Chevy Bolt. Image Modified, source Wikimedia

2021: The Year the Electric Vehicle Batteries Burned

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Are electric vehicles inherently unsafe? This is a question more people may be asking, as realisation grows that 2021 was a horror year for battery fire vehicle recalls.

GM heralded this plant as a model for its electric car future. Then its batteries started exploding.

The company had to recall 141,000 Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles, a microcosm of the challenge GM faces as it aims to shift its production to all-electric

By Faiz SiddiquiDecember 30, 2021 at 6:00 a.m. EST

ORION TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Before General Motors recalled the entire fleet of its most popular electric car because of fire dangers, before her factory was stilled, assembly line worker Carol McConkey stood in the middle of a teeming factory floor and marveled at how seamlessly the Chevrolet Bolt is manufactured.

The crisis involving the Chevrolet Bolt was a painful reminder for the auto industry that despite treating the electric vehicle era as essentially inevitable — a technical fait accompli — significant obstacles to manufacturing the cars, and especially their batteries, continue to threaten that future.

“It’s a terrible thing that has happened,” Tim Grewe, GM’s general director for electrification strategy and cell engineering, said in an interview in September.

It’s the kind of disruption GM can ill afford as it aims to scale up its production of electric vehicles to 1 million units per year by 2025. The company wants to have a global lineup of 30 EVs by that year. And it plans to shift production away from gasoline-powered cars entirely in the next decade and a half.

Carmakers including Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and Ford also have announced plans to go all or mostly electric — chasing ambitions similar to GM’s deadline of 2035.

But first, automakers have to show they can manufacture safe and reliablecars — at scale.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/12/30/chevy-bolt-gm/

GM is far from alone from having battery fire problems. Hyundai recalled thousands of EVs in March 2021.

Don’t park your Hyundai Kona EV inside because it could catch fire

Hyundai is recalling more than 80,000 EVs over battery fire concerns

By Andrew J. Hawkins@andyjayhawk  Mar 29, 2021, 4:33pm EDT

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a recall for 2019–2020 Hyundai Kona and 2020 Hyundai Ioniq electric vehicles after over a dozen battery fires were reported. The agency is also warning owners against parking their vehicles near their homes or any flammable structure. 

An electrical short in the Kona’s lithium-ion battery cells increases the risk of fire while parked, charging, and driving, NHTSA said, adding, “The safest place to park them is outside and away from homes and other structures.”

Last month, Hyundai announced that it would recall some 76,000 Kona EVs built between 2018 and 2020 over battery fire concerns. It was the second recall for the Kona but the first one that was global in nature. The automaker also said it would recall some Ioniqs and electric buses that it manufactures. In total, Hyundai said it would recall 82,000 vehicles, which it estimates will cost $900 million.

Read more: https://www.theverge.com/2021/3/29/22357068/hyundai-kona-ev-recall-battery-fire-nhtsa

Germany withdrew electric busses from service, because they kept catching fire. (h/t No Tricks Zone)

Fire hazard: electric buses withdrawn from service

Updated: 04/11/2021 17:26

Because electric buses caught fire, the expensive purchases were withdrawn from use in many cities. 

Hanover – Lower Saxony is actually right at the forefront when it comes to electrical energy in bus transport In June, however, a major fire broke out in a bus depot in Hanover in the Mittelfeld district, in which the fire destroyed nine vehicles belonging to the Üstra transport company. As a result, the bus company Üstra took the electric fleet out of service for the time being. Not only the case in Hanover, it is more and more common that electric vehicles are removed from the timetable in cities, the reasons are often due to one thing in common: fire protection.

In Hanover, however, the 17 electric buses are to be gradually put back into regular service from November 1st. Accordingly, there was no evidence that the electric buses pose an increased risk in operation, for which the transport company had previously spent more than 20 million euros. The approval for the use of the fleet is still given, all vehicles would be checked again in the workshop before being put back into operation. The operation could thus be granted.

Electric buses are being taken out of service in several cities due to the risk of fire

However, not all cities and transport companies come to this point of view. After an electric bus was allegedly responsible for a major fire in a Stuttgart bus depot, the transport company shut down the buses for the time being. 25 vehicles were destroyed in the fire. Other transport companies also took action: The Munich transport company also took eight electric buses out of service. The measure should apply until the cause of the fire has been finally clarified.

Read more (German): https://www.kreiszeitung.de/lokales/niedersachsen/brandgefaehrlich-staedte-ziehen-elektro-busse-aus-dem-verkehr-91066578.html

Tesla managed to avoid bad publicity in 2021 for spontaneous combustion electric vehicles fires, but a large grid scale battery fire in Australia attracted global attention.

Fire at Tesla giant battery project near Geelong was likely caused by coolant leak, investigation finds

By Leanne Wong
Posted Tue 28 Sep 2021 at 11:29amTuesday 28 Sep 2021 at 11:29am, updated Tue 28 Sep 2021 at 4:59pm

Authorities have granted approval for testing to resume at Australia’s largest Tesla battery project this week, after investigations into a July blaze found the likely cause to be a coolant leak.

Key points:

The Energy Safe Victoria investigation says the fire was “most likely” caused by a leak in the Megapack cooling system

It is believed that caused a short circuit in the battery, which led to a fire

Extra safety measures are being taken so testing can resume at the site

Two Tesla Megapacks were engulfed in flames when a fire broke out during initial testing at the Victorian Big Battery site in Moorabool, near Geelong, on July 30. 

The blaze triggered a warning for toxic smoke and it took four days for the site to be deemed under control by firefighters. 

An investigation conducted by Energy Safe Victoria found the “most likely” cause of the fire to be a coolant leak in the Megapack cooling system, which caused a short circuit that led to a fire in an electronic component.

The resulting heating then led to a thermal runaway and fire which spread to a second battery.

Read more: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-09-28/fire-at-tesla-giant-battery-project-near-geelong-investigation/100496688

The problem got so embarrassing, the industry organised a global EV battery fire summit in 2021.

Some industry players have claimed they have solved the problem. Chinese companies are pushing hard to convince the world they have a solution.

China’s battery makers burnish their safety image as they grab the lion’s share of the world’s market for powering electric cars

CATL is now the world’s largest EV battery maker, with about 30 per cent of the global market, ahead of LG Energy’s 25 per cent, SNE Research saidChinese brands are fighting an uphill reputational battle against South Korean and Japanese brands, which have the image of being safer

Daniel Ren in Shanghaiand Jodi Xu Klein

Published: 10:00am, 30 Oct, 2021

The biggest drawback of Li-ion batteries is the liquid electrolyte used, which is volatile and flammable when operating at high temperatures. External forces such as a crash can also cause the chemical to leak, and catch fire. Flammable electrolytes are used in all NCM, LFP and NCA batteries, which means they can all catch fire.

CATL, which unveiled the world’s first sodium-ion battery in July, is poised for a game-changing technological breakthrough in using the abundant material to replace its mainstay lithium-ion batteries.

CATL, which also counts Tesla as a customer, is now the world’s largest EV battery maker, with about 30 per cent of the global market, ahead of LG Energy’s 25 per cent, according to SNE Research.

Still, Chinese brands are fighting an uphill reputational battle against South Korean and Japanese brands, which have the image of being safer because they have been in the industry longer.

Read more: https://www.scmp.com/business/companies/article/3154227/chinas-battery-makers-burnish-their-safety-image-they-grab-lions

Regardless of whether you believe Chinese claims, EV fires are a big reputational risk for the entire industry. The fires burn hot, are far more difficult to extinguish than gasoline fires, and emit hideously toxic fumes.

Last year I asked a firefighter how they extinguish EV fires. He said “We can’t. We cordon off the area, play a thin mist of water on the area to try to keep the temperature down, and wait for it to burn itself out”.

I have a friend who owns an EV, and he loves it. He mostly uses it for short trips, and has enough solar panels on his house roof so he can mostly keep it topped up with his own electricity. But his EV is parked outside, away from the house, and he rarely uses a fast charger.

Until the EV industry can shed its hideous reputation for dangerous fires, get the cost down, and solve range issues, in my opinion early adopters like my friend are going to be the exception rather than the norm. In my opinion, it is going to remain an uphill struggle for manufacturers to convince the majority of motorists to switch to EVs.

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Zig Zag Wanderer
January 2, 2022 2:04 pm

Hey, at least your self-combusting EV will keep you warm when the unreliables reliably fail, eh?

Doc Chuck
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 2, 2022 7:42 pm

Yeah, Ziggy. Our admittedly novel solution to electric vehicle fires has been to cut open a fire-doored back entry into our oversize brick fireplace to park and charge up our small electric automobile in there rather than inside the garage. Then if it goes up in flames it’ll just heat that great room toastier and those hot combustion gases will rise to simply exit up the chimney. Ya just gotta make a few imaginative adjustments for these things to no longer be such a big problem!

Tom Halla
January 2, 2022 2:09 pm

Having both parts of a chemical reaction in very close proximity is an invitation to an accident, and the higher the density of the energy storage, the more energetic the accident can be.

Bryan A
Reply to  Tom Halla
January 2, 2022 2:19 pm

Perhaps the Sodium Hydroxide battery is not so far away. Electricity in the summer and external combustion heat in the winter

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Bryan A
January 2, 2022 5:25 pm

Perhaps is a word which I usually take as meaning a 1 percent chance of happening.

H.R.
Reply to  Pop Piasa
January 2, 2022 6:25 pm

Perhaps you’re right, Pop. 😜

John Endicott
Reply to  Pop Piasa
January 3, 2022 9:40 am

As much as 1%. I think you are being overly generous.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Tom Halla
January 2, 2022 5:57 pm

It would appear that energy storage is always a bit of a risky game. We should recall that from history and particularly from accidents, like the space shuttle launch disaster or the Hindenburg.

Your point is well expressed that with the need for batteries to be one order of magnitude more capable for their size and weight to enable practical transportation, this will undoubtedly pose a similar increase in the risk of spontaneous release of their kinetic energy, most commonly expressed by combustion.

Storage and disposal of these potentially self-oxidizing wastes will no doubt need to exceed the viral dissatisfied Tesla owner’s method of dynamite induced disassembly. Those results are really not environmentally friendly.

AndyHce
Reply to  Pop Piasa
January 2, 2022 6:58 pm

There is a great store of energy in other forms (petroleum, coal, wood) that are also highly flammable but, with reasonable precautions, the benefits outweigh the risks. These battery fires are good circus but are they really more common than fires with other energy sources?

MarkW
Reply to  AndyHce
January 2, 2022 7:32 pm

There are several billion ICE cars in the world, some as much as 50 years old.
There are several million EV cars, most less than 10 years old.

Richard Page
Reply to  AndyHce
January 2, 2022 10:18 pm

Yes. Crunch the numbers and you’ll see they are at least 15% more common; also bearing in mind that most ICE car fires are small, easily contained shorts in wiring systems, whilst most EV fires involve the main battery back and rapidly escalate to a thermal runaway.

Jim Turner
Reply to  Richard Page
January 3, 2022 4:05 am

Also about half of all ICE vehicle fires are caused by arson (UK and Ireland), not due to inherent failures.

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  Pop Piasa
January 3, 2022 12:15 pm

The hydrogen was used for buoyancy, not energy storage, in the Hindenburg.

Michael Mazur
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
January 3, 2022 5:27 pm

On that occasion the Hindenburg was blocked from using helium, so was forced to use hydrogen to set it up to be sabotaged to make the Germans look bad.

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  Michael Mazur
January 5, 2022 4:34 am

No there was no helium inventory in Germany so they were forced to use hydrogen.

Michael Mazur
Reply to  Carbon Bigfoot
January 5, 2022 8:09 pm

When the designers learned that FDR’s administration would not allow helium to be shipped to “Nazi” Germany, the Hindenberg was re-engineered to use hydrogen for its lift instead — real history channel ..Mike King.

Hivemind
Reply to  Michael Mazur
January 6, 2022 10:42 pm

The Americans had a ready source of helium, which they used in their own lighter than air ships. They eventually abandoned them, not because they caught fire, but because they were very vulnerable in storms.

Michael Mazur
Reply to  Hivemind
January 7, 2022 12:28 am

Which has got what to do with the Hindenburg catching fire on docking in NJ on 6 May 1937 ?

