Batteries to be plentiful for electric cars

Batteries to be plentiful for electric cars http://tinyurl.com/32wfnzn
Supply may outpace consumer demand for years, experts say Alisa Priddle / The Detroit News
Novi -- Electric vehicles are poised to be both popular and profitable, automakers believe, but it'll take time for sales to match to the capacity of U.S. plants assembling batteries.
Ford Motor Co. expects electric vehicles to represent 10 percent to 25 percent of its worldwide sales by 2020, said Nancy Gioia, director of global electrification, compared with about 2 percent today.
And demand for Nissan Motor Co.'s soon-to-arrive Leaf electric car continues to grow. About 14,000 of the 100,000 consumers who initially said they'd be interested in buying a Leaf have paid a $99 deposit to save their place in line to get one when deliveries begin in December, said Brian Carolin, head of sales and marketing for Nissan North America.
Advertisement
Still, sales projections pale compared with the billions of dollars being invested to make battery cells and packs to power electric vehicles, said Michael Crane, managing director of hybrids and electric vehicles for Continental Corp.
"That's a lot of money to battery packs," said Crane.
"I count nine providers entering the space in North America, mostly in the Midwest."
It could result in a huge gap between demand and capacity, he said at Automotive News' Green Car Conference held at Rock Financial Showplace on Wednesday.
More than $37 billion in low-interest government loans and grants have been awarded in recent years to nurture the battery/electric vehicle industry, Crane said.
Capacity for vehicles requiring lithium-ion batteries could outpace demand by 1.3 million units in five years, Crane said, citing recent testimony at a house committee by Mary Ann Wright, a senior executive with supplier Johnson Controls Saft.
Compact Power Inc., for example, will be able to make 15 million to 20 million cells a year at a new $300 million facility in Holland, Mich., starting in 2012. That's enough for about 150,000 vehicle packs a year for vehicles including the Chevrolet Volt, due out late this year.
Compact Chief Executive Prabhakar Patil is among those concerned that "too much capacity may be being set up in the short term" -- five years, he said.
Gioia at Ford agrees there appears to be overcapacity, but believes scale and volume will be adjusted as the fledgling industry learns and develops.
Gioia predicted Ford's electric lineup in 2020 will consist of 70 percent hybrids, 20 percent to 25 percent plug-ins and the rest pure electric vehicles. Ford is spending more than $1 billion in development of electrified vehicles and many are on Ford's highest-volume global families of vehicles. "We want it to be a core competency," she said.
GM is betting on large volumes and is pleased the supply base is gearing up for it, Bly said.
As Nissan prepares to sell its electric Leaf, Carolin said potential customers will, starting this summer, receive a home visit from an electrical contractor to discuss installation of a charging station to be ready. Deliveries of the five-seater begin in December but with limited production in Japan of 50,000 cars annually for the first two years, the vehicle is essentially sold out.
Once a $1.7 billion expansion of Nissan's Smyrna, Tenn., facilities is complete in late 2012, the automaker will be able to produce 200,000 lithium-ion batteries and 150,000 Leafs annually.
Carolin predicts the $32,780 Leaf will be profitable in its first generation.
Johannes-Joerg Rueger, who oversees diesel engineering for Robert Bosch LLC, cautioned that much more work and time is needed before electric vehicles are competitive in cost with combustion engines. For that reason, he said, engines "will stay the predominant technology for at least 20 years."
--
Service Guarantees Citizenship

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

This is quite informative.
Looks like noone knows how fast this will catch on.
Only thing is obvious that demand is growing and everyone agrees on that fact.
How fast it will grow is what differs.
It is a snowball effect on this matter.
When your surrounding gets one and it works out fine you will want one too.
So it is anyones guess when the real interest sets in.
I have a very mixed feeling about the hybrids like the Volt.
They have their good points like giving you the option of driving on when you can not charge the batteries from the outside.
That is actually the only good point.
Having a hybrid is more mudding the waters otherwise.
I guess it would be better to have a pure electrical car and then have an optional trailer with a portable charging station to carry around for longer trips outside places where there is no electricity for a time.
Having a hybrid is like swimming around in a safety net in the ocean.
It may save you from the sharks but they limit you a lot.
But then again the real sharks in the ocean here are the old car salespeople who want to limit your options and keep on selling you overpriced old technologies.
It sure will be interesting to watch the development of pure electrics and see how the sales pick up.
Pretty much everyone is saying the sales figures will increase slowly and that would probably be best and very tidy but it may actually grow very fast once everyone will want one and then the situation for old technologies will change quickly.
There will always be die-hards who are interested in keep the ancient technologies alive and that is good but the production capacity will need to go trough dramatic change.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 17/06/2010 6:35 AM, Jim_Higgins wrote:

Doubtful. Only if you are willing to pay for it. At 400lbs for the Volt, they will not be cheap.
--
The bigger government gets, the more it tends to rule out common sense.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes, but the demand may be very low.. This sounds like another expensive high tech Edsel on the way to the end user.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.