos last a long time!

    #83

    True that. Thanks for saying so. +1


  102. 102
    nasaman

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    nasaman
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (6:57 pm)

    Noel Park: [Comment to Lyle Dennis]: Awesome!!! +1 How you find the time and energy to do your day job, write this blog, and train to run marathons at all, let alone 3:46, is beyond my understanding. My hat is off to you.

    I ‘second’ your comment, Noel! Could it be one more endorsement for the old saying, “…ask a busy man”?


  103. 103
    LEH

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LEH
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (7:10 pm)

    I don’t know–if lithium battery prices keep crashing as they have the past few years it may hardly be worth the time and trouble to refurbish old cells. I just ordered a replacement lithium battery for my 3-4 year-old Motorola cell phone and paid a mighty $2.50 for a brand new replacement battery, shipping included! Not a knock-off cell either.

    Tesla’s made no secret of the fact that they went with laptop cells for their packs because the price of these cells is so low due to the tremendous global volume. Separately, but along the same theme, I’ve been running my e-bike the past two years on RC hobby lipo packs because the price and specs on them far exceed prebuilt specialty NIMH or lithium e-bike packs.

    Too early to say how this will play out in the EV car segment but with huge players like Sanyo/Panasonic and LG Chem involved, you can bet pricing will be competitive. My hunch is that state-of-the-art BMS’s will be the key to making these packs last a long long time.


  104. 104
    Loboc

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Loboc
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (7:12 pm)

    Eco_Turbo: # 88 Loboc said:
    Besides, I’m already sold. I don’t need a test drive other than making sure my parts and my wife’s parts fit the car’s parts. I’m pretty sure that’ll take about 5 minutes.
    You’re not considering the fact that a Volt is fun as hell to drive.    

    Oh I considered that part already. I’m very familiar with electric motors and how they operate. I’ve been wanting an EV for 20 or more years. The right combination of funds and will to get it done hasn’t gelled so far.

    Volt WILL happen. The test drive will be a formality like when I bought the 88 Cougar and the 99 Intrepid and the 02 Dakota and the 05 Magnum. I was already sold before I went to a dealer.


  105. 105
    Eco_Turbo

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Eco_Turbo
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (7:37 pm)

    104 Loboc,

    What I mean is, even if you have no intention of buying a Volt, or any other car, just the test drive would be worth the trip.


  106. 106
    Grumpa

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Grumpa
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (7:52 pm)

    Loboc:
    Older lead-acid batteries were truly made of lead (not antimony/lead alloy) and were not sealed. They could not be sealed because the charging process caused hydrogen gas build-up that had to be vented. Newer batteries do not have this build-up and can be sealed. Some are even gel electrolyte, not watery acid.
    It was the small leak of acid through the venting that caused corrosion. Now you can mount them in the trunk with no problems.    

    Unless the battery is described as a “Plante” type of cell, it will use some sort of alloy if it is a wet cell battery. The term “sealed” as it applies to automotive batteries refers to the fact that you cannot easily open the battery to add water because 1) there is ample electrolyte from the factory and 2) the use of low gassing alloys means very little water usage during the life of the battery. The batteries will still release gas as part of there normal life cycle but it will be relatively small amounts hence they are not truly “sealed” but are still vented. The gel (or AGM) type of battery you refer to is more of an industrial battery and operates slightly differently (by recombining hydrogen ions) and actually operate at a slight positive pressure during charge. Even these types of batteries will emit gases (primarily hydrogen) although very small amounts and thus are not truly “sealed”.

    I am quite sure this is more than you wanted to know (and I could go on for pages) but I am a longtime battery applications/technical guy and just had to chip in.


  107. 107
    DonC

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    DonC
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (7:58 pm)

    Dan Petit: Hey DonC,
    Didn’t we talk about scrubbing the plates right here a few years ago?

    Not that smart Dan. I think you were talking about scrubbing the plates. I think I was talking about the possibility of using liquid electrolytes. You had a great idea Dan.


