Apr 12

Cost-effective EV battery passes German tests, recharges in minutes

 

A German company has the attention of the electric vehicle industry and those watching it, having recently documented remarkable claims for its KOLIBRI lithium-metal-polymer battery.

DBM Energy GmbH yesterday told GM-Volt.com that its design could wind up costing less than the types of batteries used in the Chevrolet Volt, the Nissan LEAF, and other EVs while radically exceeding all meaningful performance criteria.

We’re talking potential for reasonably priced electric cars that could travel 300-400 miles on a charge, and be replenished in minutes. If reports we were given prove true, this would mean the future is practically now – not years from now – with safe and durable batteries threatening to relegate petrol cars to merely optional status.


This and following photos show DBM’s battery undergoing German government tests.

Bold claims, you say? We agree, but will tell you what we were told:

According to DBM Energy’s Chief Operating Officer, Markus Röser, a 98.8-kWh version of its battery can be fully recharged inside of six minutes, although he would not divulge how this was accomplished.

“Regarding the kind of charger and the power input, we are not able to give any information yet, due to the fact, that this technology is just in internal use right now,” Röser said.

And if trip-to-the-gas-station recharge times are not enough, consider the battery’s range potential. One version with over seven times the energy capacity of the Volt’s battery, and 4.75 times power of the LEAF’s battery, had enough juice to propel a converted Audi A2 test mule for more than 400 miles at highway speeds on a single charge.

Last October, as some forum posters on GM-Volt have since chronicled, the Audi converted by DBM with help from Lekker Energie, and funding from the German economy ministry, traveled 375 miles from Berlin to Munich with a 98-kWh version of the battery.

Upon arrival in Munich, the battery was reportedly only 80-percent depleted, which would mean range potential of well over 400 miles. The battery weighted just 770 pounds. The battery pack in a Tesla Roadster weighs 29-percent more at 990 pounds, and that car is EU-certified for only 211 miles per charge.


Last October the 98.8-kW-powered Audi arrived in Munich with range left to go after traveling 375 miles from Berlin.

Unfortunately, a warehouse fire in December destroyed a DBM-modified A2, causing suspicious allegations. DBM said this was not even the car that had completed the run, but the company’s credibility nevertheless did suffer, prompting DBM to defensively write on its Web site, “We have done nothing wrong!”

Indeed, DBM told us yesterday that in setting new benchmarks, it has done many things right. Disregarding doubters including the New York Times blog which used the phrase in its title, “too good to be true,” and wrote of “the supposed record run,” DBM Energy said it has proven its amazing assertions.

According to The Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Letter, an English-language, subscription-based publication Röser sent PDF copies of, last month Germany’s federal agency for materials research and testing – BAM – independently certified DBM’s KOLIBRI battery after a series of eight tests. These were reportedly done according to the UN Test Handbook protocol for lithium batteries, and the battery came out with flying colors.

The BAM’s chief investigator, Prof. Volkmar Schroeder, reportedly said the battery cells met “all essential safety tests very well” and were characterized “by a high degree of technical safety.”

After those tests, an Audi A2 powered by the 63-kWh version of the battery being tested was put through four days of driving on a chassis dyno in eastern Germany at the DEKRA test center at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz.


Appropriate license plate, wouldn’t you say? B – EV …

The DEKRA test protocol showed the DBM electric Audi A2 went 284.3 miles (454.82 km). This battery had about 45 percent less energy than the initial “supposed” A2 record-setting car last fall, and now the German government has essentially verified its credibility. Actually, DBM estimated the first A2 could have gone 450 miles (721 km) on a single charge.

And as for durability, DBM said the KOLIBRI battery’s lifespan should be 10 years, or 5,000 charge cycles. Recharge time for a version like the one that went 284.3 miles might be only four minutes or so.

But what would it cost? An estimated price for a (larger) 98.8-kWh version was a paltry $1,100-$1,400 (€800-€1,000).

In our correspondence with Röser yesterday, he confirmed these reports, having sent them himself, along with the skeptical Times article, and several photos we have posted here.

Apologizing for his English, Röser told GM-Volt the battery is already being used in warehouse equipment, and has other applications pending.

“The KOLIBRI technology has run in forklifts for two years – very efficient,” Röser said, “We already delivered 15 batteries for forklifts in 2010/ 2011 and further orders are already placed. The companies we are working with are large logistical companies running warehouses like Papstar, a subsidiary company of Swarowski.”

Röser said DBM’s chemistry is indeed superior to that of EV batteries commonly in use today.


If people want to allege this uber-battery might be a hoax, it sure is getting to be an elaborate one.

“The KOLIBRI technology is based on Lithium Metal Polymer basis, the battery on solid matter basis. Through a special battery packaging we reach more efficiency and higher effectiveness, smaller packaging, lower weight and lower prices,” Röser said, “The Li-Ion battery reach about 60-80 percent effectiveness, the KOLIBRI technology about 97 percent. With a 300 kg battery pack of 98 kWh we reach a distance of 600 kilometers without a stop and without a gas engine or range extender.”

We asked whether DBM had any automotive deals pending, and what the status was.

“We speak more or less with all major auto makers worldwide and also with tier1 suppliers and new players. All kinds of business and partnerships will be discussed at the moment with them and everything is possible – also to start serial production or to prepare more demonstration cars, Röser said, “Furthermore we are speaking with institutional investors to build up our own production site for our technology used as energy storage or in electro cars.”

Next step, he said are more trials with the Audi A2 test mules. But with a clean bill of health, Röser said DBM anticipates making the battery available soon to automakers.

“The battery pack fulfills all international safety regulations as tested from German BAM right now,” Röser said, “Therefore we are able to supply all kinds of available cars with our battery pack within 12 weeks from now.”


If this battery does what DBM Energy says it can, and a car company – or companies – build vehicles with this technology costing, say, anywhere from $30,000-$70,000, more or less, what would it mean for every other EV presently known or in development?

After reading all this, we wrote back: “Are you essentially telling me this KOLIBRI battery all but eliminates range issues and recharge times? What could a car cost that’s made to be the size and specifications of a Chevy Volt or Nissan LEAF with a large KOLIBRI battery installed? Is KOLIBRI cost effective for vehicles now? Are you merely waiting to prove what you already know?”

Röser did not answer additional questions about exact price projections, but said:

“The KOLIBRI technology holds the actual long distance driving world record of electric vehicles with li-based batteries and is, according to the test results of DEKRA and BAM, a benchmark in safety and efficiency in Germany,” he said, “After the first design costs to adapt this technology in different car models, the costs will be the same as conventional drives from our side. In the long run even cheaper through high efficiency. In serial production the KOLIBRI is cost effective for vehicles now. We already proved the technology in forklifts and as energy storage. Regarding electrical cars we are speaking with different OEMs at the moment to find proper cooperation to start serial production.

More proof will follow with the next tests, Röser said.

Incidentally, Audi happens to be working on its e-tron technology for several of its cars. It and other original equipment manufacturers are intent on proving their own designs, but Röser said more independent tests will be conducted to prove DBM’s KOLIBRI design is ready for production.

