Battery Technology

jtr1962

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We have built a society in which I cannot practically function in without something like a car. My work is 15 _miles_ from where I live. The nearest "3rd place" to hang out is 5 _miles_ away.

I'd love to have a more efficient car, but most of us cannot negotiate a city built the way ours are without one.
And that's the very part of our society that falls into the category of "not sustainable". Even if we have practical EVs in the future, the sheer expense per person of maintaining low-density living will mean its end. And climate change may mean that much former farmland which is now suburbs will have to be returned to its original use. Like it or not, unless you're a farmer, I see an eventual end to the spread-out living many people are used to for these and many other reasons.

We need to use mechanized transport far less, especially mechanized personal transport. Long term that will likely mean large population increases in existing cities which already have decent public transportation. I can easily foresee NYC going from 8.5 million now to 50 million by 2050. Provided we build more new subway lines besides the Second Avenue subway, handling that many shouldn't present a problem. There is still plenty of land in the outer boroughs which is underutilized. Just getting rid of the two local airports could provide room for several million people on prime waterfront property, for example. And I have little doubt that in time personal autos will be banned at least in the borough of Manhattan, perhaps even city-wide. Given comprehensive enough public transport, they just won't be needed. The streets could be narrowed for cycling only, and more housing built in the reclaimed space. In the closer suburbs of NYC which likely won't be abandoned, such as Nassau/Suffolk counties, parts of New Jersey, Westchester, etc, we'll probably need to roof over highways and railways to provide more land for housing.

Nationally, I can foresee a need for a high-speed intercity ground tranportation system, be it either maglev or conventional rail. Airplanes are no more sustainable in their present form than autos. And airports waste a tremendous amount of valuable urban real estate.
 

Darell

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Hi Darell,

I just had a look at your EV page. I really like it!
I did not know that vehicles like these even existed.
Thank you for this information!
Excellent. That's one of the top reasons that I put the hours into those pages. MOST people don't know that the cars exist. And of the few who do know... most of THEM think that the cars suck. And the few folks who own/drive them and know their value... well we're slowly being hunted down and eliminated. :)

Concerning battery technology, with the help of a friendly guy, I am soon to be one of Germanys first owners of this new size of A123 cells for one of my RC planes:
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=768455
That is truly awesome. By the way, the first Li-Ion powered, human-piloted plane has now been flown officially. First flight was over 30 miles. Not a bad start.

Scrap having to worry about about long recharge times, cell drifting, heavy batterys, less than 100 cycles: These cells are the real deal!
With less than 15 mins of charge time and more than 30 mins flight time, I can be in the air infinitely:grin2:
Right on! Yes, I know they're the real deal. I witnessed a demonstration of these batteries taking on a charge that corresponds to 300 miles worth of range in under ten minutes. Yeah... the advantages of H2 Fuel Cells are what again???
 
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Darell

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Well, again, my congratulations on your athletic level of fitness.
Shucks, thanks. Be better if you were female, but I'll take what I can get.

Even if I could physically do that, it would mean I was commuting the better part of five hours a day, which, IMHO, would be nuts.
Heck, if you are dreaming about doing it, you might as well dream about doing it in far less time than that! I certainly do. :) Regardless, five hours on a bike is better then 30 minutes in a car ANY damn day (unless 6" of rain is predicted in 24 hours, or hurricane winds - in which case I drive too!). Oh, and being nuts has no relevance here!

I'm not a fan of the (IMHO) misuse of the word "addiction", but I thoroughly agree with your point.
I don't think the word is misused here. "Habit" might be better, but the result is certainly the same. I've just looked up "addiction" to make sure I'm not off base. Every definition I've read is right on the money as far as it relates to what I'm talking about. We are addicted to our motorized transportation.

We have built a society in which I cannot practically function in without something like a car.
For many people this is true, of course.

My work is 15 _miles_ from where I live. The nearest "3rd place" to hang out is 5 _miles_ away.
I see no show-stoppers here, certainly. Nothing that requires a car by any stretch. Of course we're different, and live in different places.

