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Power Transportation Technology

Electric Car Goes 375 Miles On One 6-Minute Charge 603

Posted by timothy
from the now-that's-more-like-it dept.
thecarchik writes with this quote from AllCarsElectric: "We all know that battery packs are the weakest link in electric vehicles. Not only are they heavy and expensive, but they take a long time to recharge and on average can only provide around 100 miles per charge. A German-based company has changed all that with a new vehicle capable of driving up to 375 miles at moderate highway speeds. ... It doesn't end there. The company responsible for the battery pack, DBM Energy, claims a battery pack efficiency of 97 percent and a recharge time of around 6 minutes when charged from a direct current source. Unlike the small Daihatsu which was heavily modified by a team in Japan earlier this year that achieved a massive 623 miles on a charge at around 27 mph, the Audi A2 modified by DBM Energy was able to achieve its 375 miles range at an average speed of 55 mph."
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Electric Car Goes 375 Miles On One 6-Minute Charge

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  • by rossdee (243626) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @10:49PM (#34058924)

    How many charge-discharge cycles will this battery last, and how expensive is it?

    • by mail2345 (1201389) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @11:00PM (#34058982)

      Don't forget the recharger, which might be expensive or inefficient.
      The manufacturing process could also pose a problem, it might require plenty of energy and/or release waste.

      • by somersault (912633) on Friday October 29, 2010 @07:42AM (#34061032) Homepage Journal

        More expensive and inefficient than drilling for oil, refining it, and sending trucks around the country to fuel stations?

        Presumably most people (ie the ones who aren't millionaires) wouldn't bother with a high powered recharge station at home, at least not for the first few years, so the recharging stations will get a lot of use to offset whatever waste that was incurred while making them. Combine that with nuclear and especially renewable energy and I'd think things get a whole lot more efficient overall (even if the renewable sources themselves aren't very efficient, they're basically "free").

    • by bobaferret (513897) on Friday October 29, 2010 @09:02AM (#34061450)

      2500 cycles before degradation according to their youtube video.

      • by boristdog (133725) on Friday October 29, 2010 @12:28PM (#34063954)

        2500 X 200 miles per charge (average) = 500,000 mile lifetime.

        Fairly respectable, I'd say. I have yet to make a car last 500,000 miles. Maybe they could make it so you could swap your old battery pack with only 1000 charge cycles on it (200,000 miles) to your new car, thus lowering the cost of a new car.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

      The article states that it is using the same types of batteries packs that are currently used in electric fork lifts in modern warehouses. As such, they should have a large charge-discharge cycle range and not be terribly expensive as they aren't new technology, but existing technology.

  • by fractoid (1076465)
    It's wonderful to see these new claimed technologies, I just wish they'd actually make some of them available to the public sometimes.
    • by blueg3 (192743)

      They do, it just takes a while. Engineering is time-consuming.

      • by wierd_w (1375923) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @11:33PM (#34059146)

        No, the engineering is what they are doing now with their prototype. The fact that a tangible prototype exists suggests that the brunt of the core engineering has already been completed, barring any rework on the design that might be required for mass-manufacture.

        What is required now, is getting a greenlight from investors, regulators, and safety orgs.

        Like most things, the actual design and core science happens much faster than the beaurocracy can actually handle. That is where most projects end up dieing on the vine-- the beaurocratic side, not the engineering side.

        • by blueg3 (192743) on Friday October 29, 2010 @12:19AM (#34059414)

          The core engineering require to build a proof-of-concept prototype is a small fraction of the engineering work necessary to put it into readily-available, commercial products.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by cgenman (325138)

          Designing a one-off prototype by hand is far easier than designing a full fabrication and manufacturing process that can quickly and reliably create multi-thousand dollar vehicles en-masse.

          Further, there are a lot of engineering challenges potentially left to come... we know how fast it can charge, and we know how far it can drive. They haven't mentioned how long the battery actually lasts as a battery, possibly because they're facing an engineering hurdle. A truism of batteries is that the faster you cha

    • by Kenja (541830) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @11:53PM (#34059250)
      Fall 2011 for around 27,000$ after tax break. Or so says Mitsubishi.
  • by oldhack (1037484)
    Somebody in the know prove me wrong.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by vegiVamp (518171)

      I can't actually prove you wrong, but I would still like to point out that traveling through the air to other continents was also thought to be impossible, a hundred years ago.