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  Tom Halla
January 2, 2022 9:06 pm

Very well stated. It’s why the rest of the world uses liquid, rather than solid, propellant rockets in virtually every application. Every solid rocket motor has the fuel and oxidizer thoroughly mixed, and thus is a fire risk. For enhanced performance, Class 1.1 propellants also contain high explosives such as nitroglycerine, HMX, RDX, etc, making them potential bombs.

The US Small Mobile ICBM used Class 1.1 propellants in all three booster stages. It also employed a lithium-thionyl chloride battery as the missile electric power supply. The latter was a single-use device which kept the thionyl chloride electrolyte separate from the lithium until the battery was enabled for use, right before launch. Though it weighed only 37,000 lbs, the SICBM had much higher electric power requirements than its predecessor, the 198,000 lb Peacekeeper – the two used the same guidance system and flight computer, but SICBM used a novel ordnance firing unit, the Laser Ordnance Firing Unit, which was hugely inefficient (but more reliable than the exploding bridgewire system of Peacekeeper).

At any rate, the natural course of events for the Li-SOCl battery was to have all of its cells flooded with the SOCl electrolyte just before launch, and then 30 minutes later explode. That was its end state 100% of the time. During development, we had one unit that didn’t wait 30 minutes, and exploded shortly after enable. I was on the failure investigation team for that one, and as a result of what we found, filed a patent on a means of preventing it in the future.

I always wondered, though, what would have happened if, during a test flight attempt, we enabled the battery, and then had an abort for some other reason.

Thank God the Soviet Union fell after we had test flown SICBM only twice (both failures), and George H.W. Bush magnanimously cancelled the program as a gesture of good will to Russia – by far the cheapest such gesture in history!

Last edited 25 days ago by Michael S. Kelly
Joe Born(@jhborn)
January 2, 2022 2:10 pm

Our local bus company’s electrics are using lithium-iron-phosphate instead of lithium-ion, and there are claims it’s a safer technology. I have no clue. Does anybody have reliable information about that?

Bryan A
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 2, 2022 2:21 pm

In that case it is likely far more explosive than Lithium ion

HotScot
Reply to  Bryan A
January 2, 2022 3:29 pm

The range is compromised.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 2, 2022 7:08 pm

From the people who brought us melamine as baby food.

Bryan A
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
January 2, 2022 9:54 pm

Or Fentenil enhanced prescription medications
Or Cadmium alloy in jewelry

Thomas Gasloli
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 3, 2022 6:12 am

Well, and we know we can trust them to tell the truth.🤪

Graeme#4
Reply to  Joe Born
January 3, 2022 3:13 am

Joe, there was a very good discussion of battery technologies and the composition’s impact on safety in John Petersen’s paper, “How battery chemistry assumptions distort nickel and cobalt demand forecasts”, 19 June 2018. It’s a bit old now but it contains lots of interesting information. In particular, look at the NCM composition triangle diagram.

Joe Born(@jhborn)
Reply to  Graeme#4
January 3, 2022 7:57 am

Thank you very much. That’s a great resource, at least for someone who knows as little about the field as I do.

Tom
January 2, 2022 2:10 pm
HotScot
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 2, 2022 3:32 pm

Politicians can make things happen with a snap of their fingers dontchaknow.

A bit like that big bloke in Avengers……..

Tom
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 2, 2022 5:31 pm

What is (1.5 x 10^9)/(78 x 10^6)?

LdB
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 2, 2022 5:47 pm

It’s ok according to climate scientology you will need a boat by then 🙂

BobM
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 2, 2022 6:01 pm

With only 1.5 billion vehicles on the road today, as he ROW gets wealthier that number will easily double, triple, or quadruple. I think 4000 years is conservative.

AndyHce
Reply to  BobM
January 2, 2022 7:00 pm

The big plan is to eliminate your ownership of any powered vehicle. That probably includes goat carts.

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  AndyHce
January 2, 2022 11:00 pm

Rickshaws. Only don’t count on riding IN them.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Tom
January 2, 2022 6:12 pm

Are EVs more likely to catch fire sitting unused or on the road? Will we be seeing more reports of houses torched by garaged EVs, or an increase in deaths on our highways due to collisions resulting in battery burns, which cause also closures of the highway until the incinerated pavement is repaired? When will the next interstate highway chain-reaction smash-up cause multiple battery fires which ignite petroleum powered vehicles and result in an unnecessary multiplicity of fatalities?

Last edited 25 days ago by Pop Piasa
AndyHce
Reply to  Pop Piasa
January 2, 2022 7:02 pm

In your described scenario, the fires will be blamed on gasoline and diesel powered cars. See! they all need to be electric.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Pop Piasa
January 3, 2022 9:15 am

According to the National Fire Protection Association, most vehicle fires in 2018 were caused by mechanical or electrical malfunctions or failures, primarily in older vehicles. Most deaths from vehicle fires were caused by collisions. I think it’s safe to say, as the EV fleet gets older, we will see more EV fires.

Dennis
Reply to  Tom
January 2, 2022 9:02 pm

Tesla company makes a profit, do they really make a profit on EV sales or does the operating profit come from government subsidies and credits purchased by motor vehicle manufacturers that do not produce EV.

Yes, apparently none of the EV manufacturers generate profit from EV but have no choice but to produce them as governments impose restrictions against ICEV and demand a transition to EV. Well the other choice is to stop manufacturing vehicles.

This is another example of climate hoax politics related economic vandalism.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Dennis
January 3, 2022 9:09 am

From an article titled “Tesla Regulatory Credits Revenue Boosts Profits And Margins”, updated November 20, 2021 (https://stockdividendscreener.com/auto-manufacturers/teslas-regulatory-credits-revenue/ ):

“Tesla’s sales of regulatory credits have been increasing year over year at a compounded annual growth rate or CAGR of 57% between 2012 and 2020 . . . Tesla’s regulatory credits revenue reached the highest at nearly $1.6 billion in fiscal 2020, a record for the company since fiscal 2012 . . . Tesla has benefited immensely from the sales of regulatory credits when it comes to boosting its gross margin and profitability. Going forward, Tesla’s regulatory credits sales may reach as much as $2.2 billion in fiscal 2021 at a compounded growth rate of 40%, and as much as $3.1 billion in fiscal 2022 based on the same CAGR. Tesla’s sales of carbon credits will be a massive $4 billion by the end of fiscal 2023 if the compounded annual growth rate maintains at 40%.”

Talk about taxpayers directly subsidizing one particular sub-segment in what otherwise should be considered a free-market segment of the economy, auto manufacturing!

And shouldn’t ICE-powered car manufacturers be receiving an environmental credit for not producing non-“green”, highly toxic large battery packs?

Last edited 24 days ago by Gordon A. Dressler
StephenP
January 2, 2022 2:18 pm

Will the insurers have paid out on the 25 buses that were burnt in Stuttgart, and if so what will next year’s premiums be?

Devils Tower
January 2, 2022 2:19 pm

You friend must live in a warm moderate climate where heat and a/c is not and issue.

Bigger surprise yet. If you lose power In a cold climate and battery heater can not keep above freezing, your buying a new battery set. Read the warranty fine print…

Then their is Calif outlawing gas powered lawn mowers, chain saws, and snow blowers…

Try to cut a cord of wood or blow 5 ft snow drifts with electric power

The Insanity just keeps building…

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Devils Tower
January 2, 2022 2:28 pm

If you lose power In a cold climate and battery heater can not keep above freezing, your buying a new battery set.

Just set it alight to keep it, and yourself, warm. Simples!

n.n
January 2, 2022 2:33 pm

Non-renewables are self-combustibles charged through shared/shifted environmental impact. Go Green.

Mark
Reply to  n.n
January 2, 2022 3:44 pm

Green = more CO2, it being actual plant food an all.

WXcycles
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 2, 2022 5:19 pm

So ICE fuel tanks, with 50 petrol in them, don’t contain 50% air, that consists of 21% O2?

Very shallow argument.

Last edited 25 days ago by WXcycles
Pop Piasa
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 2, 2022 6:59 pm

Let me add to that by stating that a fuel tank must be ruptured in some way to actually result in an explosion-like fire. in the case of the Ford Pinto for instance, a rear-end collision would likely rupture the tank and the potential for ignition of the displaced fuel (now mostly in aerosol form) became huge.
Make no mistake, the latent combustibility risk-per-kilowatt produced is much lower with fuels than with batteries. There is also less waste generated and the waste CO2 produced will help green the earth. Along with that, there is none of the wasted energy from charging and discharging process compounded by the age and condition of the battery and the operating temperature.

IMHO, Tesla would be disgraced that his name should be put on anything but the freely available energy transmission that he himself conceived.

Ruleo
Reply to  Pop Piasa
January 3, 2022 3:48 am

in the case of the Ford Pinto

Which was based on media hype…

60 Minutes intentionally blew up a GMC, but lied about it.

The media had been attacking American vehicular manufacturing since 1970: “The fit and finish of this Mercedes/Toyota/etc far exceeds what the Big Three produce today”- Every car mag.

Paul Hurley (aka PaulH)
Reply to  Ruleo
January 3, 2022 6:08 am

It’s my recollection that a relatively simple modification to the Pinto’s gas tank would have prevented the fires, but Ford management at the time felt safety wasn’t a marketing priority.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Paul Hurley (aka PaulH)
January 3, 2022 9:17 am

The famous accident involving a Ford Pinto was caused by a driver slamming into a Pinto at 80 MPH. I doubt if many vehicles could survive that.

Steve Z
Reply to  Trying to Play Nice
January 3, 2022 1:27 pm

I had a Ford Pinto which was rear-ended in 1976 at about 30 mph, and pushed into the car in front of me (everyone was stopped in traffic except for the car that hit mine, whose driver wasn’t paying attention). The Pinto was totaled (it was only worth $900 at the time) but the gas tank didn’t explode.

I wonder what Nader’s Raiders (who decried so many safety problems with cars during the 1970’s) would say about battery fires in today’s cars…

MarkW
Reply to  Paul Hurley (aka PaulH)
January 3, 2022 9:25 am

That was the claim, however there is a near infinite number of things that can be done to a car to make it a little bit safer.
Each of those changes add cost and weight to the car.

The question is, how much safety is enough safety? That is, as always a judgement call. Those who had no skin in the game love to critique the decisions of others.

Gr8st1ofALL
Reply to  Paul Hurley (aka PaulH)
January 3, 2022 10:06 am

And Ford paid dearly for that bad decision!

Last edited 24 days ago by Gr8st1ofALL
Gr8st1ofALL
Reply to  Ruleo
January 3, 2022 10:05 am

Says a lot about Union Labor now, doesn’t it???

MarkW
Reply to  WXcycles
January 2, 2022 5:44 pm

Actually the “air” in a tank is almost entirely gasoline vapor. You need a very specific ratio of oxygen to gas vapor in order for it to burn. You will never find that ratio inside a gasoline tank.
Eric’s argument is dead on, not shallow.
Your’s on the other hand is based on pure ignorance.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  MarkW
January 2, 2022 5:54 pm

Actually the “air” in a tank is almost entirely gasoline vapor

And when you open a diesel tank, you can hear the hiss as air is drawn in, because diesel does not vapourise like petrol. Assuming your tank is properly sealed, that is.

Last edited 25 days ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
Pat from kerbob
Reply to  WXcycles
January 2, 2022 7:05 pm

For gases there is a lower explosive level (LEL) below which there isn’t enough gas to ignite, and a high explosive level (HEL) where there is too much vapor, not enough oxygen

Even an empty fuel tank can’t explode if you light a match inside it.

Lighting a match at the open cap is a different story of course

Richard Page
Reply to  WXcycles
January 2, 2022 8:25 pm

Actually no. With hydrocarbon fuels you need a source of ignition before the fuel burns – as there are no such sources within the fuel tank, it becomes bleedin’ obvious to all but the tiniest minds that the only way it’s likely to ignite is if it leaks out of the tank and comes into contact with an ignition source. Battery packs contain their own ignition source built into them.

Ken Irwin
Reply to  WXcycles
January 2, 2022 10:45 pm

Most ICE cars now use brushed DC motor fuel pumps – which arc at the brushes inside the wetted area of the pump – these are immersed inside the fuel tank.
Even when you run out of fuel ICE cars don’t catch fire, let alone explode – even with an in-built ignition device !
There is literally no air in a fuel tank, only petrol vapour.

