Follow the Battery Money

Dean Sigler Batteries, Diesel Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

With Tesla’s $5.5 billion “gigafactory” already producing cells for its line of cars and its “Powerwall” home energy storage systems, it now seems like a tenuous, toe-dipping approach with Volkswagen announcing its own battery plans.  VW may invest up to $15.5 billion according to Tech News, the outlet projecting the highest number.  Others with less money but promising technologies are also betting on better batteries. Tesla Gigafactory Grand Opening – More to Come With only 14 percent of its total area completed, the Tesla Gigafactory on Electric Avenue (what else?) near Sparks, Nevada, is already up and running, producing Tesla’s Powerwall and Powerpack battery systems.  According to Teslarati.com, “Elon Musk told investors at the 4th quarter earnings call earlier this …

Vanadium Oxide/Lithium Batteries Offer Promise of High Power, Long Life

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Henry Ford once brought a French metallurgist to Detroit, part of his plan to build cars with lighter, stronger steel.  Vanadium, which the French used in their automobiles, offered him the chance to make the Model T lighter and stronger, and its part in the car’s alloyed steel gave the Model T the longevity which followed it through one of the longest production runs in history. Now battery researchers are looking at another quality of this mineral, its ability to form a superior cathode for batteries that “could supply both high energy density and significant power density.   Combined with graphene, the wonder material du jour, vanadium oxide (VO2) could couple longevity echoing the Model T’s with charge and discharge rapidity …

Hope or Patience? Ennui or Exuberance?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

EV-World.com first stymied this editor’s hopes, and then gave cause to hope at an elevated level.  Two articles in jousting juxtaposition explored this dichotomy. Anthony Ingram took a jaundiced view of present battery progress and the hopes for a more energy-dense future. He noted that, “There’s kind of a running joke within the electric car world that the next generation of batteries is just a decade away. And the next time you ask, it’s still a decade away. Even a decade later. “Well, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, the next generation of usable battery technology is – wait for it – around ten years away.” He explains that today’s EVs are running on ten-year-old technology, and that the …