  • by Sir_Lewk (967686) <sirlewk@NOSpaM.gmail.com> on Thursday October 28, 2010 @10:53PM (#34058944)

    Is it really that hard for tech reporters to slip in enough meaningful numbers to give us a full picture of what they are supposedly reporting about? Sure it might only take 6 minutes, but what kind of power was it drawing during those 6 minutes? Will the average house have a connection large enough to actually charge it that fast? Will it be practical to build "gas" stations that can charge several cars like this in a reasonable amount of time?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by NixieBunny (859050)
      I agree. A couple numbers go a long ways towards allowing the user to make sense of the gizmo at hand.

      A range of 375 miles at 55 mph is seven hours of driving at speed. Six minutes is 0.1 hours. So they have to feed at least 70 times as much power into the battery as the car consumes to hold 55 mph. If the car takes 3 HP (2 kW) to drive at highway speed, then they have to feed 150 kW through that thin charging cable.

      I don't know anyone with a 150kW electrical service to their house. Do you?
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I don't know anyone with a 150kW electrical service to their house. Do you?

        Dr. Frankenstein already solved that problem with lightning rods :)
        Next!!

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 28, 2010 @11:31PM (#34059136)

        I don't know anyone with a gasoline pump at their house either.

        It is a mystery how people are able to drive cars without running out of fuel.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by NixieBunny (859050)
          Yeah, I don't have one of those at my house. but I can conceive of a fuel tank that could fill a car's gas tank in one go. This car, assuming that it really can absorb 150 kW, will need a charging station with a few megawatts of electrical service. It's not something that the average person can wrap their heads around.

          I guess the point is that gasoline packs an awful lot of energy into a small space, and replacing it with electricity requires changing the way we think about electricity.
      • by mpoulton (689851) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @11:32PM (#34059140)
        Excellent calculations, but based on an almost certainly flawed assumption of 2kW cruising power. 10-20kW is more likely, based on typical electric car requirements. So... you'd need roughly a megawatt of power available for charging. That's the peak draw of a relatively large office building.
        • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOspaM.gmail.com> on Friday October 29, 2010 @12:36AM (#34059496) Journal

          Which brings up something I have been wondering for awhile: Are all these hybrids and electric a dead end that we shouldn't be pursuing? As we know most power in the USA is NOT generated by nuclear, but by various fossil fuels, from nasty coal to NG. Now has anyone sat down and actually figured out what kind of pollution trade off we are talking about, from the creation of the machine to its recycling or destruction, along with power required and pollution created by its generation, for even changing out a city the size of Chicago with electrics/hybrids?

          If we are gonna be handing out tax breaks and other incentives to try to get people to use these things it might be wise to do the math in case people actually do switch in decent numbers, especially since there are other techs like Bio Diesel and Hydrogen that don't require the electrical generation and infrastructure. Maybe someone has, but I sure ain't found it, just some that kinda sorta figure what a single vehicle would cost (and many find they don't pay for themselves compared to highly efficient ICE vehicles like Diesel compacts) when the real question should be if we start switching large numbers over what kind of pollution are we talking here, including any needed upgrades to electrical infrastructure as well as its generation and the cost of the batteries.

          Don't get me wrong, not really "for or against" any of these techs, I've just seen how we tend to be short sighted and not see the bigger picture and want to know if that is the case here. Just look at how many adopted those cheapo gas sippers like citation in the late 70s/early 80s to end up with streets full of smoke monsters trailing parts behind them until they mercifully died. It looked like a good idea at the time but I bet when you figure in the smog, the amount of oil those things burned/leaked after a year or two, and finally the cost to upkeep and dispose of them, we probably came out behind. It would be a shame if with all these competing techs we ended up picking one that just passed the buck from the consumer cranking the pollution to the power plants.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by somersault (912633)

            I think it's better to get the electrical infrastructure in place and worry about reducing pollution and the power stations. It's probably much easier to increase efficiency there than it is on a per vehicle basis. Obviously you have to factor in manufacturing and recycling of batteries for each vehicle, but since the overall car designs are simpler etc then they'll require less maintenance which will reduce a lot of unecessary parts transport etc.. though that would probably be bad for the economy! Lots of

      • by tftp (111690) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @11:38PM (#34059172) Homepage

        If the car takes 3 HP (2 kW) to drive at highway speed

        HA! You are an order of magnitude too low. Otherwise we'd all be installing 50cc moped motors into our cars. I think 30-40 HP is what it takes to overcome air resistance, rolling resistance, and the incline of the terrain when that comes along.