I'd love to have a more efficient car, but most of us cannot negotiate a city built the way ours are without one.
The solutions to our various problems will come on may fronts. City planning is a huge one, of course.

Yes, in the future we will be doing things differently, or not doing them at all.
We're on the same page there!
 

jtr1962

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We have built a society in which I cannot practically function in without something like a car. My work is 15 _miles_ from where I live. The nearest "3rd place" to hang out is 5 _miles_ away.
I'd love to have a more efficient car, but most of us cannot negotiate a city built the way ours are without one.
And that's the very part of our society that falls into the category of "not sustainable". Even if we have practical EVs in the future, the sheer expense per person of maintaining low-density living will mean its end. And climate change may mean that much former farmland which is now suburbs will have to be returned to its original use. Like it or not, unless you're a farmer, I see an eventual end to the spread-out living many people are used to for these and many other reasons. Besides that, I think lots of people are getting really sick of spending half their lives in their cars. They're looking for a better way even if our leaders aren't listening.

We need to use mechanized transport far less, especially mechanized personal transport. Long term that will likely mean large population increases in existing cities which already have decent public transportation. I can easily foresee NYC going from 8.5 million now to 50 million by 2050. Provided we build more new subway lines besides the Second Avenue subway, handling that many shouldn't present a problem. There is still plenty of land in the outer boroughs which is underutilized. Just getting rid of the two local airports could provide room for several million people on prime waterfront property, for example. And I have little doubt that in time personal autos will be banned at least in the borough of Manhattan, perhaps even city-wide. Given comprehensive enough public transport, they just won't be needed. The streets could be narrowed for cycling only, and more housing built in the reclaimed space. In the closer suburbs of NYC which likely won't be abandoned, such as Nassau/Suffolk counties, parts of New Jersey, Westchester, etc, we'll probably need to roof over highways and railways to provide more land for housing.

Nationally, I can foresee a need for a high-speed intercity ground tranportation system, be it either maglev or conventional rail. Airplanes are no more sustainable in their present form than autos. And airports waste a tremendous amount of valuable urban real estate.

Even if I could physically do that, it would mean I was commuting the better part of five hours a day, which, IMHO, would be nuts.
I'll admit even as an avid cyclist (57,000+ miles since I started college in 1980) that commuting 46 miles round trip is not something I would be up to every day. However, 10 to 20 miles is easily doable, even for someone like myself who has let their fitness level slide a bit, provided I don't have to be there in the morning ( i.e. I can't competently pilot a bike that early ). Also, I don't see why 46 miles should take the better part of 5 hours long term. Once you do the trip for a few weeks, you'll be conditioned enough to make it in probably three hours or less. Even in my present not so great condition (I've gone from riding 3000+ miles a year to under 500, although I did do 1200 last year), I could do the 23 miles in each way in probably 1:15 without traffic, perhaps even 1:05 on a really good day. The bike has a lot to do with it. Speaking of which, why aren't faired recumbents (velomobiles) being mass produced? The fairing would protect against weather. The aerodynamics would mean easy 30-35 mph speeds, perhaps even in the 40s for Darell (or me if I rode regularly). Machines like that could make 50 mile round-trip human-powered commutes very practical. And for what it's worth, I agree with Darell here. I find spending two hours a day on a bike much more pleasant than an hour a day in a car. In fact, I'd rather be on a crowded rush hour subway crawling along than in a car sitting in traffic breathing fumes. I just can't think of too many things more unpleasant or nausea-inducing than rush-hour traffic.
 

