Will There Be Batteries For Us When All The Cars Are Electric?

reed scott

Well-Known Member
Please don't make this one of those political slug fests.


( Not endorsing this second link, just offering the gloomy negative position for counterpoint. )

Anyone can search up numerous articles about the availability of not just lithium but how expensive it is to process and how much water it takes. Same goes for nickel and the other necessary minerals. Aside from that knowledgeable people like the head of Toyota points out that our headlong rush to electric cars is really putting the cart before the horse in that we will not have the electricity production required without massive investment in power production.

I've read several articles now and it's got me thinking we may right now be at the zenith of our ebike culture. As the batteries we are using now and can source soon may be the best deals we will ever see. Will you still be riding your bike if battery costs double? Triple?
 
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Asher

Well-Known Member
Bloomberg has said that if all cars were electric, energy consumption would increase by a quarter. Substantial but not impossible to address. Mineral deposits seem like the bigger barrier.

While there's little reason to think ebike battery prices will increase dramatically, requiring a strategic set-aside of batteries for ebikes would be technically trivial, considering how cars use 100-200x as much battery per vehicle. It would be akin to a couple hundred bucks on a $40k car, while ensuring adequate supply for ebikes.

The author of your link is the editor of that site, and the site spread false claims about the elections.

 

reed scott

Well-Known Member
Bloomberg has said that if all cars were electric, energy consumption would increase by a quarter. Substantial but not impossible to address. Mineral deposits seem like the bigger barrier.

While there's little reason to think ebike battery prices will increase dramatically, requiring a strategic set-aside of batteries for ebikes would be technically trivial, considering how cars use 100-200x as much battery per vehicle

The author of your link is the editor of that site, and the site spread false claims about the elections.

( Not endorsing this second link, just offering the gloomy negative position for counterpoint. )
 

DaveMatthews

Well-Known Member
Solid state batteries will be mainstream by 2023 according to Toyota, so I suspect that'll take some pressure off the Lithium cells we use now. Either that or solid state will be in short supply because every platform wants to use it.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Yes, there will be. That said, “all the cars” won’t be electric in our lifetimes.
 
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Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
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A Demented Corner of the North Cascades
Reference: https://www.netogram.com/hackersdictionaryv.htm#vannevar :

A bogus technological prediction or a foredoomed engineering concept, esp. one that fails by implicitly assuming that technologies develop linearly, incrementally, and in isolation from one another when in fact the learning curve tends to be highly nonlinear, revolutions are common, and competition is the rule. The prototype was Vannevar Bush's prediction of ‘electronic brains’ the size of the Empire State Building with a Niagara-Falls-equivalent cooling system for their tubes and relays, a prediction made at a time when the semiconductor effect had already been demonstrated. Other famous vannevars have included magnetic-bubble memory, LISP machines, videotex, and a paper from the late 1970s that computed a purported ultimate limit on areal density for ICs that was in fact less than the routine densities of 5 years later.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
A Demented Corner of the North Cascades
To further clarify, really really smart people are really really bad at making technology predictions. Consensus predictions are sometimes better.

Examples of technologies that are developing nonlinearly, with multiple revolutions and in the face of intense competition are solar panels and batteries. Which is why the per-watt cost of electricity generated by solar panels has dropped by 75 percent in the last ten years. That trend has been going on since the 1960s and will likely continue, which makes it very likely that by 2030 solar-generated electricity will be far and away the cheapest electricity we have and will in fact be cheaper than electricity has ever been anywhere. Batteries are on a similar but slightly less steep (well, so far) curve.

Technological pathways exist that make it likely that progress in both areas will continue for some decades more. But that is a prediction and might be wrong :-O.
 

