Thursday, November 23, 2006

Something I read posted online

"We had the better batteries 10 years ago. The Ovonic NiMH. 70 wh/kg specific capacity, 1,750 cycles to 100% depth of discharge. Robert Stemple, chairman of Energy Conversion Devices, quoted them at $150/kWh for a production run of 20,000 cars.
General Motors, not wishing to see the electric car go mainstream, sold the patent to Chevron Texaco. Chevron Texaco vigourously protects this battery and has sued Toyota for making a similar design. Further, with the oil company winning that case, it can now restrict the maximum AH size of the batteries to 10 AH. This prevents them from ever being used in a road EV, as it is not practical to go above 400V or so and NiMH cannot be charged in parallel with ease. Further, this oil company is responsible for about half of the price premiums on Today's hybrids; they charge $1,200/kWh for the battery when it could be much cheaper!
At 70 wh/kg, a midsize car with attention to aerodynamics could have 200+ miles highway range with a 500 kg, 36 kWh pack costing $5,600 and lasting well in excess of 300,000 miles in theory. This battery has been denied to us. This battery would allow hobbyists to make 120-150 mile range conversions a norm, and 200-300 mile range conversions a possibility."

Not sure how accurate the numbers are, but the fact is that we can't get a technology that works because of this. Companies are allowed to protect their revenue stream, but this sure makes Chevron and GM look bad.


JohnG said...


I believe they are keeping good battery technology under wraps to protect their cash cows. Even worse is many big oil companies actually advertise that they are "Investing in renewable energy projects", what they do not tell us is that investment is to keep them from ever being cheap enough for main-stream uses, just as you found out.

Would you have a link for your quote? I would love to research this more.

Tony said...

Look about halfway down the article at

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