Tag Archives: battery

Your “Electric” Bill…

Electric Car Charging Pavement Marking


Practicalities aside, running an electric car, it appears, is full of various expenses. But is this really true? The thing, of course, with any electric car is that you are benefiting the planet, but is this a detriment to your wallet? Let’s break down the various costs essential to keeping an electric car running, and the upfront costs that you need, as well as the other pertinent aspects.

The Cost Of The Car

The first thing to notice is that these cars cost a lot more front than a standard vehicle. As far as average cost is concerned, the best-selling electric car in the United Kingdom, the Nissan LEAF, costs roughly £8,000 more than the most popular petrol car in the country, the Ford Fiesta. But the difference is bearable in some respects. The UK government will give grants towards the cost of electric cars, up to £4,500. The cost upfront is quite a dent in your savings. You could go for the cheaper models that are exempt from road tax, but with these ones you are looking at less than £40,000. As far as the impact on the environment is concerned, it is something worth considering, and based on your finances, you might start looking for the best place to get a personal loan, so you can make this upfront payment because you will recoup the costs in other ways…

The Running Costs

The one thing that is glaringly obvious is the lack of petrol costs, and so when you are looking at an electric vehicle battery, the charge for every 100 miles is between £2 and £4. So, straight away, if you can get roughly 300 miles out of a 1.2-litre tank, which costs roughly between £35 and £40, you’ve got a major saving! The most recent Tesla model offers 335 miles as a maximum range and the Nissan LEAF needs charging after 100 miles. As far the practicalities are concerned, as long as you have charging points dotted around your destinations, there is a major saving to be had. The other factors to consider in terms of getting the most mileage out of your electric car is what time of year you drive it, as well as if you like to listen to music in your car! The more in-car functions you use, the quicker it will drain the battery. It’s worth bearing this in mind.

The Other Concern

We all need to change the battery on occasion. This does depend on the model car that you buy. A Nissan LEAF, with a 30kWh battery, is covered for 8 years or 100,000 miles, whichever one you hit first. But will you look at the battery pack in the Tesla Model S, it only loses 8% of its battery life after 100,000 miles.

The Verdict

Overall, mathematics needs to be your strong point, and you need to calculate right now if it’s worth your expenditure. Apart from the benefits to the planet, and the value it can retain if you keep it safe, despite the government funding you can get right now, lots of people find that it’s too much of a dent in their wallet. However, petrol cars are going to be outlawed in 2040 in the United Kingdom, so it’s time to start saving!

Common Tesla Model S Questions Answered


Image source

Since its release, the Tesla Model S has caused a lot of buzzes and even more debate than some of the most popular cars of the past century! No doubt this is due to its innovation, which makes it a whole different kettle of fish to the average car, which means that few of us really know too much about it.

Hopefully, we can change that by answering some of the most common Tesla Model S questions…

How Is It an Evo Car?

Many people are skeptical that the Model S could be described as an evo car, but anyone who’s driven the Model S P85+ will be able to tell you that this electric car can go from 0-60 mph in less than four seconds, which means it performs as fast as the average super saloon. It turns out you don’t need petrol or diesel for prompt torque delivery!

How Does She Handle?

Many people are curious what it feels like to drive a totally electric car – well in the case of the Tesla Model S, it feels pretty much like driving any over vehicle. If anything, it is perhaps a little smoother, and of course, it’s a lot quieter than your average vehicle.

How Often Does It Need Charging?

On average, you can expect to get 31 miles of travel from each hour of charging; So, if you’re planning to go on a long journey, you’re going to have to park up and charge for quite a while. This is perhaps the biggest downside of owning the vehicle, especially right now when places to charge are still few and far between. Once that issue is solved, the Tesla Model S will surely be one of the best vehicles out on the road.

Should I Book a Service?

Should I book a service? This is something that most car owners, not just those with a brand new electric car often ponder, but with the Tesla S, you don’t need to guess. The company say that you should have the vehicle serviced after every 12,5000 miles use or annually – it’s up to you which. Obviously, if you’re experiencing any issues sooner than that, you will need to have it checked out. It might be an amazing car, but it still needs to be looked after!

Will My Mechanic Know What to Do with It?

Another issue with the Tesla is that there are still far too few mechanics who know how to deal with what is basically a leap in the evolution of car technology. Unless your regular mechanic has been trained and certified as a Tesla mechanic, then chances are he won’t be able to help you if something goes wrong and you’ll have to look for someone who is certified, which might not be too easy depending on where you’re located.

I hope this helps you understand a little more about the pros and cons of owning a Tesla. If you’re interested though, it is probably a good idea to check out their official website for a more comprehensive guide to ownership, too.

