In recent weeks I’ve heard a amount of men and women — which includes my grandsons — telling me how superb the battery powered TESLA electric automobile is. In fact with Tesla Motors inventory planning out of sight — it appears that a whole lot of other folks feel identical way.

Allow me start by stating that the battery powered TESLA auto can be a outstanding technological achievement. Even though I’ve mentioned this within a prior write-up, I need to repeat it right here. When compared on the battery powered Nissan Leaf plug in auto, Tesla Motors has managed to extend the car’s variety from about seventy miles to about 265 miles, and decreased the quickly recharging time from about two hours to about 25 mins for an through the street 50 cost. Nevertheless, the TESLA car is still rather pricey — $986 for every calendar month lease selling price for your minimum high priced Design S. In addition, for the reason that lithium ion battery may be very expensive and might only survive 50 percent of your car’s everyday living, the acquire price incorporates a 125 thousand mile battery substitute guarantee.

With that currently being claimed — let’s look at the hydrogen fuel mobile powered auto substitute. The initial, and most important, facet to think about may be the 25 minute in excess of the road 50 cost, versus a refill of hydrogen gas in about several minutes. To me this could be the Achilles heel that may relegate battery powered cars to only a area of interest marketplace — specially with equivalent mass made pricing. Also — until the everyday living expectancy with the lithium ion battery might be substantially greater, or its price substantially decreased, most folks will not desire a reduced industry in value. Conversely the business in worth of hydrogen fuel cell cars will likely be enhanced being a consequence in the restoration value of platinum accustomed to coat the fuel mobile’s electrodes. Which is to not say that some restoration worth may be obtained in the cobalt employed in the lithium ion battery.

In any affair, it appears that the trend nowadays is always to use nickel steel hydride batteries (a la the Toyota Prius) — rather than lithium ion as a result of reduced price tag and very much more time existence. The truth is Toyota and Honda have determined that hydrogen fuel tissues ought to be used in conjunction with these batteries. The explanation is the fact that fuel tissue are most fuel effective when operating at regular electrical power output. Therefore, when strength demand is reduced the fuel cell is usually accustomed to charge the battery.

This brings up a different essential stage — efficiency. Even though regularly operating fuel cells are about 60 effective, batteries are shut to 90 effective. But right here will be the glitch. The batteries are charged by electric strength plants (at this time about 40 percent inside the United states power plants are fueled by coal!) which have difficulty reaching 50 p.c efficiency. When you multiply 90 p.c by 50 you receive — at best — 45 general battery efficiency — but additional probable 40 . Whereas, when the 60 percent effective fuel cell fees the 90 effective battery (inside combined fuel cellular and battery car) — the overall battery efficiency is about 54 percent.

If I have been to guess at TESLA’s long term, it makes feeling to me that fuel cellular vary extenders will eventually be incorporated to the layout — specially when around the highway hydrogen fuel becomes commonplace. In addition, if the cost and life expectancy of lithium ion batteries does not drastically strengthen — a nickel steel hydride battery will even be used possibly as being a substitute or being a supplement.

My identify is Don Bongaards And that I’m a retired engineer and author of 3 publications.

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