Ruleo
Reply to  Ken Irwin
January 3, 2022 3:56 am

Most ICE cars now use brushed DC motor fuel pumps

Dubious, given BLDC in-tank motors have been around ~15 years. Maybe still most widely used on lower end vehicles.

Last edited 25 days ago by Ruleo
MarkW
Reply to  Ruleo
January 3, 2022 9:27 am

It’s been a bit longer than that. I had a car die just over 10 years ago, when the in tank fuel pump died. I don’t remember how old the car was, but it had over 100K miles on it already.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  WXcycles
January 3, 2022 9:29 am

I think you will find a vehicle gas tank is not just an open can with a hose dipped in it. There are safety and emission regulations that minimize fire risk. When Mythbusters tried to blow up a vehicle with a gunshot like in the movies they failed. They had to use a small bomb to get an explosion.

Gr8st1ofALL
Reply to  WXcycles
January 3, 2022 10:04 am

You are just either being obtuse or are uneducated so here we go, class is now in session. Gasoline by itself cannot burn. It needs and oxidizer (air) and a source of ignition, a spark electrical or otherwise with the alternative being compressing the mixture to a point called “detonation.” Gasoline has to be atomized into a charge of air before it will burn. I have seen lit matches thrown into liquid gasoline as an experiment to prove Gasoline will not burn until certain requirements are met. There is a thing with fuel vapor in a fuel tank being far more dangerous than the fuel itself.
This is not like solid propellants that are ready to burn with ignition or weird fuel mixtures such as what the Me 163 used (C-Stoff the fuel made of Methyl Alcohol, Hydrozene Hydrate, water, Potassium Tetracyanocuprate and T-Stoff,the oxidizer which was Hydrogen Peroxide with a stabilizer) which spontaneously combust upon mixture. Fuel Air explosions with Gasoline fires are not as dangerous outdoors as they are indoors since the power of the blast is amplified with compression.
So now some physics for the uneducated. If you pour gasoline on the ground and ignite it it will burn but slowly since it has to vaporize, mix with air, and it then can burn. If you aerosolize it and the vapors are not dissipated by winds and you ignite it then you get one hell of a explosion! Why? If you take a volume of fuel (gasoline) it will only burn with a certain amount of energy by the amount of fuel that can be burned in a given moment that is mixed with the right volume of air. However if you manage to saturate that same volume into the air and then ignite it ALL of the volume is consumed all at once. There is a scale of economy with combustion that is different from a battery failure of a massive battery pack. Unlike a Gasoline Fire that can be suppressed by removing the air (HALON for instance) a Battery Fire is different. There you have substances with differing electrolytic potentials degrading via chemical reactions not limited to combustion which is a by product of that reaction. The chemistry of the batteries allows for them to burn without oxygen and there is no putting those fires out. You can bury them with sand and dry chem but the fire will still rage until the batteries consume themselves.
If you short out a new car battery it explodes violently for two reasons, one is gas build up suddenly and the other is ignition thanks to electricity itself. Most of the time they just pop VERY violently spewing acid in all directions. Sometimes they pop and burn too. Lead acid batteries are dangerous but not like Lithium Batteries and Potassium Ion batteries which when they burn cough up very toxic chemicals that can kill way easier then exposure to the fumes of gasoline burning.
CLASS DISMISSED!

Ed MacAulay
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 2, 2022 7:24 pm

My first cars were Dodge coronets, the gas tank somewhat exposed from underneath. With lots of gravel road travel, often got a stone dent on the bottom and a slow leak.
The only permanent fix was to weld the leak. The local service station didn’t worry about draining the tank dry, just would run an exhaust hose from his truck into the tank and weld away.

TedL
January 2, 2022 2:36 pm

Starting the list for 2022 . . . As with cases of Covid, not sure if this warehouse fire was caused by, or occurred with, electric scooter lithium-ion batteries, but it seems suspicious. https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2022/01/02/hundreds-of-e-scooters-damaged-after-blaze-breaks-out-in-warehouse/

Krishna Gans
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 2, 2022 3:16 pm
Dave Andrews
Reply to  Krishna Gans
January 3, 2022 9:20 am

Transport for London have banned all E scooters and E unicycles from their trains and stations after several spontaneously ignited on the tube. Mercifully there were no casualties

Krishna Gans
Reply to  TedL
January 2, 2022 3:09 pm

These e-scooters really are wretched things, and are not safe to be on the roads or anywhere else. They are a danger to the public, and would not see the light of day if they were not seen as “climate friendly”.

So it is, story from today:

Frankfurt said that Glasner was to undergo surgery but would be back training the team Tuesday or Wednesday. “Unfortunately I didn’t pay attention briefly and fell. Thankfully nothing serious has happened. The face is swollen but apart from that everything is OK,” Glasner said.”

Frankfurt coach fractures cheek-bone in e-scooter crash

Last edited 25 days ago by Krishna Gans
AndyHce
Reply to  Krishna Gans
January 2, 2022 7:08 pm

Someone losing focus and crashing does not speak in any way about the safety of scooters, electric or not. Roofs should be banned because some people carelessly fall off when working on them.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  AndyHce
January 2, 2022 11:38 pm

E-Scooters set to be banned from London Tube after Parsons Green fire drama

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/e-scooters-banned-tube-underground-parsons-green-fire-b969837.html

AndyHce
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
January 3, 2022 12:39 am

fires and traffic accidents are not the same thing.

Krishna Gans
Reply to  AndyHce
January 3, 2022 1:03 am

My comment was based on a citation out of the linked article of burning scooters.

Krishna Gans
Reply to  AndyHce
January 3, 2022 1:01 am

Walking and losing focus wouldn’t cause that damage, it’s a question of speed and balance.

WXcycles
January 2, 2022 3:03 pm

Consider reality.

Somehow, Toyota manages to sell Hybrids with large batteries in them without a fire problem for over 20 years and a LOT of LI batteries for the past decade.

Clearly a company providing good engineering, design, testing, and quality-control, doesn’t have any difficulty with selling cars, with batteries in them which don’t malfunction and burst into flames, even when they get tail-ended, and the Li battery is in the rear of the vehicle, and damaged.

And yet dodgy EV manufacturers can’t replicate routine success using the same technologies?

Clearly the battery combustion issues stem from low-quality, penny-pinching designs, manufacturing and testing, plus poor quality control, by companies playing catch-up with successful companies doing the same, with no such issue.

i.e. the auto-combustion difficulty (sorry for the pun) is obviously not with the battery technology per sec, which very dishonest, hysterical, battery-phobic agenda-driven neo-Luddites would have us all believe. The technology itself works safely, as it should, when a competent, experienced car mass-manufacturer builds such batteries for propulsion in cars.

So, maybe the problem is with dodgy incompetent companies, terrible standards regulators, inadequate test regimes, poor certification practices, and possibly even wholesale corruption of the process?

Nah, let’s rant and rave and dumbly blame the battery technology instead, and mislead everyone, and muddy the waters with BS.

“Are you not entertained?”

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  WXcycles
January 2, 2022 4:06 pm

Somehow, Toyota manages to sell Hybrids with large batteries in them without a fire problem for over 20 years and a LOT of LI batteries for the past decade.

As I understand it, they employ NiMH batteries in hybrids. Probably due to the constant charge/discharge cycles required.

WXcycles
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 2, 2022 4:58 pm

Not correct, Li has been used in large numbers of Toyota Hybrids since 2011, just not all of them.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  WXcycles
January 2, 2022 5:26 pm

I read that more hybrids are using lithium batteries now, yes. The vast majority in use are still nickel, however. They are much cheaper, and you don’t need to worry much about gradual drain, which is their main problem, because they get constantly recharged.

Perhaps we’ll see an increase in hybrid self-immolation in time…

Last edited 25 days ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
WXcycles
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 2, 2022 6:33 pm

It’s been 23 years, and none, for the earliest OEMs.

“Perhaps” nothing.

John Endicott
Reply to  WXcycles
January 5, 2022 4:32 am

Back in 2012, Toyota had 3 hybrids (two plug-ins, one conventional) catch fire in New Jersey’s Port of Newark in the wake of super storm sandy. (16 plug-in hybrid Fisker Karma’s also caught fire). The blame for those fires appeared to be that saltwater caused a short circuit that overheated the cars’ batteries.

So not the “perhaps nothing” you claim.

WXcycles
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 2, 2022 7:28 pm

Btw, the reason NiMH is still used is it has a far better cold temperature operating range before failure.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 2, 2022 11:33 pm

As far as Toyotas go, the vast majority are Li, as far as I know.

WXcycles
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
January 3, 2022 1:40 am

Correct.

Rich Davis
Reply to  WXcycles
January 2, 2022 4:07 pm

I tend to agree up to a point that there may be some hyping of the fire risk. There are after all countless billions of Li ion batteries in phones, laptops, etc. I don’t know anyone who has personally experienced a fire from a Li ion battery. (But I only know two people who drive an EV). I have had to personally put out a fire resulting from a fuel line leak and I have witnessed quite a few car fires on the highway over the years.

On the other hand, a phone doesn’t require the same current as a car and a hybrid runs a significant amount of the time as an ICE vehicle. So I am not sure the comparison is completely legitimate.

Regardless of whether it’s feasible to make safe batteries, manifestly there have been a lot of cases where cost pressures have led to not making safe batteries. Buses burning in Germany are not a figment of our fevered imagination. Car manufacturers aren’t issuing voluntary recalls because there are no issues.

It seems that if EVs are forced on the market when they are unaffordable to a large segment of the population, the risk of corner-cutting is only going to increase.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Rich Davis
January 2, 2022 4:32 pm

I have had to personally put out a fire resulting from a fuel line leak and I have witnessed quite a few car fires on the highway over the years.

Diesel is much safer and doesn’t produce a vapour that is very easily ignited. It needs to be very hot to burn.

In addition, petrol and diesel fires are quite easy to extinguish. Lithium battery fires, not so much.

WXcycles
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 2, 2022 5:12 pm

I would not at all agree that petrol fires are easy to extinguish, for a typical motorist. Almost all don’t have a fire extinguisher, nor a fire blanket, or the competence and training currency to use either, safely against a petrol fire in an engine bay, whilst driving or parked. It burns fast, emits explosive vapour, pools, floods, and leaks down to ground level and under the car. It is extremely difficult to extinguish once alight, hard to get to and cover with a small rapidly expended car extinguisher, and blanket is practically useless, as fuel can also fall under the vehicle and keep burning.

What often occurs is the vehice is fully incinerated. Petrol fires are why there’s structural ‘firewall’ and fire plugs between engine bays and passenger compartments, in both cars and forward ICE aircraft. Critical safety equipment.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  WXcycles
January 2, 2022 5:33 pm

Petrol fires are much easier to control than lithium battery fires. Typically, you just stop providing fuel to the fire. Since the fuel is separate from the engine, the job is done. Punctured fuel tanks could be problematic, but they are normally well protected. Petrol cars also very rarely spontaneously combust, for the same reason. Diesel cars never do.

Litium batteries contain both the fuel and the oxidising agent, and you cannot put them out at all, and they are apt to spontaneously combust when being used or not.

WXcycles
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 2, 2022 6:31 pm

In addition, petrol and diesel fires are quite easy to extinguish.

That was your remark. You are wrong.

MarkW
Reply to  WXcycles
January 2, 2022 7:37 pm

You have not demonstrated your claim to be fact.

WXcycles
Reply to  MarkW
January 2, 2022 9:12 pm

I certainly did. You just made a false claim about it.

MarkW
Reply to  WXcycles
January 3, 2022 9:50 am

Just repeating a claim does not prove that claim.

mrsell
Reply to  WXcycles
January 2, 2022 9:04 pm

You are wrong.

No, he wasn’t. Ask any firefighter which is easier/faster/safer to extinguish.

Richard Page
Reply to  WXcycles
January 2, 2022 10:22 pm

Relatively speaking, he was entirely correct and you are wrong.

WXcycles
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 3, 2022 1:45 am

But I’m not, you are.

Not one of you can stick to the readable fact above that the original claim was that a petrol fire in a car is easy to extinguish. Garbage!