jtr1962

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Notes from an earlier Spiegel magazine article:
- the efficiency of the German train system with electric drives results in an equivalent efficiency of about 2.5 liters of "fuel" per 100 km. Most European cars are still hoping to consume less than 5 liters of fuel per 100km. ((47.5 mpg or so)).
This probably says it all. We really should move towards the steel wheel on steel rail for all but the shortest trips. Funny how things used to be this way pre-automobile. You might walk a few blocks to the local trolley. If you were going more than a few miles you would make a connection somewhere along your route to either a regular railroad or local rapid transit (either el or subway). It worked, it was energy efficient, it was way cheaper than auto travel, people even burned up more calories walking and changing vehicles. Maybe this is yet another example of how something new has pushed us backwards instead of forwards.
 

jtr1962

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Driving EV is just another kind of fun. Like the difference between power boating and sailing. Waterskiing and surfing. Driving an EV feels like the acceleration you get when a plane takes off, or a roller coaster accelerates. You feel like you're in a space ship the first few times. Then that becomes "normal" and everything else feels a bit odd.
To a person like myself used to riding electric trains their entire life an EV would probably feel more "normal" than a gas car. Come to think of it, an EV would probably feel a lot like riding a bike. You get the strong torque surge starting off. This dies a bit as you pick up speed. As the acceleration becomes imperceptible all you hear and feel is the wind rushing by you. Only difference is the absolute acceleration and speeds in the EV would probably be about a factor of four faster than riding a bike.
 

Darell

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I'll admit even as an avid cyclist (57,000+ miles since I started college in 1980)
Wow. I'd never thought about trying to total my miles from that far back! I have enough trouble figuring out how much I ride in a given current month since it is spread among three bikes, and one doesn't have an odometer. ;)

that commuting 46 miles round trip is not something I would be up to every day. However, 10 to 20 miles is easily doable
I will also admit that I don't do the 46 miles every day. Every time I do it, it is by bike (unless really foul weather in which case I hitch a ride). At most I do that particular ride 3x per week. And of course my regular around-town errands are on top of those miles, and usually add up to ~15 miles/day.

Since last year my goal has simply been to ride more miles than I drive in any car.

Oops... but back to battery.

I just posted in the Alt Vehicle thread about the first battery powered, human piloted airplane flight that was just completed. Pretty slick.
 

idleprocess

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It worked, it was energy efficient, it was way cheaper than auto travel, people even burned up more calories walking and changing vehicles. Maybe this is yet another example of how something new has pushed us backwards instead of forwards.

I suspect this is why many of those with self-winding watches spend silly amounts of money on watch-winding devices - the average person simply doesn't walk enough to keep them wound.
 

Darell

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I suspect this is why many of those with self-winding watches spend silly amounts of money on watch-winding devices - the average person simply doesn't walk enough to keep them wound.

I could NOT believe this when I first saw one advertised. For real?! I guess the concept was if collectors had a bunch of watches sitting around that they wanted to keep wound, but I'm also quite sure that the general population is now to non-active to keep those things going even when worn.

Of course all my watches have batteries (even if they are solar charged) so I guess I shouldn't yell too loud!
 

radellaf

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Regardless, five hours on a bike is better then 30 minutes in a car ANY damn day

10mph seems to be what I remember a decent pace for a long bike ride. That'd be almost 5 hours for 46 mi round trip.

If you're going 15 or 20, then you're in rly good shape.

Energy concerns aside, I'd rather spend five hours in a car than on a bike ;)
Comfy seat not squishing my parts, ac/heat, satellite radio. Granted, 5 hours on either will result in a sore tuchis.

Not to mention, the previous issues of sweating, changing clothes, etc...

I don't think the word is misused here. "Habit" might be better

Guess it's a personal thing. Something you started thinking you could stop, and then find difficult or impossible to despite efforts. I wouldn't use it to describe a society except metaphorically. I never chose to drive a car, it's just how my environment operates. I can't "quit" and be better off.


I see no show-stoppers here, certainly. Nothing that requires a car by any stretch. Of course we're different, and live in different places.
If I had to regularly use a bike for a trip, that trip would have to be no more than about two miles.

------

Interesting the talk about DENSER living conditions. The environmental group I recently dealt with was advocating much less dense living. Smaller groups of less than 100 people who grow most of their food locally.