        As others mentioned, the article is short on facts. I can drive 300 miles at 55 mph (average) and spend 0 kWh, as long as the road is downhill all the way, or if I use a sail. That fact alone is worthless.

        I don't know anyone with a 150kW electrical service to their house.

        My house has 200A, 240V service (2 phases 120V each, 180 degrees off.) The maximum power is, therefore, 48 kW. The car will need 1.5 MW power source to charge in 6 minutes, and the battery would have to hold 150 kWh, or 540 MJ, equivalent to 1/8 ton of TNT [wikipedia.org] or to 3 gallons [wikipedia.org] of gasoline.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by blueg3 (192743)

          I think the most disturbing thing to come out of your comment is that I hadn't realised that 1 pound of gasoline has the same energy as 10 pounds of TNT. That doesn't seem right.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          If the car takes 3 HP (2 kW) to drive at highway speed

          HA! You are an order of magnitude too low. Otherwise we'd all be installing 50cc moped motors into our cars. I think 30-40 HP is what it takes to overcome air resistance, rolling resistance, and the incline of the terrain when that comes along.

          I've driven more than 130 kph (80 mph) in a car that barely HAD 40 HP. I don't know how much horse powers you need to keep a Hummer running at 55 mph, but driving a Audi A2 (which is a pretty small car) at that speed will take much less. The most energy efficient A2 produced was rated at below 4 l/100km (i.e. about 80 mpg).

          As others mentioned, the article is short on facts. I can drive 300 miles at 55 mph (average) and spend 0 kWh, as long as the road is downhill all the way, or if I use a sail. That fact alone is worthless.

          The car was driven from Munich to Berlin. So it was no hypothetical value, but a real drive on a real road. Munich is about 520m, and Berlin at abut 100m, so you gain 420m of potential en

        • by celtic_hackr (579828) on Friday October 29, 2010 @09:36AM (#34061714) Journal

          According to this German article [www.zeit.de] and another German article. The engine uses between 8-15 kWh in normal use.

          The trip was 605 kM (377+ miles) at 130 kM/h (81 MPH) or 90kM/h (56 MPH). The 130 in one article seems wrong, and a commenter posted a correction. So, likely it was 90 kM/h.

          At the end of the trip the battery pack still had a 18% charge, but the inventors say the range is 600 kM (

          So charging to 97% in six minutes required a 79% charge or 90kWh or about 0.9 MW in 6 minutes.

          You could drive it for more than 375 miles on a single charge, depending on how deeply you want to drain the battery. Still, who wants to drive more than 7 hours a day. Now if you had just three available stations. you'd be able to drive then entire North-South distance of the US (in 29 hours - I've done it in 21). With seven stations, you'd be able to drive across the US (in 56 hrs ). 377 miles on a "tank" is fairly standard. that's about the range in my cars. There are certainly better ranged cars. The one thing the article breezes over, is that over 55 MPH, you'd likely see polynomially decreasing range.

      • by wierd_w (1375923) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @11:39PM (#34059188)

        It is possible that the charger "Cheats" too--

        It might contain a very large capacitor array that allows for the boost charging speed, at the expense of the recharger itself requireing several more minutes, to even several hours to "recover" afterward. (That is to say, the charger itself is a glorified high-voltage regulator attached to a very large ultracapacitor bank. The rapid discharge rate required by the battery's charging station would neccessitate such a solution if 150kw service was unavailable/inpractical. When the battery pack is attached, the capcacitor bank discharges to fill the battery, but then the capacitor array has a required recharging period before it can be used again; a process which could occur while the driver is on the road.)

        Such a "cheating" solution would pose a significant risk should a short occur inside the charger though.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by NIK282000 (737852)

        3 HP is a pretty conservative number for maintaining highway speeds but it illustrates the point very well. To charge in 6 minutes using (euro) household voltage you would have to pump 625amps into it. The cable required for that (by electrical code) would be 2cm in diameter x2 conductors. Not something your average non-superman can lift and bend.

        To get the current down to a manageable level and the cable to a reasonable (3awg) size, you would have to put the voltage up to 1500votls (100amps). That leaves y

      • by DeadboltX (751907) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @11:53PM (#34059248)

        I don't know anyone with a 150kW electrical service to their house. Do you

        I don't know anyone with a 10,000 gallon tank of gas under their house either
        It is perfectly conceivable for a "gas station" (charging station) to get a hookup large enough to service 12 cars simultaneously.

