The Truth About Cars » IBM The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sat, 26 Jul 2014 14:51:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » IBM This Battery Runs On Thin Air Fri, 20 Apr 2012 14:42:45 +0000

If you want to see the future of the electric car, you have to go back a hundred years. In 1900, over a quarter of all new automobiles ran on battery. City cars? Around a third of the buggies of Chicago, Boston, and New York City were electric. They were decimated by cars running on smelly and flammable gasoline, because people wanted to drive fast and long distances. Hundred years later, little has changed. Ten to 20 years from now, something might change.

“Electric cars today typically can travel only about 100 miles on current battery technology, called lithium-ion (LIB). LIB technology stands little chance of being light enough to travel 500 miles on a single charge and cheap enough to be practical for a typical family car. This problem is creating a significant barrier to electric vehicle adoption.”

This is a quote from a group of researchers at IBM, and it is putting the problem mildly. In an electric car, the devils called cost, range, and weight are fighting each other, and nobody is winning. The IBM researchers think they know the way out. They are working on a battery that has the same energy density as gasoline.

In other words: A battery the size of a current gas tank will get us as far as a current tank of gas.

IBM’s lithium-air battery literally pulls energy out of thin air. It borrows oxygen from the air. Combined with lithium, electrical energy is created. When the battery is recharged, the borrowed oxygen is being paid back to the atmosphere. The battery can be much lighter, because it uses air as its most important component.

IBM’s research group is called “Battery 500”. The goal is a battery that can power a car for 500 miles. The researchers hope their battery will be ready “some time between 2020 and 2030.”

(Hat tip to Rick.)

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A Lenovo-IBM-Like Deal Between Ford And Geely About Volvo? Wed, 16 Dec 2009 11:46:29 +0000

Unfazed by Swedish unions calling for an investigation into the Ford-Volvo-Geely deal, Geely is getting itself ready to swallow the big Swedish fish. The deal is already being feted as episode two of the takeover of international icons by the Chinese.

Whenever someone tries to cite a successful foreign takeover in China, he’ll inevitably shout “Lenovo!” In 2005, Chinese government-backed Lenovo had acquired the former IBM PC Company Division, along with their ThinkPad line of notebook PCs for approximately $1.75b. In a five year transitional deal , IBM helps to market and to support the products. For a few years, the Lenovo-made Thinkpad even carried the vaunted IBM logo. Then, Lenovo thought their brand is stronger than  IBM’s and dropped the logo.

The not quite closed Geely-Volvo deal is already lauded as the “Lenovo-IBM” of the auto industry, says Reuters. According to an unnamed source, “Geely Chairman Li Shufu wants to do something like Lenovo-IBM.”

The same source said that the deal “is expected to be done before Chinese New Year, and then Geely will quickly launch integration.” In 2010, the Chinese Lunar New Year will start on Feb 14.

Unusual for a Chinese company, Geely is bringing in heavy foreign artillery: Geely has hired German-based Roland Berger Strategy Consultants to launch a 100-day internal review and restructuring to improve Geely operations. Geely also signed Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu to work on post-acquisition integration for Volvo.

With the IP questions settled between Geely and Ford, the remaining issues should be relatively minor.  Unless Geely and Ford really want to copy the Lenovo-IBM deal. With Ford helping to market and to support Geely-made Volvos. These days, everything is possible.

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