  108. 108
    JEC

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    JEC
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (8:08 pm)

    I recall posting about the possibility of creating a “charged slurry”, where you would just pump out the discharged electrolyte and fill’r up with freshly charged stuff.

    As soon as I posted someone mentioned that this technique was already available, but not sure who or if it was practical.

    Seems similiar, in theory.

    Building a battery pack with the capability of being either rejuvenated or recharged would be a huge step forward in the acceptance of electrics!

    As others have mentioned, this would actually be more beneficial for the pure EV market, since this would allow you to possibly use more percent of the battery, and the added expense of protecting the battery may be less critical related to expense of the battery system.


  109. 109
    nasaman

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    nasaman
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (8:17 pm)

    Grumpa, #106: …I am quite sure this is more than you wanted to know (and I could go on for pages) but I am a longtime battery applications/technical guy and just had to chip in.

    Grumpa, it appears you have a wealth of knowledge & experience with lead-acid batteries, including relatively recent improvements. For many years I’ve become resigned to the likelihood that my new car’s batteries could last as little a 2-3 yrs before 1 or more shorted cells “killed” them :( . Are you suggesting that conventional batteries provided in new cars today can be expected to last longer? Roughly how much longer? Say, as a range …3-5 yrs, or what?


  110. 110
    Dave K.

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (8:30 pm)

    JEC: …possibility of creating a “charged slurry”, where you would just pump out the discharged electrolyte and fill’r up with freshly charged stuff.

    I posted a similar idea here a year ago and was voted minus 2 for it. Even if the driver reclaims just 80% of normal full-charge range. Being able to re-juice in under 10 minutes makes it a viable alternative to using high voltage fast charge cables.

    =D-Volt


  111. 111
    Texas

    -1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Texas
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (8:44 pm)

    stuart22:
    Yes I was way off – the numbers are far worse than I suggested.

    That’s because you didn’t do any research. Your numbers will change dramatically with just a simple post from some random member.

    If you are even slightly interested in getting the facts why not invest a few minutes to watch the latest videos on the subject? Just go to YouTube and search “Shai Agassi”. Don’t forget to use the special search function to look at the latest videos.

    Scam? You mean the kind of scam that secured over 1 billion dollars of investments? The kind of scam that Japan “fell” for when they decided to test out BP’s concept in Tokyo with their taxis? That kind of scam? The kind of scam that is being installed in Israel and is due to begin trials next year with the new, specifically designed Renault Fluence? Yes, some scam.

    Of course, it’s a waste of breath to “debate” with such “informed” posters so I think I’ll just wait until the trials begin. That way, we can watch it in action. The stations and charging spots are being installed as we speak.

    You can wish it away but that isn’t going to stop it from coming.


  112. 112
    Unni

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Unni
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (9:14 pm)

  113. 113
    BiodieselJeep

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    BiodieselJeep
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (9:32 pm)

    Folks:

    This chemistry outlined is very basic. If it was so easy, everyone would be out there refurbing LI batteries and designing them for re-furbing. Might just be a wide-net patent application to cover their more modest research into some more limited replenishing efforts…pehaps for preparing used packs a little bit o boost for post-car secondary uses.


  114. 114
    ClarksonCote

    +4

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    ClarksonCote
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (9:43 pm)

    Texas: That’s because you didn’t do any research. Your numbers will change dramatically with just a simple post from some random member. If you are even slightly interested in getting the facts why not invest a few minutes to watch the latest videos on the subject? Just go to YouTube and search “Shai Agassi”. Don’t forget to use the special search function to look at the latest videos.Scam? You mean the kind of scam that secured over 1 billion dollars of investments? The kind of scam that Japan “fell” for when they decided to test out BP’s concept in Tokyo with their taxis? That kind of scam? The kind of scam that is being installed in Israel and is due to begin trials next year with the new, specifically designed Renault Fluence? Yes, some scam.Of course, it’s a waste of breath to “debate” with such “informed” posters so I think I’ll just wait until the trials begin. That way, we can watch it in action. The stations and charging spots are being installed as we speak. You can wish it away but that isn’t going to stop it from coming.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    These posts sound a little too heated. I feel the need to throw in my “SAME TEAM!” shout out.