        6 minutes is not a long time to wait at a gas station, and I presume you don't have to wait for the battery to be drained before you charge it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by F34nor (321515)

          Once you are there hot swapping the packs with a life becomes the way to go with even lead acid. People are so focused on perfection here that they miss the opportunity for just better.

      • I don't know anyone with a 150kW electrical service to their house. Do you?

        Lots of people! For example Bruce Wayne, Lex Luthor, Gru, Tony Stark, etc.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sjames (1099)

        I would imagine the home charger will take somewhat longer, but then you're home.

        The fast charge would be for a charging station when you're out and about and don't really want to wait an hour or two.

      • by F34nor (321515)

        Yeah but I'd wait 6 minutes at a "filling station" to get not only clean power but also only one moving part in my car.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Snowblindeye (1085701)

        A range of 375 miles at 55 mph is seven hours of driving at speed

        According to this German article [tagesschau.de] the car was driving 130km/h, which is more like 80 mph. Which makes this even more impressive.

    • by Kenja (541830)
      Well, its suposed to charge off of regular house current (going to guess 220v). So it cant be that much of a drain. Its only a 74kwh power source that reaches 97% charge in under 6 min. The rest is down to the utilization of the power source. So this isn't going the route of massive batteries and a standard induction motor. I'd love to get one of these in the shop to see how it works, but since they plan on actually selling these (27,000$ estimated street price) we'll know soon enough.
      • by robot256 (1635039) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @11:59PM (#34059290)

        74kwh in 6 minutes is 740 kilowatts. They said specifically that this could be achieved with a "DC current source", so they clearly aren't talking about a standard 220V outlet. More likely, to actually achieve this you'd need a large capacitor as suggested by a post above. 74kwh supercapacitors are damned expensive, so I doubt if anyone would put one in their house.

        What would be practical, though, is for a bank of supercapacitors to be located at a gas station. There could be six, eight, or however many different capacitors, and when you pull up to the "electricity pump" it would connect you to one of the charged ones. Then the capacitor would go back to charging from a ~30kw mains circuit (for about 3 hours). If all the capacitors were drained, a big red light would turn on at the pump and you would have to wait for one of them to finish charging (or get a partial charge).

        Even if the gas station *did* have a 1 megawatt feed line, this kind of huge instantaneous load spike would not be nice to the electrical grid, so capacitors would be the preferred method of implementation. The gas stations could even wire them up to feed power back to the grid if it needed stabilization, or it would be the one place you could charge your phone when a storm knocks out the neighborhood.

    • by Spoke (6112) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @11:50PM (#34059226)

      From what I've been able to dig up, the battery pack holds about 115 kWh.

      In any case, your typical EV these days goes about 4 kWh/mile, which matches up nicely with their 375 mile trip.

      So if you want to fill the car with 100 kWh in 6 minutes, you'd need about 1000 kW (ignoring charging losses).

      Your typical house in the USA has 240V service with a main panel size ranging between 100A-200A - or 24-48 kW. There is no way you're charging this battery in a short amount of time at home unless you use some sort of buffer.

      Your typical EV today uses a Level 2 J1772 EVSE - of which the J1772 specification will handle up to 240V AC at 80A or 19 kW. But the first mass produced EVs on the market (the Leaf/Volt) will only be able to charge at 3.3 kW or so using that standard.

      The Tesla Roadster can charge at up to 19 kW, but still uses a slightly different plug (Tesla came before the J1772 standard, but existing Roadsters are expected to be converted over).

      "Gas" stations to sustain Level 3 charging (meaning anything that spits out high current DC) are currently being deployed with chargers that will push out a max of 50 kW or so. The Leaf will be the first car to use those chargers and can charge it's 24 kW pack to 80% in 20-30 minutes.

      I suspect that some sort of local battery buffer will be needed in most locations to support 1000 kW chargers - or you'll need to be very close to electrical substations and transmission lines.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      The 6 minute charging time is only really necessary for long road trips. Long charging times don't keep people from charging at their home, it keeps them from taking their car long distances. The "gas" stations to charge the car in 6 minutes would have massive power requirements, but it's not impossible or even all that improbable that they could provide it. Then, at home, you have a normal charger that you plug in at night that charges it over a few hours.
  • by Petersko (564140) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @10:55PM (#34058958)
    "when charged from a direct current source"

    Am I gonna need 2000 amp breakers for the garage?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by zippthorne (748122)

      Only if you don't have 10 kV outlets...

    • by timeOday (582209) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @11:43PM (#34059202)

      Am I gonna need 2000 amp breakers for the garage?

