Silver and aluminum are abundant.
Adoption of a safe system of swapping out plates and water at the service station seems straightforward.
Pollution if any is negligible.
Density of energy release is a matter of configuration so it can't be a limitation.
So how is it that this got out of the bag into public domain and not shelved like all the other great ideas?
9th June, 2014 @ 5:16 a.m. (California Time)
I think this is way cool and way green. I doubt having to stop every couple of hundred miles would be a big problem. I know I am unable to travel that far without having to stop to stretch my legs.
Nairda, I don't know how it got out into the public domain but I am glad it did.
9th June, 2014 @ 5:47 a.m. (California Time)
I'm curious what they energy return is. It costs energy to produce all the consumables. Aluminum for instance is very energy intensive to convert from ore to metal. If you look here the process is quite involved and produces toxic by-products. I think thsi is quite telling "One pound of aluminum requires 6-8 kilowatt-hours of electrical energy" They claim 6-8KWh/kg above, 1kg~=2.2lbs, so if that Kg is only the aluminum it is using a minimum of 12.5KWh/Kg. They are not very clear though so it might be slightly more efficient.
Over all without rechargability I give this a great big yawn. Not green due to inefficiency and toxic by products, only marginally useful due to complexity of replacement. You'd be better off buying a small trailer and a deisel generator set to optimal output and using that as the range extender than this thing.
9th June, 2014 @ 9:06 a.m. (California Time)
If they make the battery so that it eats aluminum foil that is unrecyclable any way it could be a way to power your overly expensive car.
9th June, 2014 @ 4:02 p.m. (California Time)
"The company claims that travel distances, purchase prices and life-cycle costs would be comparable to petrol-powered vehicles"
Is that comparison based on today's prices, or those soon to be upon us as the easy oil runs out completely and we are up against tar sands and shales as our sources, with their poor EROEI figures? If today, then this technology will be much in demand.
Of course, we must not forget that that any hybrid vehicle is going to need copper for its wiring, which is getting ever more expensive to extract with a ore now running at between 0.3% to 0.6% copper. It is difficult to see just how we are going to power our heavy goods vehicles and farm equipement that we so badly need grow and distribute in order to feed the ever expanding population.
10th June, 2014 @ 6:41 a.m. (California Time)
Living in Montreal, the winters get cold here, so what happens if the water in the battery freezes?
One of the biggest challenges is to design battery technology that isn't adversely affected by freezing temps.
10th June, 2014 @ 7:42 a.m. (California Time)
A bit lax on actual detail of the energy cost to make the battery verus what you can get out of it.
10th June, 2014 @ 8:24 a.m. (California Time)
I trust everyone noticed the statement that "the battery plates are not rechargeable" -- this is a single use battery. Once it runs down, you have to replace it. As a range extender, you'd want to use it very sparingly...
10th June, 2014 @ 8:44 a.m. (California Time)
The most exciting thing about this battery article, is that it points out that we are just beginning to see what the future holds for electric vehicles as both electric motors and battery technology evolve now that scientists now have access to R&D funds in amounts never before possible when gasoline and diesel were the only options to power vehicles.
With modular batteries, eVehicle owners will be able to replace old batteries with much better, more powerful batteries as they are developed, which will make owning an eVehicle an even better investment since they will hold their value far longer!
Here is just a sample:
Tesla would be very smart to offer these upgrades because then all their eVehicles would be far more valuable since their owners would then have an upgrade path that would allow the use of better batteries, better tech and other "upgrades" that the owners of these eVehicles might want.
Tesla would again set the standard/bar much higher since no other Manufacturer does this and this alone would be yet another reason to only buy a Tesla…
10th June, 2014 @ 9:30 a.m. (California Time)
VirtualGathis is correct, a good review of the Life cycle costs of the battery, including removing the oxides and re-smelter, would show this idea to be a net energy looser. Gizmag would benefit if it added a bit more balanced review of these ideas, rather than simply reshare the company's advertising.
10th June, 2014 @ 9:43 a.m. (California Time)
It's good to see that we finally are getting a vehicle that can run on beer cans and beer (there's water IN beer). Too bad Doc isn't around to see this.
10th June, 2014 @ 9:46 a.m. (California Time)
With the battery plates being consumed with each range extension, however slight, the operator now has aluminum anxiety to add to the list. This battery will take up volume, it needs to be easily accessed, and it is a lot of weight to carry around for something rarely used. Alcoa demand creation BS and impractical for civilian use.
10th June, 2014 @ 9:57 a.m. (California Time)
Finally a way to get rid of my aluminum soda cans.
10th June, 2014 @ 10:02 a.m. (California Time)
Recycling aluminum is already higher cost. Aluminum costs will skyrocket as demand climbs. Everything else that needs aluminum will also climb in costs (pop cans, wire, castings,, engine blocks, ext.)
Add to the costs of production and toxins produced during product? Not a good solution, even if it were %100 recyclable.
A portable generator, and a solar panel skin would make more sense.
10th June, 2014 @ 10:24 a.m. (California Time)
Oh boy the promotional video is absolutely nauseating.