As your own example shows, the usual result is the fire spreads and destroys the car.

Whatever.

Some commenter who couldn’t stick to the discussion had to come up with an insert of a total BS tangent to distract from this sub thread’s conversation focus and point.

John Endicott
Reply to  WXcycles
January 3, 2022 9:55 am

Ah yes ,everyone else is wrong and only you are right. Sure. pull the other one, it has bells on.

Not one of you can stick to the readable fact above that the original claim was that a petrol fire in a car is easy to extinguish. “

And that claim is correct in the context it was used. It’s you who had to add a quantifier ” for a typical motorist” in order to pretend otherwise. The fact remains that “petrol and diesel fires are quite easy to extinguish” particularly in relation to li-on fires as the original post was comparing via the next sentence (that you attempt to ignore) “Lithium battery fires, not so much”.

Gr8st1ofALL
Reply to  WXcycles
January 3, 2022 10:16 am

Speaking of inserting a BS argument and here you come along and spout more BS. You can put out a gasoline fire and car fires are something the Fire Department here in LA California knows all too well. With EV cars however all they can do is stand by and let it burn and try and keep the fire from spreading to structures. It is way harder to kill a battery fire hands down. Ask the Fire Department about it before you shoot your mouth off.

TonyG
Reply to  WXcycles
January 3, 2022 12:59 pm

As a firefighter, I have to say I would very much prefer dealing with a gasoline fire as opposed to a LI fire. I also would very much prefer to deal with a ICE in a wreck, especially if extrication is involved. With EVs we may not even be able to rescue the occupants in time, if they’re in any danger.

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 3, 2022 12:36 pm

I once had an engine fire (a crankcase oil fire external to the engine) and put it out in about 2 minutes with foam. Everyone else was running away as fast as they could. Started tha car up in a few mintues and continued my trip.

So, WXcycles, not a gasoline fire, but one proof that your statement was at least ill-considered.

Dean
Reply to  WXcycles
January 4, 2022 11:38 pm

Using a fire blanket on a petrol fire?

And how is a motorist putting out a fire in a petrol vehicle more difficult than that motorist trying to put out a battery fire??

WXcycles
Reply to  Rich Davis
January 2, 2022 5:00 pm

Li batteries are used in Hybrids, and these use rapid charge/discharge cycles constantly, and very safely, in cars that are properly engineered for battery safety, Rich.

meab
Reply to  WXcycles
January 2, 2022 7:38 pm

There’s something you obviously don’t know. Hybrid batteries experience a very gentle cycle as compared to EV batteries. They’re never fully charged or fully discharged. They’re much smaller than EV batteries, often a factor of 50 times smaller, so heat removal isn’t anywhere near as big of a problem. They aren’t continuously used, they’re only used in short spurts and if they ever get hot the gas engine takes over. They are typically not charged for very long when standing still with no air moving over them to cool them and are never charged in an enclosed garage. Hybrid motors require a fraction of the power as an EV motor so their current draw is much lower allowing a different design with less cathode/anode area. Finally, they charge at a fraction of the rate as an EV does on a fast charger.

Claiming that EVs batteries must be safe because hybrid batteries are safe shows your complete ignorance of the topic.

WXcycles
Reply to  meab
January 2, 2022 9:10 pm

Nope, you interpreted that I think EVs are OK. I sure don’t think that. Read my next comment down from this, “I personally think Hybrids are the best possible argument against the fools militating to force everyone to buy only an EV.”

meab
Reply to  WXcycles
January 2, 2022 11:19 pm

No, I correctly interpreted that you think hybrid battery technology somehow should have been transferable to EVs but wasn’t. You clearly established to everyone who can read that you don’t know the difference between hybrid batteries and EV batteries.

You also don’t know much about the difference between an ICE car fire and an EV battery fire. I was driving about 30 years ago when my ICE car caught on fire. Smoke came billowing out from under the hood and even into the cabin. I immediately pulled over and instinctively switched the engine off (which shut off the fuel pump, starving the fire of fuel). Before I could even get my fire extinguisher out of the trunk (it took a while as I dropped the keys onto the floor well and it was hard to see by then) the fire was already far, far less intense. The car needed a new wiring harness, a repainted front end, an intense cleaning, and just a few other things but, after a month in the shop, it was drivable again. When an EV battery catches fire it usually burns to the ground melting the vehicle and you’re lucky if the fire doesn’t spread to adjacent vehicles or structures.

WXcycles
Reply to  meab
January 3, 2022 1:50 am

Listen closely,

If the battery material is not combustible the battery does not burn.

Size of the battery has absolutely nothing to do with that and nor does any of the other piffle you’ve uselessly inserted.

It is utter BS that all Li batteries explode into flames and burn for days, is a false meme.

Which is a very generous way of calling it a persistently and actively spread lie, and pretty much useless BS.

Mark Hansford
Reply to  WXcycles
January 3, 2022 4:11 am

seeing as you know so much perhaps you might cite an example or 2 of EV battery fires being extinguished quickly. wheras petrol / diesel is put out in seconds when smothered with AFFF – carried on all fire engines.
Mr cycles, you appear to be an opinion of just yourself in your argument vis a vis Lithium fires. Lithium ignites when exposed to the air and explosively in the presence of water (as does sodium), cutting Lithium fires off from their ignition and fuel sources, once underway is extremely difficult especially in a crash or driveway situation

meab
Reply to  WXcycles
January 3, 2022 7:56 am

Li-ion batteries ARE combustible. Obviously. DUH.

The size IS a factor. Bigger batteries must charge and discharge faster/longer. The more they charge and discharge, the more heat is generated. It’s harder for heat to escape from the center of a big battery than a little one. That’s why most EV batteries employ active cooling. DUH.

Nobody said that all Li batteries explode, you just made that up. Nobody said that they burn for days, you just made that up.

The best advice I have for you is when you’re digging a hole for yourself, stop digging. You’re never going to climb out of the hole by dropping more verbal excrement and trying to stand on it.

Gr8st1ofALL
Reply to  WXcycles
January 3, 2022 10:27 am

You are an ASS! Energy storage always comes with a risk of fire and explosion. NO BATTERY Is 100% Inflammable and the make up of cars also makes them a fire hazard. The carpeting alone can and will burn nicely. Li Batteries burn short, hard and produce highly toxic clouds of smoke. They can and WILL cause other combustible materials to burn and plastic as I recall is still combustible unless you use environmentally questionable substances to make the plastic less combustible.
The size of a Battery has everything to do with the math. Even a small battery fire can cause a much larger catastrophic fire if it has something to catch. Even a small battery can be a problem like a large one. Even using the wrong gauge and type of wire in an electrical system can cause a resistance fire. Also a lot of rechargable batteries when past their service life can cause a thing called Resistance Loading which almost always leads to… A BATTERY FIRE.

Gr8st1ofALL
Reply to  WXcycles
January 3, 2022 10:18 am

Shut up while you have only got one foot in your mouth already! You are not an expert in the field and there are people who do know the subject matter at hand better than you do but you CHOSE to let your ego stand in the way of common sense and information other people are privy to. If you do not work around electricity you are ignorant to the subject. I went to school to learn about doing electrical work. It is a shocking subject.

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  meab
January 3, 2022 12:39 pm

Plug-in hybrids are charged in enclosed garages.

Meab
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
January 3, 2022 1:54 pm

We weren”t talking about plug-ins.

HotScot
Reply to  WXcycles
January 2, 2022 4:08 pm

I don’t believe anyone here has a problem with EV’s. They have their place. What people object to is being forced to use a technology by an ever more authoritarian government, totally ignorant of climate evolution.

EV’s have been used for generations on regular, predictable journeys, for example, morning milk deliveries have been made across the UK in electric ‘milk floats’. Quiet, compact, can be charged overnight and ideal for low speed, door to door, stop start operation.

However, around 45% of the UK population don’t have access to off road parking, so how do they charge their EV’s? Four or five of them huddled around a single 240v, 13 amp lamp post? It would take a week to charge them.

Then how are road layouts to be organised. The entire urban roadways would have to be dug up and replanned so cars weren’t cluttering up the road at every lamp post. Parking bays would have to be built in preference to pavements and cycle paths. If not, there would be cables strewn up the street from the lamp posts which is currently illegal, for very good reason; they are a pedestrian and traffic hazard and they risk vandalism and theft.

I guess the answer is to rip up and redesign every street in the country, somehow without affecting pedestrian and cycle traffic, to install both three phase power to 45% of the country’s lamp posts, with dedicated parking for designated cars (there’s going to be a lot of punch up’s when someone can’t charge their cars otherwise).

Then the problem of those lucky enough to have offstreet parking is that a 240v 13amp domestic supply when they have more than one car. So those also must be upgraded to three phase supply’s.

Every sub station in the country will then have to be substantially upgraded as most are at, or close to peak capacity as it is.

All this in the thirteen years between now and 2035?

Give me a break, we are still repairing Victorian water pipes in London that began over 30 years ago.

If the government proposed a low voltage, hybrid Scalextric solution on major routes, with the hybrid element reserved for rural travel I might be for the idea. But even that is fraught with problems.

WXcycles
Reply to  HotScot
January 2, 2022 5:17 pm

Quite agree, indeed, I personally think Hybrids are the best possible argument against the fools militating to force everyone to buy only an EV. Which, as you pointed out, is madness. Thank you.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  WXcycles
January 2, 2022 5:57 pm

I agree that hybrids are better than EVs. I particularly like the ones that allow both the ICE and electric motors to drive the car at once. Lotsa wellie!

I’m not sure about the benefits of the extra complexity, however.

Last edited 25 days ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
WXcycles
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 2, 2022 7:35 pm

They are very low-maintenance cars – that is the fact.

The alleged ‘complexity’ is a myth, and does not equate to unreliable even if it were so, these are extremely reliable vehicles compared to the 1990s ICE vehicles they sought to replace. And the whole added complexity thing is just a meme. The post-crank ‘drive-train’ to generator is extremely simple, and ingeniously so. The rest of the drive train on the electrical side, is little more complicated than your phone’s recharger and battery. Well known tech, and extremely reliable.

Ruleo
Reply to  WXcycles
January 3, 2022 4:09 am

They are very low-maintenance cars – that is the fact.

That’s the whiskey talking buddy. You don’t know many truckers* or mechanics. Real world vs what the “JD Powers” trade groups wants to present.

*People who are in traffic all day have a helluva better survey what still lives on the roads.

Last edited 25 days ago by Ruleo
Gr8st1ofALL
Reply to  WXcycles
January 3, 2022 10:29 am

Except when the time comes to replace those batteries at the cost of thousands of $$$$$$$!
EVERY THREE YEARS!!!!!

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 3, 2022 12:52 pm

Yiou should realize that EVs are being pushed to make you happy that you will be allowed to buy a hybrid instead.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  WXcycles
January 2, 2022 6:56 pm

WX
It feels like all electric EVs are destined to be the next vacuum fluorescent curly bulb, an example of government fiat and getting it all wrong.
Again
Like usual

Last edited 25 days ago by Pat from kerbob
Ruleo
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
January 3, 2022 4:11 am

Never had one of those damned bulbs last a year…

Last edited 25 days ago by Ruleo
Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  HotScot
January 3, 2022 12:51 pm

Hot Scot,

Even those of us with private garages are dreading being forced to EVs. I’ve done the negineering – we would have to upgrade our home’s electrical service to include a charger in the garage, and that would run between $6K and $10K (prices keep going up). Plus the ridiculous price of the car, plus looking forward to having replace the battery pack.

There is a Tesla recharging facility in a shopping center near us. It has about 15 charging points. Whenever I drive by, it is full, and there is a line of Teslas waiting to get in. Obviously, we live in a well-off community, where lots of folks can afford a Model S, but they haven’t chosen to put in home re-charge stations?

Despatches from Southern California.

Keep warm over there, Hot Scot. We’ve been running overnight lows in the 13C range – brrr, with highs rarely getting to 20C. But we have heat, and electricity, for now.

WXcycles
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 2, 2022 5:14 pm

Nonsense Eric, you like pressing the battery tech fire button, but battery size is completely irrelevant to battery combustion events.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  WXcycles
January 2, 2022 5:19 pm

I’m not sure where your maths comes from. Smaller batteries = fewer cells = lower chances of failure.