      No, because you normally don't pit-stop at home for 6 minutes at a time. At home you would charge it at night, likely from a 220v source like your dryer and stove use. What the fast charge is for is to also enable the car to make long trips by having special chargers at gas stations.

      • Am I gonna need 2000 amp breakers for the garage?

        No, because you normally don't pit-stop at home for 6 minutes at a time. At home you would charge it at night, likely from a 220v source like your dryer and stove use. What the fast charge is for is to also enable the car to make long trips by having special chargers at gas stations.

        If electric cars catch on I think "gas stations" will be a thing of the past. A charging station could be a box attached to an electricity pylon.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by espiesp (1251084)

          Not for quick charging. You MUST have the electrical equivalent to a gasoline storage tank in order to supply it quickly enough. A big bank of batteries/capacitors.

          Yes, you will likely be able to plug in at the local shopping mall and grocery store, maybe even plug into the parking meter! But for a road trip, you use up your 'tank' and want to fill it up quickly. The grid can not support that now or likely ever. Thus, the need for the 'gas station' with the 6-min charge capability (at a drastically increase

    • Okay, so we won't be able to charge car batteries at home. But we don't fill our cars with petrol or diesel at home either.

      We use service stations for that. I'm sure service stations could be retrofitted to charge car batteries.
      (Though for safety reasons, a service station should probably not serve both fuel and high voltage electricity.)
  • If this is a real product, than it could indeed change the game.

    I admit to a suspicion of a slight whiff of snake oil, but heck, let's dream for once!

  • Charging station? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Yvan256 (722131)

    What does the charging station use? Is it ultracapacitors?

    Also, last time I checked both Germany, Japan and pretty much the rest of the planet used the metric system, so:

    We all know that battery packs are the weakest link in electric vehicles. Not only are they heavy and expensive, but they take a long time to recharge and on average can only provide around 160 km per charge. A German-based company has changed all that with a new vehicle capable of driving up to 600 km at moderate highway speeds. ... It doe

  • I need lots more detail to believe this is even remotely feasible. If this was a small American company I would be sure it's a scam designed to extract money from gullible investors. For some reason, the fact that it's German gives me a little more credulity -- but not enough.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sbryant (93075)

      For some reason, the fact that it's German gives me a little more credulity -- but not enough.

      How about the fact that they charged up the Audi A2 once (not in 6 minutes though), and then drove 600km (375 miles) from München to Berlin? More info here: http://www.lekker-mobil.com/ [lekker-mobil.com] (the site is in German).

      The summary title is misleading. Just because the battery can be charged in 6 minutes from a suitable DC source, doesn't mean that anybody actually has that sort of kit about, or even that the car will

  • If this car can't get to 75 mph in 10 seconds or less, the last 370 miles won't matter. I'll already have been run over or run off the road in the metroplex.
    • If this car can't get to 75 mph in 10 seconds or less, the last 370 miles won't matter. I'll already have been run over or run off the road in the metroplex.

      WTF is a "metroplex"? Is this something specific to where you live? My bicycle can't get anywhere near 75 mph in 10 or 1000 seconds yet I don't seem to share your issues.

    • by MtHuurne (602934)
      This article [carsforstars.net] has some more info: They got 55 mph average speed, not top speed. The test run was on a highway, from Munich to Berlin. It doesn't say though what limited the average speed: the driver choosing not to go faster, the congestion on the road or speed limits. Since both the start and finish were inside a city, the first and last stretch will have been slow.
  • More info (Score:5, Informative)

    by Namarrgon (105036) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @11:38PM (#34059180) Homepage

    It's a lithium-polymer battery dubbed "Hummingbird", and it's already in-use in warehouse forklifts. There's more info at dbm-energy.com [dbm-energy.com] and lekker-mobil.com [lekker-mobil.com] (both in German). Still pretty light on details though.

    I'd post the link to the FAQ directly, but Slashdot still won't let me paste the URL (yep, Chrome user), and it's way too long to type by hand.

  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @11:48PM (#34059220) Homepage Journal

    battery pack efficiency of 97 percent and a recharge time of around 6 minutes when charged from a direct current source

    Solar photovoltaic and fuel cells generate direct current. Usually they go through an inverter, that loses 10-25% of the energy (as heat, and burns out the part for replacement about every 5 years). A battery like this would mean keeping that energy without losing it. Leaving a battery charging at home while driving the car around, then swapping it into the car when the car returns home - or reverse the positions for batteries charging at work or at whatever daytime destination. That battery can also power household devices, like the many devices that really consume DC, which waste power running from wall current into rectifiers.

