Don't buy that electric bike just yet!

Notafettler

Über Member
I'm sure that you are right about recent history but there is such a huge push now to get rid of petrol/diesel and switch over to electric vehicles that huge sums are surely being spent on battery research and production?
See above many companies saying they have worked out a way of increasing capacity. Some rumours suggesting 60% in the case of Dyson.
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
I'm sure that you are right about recent history but there is such a huge push now to get rid of petrol/diesel and switch over to electric vehicles that huge sums are surely being spent on battery research and production?
Certainly in China, where more than half of the worlds production originates.
 

Phaeton

Grumpy Old Barstool
Location
Oop North (ish)
I'm sure that you are right about recent history but there is such a huge push now to get rid of petrol/diesel and switch over to electric vehicles that huge sums are surely being spent on battery research and production?
That's not strictly true, but as usual they are being sneaky, we'll still see petrol engines for the next 20 years at least as they will hide them in hybrids.
 

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
I'm sure that you are right about recent history but there is such a huge push now to get rid of petrol/diesel and switch over to electric vehicles that huge sums are surely being spent on battery research and production?
The huge research and development budget of the auto industry has produced not much other than lithium ion cells tweaked for the power draw requirements of electric cars.

A Tesla is powered by battery packs made of very similar lithium ion penlight cells to an ebike, just lots and lots and lots of them to make enough grunt to get the thing down the road.

Other electric cars presently in production use battery packs made the same way.

The cells are made in a handful of huge factories, which themselves take years to build, and some are still being built.

Even if a super new battery was unveiled tomorrow, it would take many years for it to reach even small scale production, let alone the many millions of packs needed to reach the mass market.

As @Notafettler says, there are promising laboratory batteries, but none ever seem to get any further than a test bench.

It really does look like we are stuck with the present 'heavy metal' technology, at least for the 10 or 15 year timescale under discussion.

This video shows the guts of a pack - fast forward to about 4m40sec to see the cells.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0IHNrW0QOA
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
^^^ Wot he said. Thatere hasn't been a singnifcant advance in commercially available battery technology in over 15 years.

Hydrogen is where its at, and i look forward to hudrogen ebikes :rolleyes:
 

richtea

Active Member
I agree with your point about the chemistry, Pale Rider, barely differing in 10 years, but something must have changed to allow the very tidy in-frame systems* nowadays. Either the batteries are getting smaller, or the packaging/electronics is shrinking, otherwise we would have had in-frame systems in 2010 in Halfords. Or maybe it's the frames that have changed?

Thoughts?

*Fazua and ebikemotion in particular
 

gzoom

Well-Known Member
but something must have changed to allow the very tidy in-frame systems* nowadays.
Price, packaging, and smaller BMS systems.

Sony introduced the first commercial lithium ion battery in the 1990s, yet even today cost is a major issue.

There is new battery tech in labs, but none are close to commercialisation.

OLED was first demoed in the 1990s by tech labs, but didn't hit consumer products till 2010s. Expect similar slow introduction of new battery tech beyond lithium ion.
 

gzoom

Well-Known Member
I'm sure that you are right about recent history but there is such a huge push now to get rid of petrol/diesel and switch over to electric vehicles that huge sums are surely being spent on battery research and production?
The main push in EV batteries is mainly CHEAPER production costs not more density. Infact there is no evidence in the EV world new battery packs are better, often its the case they are WORSE.

For example the original Nissan Leaf had a 24kWh pack first introduced in 2011, than in 2016 Nissan made a 30kWh pack in the same form factor. The assumption was the 30kWh pack would be 'better', but it wasn't. The 30kWh pack over heated more and degrades more, the result is right now in 2020 a Leaf with a old 24kWh pack hold MORE or the level of charge as a 30kWh pack, but is lighter therefore more efficient.

Tesla had a similar issue when they introduced 'new' battery chemistry in around 2015 with a new 90kWh battery pack to replace the old 85kWh pack. Its now universally recognised that 90kWh is the WORST performing battery pack Tesla has made to date, suffering higher degredation and over heating issues versus other packs.

The brand new Model 3 is running new battery cell sizes, it now seems Model 3 battery degredation is again WORSE than whats seen in the original 85kWh packs Tesla introduced in 2011.

The summary is DON'T assume new EVs have a better battery pack versus old ones. Cheaper batteries doesn't always equate to better batteries in the long term.
 

CXRAndy

Guru
Location
Lincs
The huge research and development budget of the auto industry has produced not much other than lithium ion cells tweaked for the power draw requirements of electric cars.

A Tesla is powered by battery packs made of very similar lithium ion penlight cells to an ebike, just lots and lots and lots of them to make enough grunt to get the thing down the road.

