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Tesla and Lithium

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Tesla and Lithium

Old 9th Apr 2016, 15:05
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Not wanting to open a new thread. So, are electric cars or fuel-cell cars the way to go? Which is superior in the long term? Me things, range will always be an issue with electric cars. That´s why, I tend to the fuel cell. Which, of course, would be doom for Tesla.
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Old 9th Apr 2016, 15:21
  #22 (permalink)  
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Battery vs. fuel cell vs. hybrid?


In the first world we have mainly two environments. Cities (getting bigger and bigger - see megapolis/megalopolis) and country/cross country.


I can see a good role for electrics and fuel cells in cities and hybrids covering the rest. It seems a small internal combustion engine supplementing batteries is a good fit for longer distances while batteries suit urban situations quite well.


That said most (80%) of the taxis in this city seem to be Prius at the moment.
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Old 10th Apr 2016, 02:06
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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What actually goes on inside the gigafactory?
Is it just an assembly plant?
Or do they also process the raw components?

Can they easily repurpose the plant to make batteries from other stuff, or make fuel cells?

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Last edited by mickjoebill; 10th Apr 2016 at 02:29.
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Old 10th Apr 2016, 04:14
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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A lady I work with has a Tesla S. Nice car, she really likes it, and it serves her (and her hubby) well for what they use it for.

But here is my complaint: Her car cost $100k - well beyond what I'd consider affordable for me. I have three vehicles in the household - a 3 series BMW that is my daily driver, a Mazda 3 for the wife, and a full size Ford Econoline van for when I need to carry large items and/or pull the trailer - all purchased new. My friends $100k Tesla cost more than all 3 combined. Further, all my vehicles have, at least once, been driven 800+ miles in one day - something that the Tesla would be challenged to do (not many quick charging stations in the middle of nowhere, Utah).
Yet somehow our government has seen fit to use my tax dollars subsidize both the purchase and operation of a car that I don't feel I can afford (and I make pretty good money)
Cazalet may not have a problem with the masses subsidizing his/her purchase and recharging of a luxury car that they can't afford, but I sure as hell do.
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Old 10th Apr 2016, 12:06
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Yamagata Ken, I can see why a Tesla may not suit you, especially if you only have one car that has to do everything in spades.

I have an aluminium-bodied 995 cc two-seater gasoline/electric hybrid with Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries. It's great as a run-around for the wife and for most things I need to do, including long-distance driving. As a replacement for this car, the Tesla S would be a dream for me, although out here in the wilds there will not be many supercharging stations.


For other tasks I use the family station wagon, but since I do not drive it every day, its impact on the environment is correspondingly lessened.

Last edited by jolihokistix; 10th Apr 2016 at 12:29.
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Old 11th Apr 2016, 02:51
  #26 (permalink)  
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I worked with a bloke who got one of the racing (not dodgem) cars from Walton pier. Much modding, and he was on t'elly as one of the first electric car developers after the war. Quite good little things.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater
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Old 11th Apr 2016, 07:45
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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I remember as a kid watching someone ride an electric motorcycle around town. It was something he had made for use during wartime petrol restrictions and carried at least 4 12Volt batteries so it was no mean machine.
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Old 11th Apr 2016, 12:39
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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AFAIK the heating system is a combination of air source heat pump, battery cooling air and resistive element seat heaters. Apparently this combination does work very well, but of course it is not utilizing a "waste" by-product of an internal combustion engine. Due to this fact apparently range reductions of up to 20% (average increase of 100 Wh/mile) have been reported in cold climates and this could well be a deal breaker for many people. However I do like the relative simplicity of these vehicles from a maintenance standpoint compared to the current liquid fuelled offerings, and overall they are undoubtedly much more efficient. Once the numbers of these type pass "critical mass" in terms of numbers & acceptance then fossil fuelled cars will become exactly that.
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Old 11th Apr 2016, 13:00
  #29 (permalink)  
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I think the tipping point for electric passenger vehicles will be the maximum distance you would typically undertake in a day. This would be in the neighbourhood of 500 miles regardless of terrain elevation, road types and temperature variations.
Drive for a full day and fully re-charge overnight.
That's from a N. American/Australian cross-country driving perspective. For cities and surrounding areas it would be somewhat lower, but still more than 200 miles.
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Old 11th Apr 2016, 13:42
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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I think it's the re-charging time. At the moment you can get from London to Manchester or similar, at a ridiculous speed, spend 10 mins filling up your 205GTI with 4-star, and do it again. When that can be duplicated with an electric vehicle then the world will be your lobster, as the saying goes.
(Not too many years ago the UK had more electric vehicles on the road than, I think, the rest of the world put together.
They were milk-floats.)
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Old 11th Apr 2016, 17:43
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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and deathly silent, that'll catch a few of the old dear's out when more are around..Tesla's I mean
You're excluding yourself from the Tesla's likely victims I assume

gruntie - when you say "ridiculous time" I assume you mean anything up to five hours, once you have factored in motorway repairs with mile after mile of 50mph processions through them, as well as the inevitable two or three times grinding to a complete halt as the system becomes totally saturated.
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Old 11th Apr 2016, 19:28
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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My wife has the BMW i3 which she loves and I must say, I wouldn't mind one of the Tesla 3's in a couple of years.

