[Oeva-list] Update on HB2328

Gary Graunke gary at whitecape.org
Thu May 5 15:13:10 PDT 2011

Battery myths are often propagated by those with vested interests in the 
status quo who want to slow EV deployment. We hear arguments about 
substituting imported Lithium instead of oil, etc. 

There are many kinds of  batteries, but we need to focus the discussion on 
those that are actually being used in today's EV's by major auto 
manufacturers--not the batteries of the past. This would be Nissan's joint 
venture, A123 systems, and the Chevy Volt LiFePO4 vendor. 

I believe that the battery is more like an engine/transmission than fuel. 
There are some differences, to be sure: the battery will lose capacity and 
power simply by sitting, whereas an stored engine does not. 

1)	The battery life is most affected by its storage temperature. At the Plug-
in 2009 conference battery track and also at the 2009 Advanced Battery 
Conference, there is a talk by Ahmad Persaran from the National Renewable 
Energy Lab at Golden, CO. I can't attach the graph here, but it shows the 
battery life as a function of storage temperature--including various cities in 
the United States. In Phoenix, AZ, at a max temp of 44C and 24C average, a 
battery would degrade to 30% power loss in about 6 years. In Houston (39C max, 
20C average) it would be 10 years. In Minneapolis (37C max, 8C average), it 
would have lost only 25% of power after 15 years. Interpolating for Portland, 
we should expect 30% degradation after 15 years.  (EV designers: use those 
solar cells to keep batteries from getting too hot while parked). 

2)	The number of cycles on an A123 system LiFePO4 cell is 7000 cycles in the 
lab. For my 10 KWH pack in my Insight, 3500 cycles is 210,000 miles. While 
I've only been driving for 4 years on them, there is no significant degradation 
(and I have had an Agilent data acquisition system in the car monitoring all 
60 cell group voltages). Bill Dube noted a 5% capacity degradation *drag 
racing* for one year. Unless I become a taxi driver, I fully expect them to 
die from old age. The Electrication Coalition Roadmap document of 2009 also 
indicates that we need data from actual EV deployment here, and I have also 
discussed this with Jim Francfort from the Idaho National Lab--he is getting 
all the data from the Nissan Leaf/Ecotality DOE grant. 

3)  The DOE National Energy Technology Lab has a graph of vehicle 
survivability. In 15 years, only 30% of cars and 50% of light trucks are still 
on the road. This is figure 3D in the Electrification Coalition Roamap of Nov. 

Thus I conclude that for 70% of cars in Portland and 50% of light trucks, they 
will never need to replace their battery if the vehicles are used as long as 
today's  vehicles. 

Since battery technology is still improving at a fast pace, it is a good bet, 
that if offered, many EV owners will trade up for better batteries to get more 
range, especially if the secondary market for used EV batteries for grid power 
shifting and regulation by utilities develops. For the rest, instead of a new 
car, they will be buying a new battery and seat covers. It will go 2-4 times 
farther for the same price, or the same range for 2-4 times less money.

The Electrication Coalition Roadmap document is a wealth of information about 
most every topic--there is a great discussion about Lithium and batteries on 
pages 77-86. We don't burn lithium--it is most economical to remanufacture new 
batteries from old ones rather than use new lithium. As the vehicle fleet 
becomes electrified, we will not need to use any new lithium after 2030. (Lead 
acid starter batteries already are 97% remanufactured into new batteries). And 
A123 systems said they are "cradle-to-cradle" at the Plug-in 2009 conference--
the DeWalt batteries I use have an 800 number to call when they are done.

But you can't believe every projection:  on page 131 fig. 3R they use 
projections of gas prices from the DOE Annual Energy Outlook of 2009. It 
predicts gas will take until 2014 to get to $4/gal (as it is now). $5/gal 
happens in 2020 (but a while ago the former president of Shell Oil says it 
will be the end of 2012). The figure projects $6/gal by 2030. 


