By on September 9, 2010

The things you find on the Internet. FFOG (ever heard of them?) reports that the Iran has an electric vehicle that goes 300 kilometers (186 miles), “with the recharging battery in only six minutes.“

It  turns out to be an Opel Tigra conversion. That should make the  U.S. government happy. And what’s with the lightning-fast recharge? Charged from a conventional 220v outlet will take the usual six hours to charge fully. For the six minute recharge, you need to take your car to what they call an “Intelligent Charging Station.”

It’s a shed where they swap near empty batteries with charged ones. Wait until Project Better Place gets wind of that. Then Iran will have problems with the U.S. and Israel. But wait: They already have problems.

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15 Comments on “And Now: EVs From The Axis of Evil...”


  • avatar
    HerrKaLeun

    “charging in 6 minutes”means swapping the batteries? I assume “300 km range” refers to the life of the car with 18 battery swaps. this is the weapon to destroy all enemies?
     
    and you think the Volt is a boondoggle with 230 mpg.
     
    And the proud nation used an imported car from a US company? Maybe they should do some more science on their own between stoning of women.

  • avatar

    …and along with super-fantastic EVs,  everyone’s a pony and they all eat rainbows and poop butterflies.

  • avatar
    Steven02

    They actually claim 6 minute charging and it is a battery swap?  WOW.
     
    I am thinking that the range is also flawed.  Probably using 100% of the charge of the battery which will end its life quickly.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    The 6 minute battery swap is actually a great idea, and one that I have been proposing as the best means of EV mass market acceptance for a while.
     
    Come up with a standard battery for all US EV vehicles, and set up battery swap stations at gas stations throughout the country.  When your charge is running low, just drive in, swap out your depleted battery for a charged one, pay for the electricity, and go on your way.  It would work just like changing out a depleted propane tank for a full one does now.

    • 0 avatar
      Cavendel

      Battery swap is a cool idea, but probably very difficult to implement. Name me a part that is the same on all cars. Even very similar parts like gas tanks will differ in shape and size. Trying to get an industry to set aside a 2X4X1 space accessible from the outside will not be an easy thing to accomplish.
      On top of that, batteries will have different levels of life depending on how old they are and how badly they have been abused. How pissed would you be if you did a battery swap, and your car-puter tells you that instead of 90 miles, this battery will only take you 60.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      True enough, but with pure EVs, there is no longer a need for an engine, so that clears up a huge amount of space in any given vehicle.  I’m not saying that the battery pack should go where the current engine bay is in most cars, as that would be a poor idea for both handling and safety, but with the reduced parts count of EVs, there is plenty of room for batteries.  This is an area the government would have to step in and say ‘this is where the battery compartment must be, it must be accessible in this way, and it must be this size’.
       
      As the quality of batteries improves in the future, range would naturally improve based on the same sized cell.  What can hold 100kwh today, might hold 250kwh in two years.
       
      Batteries are by far the costliest part of the EV purchase, and are a sticking point for a lot of potential buyers because they worry about the replacement costs.  A replacement station setup would solve this by making the vehicle itself a lot cheaper (you never buy or actually own the battery) and by removing the worry about ‘your’ battery going bad.  Mobil, BP, Shell, Sunoco, etc, can all get into the battery business instead of just the gas business.  If they own the batteries, they can charge a fee on top of the cost of the electricity for the battery ‘lease’ until you need your next charge.  Equipment in the swap stations could read the amount of charge and life left in the batteries they have, and automatically move older underperforming ones out of service to be recycled.

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      As noted in the article, battery swapping is the basis for the Better Place system. Obviously, the vehicle needs to be designed around a standard battery pack, which means that adoption is constrained by the willingness of mfrs to join in.

    • 0 avatar
      nonce

      If you lease the battery, a swap program is great. It also means you out-source the depreciation on the battery , so up-front costs are smaller.  (A pure EV with no battery should cost less than a conventional ICE car.)

      EDIT: Also, you don’t need one standard battery size. There could be a few different ones, just like any Radio Shack can swap your AA or your C batteries, as needed.