“The cars going to test regions will be run by energy companies, producing [their] own electrical vehicles,” Röser said.

As soon as possible, we will be eager to learn more, particularly about the for-now-undisclosed cost and equipment required for the KOLIBRI battery’s fast recharging capabilities.

Source: DBM Energy GmbH, New York Times Wheels blog, Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Letter

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 12th, 2011 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 107


  1. 1
    Xiaowei1

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (6:31 am)

    Whilst I do not doubt their claims (others here will do that for me), if they are testing these batteries now, talking to major automotive companies, and ready to deliver, then they should already be taking to GM. My only concern with rang anxiety and electric cars, is running out of “juice” away from an electric plug (not necessarily the overall range). Fuel in a can is so convenient to get if you need it, which is my main reason for wanting a Volt. Of course with ranges of 400 miles, you just need to fill up at an electricity dumping station (1 small bolt of lightning please!) to fill up. You certainly won’t be able to fill up at home in a hurry though.

    I’m also curious as to how long a charged battery stays charged?


  2. 2
    Eco_Turbo

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (7:01 am)

    Xiaowei1: you just need to fill up at an electricity dumping station (1 small bolt of lightning please!)

    LOL, good one!
    All this makes me wonder what GM might have for their second serving.


  3. 3
    Mikeinatl

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (7:27 am)

    This could put EEStor out of business!


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    ctdeng0

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (7:33 am)

    This is kind of late for a April Fools joke ! 98 KW in 6 minutes, thats 980 kw/hrs. At 460 vac that would be over 1200 amps. Can you say boom !


  5. 5
    Anders

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (7:41 am)

    wow, to good to be true ?

    Maybe this time it will be a dream come true.

    Can’t wait to read more about this battery .


  6. 6
    Dwayne

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (7:43 am)

    Actually, one small bolt of lighting would be available from home if the batteries were cheap enough that you could have an extra one at home (charging whenever the power company wanted to) available to download power from.


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    tom karns

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (7:59 am)

    It’s all in the math ain’t it?

    How can you charge something that fast with that much juice?

    Like ctdengo, reply #4, says. You’d be crankin at 1200 amps.

    Even the newest homes are limited to a 200 amp service and that’s at the street, not at the receptacle.


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    joe

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (8:05 am)

    Charging a high capacity battery like this one, would take a huge battery charger with large heavy charge cables. I’m usually an optimist, but on this one, I’ll past. I think it’s a hoax, but I sure hope I’m wrong.


  9. 9
    Raymondjram

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (8:06 am)

    Xiaowei1:
    You certainly won’t be able to fill up at home in a hurry though.

    Maybe someone could develop a system that can supply a fast charge, like a large storage tank for electricity, probably built with ultracapacitors. It could accumulate that charge slowly in hours during the night, then dump that charge into the vehicle battery in a few minutes. That same charge could be used to supply the home during power failures. Think of a special UPS for the whole house that can also fast charge your EV.

    Since energy has very little mass (the weight of all those electrons moving close to the speed of light), this could be more effective that using any liquid fuel and permit very fast energy transfers. It could be dangerous, so it needs excellent protection in its design and operation. But eventually this could be the final gasoline killer. Fast recharge at your own home is the best anyone could have for “refueling” their private transportation.

    Raymond


  10. 10
    Better Better to Come

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (8:07 am)

    (click to show comment)


  11. 11
    Nelson

     

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (8:17 am)

    Sounds like a good battery choice for the Orlando.

    Volt#671
    NPNS!


  12. 12
    Schmeltz

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (8:26 am)

    Ugghhh! (Forcing self not to get hopes up!)


  13. 13
    Shock Me

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (8:32 am)

    Off-topic but looks like Frank Weber is now at BMW helping out with their electric cars. They’ll need it. Good luck Frank! Spread some of that Volt DNA.


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    DonC

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (8:42 am)

    The KOLIBRI battery passed the government tests for safety, high altitude operation, and various distresses with flying colors. IOW it’s not going to kill you. The tests did not, however, determine energy or volumetric density, nor did it look at life cycles. Encouraging first tests but the really important stuff has still not been determined. Hopefully more to come.


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    Schmeltz

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (8:43 am)

    Shock Me: Off-topic but looks like Frank Weber is now at BMW helping out with their electric cars. They’ll need it. Good luck Frank! Spread some of that Volt DNA.

    I think we should circulate a petition to woo Frank Weber back to GM and make him the new CEO! Who’s with me?


  16. 16
    nasaman

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (8:55 am)

    Shock Me: Off-topic but looks like Frank Weber is now at BMW helping out with their electric cars. They’ll need it. Good luck Frank! Spread some of that Volt DNA.

    Several months ago when news of this first broke I emailed two key people on the Volt program
    at GM, one an engineer in the battery lab and one a manager, both of whom I’ve met & know personally. In that email I suggested Frank Weber who was still at Opel in Germany at that time could be a very good person to investigate the KOLIBRI battery. I have to wonder if that might have in part led to Weber’s joining BMW recently.

    In any event Jeff, as a guy with 15 years in long-life battery designs for spacecraft, I genuinely appreciate your work in contacting DBM Energy’s Chief Operating Officer, Markus Röser, directly. I think this post may very well represent the most important technical news about EV batteries in a long, long time!


  17. 17
    kdawg

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (9:07 am)

    So they’ve been using this battery for 2 years in fork lifts, but are just now applying it to cars? Seems like there’s a lot more to the story. I’ll believe it when I see it. If true, this would be a big step towards me (and probably others) buying a pure BEV.


  18. 18
    Herm

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (9:12 am)

    Dont get sidetracked with the fast charge stuff, that is not important.. there are many ways of doing that, it just involves engineering, its trivial stuff.

    I am glad to see that some specs were verified by a gov testing agency. Did they check the weight and capacity of the cells?.. manufacturing costs they cant check.

    The important part is [b]COST[/b] and weight, note that cost is more important.

    “But what would it cost? An estimated price for a (larger) 98.8-kWh version was a paltry $1,100-$1,400″

    This is the part I have [b]SEVERE[/b] doubts on.. that works out to a measly $11 per kwh, perhaps 1/45 of what the Volt’s batteries cost.. can you start to see the hard part to believe?

    “115kwh at only 770lbs”

    That is very light, but more believable.. that works out to 328wh/kg, less than half the weight of an equivalent Volt battery.. the best so far has been cells at 250wh/kg in some laptop batteries that are somewhat delicate so indeed its a great achievement.

    “And as for durability, DBM said the KOLIBRI battery’s lifespan should be 10 years, or 2,000 charge cycles. ”

    A 63kwh pack that gives you 200 miles of real life range would have a life of 400k miles or 10 years, obviously life would be limited by the years, not the mileage.

    A battery pack this cheap would revolutionize solar and wind power.. you could cheaply store the excess you produce for times when its needed.. time shifting of utility power for home use would become economically practical as well.

