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2010-04-14

Factoid du Jour re electric vehicles

The exec who's the trail boss on electric vehicles at GM just revealed something interesting about electrics:

Bly noted one particular struggle GM and other carmakers face as they slowly transition their fleets from gasoline-powered vehicles to EVs: the extreme demands of climate control.
“It takes as much energy to keep a human warm in the northern climates as it does to push the entire vehicle down the road at posted speeds,” Bly said. “It’s not that the battery isn’t necessarily capable, but it’s where we and other OEMs decide to spend that energy.”
Also, GM hasn't figured out how to recycle the humongous lithium batteries used in the Volt.  Lithium batteries burn really, really well; ground-shipping laptop and cellphone batteries for recycling requires carefully covering the contacts to avoid fire risk, and there's a ban on shipping large spare lithium batteries in checked luggage and the air cargo shipment rules are stringent

I've found that no one will pay to accept lithium batteries, unlike lead-acid batteries, so I wonder if the recycling costs might end up dumped on the electric car buyer.