 05, 2011 09:50:43 AM Myles Twete wrote:
> This could be an interesting discussion.  I guess I've always thought of
> batteries as some hybrid mix of fuel and tank.  And the viewpoint depends
> largely on usage I think.  If EV manufacturers and EV infrastructure
> developers committed to standardized, swappable battery packs, no one would
> consider the battery packs as part of the car.  Milburn in about 1918
> advertised this same feature and there was a dealer in Chicago (Fashion
> Auto Garage) that sold the cars at reduced prices without packs such that
> the battery packs were leased and could be "rolled on and off" within 5
> minutes. The battery packs were not considered anything but fuel in that
> case---or rather, it was a swapping of an empty fuel tank for a full fuel
> tank.
> Nevertheless, fuel cells, ultracaps and batteries are energy storage
> devices and should probably best be considered analogous to fuel tanks as
> you suggest.
> But where the fuel tank argument gets awkward is longevity.  A gas car's
> fuel tank doesn't normally have to be replaced during the life of the car,
> even up to 300k miles.  Noone reasonably expects batteries to go that far,
> do they?
> But we might not want to use "fuel tanks" as the analogy too loudly if we
> want to not induce fear: fuel tanks, pintos, kaboom.
> Anyway, there's no argument that batteries are energy storage devices as
> are fuel tanks.  But if you want to consider batteries as part of the car,
> you are narrowly viewing the future as precluding either battery leasing
> or swapping.
> -Myles Twete
> From: oeva-list-bounces at oeva.org [mailto:oeva-list-bounces at oeva.org] On
> Behalf Of The Donovans
> Sent: Thursday, May 05, 2011 8:09 AM
> To: Scott Hippe; oeva-list at oeva.org
> Subject: Re: [Oeva-list] Update on HB2328
> Hi Scott,
> I can appreciate and understand your perspective of considering the
> batteries as fuel. Frankly, I had not thought of it that way before your
> message.
> My perspective has been that batteries are a car part, just like any other
> part. In fact, batteries play a similar role as a fuel tank plays in a
> gasoline vehicle. I've looked as batteries as a car part for a couple
> reasons:
> 1. Without looking at them as car parts, there is virtually no maintenance
> costs on an EV. So it is hard for people to compare. And that is why I
> don't tell people maintenance costs are necessarily less on an EV. Because
> you do have that expensive maintenance cost in the future.
> 2. Seeing batteries as a "fuel tank" makes it easier for people to
> understand the purpose that batteries play in an electric vehicle.
> 3. One of my selling points for EVs is that by driving EVs, we are buying
> US made energy and keeping more jobs and money in the US. While there are
> some US manufacturers of batteries, many of the batteries or raw materials
> to make the batteries come from other countries. Looking at batteries as
> part of the fuel could hurt that message a bit.
> Richard Donovan
>   _____
> From: Scott Hippe <scott.hippe at me.com>
> To: oeva-list at oeva.org
> Sent: Wed, May 4, 2011 11:57:53 PM
> Subject: Re: [Oeva-list] Update on HB2328
> I agree with all those things you say and to me it reinforces the need to
> think of the battery pack as fuel.  This could be a
> good discussion for future meetings.  I would like to hear all opinions.
> One of the things non-EV people seem to fear (based on what they say) is
> that they seem to assume that an EV is worthless
> when the battery pack reaches 'end of life'.  They fear this 'big expense'
> to occur some time in the future.  And they equate it
> to their experience of having a high mileage ICE car and the transmission
> goes out.  Then their car becomes 'worthless' and they have
> to decide whether to sell it for scrap, or dump in more money to fix the
> the transmission and perhaps risk something else
> going out. I am sure many people reading this have faced this sometime in
> their lives.
> But with my thinking, if the pack is thought of as fuel, then you are not
> dumping money into this car to replace some broken part,
> but simply pre-buying more fuel.  Evaluating the used EV is easier than the
> used ICE because, yes, we expect millions of miles on an
> electric motor and there are so few parts in the drive train that could
> fail and escape your attention.  So if the body is in good shape and the
> interior is not ripped, one would be happy to buy a new pack, because that
> money is pre-buying fuel for the next
> 100,000 miles or more. If I were to buy a used EV, the best time to buy
> would be right at the end of life of the pack, or
> right after the pack was swapped with a new one.  In both cases, you can
