What will make cars of the future run? The Globe and Mail

23 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи What will make cars of the future run? The Globe and Mail отключены
Bollore Bluecar Electric Cars

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Nancy Gioia, Ford Motor’s electric guru — officially she’s Ford’s new Director of Global Electrification — has been dealing with ink-stained wretches like me for years.

Patiently, she has explained Ford’s take on alternative-technology cars and trucks, hoping for balanced and less gee-whiz reporting. Among many goals, she hopes to create a better understanding and appreciation of alternative fuel technologies and green issues in general.

One of the misconceptions is that the auto industry is the only factor of CO2 (carbon dioxide) on the planet, Gioia told me at a recent auto show. Then there are concerns that batteries won’t last and aren’t safe. At the same time, there’s a perception that the cost of battery technology is very affordable and that it’s going to drop far faster than it will.

We’re bombarded with information from all media sources, and it’s getting harder and harder to discern fact from fiction.

This, we hope, is where Green Highway comes into the picture. This regular item on GlobeDrive.com will, we hope, dispel myths, trounce misinformation and keep readers up to date about the latest green technologies and developments in the auto industry and around it, too.

There is plenty to cover, but in this emerging age of gasoline-electric hybrids, plug-in hybrids, extended-range electric vehicles and pure electrics, one technology trumps all others: battery technology.

Electric cars don’t work without batteries. And when we’re talking electric cars, we’d also include hydrogen fuel cells in the mix. As John Tak, president and CEO of the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, notes, fuel cells belong in the electric car conversation.

I’m concerned that we’ve come to define battery cars as ‘electric vehicles’ and fuel cell cars as, well, something else, he says. We should call them what they are: ‘fuel cell electric cars’ or ‘battery electric cars.’ I’m happy to see the growing consensus that electric cars are good, that we want electric cars, that we need policies and programs that get us electric cars.

Bollore Bluecar Electric Cars

But that term in its current use defaults to a battery electric car taking us away from the larger issue of what types of electric car will actually meet the more diverse driving distance and refuelling requirements of a mass market.


It’s interesting to track which companies are investing in the development of batteries for these future electric cars. After all, it’s the battery, stupid, that matters most.

That’s why a recent announcement in Montreal from the Bolloré Group was so intriguing. Bolloré hosted the grand opening of its new factory to build lithium metal polymer (LMP) batteries for two future electric cars — La BlueCar, a compact vehicle first shown in 2005 at the Geneva Motor Show, and an electric microbus. Both are being built in partnership with Italian auto maker Pininfarina.

Bolloré is run by chairman and CEO Vincent Bolloré, a Frenchman and one of the world’s wealthiest men. In 2007, the Bolloré Group bought the assets of Avestor, a Canadian company and the only one in the world, other than Bolloré, possessing technology and patents to manufacture LMP batteries.

LMP batteries are different from Lithium-Ion Polymer, or Li-ion batteries, which are most popular with major auto makers around the world. Upcoming electrics such as the Chevrolet Volt, Ford Focus and Nissan Leaf all will use Li-ion batteries.

Bollore Bluecar Electric Cars
Bollore Bluecar Electric Cars
Bollore Bluecar Electric Cars

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