Dean
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 4, 2022 11:44 pm

I’ve got a suspicion that cycles maths is mostly rectally derived.

Rich Davis
Reply to  WXcycles
January 2, 2022 5:30 pm

battery size is completely irrelevant to battery combustion events.

Which is more likely—one cell shorts or one of 100 cells short?

Please explain in terms of defects per million opportunities

LdB
Reply to  WXcycles
January 2, 2022 5:51 pm

As per both comments above the number you are interested in is failure rate of one cell. Now you multiply that number by the number of cells in the pack. Remember there is only connections between each cell which has a very low probability of an error compared to the cell.

Last edited 25 days ago by LdB
AndyHce
Reply to  LdB
January 2, 2022 7:21 pm

In the real world there is very likely a large design of battery factor that adds or subtracts from a simple calculation of # of cells.

MarkW
Reply to  AndyHce
January 2, 2022 7:38 pm

Care to demonstrate this “very likely design”, or do you just want us to assume it must exist because you want it to?

AndyHce
Reply to  MarkW
January 3, 2022 12:43 am

If some of the smaller batteries have no such failures over many more batteries, then something other than # of cells is involved. If they only had fewer failures, in proportion to their # of cells, then your # of cells idea is a good hypothesis.

MarkW
Reply to  AndyHce
January 3, 2022 9:53 am

Or there is a difference in how the batteries are used.
There are many possible explanations, only one of them is the explanation you are pushing.

MarkW
Reply to  WXcycles
January 2, 2022 5:54 pm

Why is the fact that the batteries are much smaller nonsense. The more cells in a battery, the better the chances that one of those cells will self combust.

You really get upset whenever someone mentions the shortcomings of EV cars and batteries.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  MarkW
January 2, 2022 7:01 pm

Batteries are made up of series and parallel cells.
Series together to build voltage, parallel strings for more amps.
Someone noted above hybrid batteries and motors were lower volts, new EVs use high volts

Higher volts leads directly to higher torque

But high voltage is higher potential, easier to jump or fail insulation, more “force” behind a fault, voltage is pressure, Amps are flow

MarkW
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
January 2, 2022 7:40 pm

This is also true of batteries for electronics and hand tools.
Much smaller voltages, much small currents, both charging and discharging.

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
January 3, 2022 12:55 pm

Thanks foir such a straight-forward explanation.

WXcycles
Reply to  WXcycles
January 2, 2022 7:37 pm

You’re all deluded, if that’s what you think, see my comment immediately above.

MarkW
Reply to  WXcycles
January 3, 2022 9:54 am

You are the only sane person in the room.
If that’s what you want to believe, nobody can stop you from believing it.

Gr8st1ofALL
Reply to  WXcycles
January 3, 2022 10:30 am

A fire is a fire, what else do we need to know???

WXcycles
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 2, 2022 7:25 pm

It is complete nonsense Eric, the main danger is using a thermal run-away unstable Li chemistry, not the individual cells, especially when they are properly designed and manufactured, and have mandated integrated protection circuits per cell, and use a non thermally-unstable LiPo or LiFePo4 chemistry.

And don’t give me that play-dumb routine and act like you don’t know or understand any of this already, or have not had it repeatedly pointed out to you (by myself and several others). You simply ignore it and continually to raise these fake-concerns about Li-batteries as a generality and smear, in cars in particular. At this point, AFAIK that’s all you’re doing, which does your reputation no credit, and for no good reason. And frankly that’s as dodgy as what the greens do, in the opposite direction, to create and maintain their own pet falsehoods and narratives, for some silly presumed wisdom or perceived ‘advantage’.

comment image

Several Li chemistries are very safe, they don’t burn, their packaging can combust, but the battery chemistry itself does not burn. They are little more dangerous or toxic than a burning plastic milk container.

This is not complicated, you are either right, or you are wrong, and you are consistently wrong on the battery topic Eric, which you want to keep revisiting. So why should you not reasonably be asked why do you habitually keep doing this?

MarkW
Reply to  WXcycles
January 2, 2022 7:48 pm

Thermal runaway unstable Li Chemistry is what makes up each cell. The more cells you have, the greater the chances that one of those cells will go bad.
You are correct that there are Li compounds that are less toxic then others, but so what, we are talking about the compounds that are being used in LI Ion batteries.
There’s a reason why the current compounds were chosen over the others. That reason is energy density, every one of these “safer” chemistries provides less energy density and as a result fewer miles per charge.

WXcycles
Reply to  MarkW
January 2, 2022 8:59 pm

Rubbish.

LiPo or LiFePo4 chemistries became mainstream battery chemistries because they don’t suffer thermal runaways or don’t burn if they overheat from a short, for which they all have protection circuits. And thus don’t produce toxicity from combustion because the chemistry … doesn’t combust!

Energy-density is just one tradeoff, among many. This is why on average NiMH is still being used and is 125% heavier than the Li chemistry equivalents, has lower energy density, but operates over a far wider operating temperature range which overrides other trade-offs for cold (as yet to warm?) areas of the world.

So you get same car with different battery type, in different markets. As long as it works, no one but the design engineer gives to fig about absolute energy density. The buyer sure doesn’t care, and nor do they care how much the battery weighs.

They do care if the chemistry used is likely to suffer from a thermal runaway, or ignite and burn for days, or poison them and others nearby.

That’s what occurs when companies cut-corners, and abandon safety and responsibility, and regulators let them market then import cars for sale, with combustible Li chemistries.

May they suffer bankruptcy and investors in them lose their money.

MarkW
Reply to  WXcycles
January 3, 2022 9:57 am

And there is a reason why neither of those chemistries was chosen for electric vehicles. And the reason is energy density.
Existing EV batteries were chosen because they give the longest range per charge. Chosing any other chemistry means an already too short range gets shorter.

The fact exists that EV cars have a tendency to catch fire.
This fact has already caused multiple very large recalls, as well as warnings from the manufacturer to not store cars in enclosed places.

Gr8st1ofALL
Reply to  WXcycles
January 3, 2022 10:34 am

You need to spend time paying attention in Chemistry class there…

MarkW
Reply to  WXcycles
January 2, 2022 5:49 pm

For some reason, the idea of low quality and penny pinching seem to go together.

They have been selling hybrids for many years, however hybrid batteries are tiny compared to EV batteries. Also the number of hybrids, while growing, is still a tiny fraction of all cars sold. Finally the average age of hybrids is way, way below the average age of ICE cars.

Anyone who doesn’t worship EV’s the way you do, is a Luddite?

Speaking of ranting and raving, I give yours a 9.5 out of 10.

WXcycles
Reply to  MarkW
January 2, 2022 9:19 pm

Produce any evidence that I have ever, in any way, shape or form directly said I’m in favour of EVs. The onus is on you, the liar, not me the person being accused of such a falsehood.

You don’t win discussions by making up lies.

Last edited 25 days ago by WXcycles
Simon
Reply to  WXcycles
January 3, 2022 12:21 am

Markw will run away now…

WXcycles
Reply to  Simon
January 3, 2022 1:51 am

Oh yes.

MarkW
Reply to  WXcycles
January 3, 2022 9:59 am

If the only one you can find to agree with you is Simon, you might as well just give up and go home.

MarkW
Reply to  Simon
January 3, 2022 9:59 am

The only post Simon has made in the last month.
Your ego must really be hurting,.

MarkW
Reply to  WXcycles
January 3, 2022 9:58 am

Maybe my accusation is right, maybe it isn’t. However your fevered and very inaccurate protestations over well known facts speaks for it’self.

BTW, I notice that didn’t bother to actually respond to any of the facts presented. Again.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  WXcycles
January 2, 2022 6:11 pm

Toyota isn’t run by today’s P.T.Barnum.

Ruleo
Reply to  WXcycles
January 3, 2022 4:04 am

The Prius is an unreliable POS and Toyota has a terrible manufacturing history that’s swept under the rug by U.S. media.

Owners of hybrids and foreign cars in general are psychologically pre-disposed to ignore anything wrong with their vehicle- equivocating, say, their brake failures to a Dodge owner who’s power window is slow.

Gr8st1ofALL
Reply to  WXcycles
January 3, 2022 10:13 am

How about this reality… how much does it cost to replace the batteries every three years as recommended??? With Teslas it cost $15,000 EVERY THREE YEARS!

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  Gr8st1ofALL
January 3, 2022 1:01 pm

I thought that the Tesla battery had an 8-year guarentee. And why would you replace them on a schedule, rather than on how many Amp-hours have been used?

Just asking.

Pflashgordon
January 2, 2022 3:04 pm

Until EVs are all manufactured with standardized, high capacity and thermally resilient quick-change batteries that can be swapped in under 5 minutes, this
forced move to EVs is a boondoggle. A person whose battery is running low at almost any location should be able to just pull into a convenient battery service station and swap batteries while he/she makes a quick visit to the loo and maybe buys a coffee. I see no easy way with current battery and EV technology that we can get there.

Swappable batteries would eliminate the need for massive electrical infrastructure upgrades/replacements. However, battery technology isn’t ready yet, the fire hazard being a big part of the problem. Range. Hot and cold weather performance. Weight. Mining the required elements. Expanded, RELIABLE electric power generation.

So the Ford Pinto was ditched because of gas tank fires in rear end collisions, so why are we pushing blow torch cars, trucks and buses?

Reply to  Pflashgordon
January 2, 2022 3:18 pm

They tried the swappable batteries in Israel. Did not go well.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Michael Moon
January 2, 2022 3:37 pm

Link, or it didn’t happen…

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 2, 2022 4:34 pm

Why the downvote? I’m just asking for information.

Perhaps it was griff, who is allergic to evidence…

Last edited 25 days ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
HotScot
Reply to  Michael Moon
January 2, 2022 4:09 pm

Interesting. I didn’t know that.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Michael Moon
January 2, 2022 4:12 pm

Nio is trying again inn China, with success.

TonyL
Reply to  Pflashgordon
January 2, 2022 4:08 pm

The idea of fully swapable is as old as the hills.

Sherman, set the WAYBAK machine to 1954. Right, Mr. Peabody.

American “iconic thinker” R. Buckminster Fuller was pushing a new car concept that could be described as the American “Peoples car”. (Bonus: translate that into German, see what you get.)
The car was 3-wheeled, rear engine, and eggshell shaped.
A primary “feature” was almost no repair time. In the event of any malfunction, simply bring to a repair shop and have the entire engine quickly and easily swapped out.

We could see where this goes.
Buy a new car, at the first trouble point your new engine gets swapped out and replaced with an “in-stock” engine which just “happens” to have 80,000 miles on it.
Just the luck of the draw. Really.

Meanwhile, the repair shop employees, family and friends have a stream of fresh engines for their cars whenever they need one.

Swapable batteries are an idea whose time will never come.

HotScot
Reply to  TonyL
January 2, 2022 4:30 pm

“The car was 3-wheeled, rear engine, and eggshell shaped.”

Trotter’s Independent Traders preferred mode of transport. “Wiv a bit of the old ‘nouvo rich’ streamlining modification Rodder’s it’ll be perfect.”

Only it was front engined, and was inherently unstable and directionally wayward at speed (30mph).

(Sorry America, quintessentially British humour. TIT was Del Boy’s trading company in probably the best comedy show evah produced in the world. A bit Bilko like, but crueller).

image_2022-01-03_001706.png
HotScot
Reply to  HotScot
January 2, 2022 4:36 pm

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  HotScot
January 2, 2022 5:36 pm
Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 2, 2022 11:41 pm

Top Gear weighted the Robin so it would tip over at every turn. But it was a funny episode.

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  HotScot
January 3, 2022 1:04 pm

Is that a Robin Reliant? Frequently overtaken by a milk float?

Didn’t Messerscmitt build a bubble car, with rear-wheel steering?

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  TonyL
January 2, 2022 6:48 pm

“ Bonus: translate that into German, see what you get.)”

Uhhh, Audi?
😀

Richard Page
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
January 2, 2022 10:29 pm

Hmm wrong company entirely perhaps?

TonyL
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 2, 2022 5:17 pm

“Essentially you are putting everyone on an expensive subscription service”
For some, that is exactly the point. You do not want people to own stuff. To generate great cash flow, you want all your customers to have to make a constant stream of payments. Rent, subscription services, however you can manage it.