Have you heard of this one:
http://www.whatawaytogomovie.com/

Was pretty scary. I really don't want to live like that. Not that I'm so 100% thrilled with the way it is now, but I like electronics.
 

Darell

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10mph seems to be what I remember a decent pace for a long bike ride. That'd be almost 5 hours for 46 mi round trip.
With all due respect, 10 mph is the speed that non-riders can easily achieve. That's just three times faster than walking, and creates almost no wind drag. my 46 mile trip takes me 2.5 hours somewhat consistently. Wind can change that equation - usually for the better if it blows consistenly (helps me more at my back, than it takes away at my front). The bad news is when the head-wind turns with me as I turn around as it sometimes does!

If you're going 15 or 20, then you're in rly good shape.
My wife who leads a sedentary lifestyle except for the few times she's out riding with me can easily maintain 15+ mph for over an hour. I usually do 20mph on long distances. My best time trial on a non-time trial bike, and with no aero considerations was 23mph over 10 miles. I can burst up to about 30mph. I do NOT consider myself a fast rider. This is all while I'm pushing my own wind. In a group, I can ride 28mph average for 3+ hours. My top speed ever is 56 mph. Downhill, of course.

I never chose to drive a car, it's just how my environment operates. I can't "quit" and be better off.
Well, we simply think very differently about the subject - that's obvious. You have a choice in EVERYTHING that you do, to a point. And your decision to drive a car for all trips is certainly one of those choices that YOU make. My environment operates much the same way yours does, I'm sure. My neighbors driver their 6,000 pound vehicles the 3/4 of a mile to our nearest store. I CHOOSE to ride my bike. If we don't choose our transportation, why do some people walk, some ride, and some drive? And of course I also think that you'd be better off if you quit your habit. The health benefits of regular exercise are well documented - as are the negative effects of sitting on your butt and pushing the gas pedal. Not to mention the pollution saved that increases everybody's health.

If I had to regularly use a bike for a trip, that trip would have to be no more than about two miles.
There are many ways to limit what you think you are capable of. And many more ways to expand those limits. Believe me - I didn't always ride this much. In fact this is somewhat of my mid-life crisis going on here. Some turn to exotic sports cars, and I have turned to riding bikes. I have severe arthritis, and some days find it hard to walk. It ain't getting better with age, and I've started to worry that if I don't get my riding in now, I may never be able to! I've always enjoyed riding, but never did it as much as I am now. And at this point I'm starting to think that I wasted many hours, days, years of sitting in a car. I was sick last summer, and lamented the fact that my longest ride for quite some time was about 10 miles. My neighbor looked at me, and finally said, "I don't think I could EVER ride ten miles!" Pretty sad that this is what we've become.

Plus... you just can't drive to places like this around here:
07062305marin.jpg


Boggles my mind that in my younger years, I used to actually DRIVE for what I called "recreation."
 
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jtr1962

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With all due respect, 10 mph is the speed that non-riders can easily achieve. That's just three times faster than walking, and creates almost no wind drag.
Yep. I find that just letting my feet drop down on the pedals with their own weight I creep up to maybe 15 mph on the level. I'd actually have to coast a lot if I wanted to maintain only 10 mph.

My 46 mile trip takes me 2.5 hours somewhat consistently. Wind can change that equation - usually for the better if it blows consistenly (helps me more at my back, than it takes away at my front). The bad news is when the head-wind turns with me as I turn around as it sometimes does!
That's about 18.5 mph average speed-very respectable on trip of that length. Typically, on 20 miles ride I'll average anywhere from 13.5 to 17 mph. Included in this average speed is my time stopped or slowed for obstacles. 13.5 mph is either mostly loafing along, or maybe hitting a lot of stoplights. 14.5-15 mph is an average ride, 17 mph is a great ride. Unfortunately I can never ride totally unfettered. I always needs to slowdown or stop for lights, potholes, traffic, pedestrians, whatever.