> accurately value this purchase.  It would be harder to
> value a used EV with 50,000 miles on the pack, because you may have no idea
> how the previous owner drove and treated the pack
> (i.e. wasted fuel).
> The other reason I think of the pack as fuel is because then the current
> cost of an EV actually becomes competitive with an ICE
> car without any incentives.  A $25,000 ICE can be compared with a $35,000
> EV because of the prepaid fuel concept.  At the time
> of purchase, most people never consider that they are going to spend
> $12,000 or more on gasoline over the next 100,000 miles.
> Perhaps we should not get hung up on the meaning of fuel, my purpose is
> simply to create an analogy that makes it easier to have a common ground to
> evaluate the economics between an ICE or EV purchase.  Once we get someone
> understanding
> true costs, then we can talk about other interesting topics like how much
> electricity was consumed fueling their ICE car and other
> social costs.
> Scott
> On May 4, 2011, at 10:57 PM, Theoldcars at aol.com wrote:
> > Hello Scott
> > 
> > I disagree about including the batteries as part of the fuel cost for
> these reasons.
> > One an ICE motor or transmission can fail at 100,000 or 150,000. I have
> had to replace transmissions at 50,000 miles and even one motor. This is
> out of small fleet of ICE vehicles and they always seem to last at least
> until the warranty is up.
> > An EV AC traction motor is good for about one million miles. The gear
> reduction is a sealed unit and will not fail for a very long time. So the
> EV drive would save you the cost of replacing motors at 200,000 miles.
> > Yes the replacement cost of the pack is expensive but it is about the
> > cost
> of the 5 engines you don't have to buy for one million EV miles. Even after
> one million miles your only service work would be to replace two bearings.
> This would be far less costly then any ICE rebuild. Even if you had to
> replace the whole AC drive and gear reduction unit the cost would be a
> bargain compared to an ICE motor. As an example the drive pod for an S-10
> EV which includes the motor was brand new in the box 1500 dollars list
> price from GM. They sold out several years ago.  I suspect a few EV guys
> figured out what a bargain that was for an EV project.
> > Also I would not be surprised if the batteries last 150,000 to 200,000
> miles if not abused. They would be useable for even longer if you can get
> by with less range. Right now I am driving an S-10 with 12 year old NiMH
> batteries. Range is about 50 miles but they just refuse to die as long as
> you treat them kindly. The RAV4 EV under the right conditions using the
> same chemistry is good for 150,000 miles. The Leaf should far exceed the
> cycle life of these older NiMH modules.
> > I do agree that pack costs will come down. Also it is most likely that by
> the time a replacement pack is needed battery technology is going to be
> greatly improved.
> > Not sure if this changes your point of view but some things you might
> consider.
> > Don
> > 
> > In a message dated 5/4/2011 6:30:50 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time,
> oeva-list-request at oeva.org writes:
> > Message: 3
> > Date: Wed, 04 May 2011 06:26:50 -0700
> > From: Scott Hippe <scott.hippe at me.com>
> > Subject: [Oeva-list] Fwd:  Update on HB2328
> > To: oeva-list at oeva.org
> > Message-ID: <A25ED67A-A467-4BBB-A19C-C4CC6256A449 at me.com>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> > 
> > 
> > In my opinion, EV fuel is the battery + electricity.  The battery is
> "prepaid fuel".  For a Leaf, if you assume battery cost is $10,000.00 and
> you expect
> > 100,000 miles on a battery, your total fuel cost over 100,000 miles is
> $10,000.00 + $2,000 (electricity).  That works out to $.12/mile.  If you
> treat
> > your battery well, and your battery lasts more than 100,000 miles, well
> thats just an additional benefit.  We also assume that when it is time to
> > replace the battery (essentially prepay more fuel), the battery cost will
> be much lower due to technology and mass production.
> > To compare an ICE, 30 mpg * $4.00/gallon = $.12/mile as well.  But it is
> easy to assume that over the next 8 years that the price of gas will
> increase.
> > Also there are all kinds of social costs produced by the ICE during the
> 100,000 miles that are not accounted for.  And the 3333 gallons of gas that
> the
> > ICE uses over 100,000 miles required a significant amount of electricity
> to produce and deliver which is of course also hidden from view.
> > Scott
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