Other electric cars presently in production use battery packs made the same way.

The cells are made in a handful of huge factories, which themselves take years to build, and some are still being built.

Even if a super new battery was unveiled tomorrow, it would take many years for it to reach even small scale production, let alone the many millions of packs needed to reach the mass market.

As @Notafettler says, there are promising laboratory batteries, but none ever seem to get any further than a test bench.

It really does look like we are stuck with the present 'heavy metal' technology, at least for the 10 or 15 year timescale under discussion.

This video shows the guts of a pack - fast forward to about 4m40sec to see the cells.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0IHNrW0QOA
That guy is an idiot, a you tuber trying to get exposure. His complete disregard for his children's safety in owning a high performance RWD car, then complaining of bald rear tyres and continuing to drive in the rain with bald tyres with his family inside. :angry:


Did you watch Tesla's battery announcement in September. Tab-less terminal batteries, million mile life expectancy and bonded cell to body instead of separate battery packs. Tesla are ahead in battery tech to everyone else current-ly ;)
 

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
I agree with your point about the chemistry, Pale Rider, barely differing in 10 years, but something must have changed to allow the very tidy in-frame systems* nowadays. Either the batteries are getting smaller, or the packaging/electronics is shrinking, otherwise we would have had in-frame systems in 2010 in Halfords. Or maybe it's the frames that have changed?

Thoughts?

*Fazua and ebikemotion in particular
Both Fazua and ebikemotion have 250wh capacity batteries.

They are approximately half the physical size and weight of the 500wh batteries fitted to Bosch and most other ebikes.

In other words, there are half the number of penlight cells in Fazua and ebikemotion batteries, making them easier to blend into a frame.

Both those systems can manage on a smaller battery because they use lower power motors, which are aimed at fitter and lighter riders.

The key measure is energy density - the amount of grunt you can get out of a given volume of battery material.

That has improved in 10 years, but only marginally so.

In other words, a 500wh pack produced in 2010 would be ever so slightly bigger and heavier than one produced in 2020, but you would need a scale measuring grams to notice the difference.

As with the weather, past performance is a good guide to the future, so it's reasonable to predict density for lithium ion will continue to improve at a glacial pace.

Did you watch Tesla's battery announcement in September. Tab-less terminal batteries, million mile life expectancy and bonded cell to body instead of separate battery packs. Tesla are ahead in battery tech to everyone else current-ly ;)
Any announcement from Tesla must come with a Musk warning.

He was deliberately sketchy but encouraging about battery plans in order to keep the stock price of Tesla high - they lose money on car sales as I'm sure you know.

I'm not having a go at the bloke, there are fewer more skilled entrepreneurs, but what does Tesla actually have for sale to customers?

Electric cars powered by lithium ion Panasonic cells, which you or I could buy (you did, if memory serves).

Musk is building a cell factory, which last I heard was up and running, albeit at a low capacity.

Its focus is on lithium ion, although Musk has made a few non-specific remarks about incorporating graphene, leading (no doubt deliberately) to more excited rumours and hikes in the share price.
 

ebikeerwidnes

Senior Member
Any discussion involving ebikes from before 2016 has a problem in the UK
Ebike regulations here changed in 2016 so any bike made before that will probably be limited to 200W - rather than the current 250W
so - naturally - the battery will last longer as it is doing less work
actually my old ebike (Powacycle Salisbury) had a 180W motor - and a throttle

Of course - technology has improved since then - so the motors are better (sometimes) and they are (again sometime) generally more efficient and less easy to fool into doing all the work - hence range can actually be higher
so it can be complicated
 

gzoom

Well-Known Member
Electric cars powered by lithium ion Panasonic cells, which you or I could buy (you did, if memory serves).
Sadly no one outside Tesla can buy their cells. They are produced by Panasonic but getting hold of one is impossible without access to a Tesla product (car or PowerWall). Their form factor even look like 'normal' cells, but their guts are very different and the chemistry very unstable.

You have to be either very brave or very stupid to play around with Tesla cells without access to Tesla BMS/professional level understanding of whats going on. Treat them like you would treat a 'normal' cell and things get wild pretty quickly!!! - Watch from 3:05 :smile:

View: https://youtu.be/WdDi1haA71Q
 

SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
Another factor electric powered vehicle proponents frequently forget is the supply and demand situation. If demand for battery powered electric vehicles increases rapidly, then the raw materials used in those batteries is likely to go up in price - because mineral extraction is not something you can merely switch up a notch like turning up your heating. Far from getting cheaper with increased demand, a likely outcome is that short term demand for battery ingredients will exceed supply and the commodity price of those ingredients will go up, with a knock-on increase in battery manufacturing costs and therefore retail prices of products with those batteries embodied in them.
 
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