reed scott

Well-Known Member
Yes, there will be. That said, “all the cars” won’t be electric in our lifetimes.
I'm sure that's true for me. I'm 71 y o in a month. But given all the push to go electric, both car makers and government, It won't be long if things go the way they want them to go. Lots of economic opportunities here. Lots of pain too. If they try to force the change-over too fast .... trouble in River City. Why the big push I have to wonder. We don't have the charging stations necessary. Not even close. The vehicles don't have the range. We don't have the electricity generating capacity. Do we even have the recycling capability for all the used up batteries? I have no idea. We pushed into windmills and now they are burying thousands of the unrecyclable blades in landfills. One good thing I guess ... all the petroleum that will be saved can go into making everything out of plastic. [/sarc}
 

reed scott

Well-Known Member
I'm getting off topic on my own thread. 🤔

Will batteries remain affordable? They're damn expensive now. What if they double in price? Triple?
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
A Demented Corner of the North Cascades
Yes, there will be. That said, “all the cars” won’t be electric in our lifetimes.
Tautologically that statement is one hundred percent true. In the same way that there are still people using horses and buggies and there probably is somebody still running a Stanley Steamer. From a practical standpoint I suspect that nearly all vehicle owners are likely to abandon IC cars very soon, possibly within the decade.

There are a couple of reasons for my thesis:
  1. Once economies of scale are reached, electric cars are likely to be far less expensive than IC cars.
  2. Electric cars certainly will have far lower maintenance costs than IC cars, and already appear to do so.
  3. Electric vehicles are likely to have better all-around performance at a given price.
  4. Charging infrastructure takes less space than fueling infrastructure. This is a big deal in dense cities with high rents. So I suspect that we'll see the tipping point first in very expensive, very dense cities like Tokyo, Singapore, London, San Francisco, and New York City.
  5. Electricity (see above) is likely to get cheaper faster than fossil fuels. Already the "fuel" cost of a Tesla Model 3 roughly translates to $0.40-$0.75/gallon gasoline.
  6. As self-driving car technology improves, that is going to put enormous pressure on fleet replacement. Even with primitive self-driving cars we could approximately double the capacity of our highways, which will end up putting a lot of pressure on owners of IC vehicles to upgrade. So a lot of old cars are likely to be retired in the coming years anyhow, and not all of them will be replaced with new IC vehicles.
Those are the reasons I'm not buying a new IC vehicle, at least until the smoke clears a bit and I can see what the trends are going to be and can be more sure I am right or wrong.
 

ruffruff

Well-Known Member
Solid state batteries will be mainstream by 2023 according to Toyota, so I suspect that'll take some pressure off the Lithium cells we use now. Either that or solid state will be in short supply because every platform wants to use it.
What's a solid state battery?
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
A hefty 48V17.5AH battery would use 65 3.5AH cells,. Pick the LG MJ1 cell at a retail price of $5 each or $325 to stuff that battery. Maybe 20-24% lesss if you get whole sale pricing. I don't care what the bike seller charges you for the battery. The cells aren't that much money. The smaller batteries 10AH-12AH use less cells (39 or 52) and they are cheaper.

Meanwhile, plenty of technological surprises may come along in 14 years.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
I'm getting off topic on my own thread. 🤔

Will batteries remain affordable? They're damn expensive now. What if they double in price? Triple?
They will be more affordable. There's a lot to figure out though. I'm done expecting anything on anyone's timetable. I can remember having discussions on this forum 6 years ago about the big developments in solid state batteries. We posted videos and news articles from the so called experts. The advances were real, the timelines for implementation have passed already. I'll be ready when they come, but I no longer have much faith in predictions for when.

Two major issues are the power grid and medium and heavy goods vehicles and equipment. The power grid barely keeps up now and doesn't perform well at all in many rural areas of the country, including where I live. As for farm vehicles I don't see any replacement for all the tractors, combine harvesters and pickup trucks in use now. Every spring the rural roads are filled with manure spreaders and tankers, along with gangs of tractors and their support pickup trucks. Every fall the same roads are full of gangs of combines, grain hauling trucks and support pickups. If replacement EV's existed, if farmers could conceivably afford them I don't know the rural roads and bridges could handle the weight of such large battery powered vehicles. Many of these vehicles run 24 hours a day for many weeks. Then there is soil compaction, which is an issue already.

There still a lot of work to do.
 

reed scott

Well-Known Member
A hefty 48V17.5AH battery would use 65 3.5AH cells,. Pick the LG MJ1 cell at a retail price of $5 each or $325 to stuff that battery. Maybe 20-24% lesss if you get whole sale pricing. I don't care what the bike seller charges you for the battery. The cells aren't that much money. The smaller batteries 10AH-12AH use less cells (39 or 52) and they are cheaper.

