While EV Battery Costs Decline, Repurposing Adds Life

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Cleantechnica has heartening news from the Bloomberg New Energy Finance report.  Battery prices for electric vehicles, a key factor thus far in keeping electric cars more expensive to buy than smoggier alternatives, are dropping, and somewhat quickly. “According to an April 2012 Bloomberg New Energy Finance report, the average price of batteries used in electric vehicles dropped 14% from Q1 2011 to Q1 2012. ‘The average price of an EV battery at the end of Q1 2012 was $689 per kilowatt hour, compared to $800 per kilowatt hour in 2011, according to that report. “Compared to 2009, prices were down approximately 30%. “By 2030, BNEF projects battery prices will fall to $150/kWh (in 2012 dollars).” The report explains, “Electric vehicles such as the Mitsubishi Motor …

How Green was GFC Electricity?

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

The blog received several comments about the relative energy use of electric aircraft, and how NASA and the CAFE Foundation might have overstated the efficiency and low emissions for the electric aircraft in the competition. Reader Robert Swanson thought the conversion between kilowatt hours and gasoline created a discrepancy. “The discrepancy in performance of gasoline and electric powered aircraft is due to an absurd conversion factor between kWh and gallons of gasoline.  The conversion should be calculated from the number of gallons of gasoline consumed by the engine driving the generator used to charge the batteries.” Steven Crow added this objection.  “Even after reading the relevant pdf’s, it is far from clear to me how CAFE computed ‘mileage’ for the …

CAFE News: Comparing Apples, Bananas, Oranges and Doughnuts

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

One of the problems facing judges in the July Green Flight Challenge the CAFE Foundation is managing for NASA is that of determining fairly who gets the best fuel mileage.  Since “fuel” in this case can be traditional aviation gasoline, bio-diesel, electricity from batteries or solar panels, or some other energy storage medium, wildly different energy densities have to be taken into account. If TSA “freedom feels” seem intrusive, the scrutiny applied to GFC entrants and their craft will be even more onerous.  Aircraft will be impounded once inspected and registered, and the only contact pilots may have with their planes before taking off will be to “top off” their fuel tanks or batteries just before the start of their …