    That having been shouted, it’s my experience that when posts become derogatory, that’s usually because the poster is trying to elevate their position in lieu of facts.

    Let’s all post references and opinions, but leave the derogatory comments aside. If your position is accurate and based on fact, it will stand on its own without being condescending.

    join thE REVolution


  115. 115
    kdawg

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (9:50 pm)

    BiodieselJeep: Folks:
    This chemistry outlined is very basic. If it was so easy, everyone would be out there refurbing LI batteries and designing them for re-furbing. Might just be a wide-net patent application to cover their more modest research into some more limited replenishing efforts…pehaps for preparing used packs a little bit o boost for post-car secondary uses.

    It probably hasn’t become relevant till now to refurb a LIon battery. When was the last time someone paid $8000 for a battery?


  116. 116
    Loboc

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Loboc
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (10:22 pm)

    Grumpa: I am a longtime battery applications/technical guy and just had to chip in.

    Thanks. I knew most of that already, however, my experience is in direct sales of automotive batteries (in the ’70s and ’80s). I went through the switch from wet ship batteries to adding acid to ‘dry charge’ batteries to the semi-sealed to the sealed types. All within two decades.

    I realize that there must be venting so that the battery doesn’t explode. From a sales perspective (explaining it to non-technical people) it’s a sealed battery.

    Regardless, the reason that battery terminals don’t corrode as much as they used to is the superior seal around the terminals (where they come through the case) and the smaller amount of vented vapor/fluid/etc.

    The longevity of a lead-acid battery is directly related to environment. Namely heat. Cars that have their battery located away from heat sources (such as trunk vs engine compartment) have a much better chance of survival.

    One other main factor is vibration. With the thinner plates used today, any shock (such as a sudden stop against an immovable object) will greatly reduce the life or kill it. Batteries that are not mounted properly (broken mount, or using a bungee cord instead of a proper bolted installation) will allow excessive bouncing around and vibration which will reduce the life of the battery. A battery from a wrecked car is pretty much useless. Don’t ever use a hammer or tap on the terminals to install the cables on a battery.

    Another killer is deep-cycle discharge and over/under voltage. Deep cycling a battery not designed for that duty will kill it quickly. Overcharge or undercharge will reduce life dramatically. Check the charging system when getting a new battery.

    Here in Texas, if you’re on the 4th year, you’re on borrowed time. Of all of the above heat is the worst. (Frozen batteries are pretty useless as well.)

    Ya gotta realize that these auto batteries were designed to fail way before 10/100,000. They are considered an expendable/replacement item like tires, oil, filters, light bulbs and spark plugs. Heck, Lutz himself said they cost about 12bucks a piece to manufacture.

    My best advice from a replacement parts guy’s point of view is to buy the biggest, highest capacity, highest CCA battery that will fit in the car. These are usually the ones with the highest price and the best warranty. But they also won’t let you down as often.

    Auto batteries are like hard drives in computers. It’s not IF they’re going to fail it’s WHEN.


  117. 117
    Loboc

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Loboc
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (10:44 pm)

    Loboc: Auto batteries are like hard drives in computers. It’s not IF they’re going to fail it’s WHEN.

    P.S.

    This is one of the challenges with marketing EVs. People are used to their car battery failing every 3 to 5 years. They won’t know the difference between lead/acid or energizer bunny for a while. Convincing the general public that these batteries will last is a major hurdle.


  118. 118
    nasaman

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    nasaman
     Says

     

    Nov 8th, 2010 (10:49 pm)

    Loboc: …Here in Texas, if you’re on the 4th year, you’re on borrowed time. Of all of the above heat is the worst. (Frozen batteries are pretty useless as well.)

    Ya gotta realize that these auto batteries were designed to fail way before 10/100,000. They are considered an expendable/replacement item like tires, oil, filters, light bulbs and spark plugs. Heck, Lutz himself said they cost about 12bucks a piece to manufacture.