No one has mentioned the power stations that are going to be needed to recharge all these additional cars should sales increase. Any tax breaks are likely to be reversed if they become too popular...
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Old 11th Apr 2016, 19:54
  #33 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Saintsman View Post
Any tax breaks are likely to be reversed if they become too popular...
Indeed - I have a VED-free diesel which, if bought new next year would attract a charge of £140 pa.
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Old 12th Apr 2016, 07:53
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Well we can either
Put oil/gasoline/petrol directly into a car in the form of an engine and thence combusted it to provide mechanical power directly to the drive train.

Or:
We can put oil/gasoline/petrol into industrial gas turbines to drive a generator.
The generator can produce electricity.
We can then transmit the electric power across the country to your house.
Next you can plug in your Tesla and convert this electric power into stored chemical power in the car's battery.
Then we can drive the car converting the chemical power back into electric power.
Finally the electric power is converted back into mechanical power the in electric motors of the car's drive train.

Do you know what?
I reckon it is s lot easier/cheaper/more efficient just to put the petrol direct into the car in the first place.....
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Old 12th Apr 2016, 08:18
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by dsc810 View Post
Well we can either
Put oil/gasoline/petrol directly into a car in the form of an engine and thence combusted it to provide mechanical power directly to the drive train.

Or:
We can put oil/gasoline/petrol into industrial gas turbines to drive a generator.
The generator can produce electricity.
We can then transmit the electric power across the country to your house.
Next you can plug in your Tesla and convert this electric power into stored chemical power in the car's battery.
Then we can drive the car converting the chemical power back into electric power.
Finally the electric power is converted back into mechanical power the in electric motors of the car's drive train.

Do you know what?
I reckon it is s lot easier/cheaper/more efficient just to put the petrol direct into the car in the first place.....
The very best petrol engines are around 35% efficient, the best diesels a bit better at a bit over 40%. The electricity grid is at least 50% fuel efficient, better in some places. Power stations burn fuel very much more efficiently than the very best vehicle engines, and transmission losses are modest. Add in that a fair percentage of UK electricity doesn't come from burning fuel and the grid looks like a far better bet that the best conventionally fuelled car, especially when car fuel transport is factored in, all those tankers trundling around the country, burning lots of fuel just to deliver the stuff.

Electric car losses are modest. The round trip charge/discharge efficiency in the battery is around 90 to 95% and the electric motor efficiency can be over 90%, so the vehicle losses are relatively small.

Overall, electric cars charged from the UK grid are slightly more fuel efficient than the best petrol or diesel car. It's surprising, in fact when someone told me this I went off and checked, as I couldn't believe the national grid was as fuel efficient as it seems.
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Old 12th Apr 2016, 08:25
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Mercedes F1 reckon that their hybrid cars are now more efficient than electric cars, with a fuel efficiency of 45%, soon to surpass 50% they reckon.
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Old 12th Apr 2016, 08:36
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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I have a feeling that Toyota were claiming that their hybrids were something over 40% efficiency a few years ago, but can't recall the figure. I do remember reading that the Atkinson cycle engine Toyota use in their hybrid range was better than pretty much any other petrol engine, but obtained that efficiency with the added penalty that it will only operate over a modest RPM range, OK for their hybrid where the electric motors are always providing some power, but not usable in a conventional car.

Personally I like the scheme BMW have come up with, with the small generator to boost range. It seems to be an option that could give the best of both worlds, an all-electric car for short to medium length journeys, with the range extender kicking in for long trips. Not quite there yet, in my view, as the i3 range extender doesn't really seem to give enough extra range, and it apparently reduces the performance a lot if used. If they sorted this out it would be my choice for my next car. I had a test drive in the i3 last year and it was a pretty good car I thought, until the range extender engine fired up.
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Old 12th Apr 2016, 14:21
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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VP959's details of the relative efficiencies at point of use are interesting and make the case for electric cars. To complete the argument, does anyone have any detail on the relative efficiencies of manufacture? Rare earths tend to be costly to extract and refine (but so is aluminium) so making all those batteries can't be cheap or clean. Are we just shifting the pollution from our streets to someone else's factories?
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Old 12th Apr 2016, 15:35
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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orgASMic,

A significant percentage of lithium production comes from the Atacama desert in northern Chile, the driest desert in the world. In a visit to a copper mine in that area, I took a side trip to visit the Valley of The Moon, a National Park in Chile that few people ever see because of its remoteness. On the way you drive for miles through a pure white area. It is the lithium salt flats where the lithium is on the surface, no subterranean mining effort is required to extract it. It is also contained in the brine water which can be naturally evaporated in shallow ponds to obtain the lithium salt. The Chileans are extremely sensitive to environmental issues and being short of electrical supply, promote efficiencies in their processing to obtain lithium products used in various application in addition to that supplied for batteries. You might like these sites:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salar_de_Atacama

Lithium Resources ? Rockwood Lithium
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Old 12th Apr 2016, 16:20
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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That's pretty impressive.

Coupled with the modest amounts of lithium used in batteries (it's apparently just an extremely thin layer of lithium salt coated on to the electrodes) then it would seem that the batteries are probably less of a concern than many of the components in a conventional car.

Interesting that China isn't the controlling force that it's sometimes made out to be when it comes to lithium production, too.
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