I usually do 20mph on long distances. My best time trial on a non-time trial bike, and with no aero considerations was 23mph over 10 miles. I can burst up to about 30mph. I do NOT consider myself a fast rider. This is all while I'm pushing my own wind. In a group, I can ride 28mph average for 3+ hours. My top speed ever is 56 mph. Downhill, of course.
Looks like we're about equal then. When I ride enough to be conditioned, normal cruise for me is ~22 to 24 mph pushing my own wind (that's on my Raleigh with the aero rear wheel cover, it would probably be closer to 20 mph on a normal road bike). I can also do bursts to the low 30s. I did hit 65 mph once but that was a fluke (downhill plus tailwind). Most of the time I rarely break 40 mph even on downhills. Never rode in a large group so I have no idea how I'd do. Truth is I don't like group riding. If someone goes down they can take the whole pack with them.

My neighbors driver their 6,000 pound vehicles the 3/4 of a mile to our nearest store.
I just walk for distances under about 3 miles each way. In NYC there really aren't many safe places to park your bike anyway. I get a laugh when people tell me "you walked all the way there?" refering to the 0.7 mile distance to the local Pathmark. I'm barely warmed up walking 0.7 mile. I don't get why healthy people half my age feel a need to take a car to go more than a few blocks.

I was sick last summer, and lamented the fact that my longest ride for quite some time was about 10 miles. My neighbor looked at me, and finally said, "I don't think I could EVER ride ten miles!" Pretty sad that this is what we've become.
Sounds like some conversations I've had. I'll say I only rode 12 miles today, and get an answer like "I doubt I could ride five." From someone 25 years old. BTW, I'll admit that I start to hit somewhat of a wall at 30 miles, but if I dropped the pace to maybe 16 or 17 mph I could probably ride all day long.

No, I don't consider myself in exceptional shape, either. I'm about 25 pounds overweight, sit way too much, etc. Now if I can what I do, and you can do what you do, why does the average person consider it such an effort to walk half a mile or ride 3 miles?

This just reminds me-time to fix the flat I got a few days ago. I'm starting to get that lethargic feeling that occurs when I haven't ridden for a few days. Just the feeling of well-being makes exercise worth it.
 

Darell

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That's about 18.5 mph average speed-very respectable on trip of that length. ... Unfortunately I can never ride totally unfettered. I always needs to slowdown or stop for lights, potholes, traffic, pedestrians, whatever.
Yes, many folks are confused with "cruising speed" and average speed. Average is always lower than the speed I cruise at - because of the various issues - slowing for intersections/turns/whatever. Stopping to take a jacket off or eat. I can cruise at 20mph, but my average will be 18 or so.


Never rode in a large group so I have no idea how I'd do. Truth is I don't like group riding. If someone goes down they can take the whole pack with them.
Probably 90% of my riding is pushing my own wind. But now... you can't say you don't like riding in a group if you've never done it. Yes, there are concerns, but in general, I feel it is safer to ride in a group than alone. For one thing, everybody sees the pack, though a driver might miss a solo rider. And the exhileration of being able to ride 25, 28, 30 mph consistently is just awesome. It doesn't even feel real to be putting a 15mph effort into the pedals and be humming along at 25. It is like taking your own tailwind with you. Does take some concentration though, and it is tough to scratch your nose sometimes, as you're just an inch away from the wheel in front of you.

This just reminds me-time to fix the flat I got a few days ago. I'm starting to get that lethargic feeling that occurs when I haven't ridden for a few days. Just the feeling of well-being makes exercise worth it.
One of my dang tubeless tires on the MTB isn't holding air either. The thing is almost new! Grrr. I'm not sold on the tubeless thing yet. And I know exactly what you mean about the feeling of well-being. You stop riding, and you feel like - well like the people who don't ride. ;)
 

jtr1962

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Probably 90% of my riding is pushing my own wind. But now... you can't say you don't like riding in a group if you've never done it.
The truth is that most of the group rides here are mostly amateurs, so I'd be loafing along at 10-15 mph in a pack of inexperienced cyclists. Not really my idea of fun. Another downside is that a lot of group rides seem to start early mornings, a time of day where my judgement is impaired and my body tells me I should be in bed. Many years ago I was almost on board for one of these group rides. Then when the person asking me said start time is 8AM I suddenly lost interest. Now a nice late night group ride with experieced riders might appeal to both the cyclist and flashaholic in me. Sadly, I haven't been able to find any. I suspect for legal reasons group ride organizers just won't schedule rides after dark.