A123 Systems Applying for Government Loans

From Autobloggreen today:

A123 Systems announced today that it has applied for $1.84 billion in loans from the Department of Energy to help contribute to the $2.3 billion required to pay for the construction of battery plants in the United States. In what should be good news for Michigan, the first of the facilities A123 is planning would be located there. If A123 gets the funds, it plans to have enough cell manufacturing capacity in place by 2013 to support 5 million hybrid vehicles or half a million battery electric vehicles. The factories would produce employ 14,000 people when fully operational.

A123 claims to be working with seven different automakers right now on 19 different vehicle programs. Those include General Motors for the plug-in hybrid Saturn Vue and the Chevy Volt and Chrysler with its electric programs through its ENVI division. A123 is also working with Better Place on its charging and battery swap network programs. There’s no word so far on when a decision on the application might be made or construction might start.

14 US Companies Form Alliance to Create Super Battery

This post appeared in AutoBlogGreen on December 20, 2008:

A Voltron for lithium batteries? 14 companies, Argonne National Lab join forces

Posted Dec 20th 2008 at 3:03PM by Sebastian Blanco
Perhaps a flock-like approach to building lithium batteries for vehicles is what it’ll take. A new alliance has been formed between the Argonne National Laboratory and 14 US companies to try and “perfect” li-ion batteries for cars, the lab announced this week. The alliance, called The National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Battery Cell Manufacture, will ask for between $1 and $2 billion from the US government over five years to help with the task. Much has been made of the way that America is losing the advanced battery race to Asian countries, and an Argonne spokesman said that, “A small, fragmented (U.S.) battery industry will not long survive in the face of determined Asian competition.”

The companies involved in the alliance include:

  • Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions
  • 3M Co
  • ActaCell
  • All Cell Technologies
  • Altair Nanotechnologies Inc
  • Eagle Picher Industries Inc
  • EnerSys
  • Envia Systems
  • FMC Corp
  • MicroSun Technologies
  • Mobius Power
  • SiLyte
  • Superior Graphite
  • Townsend Advanced Energy

ZENN, EEStor, and LightEVs Love Triangle

There seems to be a lot of confusion recently concerning who owns the rights to EEstor’s breakthrough (hopefully) battery technology. Let me simplify it to the best of my knowledge:

ZENN- as of April 2007 ZENN has exclusive rights to EEStor’s capacitors (EESU) for use in small 4-wheeled vehicles.

Lockheed Martin- as of January 9, 2008 Lockheed Martin has exclusive rights to integrate and market EESU units in military and homeland security applications.

LightEV- as of September 24, 2008, LightEV has exclusive rights to EESU units for two and three wheeled vehicles.

So basically, none of these overlap. ZENN still has exclusive rights to use EEstor’s game changing technology in their four wheeled vehicles. LightEV, who nobody has ever heard of, seems to have really pulled a fast one, and gained exclusive rights to make three and two wheeled vehicles with it. I mean, look at the LightEV site. A lot of three wheeled and two wheeled electric vehicle producing companies are probably kicking themselves right now. I’m looking at you, Aptera, Zap!, VentureOne.

In April 2008 ZENN Motor Company announced that a future highway speed electric vehicle using EEStor’s capacitors will achieve 80 mph (130 km/h) speeds, 250 mile (400 km) range and charge in 5 minutes. EEStor also claimed it would weigh 90% less than conventional batteries. That is how powerful this technology could potentially be. But ZENN stated later in May, “[The Batteries] are still under development and there can be no assurance that it will be successfully commercialized at all or on a timely basis.” This was in the latest press release on the ZENN homepage. Anyways, the hype surrounding the EEStor technology seems to be tapering off, with rumors that it might not be much of a breakthrough after all. Some say the government got hold of it when EEStor signed with Lockheed Martin, hiding it with Bigfoot and the Area 51 aliens. You never know.

[Edit] The official name of the company is LightEVs, not LightEV.

Lightning GT promises 10-minute recharge

Lightning GT

-Provided you have an industrial strength outlet. But the Lightning GT was unveiled at the London Motor Show this summer, and boy does it look mean. With four at-the-wheels electric motors, the vehicle puts out 640 bhp, propelling it from 0-60 in 4 seconds with a top speed of 130 mph. The 30 Nanosafe batteries should provide a 180 mile range and weigh around 400kg. These batteries employ a new lithium-ion technology that replaces graphite with a titanite-based material to make them more thermally stable. The price could be comparable to the Tesla Roadster, but with exchange rates going the way they are, the GT will probably be around 200,000 USD. The car is still on schedule to be released in 2009. Here’s the Lightning GT’s London Motor show debut:

Well, I’m certainly looking forward to the UK’s answer to Tesla.