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EV Good News items from Detroit on Jan 25 - Burns Day

Guest article by Ash Gupta

Check this link to Tom Warobec’s TV Auto News item from “Automotive News”. Apart from some sensible tips and range facts for driving EVs under extreme cold conditions, there’s positive news from BMW and Toyota on co-operation to develop Lithium Air Batteries to replace Li-ion batteries in EVs.

And IBM has been working on a 500 mile Lithium Air battery which will remove the range anxiety for EV drivers. Here the anode is filled with Lithium and cathode which uses oxygen from the ambient atmosphere. The maker Argonne says they could store 10 times the energy as their Li-ion counterparts.  But drivers will have to wait till sometime between 2020 and 2030 to use them commercially. I have been championing Lithium Air batteries ever since the CEO of IBM announced that their development was a key corporate goal.

Then there’s a good piece on another emerging automotive lo-carbon drive system, Hydraulic Hybrid technology. Chrysler uses it in its US Mini-van models and UPS is using it in its minivans in the USA.

PSA Peugeot Citroen has announced that it will launch a range of hybrid cars partially powered by compressed air. GM says it may well use the technology as part of its tie-up with PSA. The system is called Hybrid Air and has been developed in tandem with Robert Bosch. The vehicles will be fitted with a hydraulic motor pump unit that supplies compressed air for storage, so vehicles will be powered by petrol, compressed air or a combination of both. There’s informative cut-away diagrams in the clip so it’s well worth a view. It just takes minutes. Ah, “the best laid plans of mice and men!” as Rabbie Burns would say.

This is better news for the hard pressed EV sector after the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded the Boeing 787 aircraft last week. That was after burn marks on a lithium-ion battery in an ANA aircraft matched those on a battery following a fire aboard a Japan Airlines 787 in Boston a week earlier. The FAA said the ban on flying would last until the batteries are demonstrated to be safe.

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