“You will own nothing and be happy.”
World Economic Forum

Rich Davis
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 2, 2022 6:45 pm

Tightly constraining technological progress is a good point only if you think that technological progress would require a form factor change.

Consider the humble light bulb. Today we have LED bulbs with exactly the same screw-in fitting and overall volume/shape as bulbs made a century or more ago. They could of course be made much more compact, but who really would benefit from that? Keeping everyone’s existing lamps usable is far more valuable.

The ownership question is your stronger argument. I am not so convinced that ownership of the battery has much potential (no pun intended) to benefit the consumer. All batteries will eventually fail and having each consumer evaluate when to replace them isn’t very efficient, and maybe not very safe. Consumers don’t own refinery equipment for their ICE cars and we are not unduly burdened by it.

The rental problem is that the battery lifetime depends on the number of cycles, depth of cycles, and and speed of charging. The rented mule syndrome is likely to come into play. Non-ownership eliminates concern for maintaining optimum use.

If the consumer only swaps batteries at service stations and doesn’t ever charge them, then the consumer is buying a fixed fraction of the useful life and the energy in the battery. But if the consumer is allowed to charge the battery at work and at home, sometimes partially, sometimes fully, sometimes fast, sometimes trickle-charged, and only occasionally swaps batteries for longer trips, then how to track the wear and tear?

If batteries could not be charged by the consumer, then they would need to be swapped out more frequently which would certainly be less convenient.

If the goal is to use a surplus of battery packs to centrally charge batteries while intermittent power is available, that only works in the scenario where batteries are swapped with every charging cycle.

Well the whole thing is unnecessary and uneconomic but as I said earlier the engineering problem is interesting to ponder.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 2, 2022 6:49 pm

swappable batteries is not different from swappable gas cylinders for BBQs. That model works extremely well and allows you to get your gas cylinders almost anywhere. The same model would work for cars provided that all manufactures settled on a common battery design and a common system for attaching them to the
cars. And rather than constraining technological progress it would spur it on since battery manufactures would compete to sell batteries to consumers rather than just a few car manufacturers.

MarkW
Reply to  Izaak Walton
January 2, 2022 7:53 pm

Gas cylinders are worth a dozen or so dollars, as opposed to $20K+ and the cylinders last more or less forever, vs a decade at most for the batteries.
Gas cylinders weigh maybe 20 pounds full, so that anyone can pick one up and haul it around, EV batteries on the other hand weigh several thousand pounds and would require very expensive equipment to swap em out.

Izaak, you have a history of saying some really dumb things, but this time you have managed to top yourself.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Izaak Walton
January 2, 2022 11:43 pm

A gas cylinder is an extremely simple thing. only one moving part. You really think that’s a valid comparison?

stewartpid
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
January 3, 2022 10:50 am

Jeff if u really think that Izaak really thinks then u have not been paying attention the last several years 😉

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
January 3, 2022 1:08 pm

The battery pack, presumably, has no moving parts.

Dean
Reply to  Izaak Walton
January 4, 2022 11:54 pm

But gas cylinders don’t significantly degrade with use, and are very low cost in terms of asset/value of recharge terms.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Pflashgordon
January 2, 2022 5:16 pm

I have long thought about the same thing. It’s interesting to think of ways to solve an engineering problem even when there’s no good reason why we need EVs.

There could be standardized modules, with battery makers and service stations competing for business, interchangeable in virtually all vehicles.

Since modules are continuously swapped out, those that do not pass diagnostics could be shunted out for reconditioning. Consumers would no longer bear the risk of a failed battery array and potentially could have less fire risk if the modules must meet strict standards.

But in the end, the challenges are insurmountable in my estimation.

Building out such an infrastructure if it isn’t needed and can’t be supplied with reliable power is of course idiotic. The only way to balance out the intermittency problem is to have a huge surplus of battery packs that can be charged up when the unreliable sources happen to be available. Think of the necessary volumes compared to a few underground fuel storage tanks.

Now maybe if you switch to aluminum-air batteries the scarce materials problem can be resolved. If you have a neighborhood MSR, things might be different in terms of the necessary inventory. But it seems to me that if you have a lot of molten salt reactors, use process heat to synthesize methanol from biomass and stick with ICE cars and filling stations.

Mind you, I don’t give a rat’s tail about carbon neutral, I’m thinking 5 or 6 centuries out when fossil fuels have gotten too expensive.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Rich Davis
January 2, 2022 6:03 pm

Mind you, I don’t give a rat’s tail about carbon neutral, I’m thinking 5 or 6 centuries out when fossil fuels have gotten too expensive.

Five or six centuries out we’ll be looking at moving to different galaxies. Our biggest challenge will probably be reaction mass, not energy.

Last edited 25 days ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
Rich Davis
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 2, 2022 7:19 pm

Hmmm, I rather doubt that ZZW. In the year 2626, fusion power commercialization will be, let me see 🤔, oh yeah, 40 years away.

AndyHce
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 2, 2022 7:30 pm

While the idea is interesting, if people and their technology survive much longer, there are many other possibilities. Perhaps bio-engineered people living on Jupiter and Saturn? Lots of room there and the speed of light isn’t such a difficulty.

MarkW
Reply to  Pflashgordon
January 2, 2022 6:06 pm

There will never be EV batteries that can be swapped in 5 minutes, for a number of very simple reasons.
1) EV batteries are big and heavy. It simply isn’t possible to build a piece of equipment that can remove one battery and replace it with another, rapidly.
2) Before you can even think doing this, you are going to have to get the industry to standardize on one or two battery form factors.
3) The station where you change your battery, is going to need to have lots of batteries in stock, charged up and ready to plugged into your car. Even with fast charging, it takes 30 minutes to charge a battery. A 12 pump gas station can fuel as many as 72 cars in 30 minutes, so a changing station would need at least that many batteries on the racks. At $20K per battery, that’s a lot of money.
If there is more than one battery style/form factor, then that number will have to go up dramatically.
4) Can you imagine how big the electrical substation would have to be in order to fast charge 72+ batteries at the same time would have to be?
5) What happens to the guy who pulls in with a brand new battery, but pulls out with an old battery on it’s last charge?

To re-iterate, a technology to fast swap batteries, even if it is ever developed, will never be deployed.

Deacon
Reply to  MarkW
January 2, 2022 7:38 pm
Rich Davis
Reply to  MarkW
January 2, 2022 8:35 pm

Not to continue this silly discussion beyond the point of all reason, but when beating a dead horse, as Devo said, whip it good!

#2 is a given. I don’t see how it can be more than one standard module. Larger vehicles might have more than one standard pack.

#3 is also necessary if the goal is to “supply follow” i.e. suck up surplus intermittent power when the wind blows and the sun shines. The outrageous cost of inventory is all part of the GND funny money.

Turning back to #1, one concept might be to have a series of hydraulic lift platforms. Standard battery modules would mount in the undercarriage. Each lift would hold a stack of standard module packs below grade. At any time, one stack is to remove the spent pack, (the unmounting stack), and a second one full of fully-charged packs is to load back on the car, (the loading stack). There might be ten stacks in a station. Two are active, while 8 are in various stages of charging.

The operator drives up onto a track that holds the car and can move it forward from one stack to another stack. The operator gets out of the car. The car is moved over the current unmounting stack and is then lifted up. A series of retained bolts on the perimeter of the pack are simultaneously loosened. The car is lowered back onto the track and the spent pack is lowered below grade into the hole in the ground.

Now the car is carried forward with no battery pack, until it is over the current mounting stack. Hydraulics move the pack up into position and the mounting bolts are all torqued up simultaneously.

The stack is then lowered below grade and the car is left in position for the operator to drive out.

The unmounting stack immediately starts to charge each pack as it is received. When the stack reaches capacity, another free stack is used for unmounting. Once a stack is fully charged it can become a mounting stack.

It would be something like a NASCAR pit stop.

#4, the substation issue. No idea :). How about we put an MSR under the whole station? Unobtainium superconductors connect to each charging stack. Must be that GND funny money again.

#5, the modules would have diagnostic circuitry that can alert the station by IoT before attempting to unmount, if the module condition is no longer serviceable. In such a case, the system moves the car to the refurb stack for unmounting. Only modules that pass quality control get recharged.

The consumer does not own the module and the module cannot be charged while mounted in a car. The module only needs to function properly for one discharge cycle. At each rental sale the module must communicate with a regulatory agency (or authorized agent’s) server to validate the safety and charge capacity before the consumer’s credit card can be charged. Tamperproof smart chips in the module ensure that the service station can’t spoof the data. When a module doesn’t meet specs it goes to the refurbishment factory. The modules don’t belong to the charging station and the decision to refurbish is automated, so there’s no conflict of interest compromising safety. The company that owns the modules can repair them or recover the materials to build a new pack. Part of the rental sale goes to the module owner and part to the charging station.

See? Easy peasy!

Deacon
Reply to  Pflashgordon
January 2, 2022 7:19 pm

Pflashgordon…you hit the Real Dilemma…stopping on a trip for 20 to 30 minutes for an extra 100 miles vice a 10 minute refuel and getting another 300+ miles of travel. Why this has not been proposed is baffling to me. A side mounted slide in/out rack to change the battery in a 3 minute swap.
That does not address the fire issue, but surely the industry will resolve that. Go back in history of wiring houses for electricity…lots of fires started by electrical shorts.

AndyHce
Reply to  Pflashgordon
January 2, 2022 7:23 pm

A significant problem with the idea of easily swapping batteries is the fact that one battery may have 12 year of life left and another only one week.

Vuk
January 2, 2022 3:05 pm

Brand new electric cars are still very expensive. Buying a second hand one beware. ‘Whatcar’ website has some details for the UK drivers
https://www.whatcar.com/advice/buying/tell-me-more-about-electric-car-batteries/n19062

Rich Davis
January 2, 2022 3:17 pm

I don’t blame Germany, I hate electric busses too. 💋💋

You know how you kiss the wife goodbye and get a big static shock?

It probably could happen even to people riding on buses.

HotScot
Reply to  Rich Davis
January 2, 2022 4:11 pm

The only invitation for a kiss from my wife is to kiss her a55……

(It was a joke dear, honest).

HotScot
January 2, 2022 3:28 pm

“Carmakers including Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and Ford also have announced plans to go all or mostly electric — chasing ambitions similar to GM’s deadline of 2035.”

Chasing the subsidies with hollow political announcements. The way grandly announced NetZero policies are crumbling in the western world literally months following the celebrated COP26, car makers won’t be going all EV any time soon as the public just won’t tolerate them.

If you want to invest in anything, get going in the used ICE car market. It will boom over the coming ten years, as will “hooch’ fuels.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  HotScot
January 2, 2022 4:12 pm

I’m pretty much constantly surprised at how well diesel cars just keep going. My two cars are both diesel, one is 12 years old, the other 9, and both are fine mechanically.

My first car was also a diesel. I managed to keep it going way past its expected life by fiddling with it myself, but that was before they computerised everything in cars. It took me around Europe several times. Eventually it died because the compression was lower than a petrol car, and using easy start (ether) to start it made it worse over time.

Dennis
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 3, 2022 1:26 am

A friend of mine purchased a new Mitsubishi 4WD SUV in the late 1980s and drove it to 500,000 Kms, engine oil changed every 5,000 Km and oil filter changed every 10,000 Km. The vehicle was driven on country roads and highways most often but also off road.

He sold that vehicle to a nephew who was still driving it with more than 750,000 Kms, and that was about five years ago.

Diesel engines need clean engine oil for lubrication and engine cooling purposes, oil filtration is also very important, and if you travel where the quality of fuel can be questionable fit a secondary diesel filter.

I cannot see electric vehicles coping with country work and remote areas.

MarkW
Reply to  Dennis
January 3, 2022 10:24 am

The life of most engines can be extended tremendously with the addition of electric oil pumps. Delay the start of the engine until the oil pressure has built up fully.

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 3, 2022 1:14 pm

But think of the Planet!

AndyHce
Reply to  HotScot
January 2, 2022 7:36 pm

Tyrannical governments (you will do as you are told, not as you wish) have never been completely successful but some have lasted for many lifetimes AND they never had modern technology (such as today’s wide spread conditioning and monitoring). to use against their citizenry. It could be a very hard race.