    My best advice from a replacement parts guy’s point of view is to buy the biggest, highest capacity, highest CCA battery that will fit in the car. These are usually the ones with the highest price and the best warranty. But they also won’t let you down as often.

    Auto batteries are like hard drives in computers. It’s not IF they’re going to fail it’s WHEN.

    Thanks for this very useful advice, Loboc! I suspect we’ll all be “stuck” with lead acid batteries in our cars for some years to come. Both Volt and Leaf have one. At least those won’t have to endure the under-hood heat produced by an ICE!


  119. 119
    Eco_Turbo

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Eco_Turbo
     Says

     

    Nov 9th, 2010 (6:27 am)

    A friend of mine has a 9 year old hybrid that only uses the lead acid battery to boot the system. It’s still the original. I wonder what check parameters cars that have high voltage starting will use on the 12v lead acids?


  120. 120
    koz

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    koz
     Says

     

    Nov 9th, 2010 (7:02 am)

    nasaman: Thanks for this very useful advice, Loboc! I suspect we’ll all be “stuck” with lead acid batteries in our cars for some years to come. Both Volt and Leaf have one. At least those won’t have to endure the under-hood heat produced by an ICE!  (Quote)  (Reply)

    BEVs and EREVs don’t need the large CCA so I expect to see something a little different once volume ramps up, even if that is a smaller, lighter, and cheaper lead acid of sorts.


  121. 121
    koz

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    koz
     Says

     

    Nov 9th, 2010 (7:03 am)

    Loboc: P.S.This is one of the challenges with marketing EVs. People are used to their car battery failing every 3 to 5 years. They won’t know the difference between lead/acid or energizer bunny for a while. Convincing the general public that these batteries will last is a major hurdle.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    Very, very true. It may even be the biggest hurdle for EVs. Changing an entrenched perception is very difficult. One premature failure may override 100 success stories. I’ve seen it with the Prius.


  122. 122
    Eco_Turbo

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Eco_Turbo
     Says

     

    Nov 9th, 2010 (7:09 am)

    koz:
    Very, very true. It may even be the biggest hurdle for EVs. Changing an entrenched perception is very difficult. One premature failure may override 100 success stories. I’ve seen it with the Prius.    

    Just more reason to get 100s of thousands out there ASAP!


  123. 123
    koz

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    koz
     Says

     

    Nov 9th, 2010 (7:10 am)

    BiodieselJeep: Folks:This chemistry outlined is very basic. If it was so easy, everyone would be out there refurbing LI batteries and designing them for re-furbing. Might just be a wide-net patent application to cover their more modest research into some more limited replenishing efforts…pehaps for preparing used packs a little bit o boost for post-car secondary uses.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    I’m semi-confident the first loaves of bread weren’t sliced.


  124. 124
    koz

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    koz
     Says

     

    Nov 9th, 2010 (7:12 am)

    Eco_Turbo: Just more reason to get 100s of thousands out there ASAP!  (Quote)  (Reply)

    True too and even with these headwinds Toyota has been able to sell plenty of Prii.


  125. 125
    StevePA

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    StevePA
     Says

     

    Nov 10th, 2010 (7:59 am)

    Good to know the battery rejuvenation process should significantly lessen future lithium needs vs what would have been required.

    Someone in the U.S. is thinking ahead.


  126. 126
    Bob

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Bob
     Says

     

    Nov 11th, 2010 (8:59 am)

    Go to betterplace.com this is the best answer. Battery replaced in under 2:00 min. back on the road


  127. 127
    scottf200

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    scottf200
     Says

     

    Nov 11th, 2010 (4:52 pm)

    Nice pictures and text here showing battery installed from bottom of car.

    http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/11/peek-inside-the-chevrolet-volt-factory/?pid=294&viewall=true

    u3c1043.jpg


  128. 128
    GTEcoCAR

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    GTEcoCAR
     Says

     

    Nov 12th, 2010 (1:39 pm)

    Can’t wait to see this technology in action. Could save us in development costs in the future to use re-manufactured battery cells.

    http://greengarageblog.org/
    http://www.ecocarchallenge.org/
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/GT-EcoCAR-Team/135895426324