It doesn't even feel real to be putting a 15mph effort into the pedals and be humming along at 25. It is like taking your own tailwind with you.
According to the manufacturer, this would have a similar effect. If only the price weren't in the stratosphere, I'd consider it for my next ride.

One of my dang tubeless tires on the MTB isn't holding air either. The thing is almost new! Grrr. I'm not sold on the tubeless thing yet.
Well, I intended to go completely airless but the tires still haven't come. When they do, I'll give some feedback on how they perform. Far too many times flats have either curtailed a ride, or kept me from riding at all. I don't know about tubeless tires, but I feel that airless tires are on the verge of becoming mainstream. The newest ones, unfortunately currently only available in a limited range of sizes (not the narrow ones I need) have even solved the rolling resistance penalty. Hopefully the extra hard compound ones I ordered won't be too bad in that area. I'll gladly trade 1 mph in speed for never having to worry about flats again.
 

jtr1962

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Interesting the talk about DENSER living conditions. The environmental group I recently dealt with was advocating much less dense living. Smaller groups of less than 100 people who grow most of their food locally.

Have you heard of this one:
http://www.whatawaytogomovie.com/

Was pretty scary. I really don't want to live like that. Not that I'm so 100% thrilled with the way it is now, but I like electronics.
Honestly, neither would I. Advocating less dense living will only work if there are way less than 6 billion people on the planet. How many square miles of forest does a clan of 30 hunter-gatherers need to sustain themselves? Do the numbers and you find that if we adopted this lifestyle the majority of today's people would have to disappear. When man lived like that there were probably a few thousand people on the entire planet. On the other hand, by putting more of the population into cities you can support these people while leaving most of the planet in its natural state. You could even grow food in 100 story hydroponic gardens powered by nuclear fission or fusion, thus allowing even farmlands to return to the way they were. I guess the point is that with technology more people can live better, in more sustainable ways, if we do it right. Sure, we absolutely need to change how we live, but to me less dense living is a step backwards. Another idea which has barely been explored is subterrainian living. By putting most of the "nuts and bolts" of our civilization, such as transportation arteries, power generation, even food growing, underground we can live without interfering much with nature, even if our numbers grow to tens of billions.
 

Darell

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I suspect for legal reasons group ride organizers just won't schedule rides after dark.
Our club has them all the time. We do "moonight centuries" during full moons in the summer. Pretty fun!


According to the manufacturer, this would have a similar effect. If only the price weren't in the stratosphere, I'd consider it for my next ride.
Imagine many of THOSE in a pace line!

Well, I intended to go completely airless but the tires still haven't come.
Let me know how that goes. I'm somewhat surprised that airless is taking so long to "perfect." Would love to have them for off-road. I can call somebody on the road if something goes totally wrong. Not so much on the trails.
 

radellaf

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The truth is that most of the group rides here are mostly amateurs, so I'd be loafing along at 10-15 mph

Ok, well, yes, that's like the group rides I've been on, and the solo rides, and, your nonchalance aside, it's what "biking" pretty much is unless it is a special interest.

I was beginning to feel made fun of there <wink>.

---

Of course I could _choose_ to ride to work, I'm just saying that car-dependent-cities are not a personal problem of mine, though they do affect me personally, and IMHO, are not amenable to personal level solutions. It would make a statement to ride, but 'everyone' is not going to do it.

So, I have more a choice to make a statement or not to...not a choice as to "bad" or "good" personal transport.
 
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