Roger Knights
January 2, 2022 4:05 pm

In my opinion, it is going to remain an uphill struggle for manufacturers to convince the majority of motorists to switch to EVs.”

Consumers will be a shrinking part of the market in coming years, replaced by purchases by governmeental and ESG-corporate fleet buyers.

H.R.
Reply to  Roger Knights
January 2, 2022 5:09 pm

That, and with many Western economies laid waste, who will be able to afford any car? With a bit of luck, some fortunate people will be able to afford bicycles.

So yeah, Roger. Consumers will be a shrinking part of the market.

MarkW
Reply to  Roger Knights
January 2, 2022 6:12 pm

I read an article a couple of days ago that new EPA regulations are going to require about 1 in 4 cars produced to be electric, by the year 2030.

DipChip
January 2, 2022 4:42 pm

What happens when an E V passes into a flooded area? Are all electrical conductors and connections water proof or the wheel motors?

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  DipChip
January 2, 2022 5:46 pm

I suspect that the voltage isn’t high enough to cause problems. I know from experience that even 24 volt motors can happily work while flooded. Corrosion is a problem, though, but I’d assume that a car designed to work in rain would be protected.

Edit: Ooooops. A quick interweb search tells me many are quite high voltage…

Last edited 25 days ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
Richard Page
Reply to  DipChip
January 2, 2022 10:41 pm

The consensus of opinion appears to be that EV’s can drive further and slightly deeper through floods than ICE vehicles. Having said that, ICE vehicles pose far less risk to their occupants if they go wrong in a flood – EV’s would be very hazardous to occupants in the same circumstances. So, you could drive an EV through a flood but I really, really wouldn’t try it. Ever.

marlene
January 2, 2022 4:46 pm

The problem is not with the Tesla EV’s. It’s the battery manufacturers who have always been behind the times. Discounting possible sabotage, they need to up their game. There’s nothing wrong with the EV’s, many people like & want them & docking stations will abound when sales go up

AndyHce
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 2, 2022 7:38 pm

and costs

MarkW
Reply to  marlene
January 2, 2022 6:15 pm

The number of people who replace an electric vehicle with a second electric vehicle is vanishingly small.
Electric cars are toys for families that can afford two cars.
In every country where subsidies for EVs have expired, sales of EVs have plummeted.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  MarkW
January 3, 2022 10:01 am

In Japan registrations of EVs in 2020 fell 25% in 2020 and had fallen in absolute and relative terms every year since 2017 according to IEA ‘Update on EVs Aug 2021’

So possibly some comments earlier about reliability of Toyota may not be shared by ordinary Japanese?

Dennis
Reply to  marlene
January 3, 2022 1:33 am

Consider an EV battery pack that can provide a real highway range of 300 miles or 480 kilometres, the weight of that battery pack would beat least five times heavier than a tank full of liquid fuel to drive the same distance in an ICEV.

And that is handicap (weight) number one.

MarkW
Reply to  Dennis
January 3, 2022 10:26 am

The weight of gasoline in the tank drops as the car drives.
The weight of the battery never changes.

Rob
January 2, 2022 5:05 pm

In Norway the fire brigade have a standard response to electric vehicle fires: They pick the vehicle up and dump it into a water-filled tank, leaving it there for a couple of days. It is the only way to prevent re-ignition as the batteries continue to over-heat after any initial fire has been extinguished.

Not sure if they have a container big enough for a bus…..

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Rob
January 2, 2022 5:50 pm

I’m assuming that they at least try to get the driver and passengers out first?

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 2, 2022 6:43 pm

First world problems

UNGN
January 2, 2022 6:35 pm

My wife asked me recently “Why in all the Plug In Hybrid commercials on TV are they parking their car in their driveway and not in their garage, when they plug it in?”

hmmmmm…..

AndyHce
January 2, 2022 6:50 pm

The batteries now being used in electric vehicles may be fire hazardous but that isn’t true for batteries in general.

MarkW
Reply to  AndyHce
January 2, 2022 7:58 pm

Smaller batteries with lower voltages and currents.
Also most batteries for tools and electronics use a different formula.

Last edited 25 days ago by MarkW
Gary Pearse
January 2, 2022 7:17 pm

I am sure auto and battery makers perform detailed tests to try to figure the problem out. After the famous battery fire in a computer on board a passenger plane, I recall the specs for lithium battery chemicals became much more stringent. Up until a dozen years ago, lithium carbonate specs called for 95% Li2CO3 (only!) and a few ppm of each of several transition metals like Fe and the alkali metals like Na and alkaline earths like Mg and 10s of ppm S and Cl.

I visited China’s largest producer back then along with a mining company client of mine that wanted to also produce the chemicals and I was not impressed with the what I saw.Toyota began investing directly in lithium mining projects because they wouldn’t use the poor quality product available from China at the time according to a Toyota engineer.

Also at the time, lithium hydroxide monohydrate was emerging as the preferred feedstock. Because my client had access to hydro power at US 4cts/ kWhr I suggested a new type of process for the industry that would produce LiOH•H2O directly from feedstock extracted from the ore as lithium sulphate using electrolysis. Any demand for the carbonate could be met by bubbling CO2 through the hydroxide liquid.

Basically this was an adaptation of the caustic soda process, but did require research into different bipolar membranes to make it work well. We also completely recovered sulphuric acid from the anode to be cycled back to the extraction step. The result, using electricity and CO2 as reagents instead of chemicals was 99.995% purity products directly without refining.

Given that only a few battery fires in perhaps a few billion computers has occurred, even when chemical specs were poor, I suspect it’s a hardware problem. In the case of car fires, the batteries are subjected to constant vibration, mechanical shocks, inertial forces and the like. Also current flows are large in motor demand and charging. Design factors to minimize this probably needs some deep thought.

https://patents.justia.com/inventor/gary-pearse?page=2

AndyHce
Reply to  Gary Pearse
January 3, 2022 12:57 am

In 30 some years, over a number of automobiles, sometimes buying the least expensive, sometimes the supposedly very good, more expensive batteries (lead-acid of course), I never had a battery last more than 3 years. Then I bought a new Toyota with a Toyota brand battery. It ran well for 15 years. Its replacement, from Walmart, is still fine after 6 and 1/2 years. I suspect superior regulation in the Toyota rather than any late improvement in a 150 year old battery technology.

Last edited 25 days ago by AndyHce
stewartpid
Reply to  AndyHce
January 3, 2022 9:54 am

Toyota batteries are very good and the battery management is excellent …. my first went 9 years with many starts at -25 C in Canadian winters … the current battery from Toyota is about to turn 9 years old and was suffering in the cold two years ago but I haven’t replaced it since the Toyota convertible is now a fair weather driver only as I bot a new winter sled.
My daughters 2008 Toyota Camry hybrid is on the original lead acid battery and so 15 years old but the lead acid batteries in a hybrid lead a sheltered life.

Kit P
January 2, 2022 7:53 pm

If EV or hybrids were a good idea I would own one.

I have only bought two new cars in the last 40 years, a Civic and a Corolla.

My method is simple. What do I need? What does it cost? How reliable is it? The last question requires a trip to the local library to check Consumers Report.

I have heard all the ‘justifications’ for a Lexus or an EV. It boils down to telling people about your expensive status symbol.

I enjoy sailing and have a sailboat. I would never suggest that it is a ‘good idea’ for transportation.

Dennis
January 2, 2022 8:58 pm

New South Wales Australia Public Transport is taking delivery of Electric Buses.

Their sales pitch includes that a fire suppression system is built in and the battery packs are carried on the roof of a bus.

Hmmm

No doubt those buses will carry the government required blue warning sticker on the registration number plates front and rear that all EV must display in Australia.

Dennis
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 3, 2022 1:13 am
Mr.
Reply to  Dennis
January 2, 2022 10:45 pm

Any bus design consideration given to the stability / handling of a bus with all the weight of batteries on the roof?

I would have thought all that weight would be better positioned as ballast on the underside of the chassis.

Dennis
Reply to  Mr.
January 3, 2022 1:38 am

My guess is that height of bus off ground is important for entry and exit of passengers.

However, surely a floor pan battery system like used in electric cars would be a far better design solution?

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Dennis
January 3, 2022 9:32 am

Possibly several battery modules distributed and connected in parallel rather than one block could provide easier cooling and quick disconnection of units if one fails. The roof? In Oz maybe put a solar panel there to operate battery cooling fans

MarkW
Reply to  Dennis
January 3, 2022 10:31 am

I suspect that the height of the battery would be less than the height of a pancake diesel.

MarkW
Reply to  Dennis
January 3, 2022 10:29 am

Without the battery pack beneath the bus, might need fewer steps to board the bus.
All that weight on the ceiling is going to mean stronger columns, which will also result in smaller windows.
I wonder how all that weight high up affects stability in turns.

observa
January 2, 2022 10:21 pm

The EV industry has a natural incentive to try and pack as much energy as quickly as possible (short charging times) into vehicle battery packs and they need light weight lithium for the purpose. Sodium tech being safer but the tradeoff is heavier. So the industry will push the bounds as Samsung did with it phone battery and then pull back with safety and self-preservation in mind. Hence the blade vs cylindrical cells and various chemistries competing for the optimal choice with the matrix of tradeoffs.

But notice lithium battery tech it is for light weight bang for buck. But the elephant in the room is availability of lithium carbonate and they’ve reached a nadir of battery pricing in the gigafactory battery production era as you can see here-
Lithium Carbonate 99%Min China Spot Historical Prices – Investing.com AU
Click on the Monthly Time Frame box to see their problem.

All very well churning out safe lithium battery cars (ie not immolating the batteries) but it’s all an exercise in futility if they’re not charged with RE namely wind and solar. Welcome to the second elephant in the room that competes for the same lithium battery resources to ‘firm’ their RE grid. They’re wasting scarce light weight lithium battery resources on short term profits for BIG BATTERY here as they choose to cream off the top of the unreliables problem with 1 or 2 hours of storage arbitraging the variability and providing short run FCAS.

What’s really needed for the grid with increasing RE penetration and its variability is long term battery storage and that can be heavy like flow battery installations. Instead they’re squandering lithium required for the battery-fication of transport on a narrow short term fix for the grid problem as if they have plenty to throw around. The price of lithium carbonate will tell the story from now on.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  observa
January 3, 2022 10:11 am

“What’s really needed for the grid with increasing RE penetration and its variability is long term battery storage and that can be heavy like flow battery installations.”

Bingo! The oxidation states of vanadium were proposed years ago for grid storage before the “green (‘brown-out’) revolution” and pumped storage shouldn’t be a problem most places.

BTW, lithium is a lot more abundant than most outside the mining industry realize. DR Congo has undeveloped, multi- billion ton hardrock resources grading over 1.5% Li2O (Manono-Kitolo pegmatites. See also Tantalex Resources https://www.tantalexlithium.com/ ), but still, we are talking about ~100 million vehicles produced a year!

jorgekafkazar
January 2, 2022 10:52 pm

” . . . treating the electric vehicle era as essentially inevitable — a technical fait accompli —”

Actually, a technical fail accompli.

Last edited 25 days ago by jorgekafkazar
griff
January 3, 2022 1:04 am

How many EVs out there in the world? How many caught fire?

same as with wind turbines – a tiny fraction of the vast numbers now in use

Kit P
Reply to  griff
January 3, 2022 9:19 am

A tiny number is unacceptable.

Insignificant risk is the standard for an accident that could kill someone. One in a million was the requirement for my integrated safety analysis team.

LWR designed to US standards have a perfect safety record with respect to radiation. No one has even been hurt.

For every million EV parked at a house and PV solar panel on the roof, one fire is too many.

John Endicott
Reply to  griff
January 3, 2022 10:15 am

A tiny number of a tiny number of total vehicles. since EVs are touted as a replacement for all the other vehicles on the road, scale those tiny numbers up and your “tiny number” gets a lot bigger. And that’s based on a fleet of EVs that are relatively new. Older vehicles are more likely to fail than newer ones, as they age that “tiny number” will continue to grow.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
January 3, 2022 10:34 am

The number of EV’s catching fire on a per million basis is a lot higher than the number of ICE vehicles catching fire. When you factor in the average age of the cars, the numbers are even worse for the ICE brigade.
As for wind turbines, even if it is as low as 1 in 1000 per year, that’s still a significant increase in the total cost of wind power.