    I really have doubts on that $11 per kwh cost, I think someone forgot one or two decimal points in translation. Put this on the belief level of cold fusion: hopeful but very suspicious


  19. 19
    Herm

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (9:24 am)

    kdawg:
    So they’ve been using this battery for 2 years in fork lifts, but are just now applying it to cars? Seems like there’s a lot more to the story.I’ll believe it when I see it.

    Yeah, they were sitting on PURE GOLD for two years and now they finally think about the potential to obsolete ICE cars overnight.. something smells.


  20. 20
    pbennett45

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (9:39 am)

    ctdeng0:
    This is kind of late for a April Fools joke ! 98 KW in 6 minutes, thats 980 kw/hrs. At 460 vac that would be over 1200 amps. Can you say boom !

    I think you meant 98kWh in 6 minutes = 980kw of power for 6 minutes… no such thing as a kw per hr, a kw is a kJoule/s… it’s already a per-unit-time measurement. General sentiment is valid though.. actually over 2100 assuming you meant 460VAC RMS (980e3/460). That also assumes the AC/DC conversion is 100% efficient… probably no more than 85%, so scale it up by that as well. Smells suspicious.


  21. 21
    Steve_hi

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (9:52 am)

    I don’t believe this story at all because I am a cynical person. However it is possible that one day we will wake up and read this sort of story again and it will actually be true. Would be nice and hope it happens in my life time. But here again I highly doubt it.


  22. 22
    hamchief

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (9:55 am)

    I wonder if this is going to be one of those pitfalls that we early adopters have been warned about. IF these batteries are for real, AND they start making cars with them – our Volts will be worthless (except to collectors).
    Anyone remember nuvistors?


  23. 23
    Jackson

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (10:01 am)

    ‘Scuse me folks, but doesn’t this news affect only the battery, and not the rest of the car? Could a new super-battery (whether or not KOLIBRI turns out to be it) be retrofitted to a Li-Ion car?

    “Old Volts never die, they just go farther.”


  24. 24
    Jackson

     

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (10:05 am)

    kdawg:

    So they’ve been using this battery for 2 years in fork lifts, but are just now applying it to cars? Seems like there’s a lot more to the story. I’ll believe it when I see it. If true, this would be a big step towards me (and probably others) buying a pure BEV.

    Herm: Yeah, they were sitting on PURE GOLD for two years and now they finally think about the potential to obsolete ICE cars overnight.. something smells.

    Not necessarily. Lithium Ion technology was used for years in smaller applications before it found it’s way into automobiles (same as Nickel Metal Hydride before it). If anything, this smells to me because of the speed with which KOLIBRI has been put into a car. I don’t know that it smells because of deliberate deception, or because there hasn’t been enough time to deal with unexpected “gotchas” inherent in the technology (carelessly rushed because it potentially is GOLD).


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    tom w

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (10:10 am)

    Its nice to have a quantum leap. I’d be happy for the incremental improvements that would make a Volt or Leaf unbeatable with $4 gas.

    For the Volt that would be its 440 LB battery going from 16kwh to 24kwh for about 10% less than current battery cost – thus allowing much greater AER without having to charge twice a day.

    For the Leaf that would be its battery weight not changing and going from 24kwh to 30 kwh for about 10% less than current battery cost – Thus allowing enough daily range even in colder weather for most drivers.


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    Jackson

     

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (10:29 am)

    joe:
    Charging a high capacity battery like this one, would take a huge battery charger with large heavy charge cables. I’m usually an optimist, but on this one, I’ll past. I think it’s a hoax, but I sure hope I’m wrong.

    Large batteries which can be quick charged are coming, the question is when. Fast charging at high power levels will develop it’s own paradigm, and is not likely not be an extrapolation of what we’re used to now.

    I believe that high current charging will be done underneath the car, untouched by human hands; by a semi-robotic attachment of articulated, solid conductors (like bus-bars on steroids). As Herm says (#18):

    “Dont get sidetracked with the fast charge stuff, that is not important.. there are many ways of doing that, it just involves engineering, its trivial stuff.”

    The real issue will be availability. Let’s assume that KOLIBRI (or something else waiting in the wings) turns out to be real, and that within 5 years there will be lots of 400-mile BEVs on the road. Connecting to the grid for a fast-charge station, with several bays, will not be trivial in terms of cost. The metering and car interfacing systems won’t be cheap, either. Then, there’s staff and real estate overhead, and of course, profit. How much cost will be added to that of the energy? Would it even be less expensive than the equivalent cost in gas? And how long will it take to develop a universal network of stations even half as robust as today’s gasoline infrastructure? I believe it would take decades.

    Of course, EVs of any stripe will still have the advantage of home charging; though at much slower speeds. If the battery-in-your-house idea takes off, I still doubt you could charge the whole vehicle pack at once, or at anything like 1000 kilowatts. The power that a 200 amp home service makes possible is more likely (since it will be cost-engineered to power your house, not fast-charge an EV). You’ll also need to take into account the cost of the in-your-home battery. Then again, you might justify the home battery for time-shifting and emergency use; and most of the time you wouldn’t need a complete car charge overnight.

    It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out.


  27. 27
    Mike-o-Matic

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (10:36 am)

    ctdeng0:
    This is kind of late for a April Fools joke ! 98 KW in 6 minutes, thats 980 kw/hrs. At 460 vac that would be over 1200 amps. Can you say boom !

    Yes I can say boom! I cannot imagine how easy it would be to vaporize a limb (or half your body) on those kinds of currents.

    But, at the same time, nothing mandates having to charge it THAT fast. On a 220 circuit, you could reload this puppy overnight at roughly the same pace Volt charges. Recharge nightly to refill your only partly-depleted pack, and it’d be quite manageable.

    Progress is progress, no matter how you look at it. I sincerely hope this is “the real deal.” The cost figures alone make me drool.


  28. 28
    Alligam

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (10:47 am)

    From AllAboutBatteries.com/lithium.html

    Lithium-Metal-Polymer Battery with ultra-thin film electrolyte

    Lithium-metal-polymer batteries have been developed for a number of applications including electric vehicle propulsion systems and batteries to power telecommunications installations. Because there is no liquid or paste electrolyte, they are maintenance free. They have service lives as long as 10 years, under ambient temperatures from -40°C to +65°C.

    One company that pioneered the devleopment of thin-film lithium-metal-polymer batteries has since been merged into the Bolloré Group in France. The former company was Avestor, Boucherville, Québec, Canada. one of their reprints is still available: Designing Lithium-Metal-Polymer Batteries for Safety

    As announced by IPS Batteries a new thin-film construction for Lithium-metal-polymer batteries allows the batteries to be embedded in printed circuit boards or integrated circuit chips. The batteries are postage-stamp size and about 1/10 mm thick, and contain “micro-energy cells”.

    The batteries demonstrate near zero self-discharge. The micro-energy cells are “ideally suited for use with all forms of energy harvesting techniques for recharging, such as solar, thermal, RF, magnetic and vibration energy.”


