Posts Tagged ‘Electric car’

Ford and General Motors are Developing New Electric Cars

Are gasoline and diesel powered vehicles a dying breed? A look into the future shows that electric vehicles will take over the need of all fossil-fueled vehicles, however estimates on when this transition will begin to take effect vary across the board. Certainly the benefits of electrical vehicles are very apparent, including reduced pollution, higher efficiency, and reduced maintenance costs. However, there are still some very large obstacles in the way of transitioning from old fossil fueled vehicles to high-tech, electrical vehicles. Primarily, new infrastructure must be put in place to “re-fuel” electric vehicles, or in other words, re-charge the electric vehicles when batteries are depleted. Also battery production and replacement at end-of-life are important considerations, especially considering that the cost of batteries is very high, and high-capacity car batteries only currently provide relatively short range for vehicle mileage. Regardless, transitioning to electric vehicles is imminent. General Motors and Ford have seen the writing on the wall. Both companies have big plans in place to increase electric vehicle production significantly between now and 2020. The companies are planning on introducing both hybrid and full electric vehicles as part of new vehicle lineups in the upcoming years. Both companies are also learning the market trends based off of current hybrid and electric vehicles, such as the Chevrolet Bolt, in an effort to identify what drives consumers spending and desires. Ford has plans for many new hybrid or electric vehicles in the next several years, including a hybrid F150 pickup truck and other popular models. GM is planning a total of 20 new electric or hybrid vehicles by the year 2023 and has already begun plans for production and manufacturing. Transitioning away from fossil fueled vehicles will certainly not happen overnight, however. Infrastructure, as well as consumer acceptance of electric vehicles, are huge obstacles that will need to be overcome first. -Read More: www.machinedesign.com

New Battery Design Shows Promise

Automobile fuel sources are going through a series of improvements as of lately. With improvements to alternative energy sources such as electric battery power, the future of automobile energy consumption is rapidly changing. Battery technology in itself is rapidly changing, and the concept of a battery having a fixed positive terminal, negative terminal, and fixed size is thrown out the window by a new start-up company from Finland. The company’s name is Tanktwo, and they are revolutionizing the shape and functionality of battery cells. Their design incorporates a sphere with six zones of contact. The idea is that the battery spheres would each be very small and have programmable zones to orientate proper battery polarity automatically when placed next to another battery sphere. The overall effect is a small array of battery cells that all align themselves to the appropriate polarity using computers located on each individual cell. The array of cells is located in a larger container, or battery module, acting similarly to other fuel cells aside from the fact that the fuel inside the cell is simply made up of little individual batteries. The possibilities of this concept show great promise in the automobile industry as a compromise to the obvious limitations presented by current battery designs and the limitations to electric vehicles. Batteries used in electric vehicles are severely limited in their functionality because of the need to slowly recharge the battery when the battery is depleted. This requires the automobile to essentially be parked for an extended period of time. Imagine if battery “refueling” stations simply removed the small spherical batteries from a vehicle’s battery module and replaced them with pre-charged, automatically orientating and assembling cells, and the automobile was instantly ready for use again. The small spherical batteries could then be re-charged and re-used again without dealing with replacing large, heavy, expensive batteries. The concept needs a lot of refining before it can be successfully implemented, but many large auto makers are taking notice to the concept. -taken from www.sae.org

Instant Battery Recharging

Scientists at Purdue University are in the process of developing a radical new method to recharge batteries quickly. Their hope is to develop a system that will be able to recharge the large batteries in electric cars in a fraction of the time that it currently takes to recharge, allowing consumers to replenish the energy in their electric vehicle batteries without having to wait for hours upon hours for the batteries to charge using conventional plug-in-the wall methods. Ultimately, decreasing the time to charge an electric vehicle will make electric vehicles more attractive for consumers worldwide and will allow these vehicles to travel much further without the need for a stop in travel to recharge for an extended period of time. The concept is to extract the electrolytic fluid from a spent battery and replace it with new, electrolyte-enriched fluid. So, for example, instead of filling a gas tank with gasoline, electrolytes would be refueled in a vehicles battery. The only difference is that the old, spent electrolytic fluid would be extracted from the battery first. The old fluid could be re-used many times. In fact, scientists from Purdue anticipate that the spent fluid could be collected together, sent to a electrical power plant, and re-energized for use again. The best part, is that the process reduces the amount of pollutants generated during energy generation, reduces the necessity for fossil fuels, and can be easily tied to renewable energy sources for regeneration, such as a solar-powered power plant or a wind farm. Scientists at Purdue expect that the technology will be able to utilize much of the same infrastructure that is already in place for refueling gasoline-powered vehicles, such as the refueling stations and transport vehicles (tankers, trains, semi trucks), and the refueling process for electric vehicles will be largely the same as for gasoline powered vehicles, making the process easy to adopt by consumers.   -taken from Science Daily