ResourceGuy
Reply to  griff
January 3, 2022 12:42 pm

How many are being recalled is the more important safety question. We don’t do consumer product safety based on tracking body bags after the fact.

GM Bolt and Bolt EUV production halt extended to 2022 (autoblog.com)

Alex
January 3, 2022 1:38 am

Not “inherently” unsafe.
It is the poor outdated western technology of Tesla and Co.
The Chinese BYD batteries are very safe.
BYD supplies them to all Chinese E-vehicles for several years already.
They simply do not burn. No single case.
China accomplished a very successful transition from gas fueled cars to EVs.
No one would buy a silly combustion engine car over there.
EVs are incomparably more powerful, faster, have larger ranges, are much more reliable and they are cheaper!

John Endicott
Reply to  Alex
January 3, 2022 10:21 am

BYD supplies them to all Chinese E-vehicles for several years already.
They simply do not burn. No single case.”

sorry, but you are wrong.

BYD enters spotlight for vehicle fire – CnEVPost

“BYD Qin Pro parked in an underground garage in Beijing spontaneously combusted around 9 p.m. on November 22”

Alex
Reply to  John Endicott
January 3, 2022 1:46 pm

The EV did catch the fire, but not the battery.
https://www.autoevolution.com/news/byd-qin-pro-catches-fire-while-parked-underground-in-beijing-175156.html
The car is a bit black after the fire, but no severe damage as all the Teslas do.
What was the cause of the fire remains unclear.

John Endicott
Reply to  Alex
January 4, 2022 7:39 am

Contrary to your assertion the article you link to does not make the claim that the battery was not involved in the fire (the fire happened while charging, which usually points to a failure of the battery), and the article points out this isn’t the first BYD Qin Pro to spontaneously catch fire, where all those other not battery related? and regardless of whether they were or not, all of those fires just further prove that your original assertion the BYDs “simply do not burn. no single case” is the false statement that it always was. (though I’ll grant you there is “no single case”, as the article you linked to clearly mentions multiple cases 😉 )

The article also points out that BYD was quick to point out that model car has an older style battery and not their newer blade battery. Now why would BYD be so quick to point that out if the battery had nothing to do with it? Hmmm?

Last edited 23 days ago by John Endicott
Dave Andrews
Reply to  Alex
January 3, 2022 10:25 am

Many of those Chinese ‘vehicles’ are two and three wheelers and whilst it is true that China leads the world in adoption of EVs, according to the International Energy Agency at the end of 2020 there were 3.5m BEVs and 1m PHEVs in China.

With a population of over 1.4 billion I wouldn’t call that particularly high market penetration and would imagine that ICE vehicles out sell EVs by a considerable margin.

John Endicott
Reply to  Dave Andrews
January 3, 2022 10:40 am

China now has more than 300 million registered vehicles, so 3.5m BEVs is still a small niche of the total market. What’s more, just 6.3% of all passenger cars sold in China in 2020 were EVs. If that is what constitutes “a very successful transition from gas fueled cars to EVs”, the bar for “very successful” isn’t very high.

Alex
Reply to  John Endicott
January 3, 2022 1:48 pm
John Endicott
Reply to  Alex
January 4, 2022 3:26 am

They’re still a small percentage of the overall total no matter what numbers you point to. Again, pointing to a small niche of the market as “a successful transition from gas fueled cars to EVs” when the vast majority of the market continues to be gas fueled is a joke (but then so are you, so no surprises there)

Last edited 24 days ago by John Endicott
MarkW
Reply to  Alex
January 3, 2022 10:35 am

And everything coming from the CCP is totally reliable and always true.

John Hardy
January 3, 2022 3:31 am

Tesla Model 3 was the top selling model in Europe in September 2021

Alba
January 3, 2022 4:35 am

GM heralded this plant as a model for its electric car future. Then its batteries started exploding.
Any chance that griff will add this to his list of climate change-related disasters?
There’s a good chance that these incidents will increase in frequency and intensity over the next decades. Perhaps griff can tell us how bad the problem will be by the end of the century.

Tom
January 3, 2022 4:46 am

Nobody cares what you people think about the risk of EV fires. We already have millions of them on the road and the world has not ended yet, nor are manufactures shying away from making more of them.

MarkW
Reply to  Tom
January 3, 2022 10:36 am

How long did they continue making the Pinto after a single well publicized crash?
They continue to make more, because that’s what the government demands.

Tom
Reply to  MarkW
January 3, 2022 1:53 pm

Tesla vs Pinto… not quite the same thing is it. And it’s not as if we haven’t had any EV fires. Still, I know you’re doing your best to get the word out.

Dean
Reply to  Tom
January 5, 2022 12:07 am

When you get fabulous moolah from the governments for selling them, and governments seem set on mandating that people have to buy them, why not make as many as you can??

But when people have a choice, and have to pay the actual cost, they tend to not want a bar of EVs.

BERNARD STEPHEN FITZGERALD
January 3, 2022 5:21 am

The honeymoon period was likely not to last for many reasons primarilly not matching range and refuel times of internal combustion engines marked them as eternally niche market. Inherent tech problems were guaranteed to surface and lets be honest setting the place on fire is about as grim as it gets. Doubtless other issues will pop up and unless more innovative tech is on it’s way I can’t see EVs staying the course

rhs
January 3, 2022 6:18 am

I suspect there will be more damaged Tesla and other EV reseller businesses like this due to manufacturing defects:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Bv5nfEovzMA

Not sure why the footage is labeled destroyed, the building loos repairable from the footage.

Too bad there wasn’t better coverage of the story.

MarkW
Reply to  rhs
January 3, 2022 10:41 am

Titles are created as much for clicks, as they are for accuracy.
If it’s a metal building, if the rafters were heated enough, they could have lost enough strength to make rebuilding required.
Though it did look like only one end of the building was damaged.

Edit: If the rafters sagged, even a little bit when they were hot, they will have to be replaced.

Last edited 24 days ago by MarkW
Coach Springer
January 3, 2022 7:09 am

In my opinion, it is going to remain an uphill struggle for manufacturers to convince the majority of motorists to switch to EVs.”

To the EV industry and its believers, it’s a job for their new superhero, Captain Shut Up.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Coach Springer
January 3, 2022 11:05 am

Surely the industry should have started with a cheap reliable run-about car instead of a luxury boat like Tesla. A good model to emulate would be the VW bug. It captured the imagination of a generation. It had no frills and worked like a ‘top’. I can’t for the life of me understand why VW didn’t revive this once very popular idea for their first electric car. Henry Ford maybe showed VW the way. He produced affordable cars for the masses, understanding that that was a huge market. Otherwise cars would be expensive toys for the rich. If Elon was really, really smart, he would buy the “bug” from VW and start over. At least you wouldnt have the multiplicity of circuits, capacitors, switches … to increase the risk of failures.

chris
January 3, 2022 7:52 am

the article cites “risks” and recalls, but it is very light on actual fires (one fire in a bus depot, not clearly from a vehicle). What the article does NOT cite is the number of fires or recalls due to chance of fire in the 99% of vehicles that run on petrol. So the “risk” – which is never quantified – is meaningless.

Gordon A. Dressler
January 3, 2022 8:35 am

Not to worry . . . here in the “democratic” USA, mandates from the President and State governors will solve everything.

Mandate #1: there shall be no ICE passenger vehicle sales after 2030 (or is it 2050?).

Mandate #2: there shall be no EV battery fires after 2025.

Mandate #3: the electrical grid in the US must only be fed by “green, renewable energy sources” after 2031

Mandate #4: every occupant of an EV, after year 2032, shall have received their seventh booster shot and be wearing a minimum of three overlapping face masks for protection against the Zeta-Gamma variant of COVID-19.

🙂

January 3, 2022 8:38 am

All cars can burn. The vital fact to know is what kind of cars have the highest probability of catching fire.

Writing an article about the dangers of electric vehicle fires without providing information about whether electric vehicles have higher or lower probability of catching fire, relative to a gas vehicles, seems dishonest to me.

Statistics show that ordinary gas cars have more than ten times higher probability of catching fire per driven mile compared to a Tesla electric vehicle.

https://insideevs.com/news/501729/number-tesla-vehicle-fires-2020/

Jan

Martin Pinder
January 3, 2022 8:41 am

‘It is going to remain an uphill struggle for manufacturers to convince the majority of motorists to switch to EVs’. Unless, of course, they are rammed down your throat by the likes of Boris Johnson.

Gr8st1ofALL
January 3, 2022 9:36 am

Funny how all EVs come with a Spontaneous Combustion also known as the Random Ignition Carbaque feature that has raised the eyebrows of so many surviving American consumers. Tesla took it further with the Kamakazi Autopilot. They still have yet to incorporate the Bushido feature where the car screams, “BANZAII” before swapping lanes to go after that oncoming Semi Tractor Trailer head on in opposing traffic… or wipe the sidewalk clean of Pedestrians with HONOR!

niceguy
January 3, 2022 11:53 am

Old news:
https://insideevs.com/news/319587/two-autolib-bollore-bluecars-catch-fire-cause-unknown/

Autolib, a car sharing service that operates out of Paris that features Bolloré’s electric Bluecars, has a bit of a PR set-back on its hands, as two of their cars have been destroyed by fire.

The incident happened on Monday morning, as one of two cars that were ultimately destroyed by fire “exploded” while charging on the streets of France on Boulevard de Charonne in the 20th Arrondissement of the city.

A lot more than two cars caught fire the years these ugly cars were exploited, but most fires were presumed arson, more the same reason Notre Dame and the many other churches burnt down were presumed not arson: why not.

ResourceGuy
January 3, 2022 12:33 pm

It’s a union-made fire so its okay.

January 3, 2022 5:08 pm

Are electric vehicles inherently unsafe?

Like petroleum, a battery has two sides to the chemical equation. Unlike petroleum which is kept away from the oxygen it needs in a simple robust container.. a battery puts the two sides in very close proximity, in a very complex system extremely prone to failure … which is rather like mixing oxygen with petroleum in the tank and then driving with the hope that it doesn’t explode.

Walter Sobchak
January 4, 2022 2:37 am

Now he tells us:

“Electrification of U.S. transportation requires new battery chemistries and magnet technology, both relying on materials that are earth-abundant, recyclable and readily available in North America. This is the road map to profitable sustainability, while ceding nothing to China (“The Electric-Vehicle Push Empowers China” by Robert Bryce, op-ed, Dec. 24).”

“Lithium-ion batteries have reached their apogee of market dominance—with too many fires, too high a cost and too many problems with materials extraction. Radical innovation is needed to put America in the driver’s seat and China in the rearview mirror.”

Prof. Donald R. Sadoway • Massachusetts Institute of Technology • Cambridge, Mass.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/battery-lithium-ion-evs-electric-vehicles-china-sustainability-11640822141

According to Wikipedia Sadoway “is a noted expert on batteries and has done significant research on how to improve the performance and longevity of portable power sources.”

I am guessing the punchline of this letter is send me some money.

Tom
January 4, 2022 4:45 am

It is obvious that a lot of WUWT readers are not predicting, but hoping, that EV’s will fail. EV’s should be evaluated based on technical feasibility and economics. A rational person would always want to see new technology come into being provided it works. Hoping new technology fails, is a kind of Luddite mentality.

Richard
Reply to  Tom
January 4, 2022 6:10 am

I don’t think most WUWT users object to EV technology. It’s far more likely to be the compulsion that they object to. And as we are having the option of a well proven means of transport taken away it’s extremely sensible for us to critically evaluate the replacement. Looking at EVs with rose-tinted spectacles isn’t helpful.

Tom
Reply to  Richard
January 4, 2022 8:40 am

It doesn’t really come across that way Richard. A lot of people nowadays make up their minds more based on who’s for it or who’s against it rather than considering something on the merits. When you let your enemies, for lack of a better word, determine your views on things, you have basically lost control of your ability to form an objective opinion. This is what I see happening. I think a lot of the green agenda is support by people who are clueless about how or if it can work. That should not serve as a model for how to respond to them.

niceguy