  29. 29
    Herm

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (10:51 am)

    Jackson: The real issue will be availability

    true, the business case for fast charge stations is almost non-existent, the vast majority of people will charge at home even with todays limited batteries. The only way I can see it happening is at hwy rest stops, and the Feds would pay for those stations.

    If you can get a Kolibri 100kwh $1400 battery for your garage, to take advantage of lower rates at midnight.. then you could also use that battery to charge the battery in your car.. yes the cables (2) would probably be heavy. The battery in your garage could then take days to slowly fully recharge.. No changes needed to the infrastructure.


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (10:59 am)

    hamchief:
    I wonder if this is going to be one of those pitfalls that we early adopters have been warned about. IF these batteries are for real, AND they start making cars with them – our Volts will be worthless (except to collectors).
    Anyone remember nuvistors?

    Thats why we look with admiration and envy to the early adopters.. much like Beta (vs VHS) adopters, and now both are obsolete. Worthless is going a bit too far..


  31. 31
    Tom

     

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (11:04 am)

    Does anyone on the list understand German that could translate the video for the rest of us?

    tom


  32. 32
    Jackson

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (11:05 am)

    There are also “solid state” batteries in development which use a thin ceramic electrolyte:

    http://www.ceramatec.com/technology/ceramic-solid-state-ionic-technologies/advanced-energy-storage/solid-electrolyte-batteries.php

    Back when GM was talking about the “Gen III” Volt, they claimed it would have a solid-state battery (they’re silent on later Volt designs these days, beyond a general imperative for cost-reduction). This might not be Cerametec’s battery, though GM is known to have invested in a company engaged in similar research.

    KOLIBRI and EEStor are only the technologies we’ve heard much about, and they seem somewhat dubious at this point. Now that there is potential gold in them there EVs, a heated research and development environment for batteries prevails; which, by and large, did not exist pre-Volt.

    This quote, from Ed Whitacre, sums things up pretty well:

    “Ed Whitacre, chairman and CEO of GM, said, ‘The development of electric vehicles like the Chevy Volt is creating entire new sectors in the auto industry an ‘ecosystem’ of battery developers and recyclers, builders of home and commercial charging stations, electric motor suppliers and much more. These companies and universities are creating new jobs in Michigan and across the US, green jobs and they’re doing it by developing new technology, establishing new manufacturing capability, and strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness.’”

    http://ceramics.org/ceramictechtoday/materials-innovations/gm-unveils-new-lithium-ion-battery/


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (11:19 am)

    Herm: true, the business case for fast charge stations is almost non-existent, the vast majority of people will charge at home even with todays limited batteries. The only way I can see it happening is at hwy rest stops, and the Feds would pay for those stations.

    … or places like the service islands on toll roads (partly subsidized by the tolls).

    Charge stations would be needed mainly for long-distance travel (in the absence of a range-extender).

    There is also the question of how urban dwellers who park on the street recharge electric cars. Would there be parking-meter style slow chargers lining city streets, or a few fast-charge stations? It’s hard to say which would be less expensive.


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (11:28 am)

    Tom: Does anyone on the list understand German that could translate the video for the rest of us?

    tom

    My understanding of spoken German is good enough to assure everyone that the above video’s captioning in english is very accurate and leaves nothing out. I suggest everyone, especially skeptics, take 5 minutes to have a look at it.


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (11:39 am)

    Wow–what a game-changer this would be.

    Hope GM is testing a sample in their battery testing facility. Hope the German companies don’t get a big headstart/favorable treatment.

    If this battery is the real deal, then there’d be a huge race on in a lot of areas–elec cars, buses, trucks, battery storage for utilities, biz’s and homes, electronic devices, green power production, lithium (and copper?) mining, etc., and a giant pit stop for gasoline.

    Hey, that Audi A2 looks like the Aztek from the back. lol


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (11:40 am)

    With the commitment that Germany has made to solar power, it’s great to read about their progress in battery technology. The Wright Brothers kept their technology in house once the first flight was successful, so I understand the need to test the batteries using fork lifts and not immediately selling it to the auto industry. The challenge will be keeping the oil industry from buying them out and stopping production.

    This topic is timely as the SPX installation is to be completed today with SCE splitting service between the two 200 amp panels. With a 200 amp panel dedicated for EVSE only, this location is ready for the 100 amp circuit breaker and an 80 amp J1772 charge station for Model S and the future technology to follow. The 40 amp circuit breaker connected to the ChargePoint charge station for the Volt will get second meter rates beginning today!


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (11:46 am)

    Herm: Put this on the belief level of cold fusion: hopeful but very suspicious

    #18

    Right. +1


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (11:52 am)

    Wonderful if true. I’m from Missouri.


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (11:56 am)

    What might be a good step is to adapt it to the Volt in a way that would shrink the battery size down and give the user a 80 mile range. This would take care of winter power for heat and still give plenty of daily range. Keep the ICE in the car until we have a rapid charge infrustructure in this country. When the infrustructure reaches 90% of the country then eliminate the ICE and put in a larger battery for a 350 mile range. The technology in this article would allow what I have described to happen. Let us hope!

    Pat


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (11:59 am)

    Awe crap, and here I opted for TS cells instead of GmbH Prismatics for someones Golf Cart mod.
    Good news anyway. These “Pouch” type cells probably won’t hit the market for another year anyway. Those seem rather small in the video. Looks like somewhere between 10-15AH/cell. Great news non the less.

    I actually read the whole article despite my ADD…..lol
    Good job Jeff!


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (12:01 pm)

    What a bunch of “what if’s”….. “we are not able to give any information yet”….

    Looks to me like someone is looking for devlelopement money…


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (12:11 pm)

    pjkPA: Looks to me like someone is looking for devlelopement money…

    Well, isn’t everyone? lol…

    IMHO, if they had one build that was tested and was found good then burntup, and they slapped another one together, tested it and was found good as the previous but slightly less because it’s a smaller pack then I hold them a hellofalot higher in “believability” than EEStor.


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    Ted in Fort Myers

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (12:17 pm)

    A smaller lighter cheaper battery about 30 KWH in the Volt would be a dream. If I could get a 100 miles with a range extender or 300 miles without one. That would be a dream even if it did not have ultra fast recharge. I envison an EV for $25000 that could replace ICE nationwide. Who wouldn’t buy it? No-one.

    Take Care,
    TED


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (12:23 pm)

    Interesting post (#17) from a New York Times article from Feb 3, 2011:

    There is much controversy on the 600 km drive done by the initiators, DBM Energy.
    But first let’s get the facts right. Their spec sheet states a battery capacity of 98.8 kWh and a weight of 350 kg which leads to an energy density of 282 Wh/kg.

    According to the inventor, Mr M. Hannemann, the battery capacity left at the end of the run was 10%. These figures are so extraordinary that the automobile association ADAC is sceptical. ADAC had a reporter who accompanied the car in a van with other media people, and says at least twice on the run at night the car disappeared from view for up to 30 minutes.

