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New Type Of Lithium Battery


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Massachusetts startup develops new battery for electric cars.

Technology Review (May/June 2008, Bullis) reported that A123 Systems, "a startup in Watertown, Mass.," that is working on lithium-ion battery technology, has "attracted the interest of General Motors (GM)." GM is testing A123's batteries "as a way to power the Volt, an electric car with a gasoline generator; the vehicle is expected to go into mass production as early as 2010." According to Technology Review, A123's batteries "store more than twice as much energy as nickel-metal hydride batteries, the type used in today's hybrid cars, while delivering the bursts of power necessary for high performance." In lieu of cobalt oxide, the batteries "use an electrode material made from nanoparticles of lithium iron phosphate modified with trace metals." As a result, they are less likely "to catch fire, even if crushed in an accident," and are "much hardier than conventional lithium-ion batteries." Technology Review noted that the "A123 batteries for GM's Volt store enough energy for 40 miles of driving, enough to cover daily commutes," while a "small gasoline engine" would be used to "recharge the battery" on longer trips.

In other news.....

Toyota Prius sales reach one million mark.

The AP (5/15, Kageyama) reported that Toyota's Prius, which "started out a decade ago as a risky experiment in green technology," is now "the world's first mass-produced gas-electric hybrid vehicle to hit the one million mark in sales." The Prius "is now sold in 40 countries and regions," while "its popularity is going strong amid surging gas prices and growing" environmental concerns. Toyota Motor Corp. "sells other hybrid models, but the Prius has been by far the most popular model." The automaker "has said it plans to sell a million hybrids annually sometime in the few years after 2010."

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A123 is pearched to do VERY well ... or jump off a cliff. GM will either use A123 for the Volt (if it ever gets off the drawing board, which many wonder about, as GM has a reputation of crushing its most inovative EV's) or GM will use a Chinese battery supplier. Very sad, that a company would tout itself as being 'all-american' in its comercials ... while it outsources to Canada, Mexico, China, etc, all the while it continues to layoff / shut down plants in the U.S.A. ... and yet GM never lays off its CEO's. The officers, directers at GM all manage to keep their salary high (or give their self bonesus when they 'save money' closing down plants), and retirement high, and med benefits high. Very irksome.

A123 has some military contracts for their great battery technology. As long as A123 doesn't make a fatal mistake by putting all their eggs in one basket, they'll do fine. But the parts suppliers (for example) for EV1 manufacturing back in the late 90's & early 2000? They put all their hopes on mass production of that wonderful car (I got to drive my neighbor's while it was leased), only to have the rug pulled out from under. Be very carefull A123. GM's honcho Bob Lutz will lie, or do whatever it takes, at the expense of others to keep/make himself look good.

In fact, what an irony ... when the Prius (and other hybrids) went into production, Lutz mocked them ... saying how stupid they were ... just a gymic ... money loosers ... they'd never catch on ... people want SUV's. Then again, Lutz lied about the EV1 ... saying that GM wanted big cars only, and no one wanted the EV1. He lied. There was a waiting list (even though it was nearly impossible to get on it) of over 5,000 people, even though you could only lease it ... even though it was less practical than a 4 seater. He lied about that. When Lutz was confronted with the list, he lied. Said, 'oh, they'd have never really bought/leased one. Heck, the corvette is low production, yet it never stopped GM from continuing production. Until they fire him? I'd rather bike to work (19 miles away) than buy GM, being run by such a crook. ok, of my soapbox.

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Holy moly, talk about hitting a raw nerve! :(

I just finished reading an editorial in Design News magazine about the conspiricy theory (that still circulates parties) of GM's collaboration with the oil companies to kill the electric car and the 150 MPG carburator. Although I am not well-versed as to the whole story of the demise of the GM electric car, I do know that there was nothing in the same league as my Corvette when I bought it. No, it has not been the most reliable car I have ever owned, but for the money, its well-rounded performance couldn't be touched by anything else.

Dave

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Holy moly, talk about hitting a raw nerve! :(

I just finished reading an editorial in Design News magazine about the conspiricy theory (that still circulates parties) of GM's collaboration with the oil companies to kill the electric car and the 150 MPG carburator. Although I am not well-versed as to the whole story of the demise of the GM electric car, I do know that there was nothing in the same league as my Corvette when I bought it. No, it has not been the most reliable car I have ever owned, but for the money, its well-rounded performance couldn't be touched by anything else.

Dave

When one of the car mags did a track test of high-end performance cars, they liked the Ferrari 360 best. BUT, they said if price was one of the judging criteria, the Vette won hands down.

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I did read that article, and while Ferarris start at about $200,000, the 2008 Corvette, with 430 HP, starts at $46,000. Even the Z06, with 505 HP, is approx. 1/3 the cost of most Ferarris.

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I did read that article, and while Ferarris start at about $200,000, the 2008 Corvette, with 430 HP, starts at $46,000. Even the Z06, with 505 HP, is approx. 1/3 the cost of most Ferarris.

ok, the raw nerve is bandaged over now :P . . . I do tend to rail on when it comes to HUGE corporate integrity vacumes.

Ferarri? if we're segway'n to fast cars ... of the fastest 2 dozen cars (test based going from a standing stop, to 100mph, and slamming back to a dead stop) ... well ferarri doesn't even make the list of 25 fastest / street legals. In my fast car craze days, my preference, when tossing $$ out the window was the turbo 911.

Tied for 6th: Porsche 911 Turbo 0mph-100mph-0mph time: 12.50 seconds will cost you $135,470

8th place: .... Corvette Z06 .... .. 0mph-100mph-0mph time: 13.80 seconds will cost you $84,195

Folks only have to pay an extra $50,000 to beat the Vette, by one second :lol:

As gasoline becomes more of a historical fact, more & more speed frieks are finding the A123 type li-ion batteries can give 1000 lbs of instant torque, in pure electric vehicles. Gas burners cant match that, pound for pound. The electric tesla (production began last month) is computer controled to a 135mph max ... but I sure like to see what it'd do wide open.

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The upcoming Corvette ZR1 will crank out a minimum of 620 HP and will rank among the very fastest cars in the world at ANY price! (It will cost approx. $100,000) By the way, I have read that Porsche has the highest profit margin of almost every automaker. The performance they deliver just doesn't match up with the cost, IMO, but that's a whole "nuther" discussion.

I'm happy to see that those MIT guys at A123 are seeing successful results. Many of us can benefit from all-electric commuter vehicles.

Dave

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