Meanwhile, plenty of technological surprises may come along in 14 years.
I just bought a 21Ah 48v second battery for my rebadged Frey AM1000. For some reason they took a hundred dollars off and it 'only' cost me $599. Only. I'm only doing this ebike thing ( besides the fact that it is massive fun and I love it ) because I got no dependents and figure I'll die before my money runs out. But really ... these costs cannot be justified by any rational/logical processes. If battery costs doubled I would still stay in. I kinda feel for people who are over extending themselves to participate in this game.
 

Oberst

Well-Known Member
As demand increases, it will likely spur on even more rapid advances. It could be production efficiencies and materials. Just look at computers from 1980 to today. The phone you hold has more computing power than a roomful of computers back then. Only time will tell.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Tautologically that statement is one hundred percent true. In the same way that there are still people using horses and buggies and there probably is somebody still running a Stanley Steamer. From a practical standpoint I suspect that nearly all vehicle owners are likely to abandon IC cars very soon, possibly within the decade.

There are a couple of reasons for my thesis:
  1. Once economies of scale are reached, electric cars are likely to be far less expensive than IC cars.
  2. Electric cars certainly will have far lower maintenance costs than IC cars, and already appear to do so.
  3. Electric vehicles are likely to have better all-around performance at a given price.
  4. Charging infrastructure takes less space than fueling infrastructure. This is a big deal in dense cities with high rents. So I suspect that we'll see the tipping point first in very expensive, very dense cities like Tokyo, Singapore, London, San Francisco, and New York City.
  5. Electricity (see above) is likely to get cheaper faster than fossil fuels. Already the "fuel" cost of a Tesla Model 3 roughly translates to $0.40-$0.75/gallon gasoline.
  6. As self-driving car technology improves, that is going to put enormous pressure on fleet replacement. Even with primitive self-driving cars we could approximately double the capacity of our highways, which will end up putting a lot of pressure on owners of IC vehicles to upgrade. So a lot of old cars are likely to be retired in the coming years anyhow, and not all of them will be replaced with new IC vehicles.
Those are the reasons I'm not buying a new IC vehicle, at least until the smoke clears a bit and I can see what the trends are going to be and can be more sure I am right or wrong.
I don’t know where you think people will have money to just buy these very expensive electric vehicles so they can just ABANDON their ICs.
Given good alternatives, I agree that many will change to electric if it fits their lifestyle. I’ve owned numerous hybrids for well over a decade but an all electric makes no sense in the rural area where I need to drive 3 hrs to visit family. Range and lack of any quick charging capability won’t be there for at least a decade.
And I’m still gonna drive my old truck till it dies. It means too much to me and I just don’t see me buying an all electric pickup in my life.
 

Mike_V

Active Member
No.
There is no battery fairy waving a magic wand creating lithium Cobalt or nickel.

February 2021 Japan Auto Mfg Assn. Member
"The current business model of the car industry is going to collapse," he said. "The more EVs we build, the worse carbon dioxide gets… When politicians are out there saying, 'Let's get rid of all cars using gasoline,' do they understand this?"

grandson of Toyota founder, Kiichiro Toyoda,

Because:
'The carbon emissions necessary to manufacture an electric vehicle reveal that on a net basis, there are more emissions for vehicle bought and used for its expected lifetime, than would be generated by buying and using a conventional gasoline-powered vehicle.'

“One of the biggest environmental problems caused by our endless hunger for the latest and smartest devices is a growing mineral crisis, particularly those needed to make our batteries,” says Christina Valimaki an analyst at Elsevier. . .

It’s a relatively cheap and effective process, but it uses a lot of water – approximately 500,000 gallons per tonne of lithium. In Chile’s Salar de Atacama, mining activities consumed 65 per cent of the region’s water. That is having a big impact on local farmers – who grow quinoa and herd llamas – in an area where some communities already have to get water driven in from elsewhere. . .
 

reed scott

Well-Known Member
I've always wondered about recycling spent batteries. Surely this is a possibility. I'm a bad person. I've just been trashing my old batteries ( not ebike batteries ... yet ) and I'm sure most folks do the same. Is there a real problem with this? AND is there an opportunity for a new industry?