    Mr Hannemann rejects this and says the battery has been proved also on fork-lift trucks. The troublesome point here is that there the capacity of the DBM battery there was given as 240 Ah with a weight of 100 kg, without mentioning the voltage used. Only later, the company testing this battery mentioned a working voltage of 48 V. This would work out to an energy density of only 115 Wh/kg, which is in the current range of Li ion batteries.

    http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/03/a-375-mile-battery-range-too-good-to-be-true/

    So now we have a car disappearing at least 3x: twice at night (so it DOES have a range extender–a secret recharge? lol) and once in a fire. At least we can feel confident in the company using the batteries in its forklift: Papstar.

    But time will tell…


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (12:26 pm)

    Jackson: … or places like the service islands on toll roads (partly subsidized by the tolls).

    Charge stations would be needed mainly for long-distance travel (in the absence of a range-extender).

    There is also the question of how urban dwellers who park on the street recharge electric cars. Would there be parking-meter style slow chargers lining city streets, or a few fast-charge stations? It’s hard to say which would be less expensive.

    I doubt you’d need to subsidize them through the tolls. At least, not after they’ve been installed. People frequently need rest stops for other reasons. The food is much more profitable than the gasoline anyway. And the charge stations wouldn’t take up that much extra space…

    As far as charging in the city, it depends on how big the chargers are. If they can fit on a parking meter, then they can offer them on the streets. If not, then charging stations. Preferably as a side operation by the garages.


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (12:30 pm)

    T 1: Hope GM is testing a sample in their battery testing facility. Hope the German companies don’t get a big headstart/favorable treatment.

    I don’t think that Germany would deliberately favor their own companies. (Although I could be wrong.) But proximity always helps. Although not as much as it used to. GM has a rather large design studio in Germany. So I would imagine that they would share in any headstart.


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (12:45 pm)

    If all claims about the battery are true; this battery could be the “game changer” for BEVs. I would be very happy with a 4 seater, 200ml range BEV that I could charge at home. Most of the time people would just be charging a portion of the battery at night and have plenty of reserve for unexpected needs. I am still willing to rent another vehicle for longer trips until alot more charging stations are available. JMO most people really don’t need 300-400ml range for their transportation needs.


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (12:59 pm)

    Looking forward to learning more about DBM’s Kolibri road tests reported to begin in Germany June (2011). As an experiment it would be interesting to learn if an Opel Ampera, specially equipped with a Kolibri, could equal or exceed the performance of the Ampera’s standard LG-Chem pack?

    In 2010 GM made a substantial multi-million dollar investment in Sakti3 of Ann Arbor, Michigan researching solid-state batteries. Planar in Florida and Sony Japan also are doing solid-state battery research.

    Like the Wright Brothers, the young company of engineer-physicists in Berlin (DBM Energie) might be among the first to have invented a safe, practical high performance solid state battery. Let’s hope the efforts are successful.


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (1:05 pm)

    I’ll see this when I believe it.

    But I do expect auto batteries to improve rather quickly over the next 10 years :-)


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (1:10 pm)

    #44 Here’s a link to the recent, April 7, 2011, New York Times “DBM” followup story:

    http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/07/new-test-appears-to-back-range-claim-for-battery/#preview


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (1:14 pm)

    I compute out to 213 amps at 460V to charge 98 kWh from zero to full in 6 minutes.
    Using a usable range of 20-90% of that battery means that you would charge 68kWh in 6 minutes using 460V = 147A

    I’m using “near correct” numbers here – so bear with me.

    147A is not crazy – as long as the battery technology allows fast charging at such a rate, it is possible. If Volt motor is 155 hp (guessing) – that is a 208kW instantaneous draw and for a 360V battery, the draw is 578A during full acceleration of that 155hp. That draw is not long-lasting as once the car is up to speed, far less hp is needed. If you are doing drag racing or hard NYC light to light driving, you will experience a much shorter CD mileage due to all the hp needed for frequent accelerations.

    I think their primary limitation is the circuitry of the charger itself. Needing to make a quite-beefy charger to handle managing the high amp charge rate. I’d be happy to charge 68kWh in say 30 minutes to an hour.

    It may be that the Volt folks could charge faster but they’d push the electrical limits of many home wiring systems. You could do a 20A 220V (4.4kW) charge easily but these folks in Germany are doing 100+A at 460V.

    What would be best is an external DC charger supplying the same voltage as the battery pack and offering up say 40A, 80A, 120A output current choices or software-controlled. Big issue is if the cell-balancer goes out of whack and one cell is pushed to a voltage of say 5V or higher. Could lead to overcharge failure, possible fire if the cell chemistry is not able to handle that through heat discharge methods.


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (1:16 pm)

    ctdeng0,

    I wonder if it has something to do with multiple, lower amp circuits plugged in at once? Each charging up a section of the battery pack instead of the whole thing at once? That could be their “secret” way they were charging it.


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (1:20 pm)

    Two concerns:

    One, if this is all true, verifiable and makes it to market. Will GM really reduce the cost of a Volt by the difference in battery cost? For argument sake will GM knock off $8k off the sticker? Or pocket some of that (since there is a DEMAND) and knock $4k off the sticker.

    Second, I see a lot of people skeptical about the math of a quick charge. Hello people, this won’t be happening at home. Even today we don’t do anything quickly at home. Even if you HAD a gas pump at home (if you have CNG you might) it doesn’t fuel up nearly as quickly as a pump at a station. I can only assume its for safety reasons since some pretty hefty permits are required for a gas station to be a gas station. So lets all assume that quick recharge will be happening at a designated place not your home.

    If you want my opinion? Go buy a piece of property on a busy corner and get the power company to put a big pipe into there and be the first station (and most advanced) offering charging solutions including quick charging. Put some solar panels up and some wind generators, maybe even a thermal underground heat pump and store as much renewable energy as you can get your hands on to run your station. Come thank me when you hit your first million…


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (1:21 pm)

    I think we all worry about incomplete data. If this battery has the ability to not “leak out” energy, can be recharged at greater rates and lesser times, is effective at real world temperature(-40 to 65 degrees Celsius), and lower cost, we have a winner. I heard Exxon put $600 million for access to the product which does not sound trivial. If it was a hoax would they spend the money? It really does sound like a game changer.


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (1:23 pm)

    Bonaire: What would be best is an external DC charger supplying the same voltage as the battery pack and offering up say 40A, 80A, 120A output current choices or software-controlled.

    Good luck with that. The J1772 has the following specs…

    The standard allows for charging at home, at work, or at public charging stations. The standard as now written addresses two charging levels:

    AC Level 1: 120 V, 1 phase, up to 16 A

    AC Level 2: 240 V, 1 phase, up to 80 A

    http://www.sae.org/mags/aei/7479

    /Tesla has a fast charger and so does the Nissan LEAF


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (1:24 pm)

    Mikeinatl:
    This could put EEStor out of business!

    When I first read those outlandish numbers, EEStor was the first thing I thought of. LOL.

