Monday, October 30, 2006

Altairnano unveiled

To continue with tech issues, the Energy Blog has a post up about Altairnano's batteries, which have demonstrated long lifespans, high power density, though slightly below-average energy density. This was a conscious compromise on Altairnano's, apparently, because the balance of power and energy is explicitly designed for the electric vehicle market.

Judging by Altairnano's technical documents, building a plug-in hybrid with a 100km range would take about 120kg of batteries or so (assuming 200wh per mile, or 120 per km), store 12 kwh of electricity and offer a maximum of power of 640 horsepower... which should be enough for most applications (I would hope!)

Given that these batteries could be charged by a much, much smaller engine than normal, that's probably a net weight saving, even with the additional batteries. Weight saving = fuel efficiency.

I can't seem to find details on what the extra cost would be yet, but their docs say these batteries are extremely fast-charging, and have been tested to at least 9,000 deep-discharge cycles, meaning a lifespan of something like 24 years - long enough, in any case. Hell, a car maker could offer you a steep discount to trade in your old car, keep the old batteries, and save the recycling/landfill costs.

I've written about Altairnano before, here and here.


auntiegrav said...

Posted at the Energy BLog:
The biggest deficiency I see is in the people we have doing the driving. They all want gated communities, but don't ever want to borrow the neighbor's truck or car. If the gated communities used electric vehicles for daily drives, and each community owned, say, ten ICE vehicles for long trips, then the weight of the EV could be drastically dropped, and all of the marketing could be thrown away that tries to sell you on the range. What a waste. But, HEAVEN FORBID that Americans should slow down and talk to their neighbors except at the soccer games and forced PTA meetings. The problem with EV's, apparently, is that they don't waste enough resouces to make a 'statement'.

Ronald Brak said...

I think that the cost of the batteries is still kind of high, but even just 30km of all electric range in a plug in hybrid is enough to eliminate most of my around town petrol use.