Friday, May 07, 2010

Is this the Magic Bullet that makes electric cars practical?

There are two major problem areas that hold back the practicality of electric cars worldwide. One is the building of infrastructure necessary for recharging stations, and the other is quick charge battery technology.

The solution for the battery technology needed may be on tap:

"The Nikkei newspaper (subs. req’d) says that a Japanese company has built a quick charge system that can take a battery from zero charge to 50% full in about 3 minutes.

JFE Engineering Corp, based in Yokohama, says that the system will go on sale later this year and has the capability to charge 5 times faster than other such quick charge products. Even though one station costs about $63,000, that’s roughly 40% less than the competition."

I think the standards issue mentioned in the article can easily be resolved if this technology proves it's potential.

Hat tip: Instapundit



  1. A fast charge will place a large, short-time, load on the electric grid. Not good for the power suppliers nor efficient from their perspective. Things are rarely simple.

  2. "Not good for the power suppliers nor efficient from their perspective. Things are rarely simple."

    Then electric cars will not have a viable future as private transportation.

  3. Clarification to last comment:

    If the large, short time load on the cannot be absorbed by the grid to accommodate this new charging technology, electric cars will not have a viable future as the major source of private transportation.

    A major expansion of the electrical grid may be required, and the consequences of such need to be accepted in order to meet the needs to move away from fossil fuels for personal transportation.

  4. That gives rise to the question as to how all that electricity will be generated. Coal and natural gas are fossil fuels. Nuclear? Hydro? Wind? Photoelectric? Not simple as I see it.

  5. Then it would NOT be feasible to move away from fossil fuels entirely.

    In addition, I notice you failed to include nuclear in your discussion.

  6. With CRAP AND TAX hovering in the future who the hell can afford electric anything. Maybe we just need to hook some sails to the tops of our cars and let the wind move us right along at about 4 knots or so. I suppose we would need to have some alternative and since oars won't work perhaps we will need to haul a horse around to pull when the wind is dead. But wait, the horse emits CO2 and methane so I suppose that idea just went out the window or down the road so to speak.

  7. Yes, I did mention nuclear. In fact, it is my first choice for electrical generation. The opposition is huge and powerful.
    I am by no means an expert on the subject, just know enough to be dangerous. The power companies are really 3 businesses. Generation, Transmission (the huge tall steel towers) and Distribution (substations, the lines in your neighborhood plus your meter). Different expertise in each business unit. There are unavoidable losses in transmission and distribution due to resistance of conductors and inductance. Estimates are that such losses amount to 20-30 of the power originally generated. And for the most part, the power from the companies must be generated at the precise moment it is used. So the generators must be at full speed ready to supply any surge demands. This reduces efficiency.