    But these guys seem to have more proof of their deeds. EEStor has nothing to show whatsoever.
    Time will tell. I so hope this is all true. We all know we need much better battery technology.


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (1:24 pm)

    mad,
    >> I heard Exxon put $600 million for access to the product which does not sound trivial.

    Wasn’t it Chevron who owns the patent for NiMH batteries and killed off advances in that technology for the EV a decade or two ago? I wonder if Exxon will buy access, buy the patent and kill this thing. They can afford to.

    http://ev1.org/chevron.htm


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (1:28 pm)

    mad skills,

    Hopefully, its not so significant a game changer that a company like Exxon spending 600M will bury it.

    Its happening before and it can and will happen again…


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (1:36 pm)

    Bonaire: Wasn’t it Chevron who owns the patent for NiMH batteries and killed off advances in that technology for the EV a decade or two ago? I wonder if Exxon will buy access, buy the patent and kill this thing. They can afford to.

    That’s always possible. But I think they would make more money building many corner charge stations with banks and banks of those batteries to store juice to “Fast Charge” all the new EV’s coming to market.


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (1:40 pm)

    Rashiid Amul: Time will tell. I so hope this is all true. We all know we need much better battery technology.

    I think cost of cells/packs is more important than capacity at this point. In the DIY world, there hasn’t been a reduction in price on commodity LiFePO4 cells in well over a year. Price remains the same. There has been improvements in their “cycle life” with Yttrium based cells to the tune of 3000 cycles but that’s about it. Price seems to remain flatline.


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (1:48 pm)

    And they’ve already been using it in fork lifts for two years? Everyone in the industry is looking for lower cost higher performance batteries and they have already been using them for two years?

    Hmmm.

    What exactly are they waiting for then?


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (1:53 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: There has been improvements in their “cycle life” with Yttrium based cells to the tune of 3000 cycles but that’s about it. Price seems to remain flatline.

    Ah but if improvements are made, is the price really still flatlined?
    I’m all for a lower price, believe me. But I don’t have a problem with good improvements while the cost doesn’t rise.


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (2:14 pm)

    Off topic,

    Something to make Carcus drool over….
    http://green.autoblog.com/2011/04/12/skateboard-concept-trexa-enertube/

    trexa-enertube-prototype.630-1302540975.jpg


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (2:16 pm)

    In the hobby world, better LiPO batteries are out (higher discharge rates, faster charging) coming out of China. What used to cost $100-200 from some vendors are now $25 from Chinese suppliers. So, there is a price-drop and a large quantity upswing in hobby-grade LiPO (which should not be used in Autos as there is fire-risk). One retailer I’ve used is http://www.hobbycity.com, they ship out of Hong Kong. There are other vendors who offer even lower prices in higher quanities.


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (2:35 pm)

    I wonder if they filed a patent for this technology. That would be a good indication of how real the technology is.


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (2:46 pm)

    But these guys seem to have more proof of their deeds.EEStor has nothing to show whatsoever.
    Time will tell.I so hope this is all true.We all know we need much better battery technology.

    Actually their numbers are similar to EEScam, EEScam could also have a done a test with multiple identical cars, once in a while get out of the hwy to swap and fool the reporters following them in a minivan.


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (2:52 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: I hold them a hellofalot higher in “believability” than EEStor.

    #42

    My mother would call that “damning them with faint praise”, LOL. I mean, zero would be a hellofalot higher in “believability” than EEStor, hehehe.


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (3:13 pm)

    Bonaire,
    Please check your math. It would be 1470 amps. 6 minutes is a tenth of an hour.
    Now it IS crazy!


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (3:16 pm)

    Noel Park: My mother would call that “damning them with faint praise”, LOL. I mean, zero would be a hellofalot higher in “believability” than EEStor, hehehe.

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!!

    you’re killin man, just killin me!!!


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (3:17 pm)

    hamchief: Please check your math. It would be 1470 amps. 6 minutes is a tenth of an hour.
    Now it IS crazy!

    Dang, which is safer, battery swap or this? :-)


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (3:24 pm)

    Updates

    The Berlin-Munich car was not 115 kWh, as originally reported, it was less, COO Markus Röser said today, while answering also specifically how much energy-to-weight the KOLIBRI has:

    “The battery pack during the world record drive in October 2010 had a battery capacity of 98,8 kWh with 300 Wh/kg,” he said.

    Recharging:

    “Regarding the recharging time we use internal our own Power Bricks, an energy storage system, with 600 kW, Röser said.


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    EVO

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (3:24 pm)

    Meanwhile, back in the real world:

    http://www.crunchgear.com/2011/04/12/autotech-video-review-toyota-prius-plug-in-hybrid/

    3 hrs at 120v is about a 3 kwH power pack (twice the current size), but the critical thing is the change to 80 hp motor (about 2.5 times current) with slower 0-60 mph time means different gear ratios, so the configuration is optimized for engineers learning how to blend in electric motors with adequate low end performance and higher top speeds and highway cruising efficiency- in other words the plug in prius is set to be near pre-production R&D for highway capable pure electrics, happily funded by consumers.

    Consequence: Expect the most massive and sudden gains in hybrid at vehicle performance to occur AFTER pure electrics go mainstream. Simple matter of current priorities and state of tech.

    Yes, this is all wild conjecture, so everyone else make up your own story.


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    Stas Peterson

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (3:26 pm)

    Son of EEStor.

    Proving once again that PT Barnum was right. There are lots of
    Suckers born every minute. Or at least on these pages.

    Not one of the “True Beleivers” can imagine what pumping 1200Amps
    @ 480 Volts would actually entail.

    The German minister said they were ‘SAFE’.

    Safe from what? I can guarantee dropping 770#s of battery on your toes is NOT safe. Nor is it safe to be to behandling anywhere near that ammount of current, in routine everyday temporary connections. I don’t know where they expect to find the current pulses for such discharges, that will not destabilize the Grid.


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (3:34 pm)

    hamchief: Bonaire,Please check your math. It would be 1470 amps. 6 minutes is a tenth of an hour.Now it IS crazy!

    You’re right – thanks – I didn’t divide by time there. 1470A is crazy. You can only drive this thing in a lightning storm with a long antenna :-)


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (3:38 pm)

    Herm: hamchief:
    I wonder if this is going to be one of those pitfalls that we early adopters have been warned about. IF these batteries are for real, AND they start making cars with them – our Volts will be worthless (except to collectors).
    Anyone remember nuvistors?

    Thats why we look with admiration and envy to the early adopters.. much like Beta (vs VHS) adopters, and now both are obsolete. Worthless is going a bit too far..

    #30

    Thanks. +1

    There are plenty of days when I feel like an idiot for forking out that kind of money to be a “early adopter”. I mean, what with no GM card credit until November, no CA rebate until 2012, no drive by yourself in the carpool lane sticker until 2012, no Pandora until 2012, and now this, some days you really have to wonder, LOL. Still, somebody’s got to be dumb enough to step up to the impulse, right? And it is nice driving back and forth to work all week on ZERO gas.

