Too Many Battery Factories Too Few Electric Cars MIT Technology Review

23 мая 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Too Many Battery Factories Too Few Electric Cars MIT Technology Review отключены
Lumeneo Neoma Electric Cars

Too Many Battery Factories, Too Few Cars

Too little: Dow Kokam supply batteries for this vehicle from French Lumeneo.

In August 2009, Obama announced a $2.4 grant program designed to an electric vehicle battery in the United States. Three on, the factories funded by those are sitting idle or operating below their originally capacity.

The problem is simple. aren’t buying enough cars, and most of those are being sold contain made by established battery in Asia.

It’s still early for electric vehicles, but the idle point to the difficulty of starting a new industry from scratch.

The chart, top left, shows the gap the planned capacity for 2013 and the for batteries, based on estimates Menahem Anderman at the consulting Advanced Automotive Batteries. The shortfall will happen if the number of vehicles that use batteries grows dramatically 2012 and 2013, as is shown in the in the second chart, below.

grant recipients have had to to find customers. Dow Kokam, for which was awarded a grant of million, has lined up a few customers, but no automakers yet. Last it announced it would supply for a small electric vehicle by the French automaker Lumeneo.

The batteries are less than a of the size of those in full-size vehicles, such as the Nissan

Even grant recipients do have agreements to supply manufacturers are struggling. LG Chem, for supplies battery cells for Volt. It built a factory in Michigan, with the help of an of $151.4 million. But the plant producing any batteries yet.

Volt sales have lower than originally and the battery cells for the Volt so far from Korea, where LG is based; even there, still operating at only 20 to 30 of capacity, Anderman says. in Asia had a head start on batteries companies because of existing capacity for producing for portable electronics or hybrid

Hybrids, which sell in the provide a much larger for batteries. But the vast majority of use nickel-metal-hydride batteries, not the newer batteries these factories built to make.

So far only a few automakers make vehicles, so electric vehicle could still increase as automakers bring them to Grant recipient A123 will supply the upcoming Spark. But GM has said it expects of that vehicle to remain

Other automakers, including are backing away from original electric vehicle Renault and Nissan are standing plans to push forward electric vehicles, but they get their batteries from in Asia (see “Renault and Debut Electric Cars ”).

Electric vehicles can cost as much as a conventional gas-powered Yet battery costs will high until they can be at high volumes. Even it could take breakthroughs in technology (see “Solid Batteries ”) or years of incremental as was the case with the Toyota to make electric vehicles competitive (see “Carmakers Ways to Make Cheaper ”).

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Credit: AP Photo | Frank

A123 s Technology Just t Good Enough


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