Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Are better batteries enough to make the electrical car succeed?

There have been a few announcements recently that talked about better batteries giving more reach at less weight for cars. IBM for example is working on a Lithium Air battery, claiming to be able to build the energy store for cars doing 300 to 500 miles. This would be a factor 4 to 6 of what is possible with the best batteries today.
But that is maybe not good enough as the base of future mobility. As long as we haven't solved the recycling problem with batteries and as long as we think we can continue to build cars as we do today (heavy, large, more geared towards safety than efficiency) we still will waste earth' resources.

I still think the car of the future should be lightweight (e.g. 500-900 kg), slippery (0.25 cw), accommodate 2-3 persons or 4-5 depending on configuration and be powered by electrical motors and an ecological range extender. Batteries should be as small as possible and be fully recycleable. Maybe it's a dream, but this dream could come true in the next 3-5 years I think, at least from small production companies. Cars like the Mindset and the Aptera are clearly pointing in the right direction.

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