    So any and all positive reinforcement is deeply appreciated, LMAO. Thanks again.


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (3:59 pm)

    nasaman: nasa

    Thanks. I told him we have people who have heard wild claims before :)

    He said he’d follow up with more when they have more. Maybe mid May.


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (4:23 pm)

    Exciting news!…however, until widespread charging infrastructure is available, cars with this new type of battery should still come equiped with a range-extender as a backup. Still, I hope that GM is in discussions with this compnay.

    Sincerely…George, Sudbury, Ont., Canada…go Volt!!


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (4:33 pm)

    The Berlin-Munich car was not 115 kWh, as originally reported, it was less, COO Markus Röser said today, while answering also specifically how much power-to-weight the KOLIBRI has:

    “The battery pack during the world record drive in October 2010 had a battery capacity of 98,8 kWh with 300 Wh/kg,” he said.

    Thanks, 300kw/kg is reasonable.

    Energy to weight density is kwh/kg, power to weight is kw/kg.. two different things. A clarification on the cost would be appreciated also.


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    EVO

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (4:51 pm)

    EVO: Yes, this is all wild conjecture, so everyone else make up your own story.

    Oh, I see that other folks are:

    http://www.greencarreports.com/blog/1057887_plug-in-hybrid-mpgs-is-parallel-or-range-extended-better

    Some folks don’t seem to understand what’s happening. It’s not all about mpg – most consumers already tell you that in their vehicle purchases.

    For one thing, more electric gives you more smoothness and more quiet, generally desirable features. Hint for full gasser models – any amount of electric drive is more than none.


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    MichaelH

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (5:57 pm)

    Noel Park:
    Wonderful if true.I’m from Missouri.

    I’m sorry Noel, you’ll have to prove you’re from Missouri.
    Let’s see, last name Park (Korean?), lives in Southern California (San Diego?),
    nope just doesn’t compute Missouri-an. ;-)


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (6:43 pm)

    Mikeinatl,

    If it sounds too good to be true it usually is. BTW, I am an electrical engineer and I am very skeptical.


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (6:55 pm)

    My daughter is taking a German language class. She told me that DBM translated into English is EEstor.


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    Eco_Turbo

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (7:25 pm)

    Something is terribly wrong with you people…

    all of this is old news, notice the date on this article.

    http://www.motornature.com/2010/10/lmp-batteries-from-dbm-energy-376-miles-in-an-electric-car-without-recharging/

    I even asked about this at that time and received no response on GM-Volt


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (7:35 pm)

    About as OT as any of these posts:

    In San Diego no less, somebody’s converting electric cars to gas powered!

    Bumper_Car.jpg


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    CorvetteGuy

     

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (7:36 pm)

    I’m not 100% confident in this battery system for right now, but I do believe it is just one of many small steps that will bring us closer to an All-Electric Corvette ‘Stingray’ !!! Woo-Hoo! ;)


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    jeremy

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (7:43 pm)

    Steve,

    Probably using them to prove out the batteries in a lower volume setting where early failures or deficiencies that need to be worked out aren’t going to cost them their reputation and hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Also there are a couple of other companies working with solid state batteries (not eestore) claiming similar wh/kg and long cycle and calendar life. Planar energy comes to mind. So it is possible someone has gotten to energy densities in that range. All we have to do is wait and see. Either they have something and will get contracts or they don’t and won’t.


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    WVhybrid

     

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (8:07 pm)

    I’m surprised by the business model these folks are pushing. If this technology is for real, why aren’t they installing a trailer full of these things at every power plant in the world. Energy storage at the density, flux and cost they claim could revolutionize backup power for a telecommunications and intermittent power sources like windmills.

    Why wouldn’t they go after stationary installations instead of relative small markets like forklifts. Outfits like NGK and Beacon Power are charging about $1 million per Mwh of backup (used mostly for voltage regulation.) If these things really hold 98 kwh, then it would only take 10 to 11 of them to make a Mwh battery. At $1,400, and double that for the controls, that would be only $30,000 to provide a Mwh of backup. Why would they fool around with cars as an initial market, when they could grab all of the backup market immediately?


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    Eco_Turbo

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (8:27 pm)

    WVhybrid,

    Could it be because most utilities are already using hydro storage for time shifting?


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    Jeff Cobb

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (8:58 pm)

    Eco_Turbo:
    Something is terribly wrong with you people…

    all of this is old news, notice the date on this article.

    http://www.motornature.com/2010/10/lmp-batteries-from-dbm-energy-376-miles-in-an-electric-car-without-recharging/

    I even asked about this at that time and received no response on GM-Volt

    All of this is old news? Do you refer to the German government tests done about three weeks ago that were only reported last week by a subscription-only industry newsletter?

    Or are you referring to the second half of the story with extensive quotes given only yesterday by the company’s COO about where they are at, and future plans?


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    SJB

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (9:20 pm)

    Yes, it’s easy to say that this is too good to be true – understandable in light of eestor.

    But for the sake of argument here are a couple of points to ponder about DBM’s credibility:
    1. They appointed a neutral and credible testing agency in BAM who validated the range claims.
    2. The involvement of Audi
    3. 3M seem to have some involvement if we are to believe the sponsor logos on the car.
    4. There have been half a dozen claims from other battery R&D houses about technologies that produce similar generational improvement results (incl. IBM)

    The recharging time debate is the side issue, range is the deal maker.


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    Eco_Turbo

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (9:45 pm)

    Jeff Cobb,

    No, I’m referring to the miles/charge, which was reported last year.


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    MichaelH

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (10:32 pm)

    Eco_Turbo:
    About as OT as any of these posts:

    Oh, good. I was hoping for off topic.
    Just got home from a little local jaunt, went 41 miles on electric and it estimated 4 miles electric left. First time to be on track to get 45 miles AER.

    Michael in New Mexico, Volt #1761


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    WVhybrid

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    Apr 12th, 2011 (10:43 pm)

    Eco_Turbo:

    Could it be because most utilities are already using hydro storage for time shifting?

    All I can say is go to the FERC web site and check out how many pumped storage applications have been approved in the past 25 years, and then look at how many are stuck in the FERC approval process. Siting a pump storage facility is all but impossible in the US. You think windmills or power lines bring opposition, just whisper “pump storage” and the NIMBY’s appear as if by magic. There is more pump storage development in Europe than the US these days.

    All I’m saying that if these batteries are real, there is a real market throughout the world for stationary electric power storage. The article claims as cost of $1,400 for a capacity of 98.8 kwh. Last time I checked, that was a cost of $14.29 / kwh. Not $500 / kwh, not $250 / kwh, but $14 / kwh. This is a real game changer. If it is true……


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (10:58 pm)

    WVhybrid,

    Are you saying nobody wants a lake in their backyard?