      There’s also a lot of possibilities of only swapping part of your batteries. Or, for people who always swap their batteries frequently, using something besides Lithium, like flooded lead-acid. (There are maintenance issues there, but if a driver swaps them a lot, those don’t matter.)

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      ClutchCar -
      Somehow I missed that article back in Feb, they have some good ideas.   Compliance for switchable batteries shouldn’t be an industry agreement, it should be a government mandate.  If the EPA stepped in and said that if an EV wants certification it has to use an interchangeable battery back meeting certain specs and interoperability with various makes and models, the industry would follow suit.
       
      Nonce -
      That is exactly my point.  Lower the cost of entry to get people interested in EV vehicles (tax rebates are nice, but they depend on people having the up front money to pay for it to wait on the refund check, and they aren’t a good long term solution).  When you pull into the charging station you would pay a (likely variable) rate for the electricity in the charge (could be 20 cents per kwh in CA, or 10 cents per kwh in WV, depending on the cost of electricity in the area) plus maybe $5 – $10 in battery depreciation costs.  By the time the battery has no life left, it has been payed for and then some, so the company that fronts for the batteries makes some money, and the motorist never has to buy one outright.

    • 0 avatar
      nonce

      Compliance for switchable batteries shouldn’t be an industry agreement, it should be a government mandate
       
      So you’re going to make the Tesla Roadster illegal?
      I would *heart* a swappable battery in a Nissan Leaf. But the way to encourage a new industry is not to bring down the regulation hammer on people who dare to design things differently. There is no dominant player here so it’s in the car-makers’ interests to commoditize the battery technology as much as possible.
      If you have a common form factor, you have set up restrictions on both the minimum and maximum range someone can put in an electric car.
       

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      The only problem is paying for all of the extra batteries that are now going to be in use.  Say the battery pack cost 10k.  Go less if you want, but how long would it take to recoup the costs of the batteries in the swap out stations.  Honestly, about as fast as you would recoup the costs on any hybrid or EV on the market today, several years.  At which time, it might need to be replaced with a new one.  Where do you store all of these batteries?  These things are heavy and large.
       
      With technology improving, now you have to have newer batteries to swap out with.  The question is, how do you make the investment of extra batteries worth it to any company?
      Till those two problems get answered, this is really just a nice idea.

    • 0 avatar
      nonce

      From Wikipedia:

      Better Place expects battery packs to cost between US 4¢ and 5¢ per mile over their life,[34] provide the cars with a 160 km (100 mi) range per charge, perform for 2000 recharge cycles, and last for 8 years.[35]

      5 cents / mile * 100 miles / charge * 2000 charges / battery = $10,000 for the battery pack over its life.

      5 cents / mile is about what you pay with a 50MPG car when gas is $2.50.  Better Place is probably going to charge more than 5 cents / mile so they can profit, but there’s still a lot of wiggle room there.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      nonce -
      Just because you define a form factor and an interface doesn’t mean that you have to define capacity.  You can find SD memory cards with capacities from under 1GB to over 32GB, but they (mostly) all work with the same devices.
       
      Actually, speaking of memory cards, that is an area where government intervention and standardization could have saved a lot of time.  Over the past decade I’ve owned devices that have used CompactFlash, MMC, SmartMedia, Memory Stick, and several flavors of SD.  It seems that finally SD has sort of taken over the market (though I still have to keep memory sticks around for my Sony stuff) but why did it have to be so difficult?  You can buy any ethernet card and plug it into any network, or connect any 802.11x to any wireless network, so why did we have to go through so many attempted standards for physical memory cards instead of just defining one and making everyone adopt it?
       
      The standard battery form factor could even be small enough that larger vehicles could utilize two batteries at once for increased power or range.  The 2′x4′x1′ idea listed above isn’t bad.  It would fit well inside of a subcompact car, or you could easily fit two of them inside of a large car or SUV.

  • avatar
    Stingray

    LOL
    Well, with the imagination that people have (blocking a country does that) I wouldn’t discard it.
     

  • avatar
    nonce

    Congratulations for wanting to make the Nissan Leaf and the Tesla Roadster illegal.
    With friends like you, who needs enemies?
     


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