From the music to the super slow-mo of everything.
It looks like I could run faster than this car.
10th June, 2014 @ 10:48 a.m. (California Time)
why not just use a ton of energy to make gasoline from coal or natural gas something?
instead of using the ton of energy to make these special batteries
10th June, 2014 @ 11:13 a.m. (California Time)
"why not just use a ton of energy to make gasoline from coal or natural gas something"
Because of a little thing called climate change. Perhaps it doesn't occur all that high on the public agenda of the planet you come from, but here on planet earth it is quite a big thing, which is about to get a lot bigger as the El Nino builds and the body bag manufacturers rub their hands in glee at the profits they are about to make.
10th June, 2014 @ 1:52 p.m. (California Time)
Not to knock what engineers like these are doing, BUT...
if you want electric cars to be anything more than a niche market product, it has to do the following:
Be rechargeable in less than 15 minutes
Have comparable acceleration to a gasoline car (not usually a problem; electric motors are inherently torquey)
Be as cheap to purchase initially as an IC car without government subsidies
Be as reliable as IC cars
Be as cheap and easy to dispose of as IC cars, without becoming a toxic environmental horror show in a Chinese landfill
make the electric cars as cheap to run on a per-mile basis as IC cars
Do all of the above without cap-and -trade artificially jacking up the cost of IC carsOh, yeah, and NO spontaneous combustion.
10th June, 2014 @ 2:14 p.m. (California Time)
Look up Zinc Air as well...this was a technology that started to take off in the late 90s but for some reason, it just disappeared...
10th June, 2014 @ 2:47 p.m. (California Time)
IMHO electric cars are really the only way to go. Possibly a dual purpose SOFC and small ICE or micro turbine allowing the use of hydrogen fuels to be used mechanically and electrically.
Electric cars give the option for various paths of generation, solar, wind, thermal, etc. My favorite and in my opinion the best option for energy production is the Thorium Molten Salt Reactor. It's passively safe and can incorporate present nuclear waste from using Uranium. We already mine Thorium (produced as a byproduct in mining bauxite and rare earth minerals). It's passively safe and has been tested. Best of all, it's insanely abundant.
10th June, 2014 @ 2:58 p.m. (California Time)
Mass produce & test in GM Volt or Tesla models alone.
10th June, 2014 @ 3:24 p.m. (California Time)
Sean.AG... You hit the nail on the head with the Thorium Molten Salt Reactor. I would love to have one the size of a coffee can run my car for the life of the car. Never having to fill up. When the car is finished, the reactor could be moved into a new car. Or.. how about one, the size of a window AC unit, to supply all of the power my house would need for years! Maintenance would be low and we could all live off of the grid.
10th June, 2014 @ 5 p.m. (California Time)
All the battery debate is a non starter. This is no different. Having worked in an alumina refinery I am well aware of the environmental issues alumina production creates. For those of you who are completely naïve, google "red mud".
The ultimate solution is to produce hydrogen from renewables which can then be pressurised (safely) for use in either existing IC engines or fuel cells. Batteries will never match the energy density of a compressed gas. All that's required is a technology which can produce hydrogen (electrolysis) at the right price (cheap materials - electrodes) and have an accompanying system of concentrating the gas under pressure.
Imagine, generate your own fuel for your car or H for your fuel cell via roof top PV! No batteries required and can potentially completely replace petrol/gasoline in existing IC engines.
10th June, 2014 @ 5:17 p.m. (California Time)
Here, all of them would compare it with IC engine, that's true when it comes to performance and acceleration of the car. Reliability and mass production would be second thought to ponder upon. The pricing of car would be more crucial, if they need to hit the street to earn profit.
11th June, 2014 @ 4:16 a.m. (California Time)
The typical driver puts on 33 miles 5 days a week for commuting, which comes to 8,500 of their annual 12,000 miles. This leaves 3,500 miles a year on trips greater than the range of the lithium-ion battery this car uses for daily driving. The 1,000 mile, range extending battery would have to be replaced about 3 to 4 times in any given year, replacing the gas-powered car's service of an oil change at the shop. Jiffy-Lube could easily add battery changes to its service list. Quite practical.
11th June, 2014 @ 6:10 a.m. (California Time)
I'm not sure why this is called a battery. It does not store any energy. It is a generator. It generates electricity for a time and then stops and has to be "rebuilt". While it has potential, it has been around for decades and yet is not practical for consumer use. To have set up and have stations where this generator has to be removed and replaced every 1K miles is a real drawback. Similar to stations proposed to remove and replace a battery instead of having to recharge it the infrastructure would be huge.
13th June, 2014 @ 9:40 a.m. (California Time)
IMHO, whether or not the public uses ICE power or electric power to haul their fat asses to and from work begs the question. In the end the solution lies in encouraging the shortest distance possible between home and work. Freeways are a dead end! Then there will be a better use of whatever form of energy.
14th June, 2014 @ 9:02 a.m. (California Time)
Can it be modified for electric bicycles or scooters?
17th July, 2014 @ 10:11 a.m. (California Time)