    SunsetPhone.jpg


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    Apr 12th, 2011 (11:04 pm)

    Eco_Turbo,

    Gotcha. Well, I did say GM-Volt people commented last year on this …

    RE: “Last October, as some forum posters on GM-Volt have since chronicled, the Audi converted by DBM with help from Lekker Energie, and funding from the German economy ministry, traveled 375 miles from Berlin to Munich with a 98-kWh version of the battery.”

    … so I was not presenting it as a new story. It was to give context for the rest of the story. :)

    It’s the rest of the story that is potentially paradigm changing, so for that and other reasons, it was worth it to get everyone caught up with a few paragraphs of background in my view. You never know who else will grab a story like this, or where it will be read in the world. Not everyone has been on GM-Volt or even paying attention at all. But this story just might get a lot of people’s attention if it pans out.


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    Apr 13th, 2011 (12:48 am)

    They say it has 400 mile range which is four times farther than the Nissan LEAF.
    They say it can be recharged in six minutes which is five times faster than Nissan LEAF fast charging. And Nissan has warned that too many fast charges will limit the life of the battery
    They say it will cost less than $1400

    Each one of these claims seems too good to be true. All of these claims taken together seems extremely, extremely too good to be true. I’d love to be proven wrong.


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    Apr 13th, 2011 (1:14 am)

    George: Exciting news!…however, until widespread charging infrastructure is available, cars with this new type of battery should still come equiped with a range-extender as a backup. Still, I hope that GM is in discussions with this compnay.
    Sincerely…George, Sudbury, Ont., Canada…go Volt!!

    Perhaps…though you’ll only need it if your daily commute is over 400 miles.


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    Apr 13th, 2011 (2:17 am)

    George: Second, I see a lot of people skeptical about the math of a quick charge. Hello people, this won’t be happening at home. Even today we don’t do anything quickly at home. Even if you HAD a gas pump at home (if you have CNG you might) it doesn’t fuel up nearly as quickly as a pump at a station. I can only assume its for safety reasons since some pretty hefty permits are required for a gas station to be a gas station. So lets all assume that quick recharge will be happening at a designated place not your home

    This is not just true, but it can’t be emphasized enough. Fast charging is a straw-man that is not an issue to me. It’s not an issue because if true, this battery allows a driver to charge at whatever rate is believed to be safe, economical, necessary and available. The real issue to me is, are the reports from DBM true.

    If a driver chooses to use 240v 20amp charging or 480 volt DC charging, the battery will allow it.


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    Apr 13th, 2011 (10:16 am)

    If this is anywhere NEAR to being accurate (and with all the verifiable data rising over the horizon, I believe it is), this is huge. I mean, REALLY huge.

    This means ranges surpassing gasoline-powered vehicles.

    This means fill-up times comparable with gasoline-powered vehicles.

    This means incredible cost-per-mile economy.

    This means severely reducing our bondage to tyrannical oil empires.

    This means far less dependence on foreign oil.

    This means a quantum leap in battery weight reduction.

    This means a quantum leap in battery cost reduction.

    This means a quantum leap in battery range capacity.

    This will truly change the energy industry.

    If it’s even CLOSE to being true. And again, all indicators say it IS.


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    Apr 13th, 2011 (11:16 am)

    ctdeng0,

    Evidently you are not electrical engineer. Your statement should be:”This is kind of late for a April Fools joke ! 98 KWh in 6 minutes, thats 980 kW (or 1 MW). ”

    Yes, it is possible to have 1 MW charger, but at high voltage (11 kV). For me this sounds like 1 April


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    Apr 13th, 2011 (12:15 pm)

    1000 amp at 440v charging is definitely possible if you’ve got a large DC battery bank to Dump the power into the battery in the car. The wires don’t need to be as big as you think. All you need is as signaling wire and and voltage leakage detection circuit. Then the wire will only be energized when plugged into the vehicle and if moisture or something causes leakage it will fault in and shut off the power within a few milliseconds. Many home built EV’s see 1000 amps to the motor. I’d be willing to bet such a charging receptacle wouldn’t be that much bigger than a standard pump hose and nozzle and it’s easy to have a spring loaded lifting assist system. It’s not even that technically challenging to do it.


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    Apr 13th, 2011 (1:07 pm)

    So, reversing the charge would make this thing one helluva weapon let loose on our streets, garages and….warehouses.

    I’m scared of this thing. I’m over compressed hydrogen but now this! By the speculative math alone, I’ll bet a fireman wouldn’t go near it in an accident. I know firemen, even now, won’t recommend hybrids, never mind batteries with the potential these things are said to have.

    If it sounds too good to be true, it usually isn’t. But I’m curious as all hell. Hope and faith are part of expectations for events that just don’t exist.

    Now, if verifications were reported by someone, anyone, no more vapors just somebody credible please, other than DBM…


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    Apr 13th, 2011 (7:30 pm)

    DBM’s Kolibri energy storage system is scalable and, according to their website, developed for applications beyond automotive transportation. It should be interesting to learn the results of their new road tests and independent third party validations scheduled during 2011. Hopefully they’re the “real” deal and not more vaporware.


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    Apr 13th, 2011 (11:35 pm)

    srschrier:
    Hopefully they’re the “real” deal and not more vaporware.

    There’s that word “hope”.

    Hold on to your wallets guys. The process is not unique to Kolibri. The solid results in battery technology to be applied to large format batteries will break cover somewhere. Maybe, somewhere, there will be verified results. Not hopeful dreams.

    We haven’t seen them here nor in Canada. Invest your print anywhere you want, nothing stops you from professing your “faith”.

    My money goes to results.


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    Apr 29th, 2011 (9:53 pm)

    1000 amp at 440v charging is even more possible if you don’t use one charging cable but divide the battery-back into 1..N seperate cell-pack-segments each with its’ own (virtual or real) btm

    There is no hint that quick charging is done with one connection only – I don’t really doubt it’s impossible – but maybe not easy or even too complicated for daily use.


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    May 3rd, 2011 (7:39 pm)

    Great analysis. This claim seems very suspicious. For discussion sake, assume the battery’s power density and ability to accept charge are not the limiting factor. What are the next greatest limitations to this scenario happening?

    Wires to recharge at over 1000 amps would be 1-2″ thick, also need to operate at very high voltage. Safety concerns? Can regular citizens refuel cars if this was available?

    How much would the existing grid need to adjust or be beefed up to support fueling stations capable of recharging cars at a comparable rate to today’s gas station usage? Busy station could have multiple vehicles refilling 50kWh batteries at a time, drawing multiple MW of power, and going through 10-100 MWh of energy a day. Would either require large energy storage capabilities, be coupled with generating facilities, or have high flowrate connections to the rest of the grid.

    pbennett45,


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    Lee Elliott

     

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    May 9th, 2011 (11:07 am)

    The oil companies are probably snickering like the buggy whip companies did when the first horseless carriage chugged by, or perhaps like Kodak when digital cameras showed up, or Underwood when word processors showed up….and the list goes on. Why would anyone buy a gasoline car if electrics become affordable with a decent range?
    Fast charging would be nice, but overnight charging with a 2 to 3 hundred mile range would meet 98% of my driving needs.