    This kind of device could improve not only transit energy, but also residential (and commercial sites that reverse the locations).

  • Infrastructure (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Palmsie (1550787)
    I understand why increasing electronic car's battery life is important but when the second generation of cars were coming out of Ford, no one was complaining about larger gas tanks. They built infrastructure to compensate for the lack of a 200 gallon tank and the complaint, "well how am I supposed to drive across the state on one tank!? You mean I have to wait, fill it, and pump it myself!?" No, they built infrastructure. When battery life is about equal to gasoline cars, build infrastructure to support the
  • by wealthychef (584778) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @11:57PM (#34059270)
    Translated from this page: http://adacemobility.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/das-wunder-von-berlin/#more-744 [wordpress.com]
    "Technical Data Audi A2 DBM *
    * Subject
    Empty weight (including driver) 1260 kg
    Perm. Total weight 1600 kg
    Battery lithium-iron-polymer (260 Ah/380 V) cell voltage of 3.8 volts
    Battery weight about 300 kg
    Charging time about 4 hours due to mains phase current in the household (380)
    battery requires 6 minutes (future solution)
    Life time 2500 charge cycles (without loss of capacity)
    = Service life target: 500,000 km
    Top speed 160 km / h
    5-speed sequential gearbox (race gear: shifting without the clutch)
    E-motor 300 Nm torque"
    So, the 6 minute charge is future/theoretical limits of the battery. The actual time is 4 hours; which is still very impressive.
    Sincerely, Neil
  • More Details (Score:3, Informative)

    by cowtamer (311087) on Friday October 29, 2010 @12:29AM (#34059458) Journal

    (Stolen from a comment in: http://www.allcarselectric.com/blog/1050863_electric-car-drives-375-miles-at-55-mph-recharges-in-6-minutes [allcarselectric.com] )

    Translated from this page: http://adacemobility.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/das-wunder-von-berlin/#more-744 [wordpress.com]
    "Technical Data Audi A2 DBM *
    * Subject
    Empty weight (including driver) 1260 kg
    Perm. Total weight 1600 kg
    Battery lithium-iron-polymer (260 Ah/380 V) cell voltage of 3.8 volts
    Battery weight about 300 kg
    Charging time about 4 hours due to mains phase current in the household (380)
    battery requires 6 minutes (future solution)
    Life time 2500 charge cycles (without loss of capacity)
    = Service life target: 500,000 km
    Top speed 160 km / h
    5-speed sequential gearbox (race gear: shifting without the clutch)
    E-motor 300 Nm torque"

  • Not from the USA (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Required Snark (1702878) on Friday October 29, 2010 @12:45AM (#34059524)
    Note that there are no USA companies, or technologies mentioned anywhere. It's already too late: the USA has lost it's technical edge, and it won't be coming back any time soon. Japan, Europeans, China and India are investing in basic technology. In the US the way to make money is high frequency trading and patent lawsuits. Who needs to invest in anything with a long rate of return, even if that is where future profits will come from?

    Just look at the mental state of the people who plan to "take back their country". The Tea Party morons deny global warming. http://www.newser.com/story/103446/among-tea-party-widespread-global-warming-doubt.html [newser.com]

    The Conservapedia thinks that Relativity is a liberal plot: http://newsdesk.org/2010/08/conservapedia-calls-theory-of-relativity-a-liberal-conspiracy/ [newsdesk.org]

    In its “Counterexamples to Relativity” website, Conservapedia says, “The theory of relativity is a mathematical system that allows no exceptions. It is heavily promoted by liberals who like its encouragement of relativism and its tendency to mislead people in how they view the world.”

    The Texas Board of Education (take that title with a grain of salt) is putting Christian thought into text books, including trying to teach creationism http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/09/24/texas-state-board-of-education-confirms-irony-is-dead/ [discovermagazine.com]

    The forces of stupidity have a lot of practical power, and they are using (abusing) it. The net result will reduce the USA to a third world country. Most of the people reading this post will live to see it happen. Well, the USA had a good thing going for a while, at leas from 1945 to 2000 or so.

    • by pedestrian crossing (802349) on Friday October 29, 2010 @09:41AM (#34061744) Homepage Journal

      Note that there are no USA companies, or technologies mentioned anywhere.

      Look no further than the first 75% of the comments on this article. It's not just our technological edge, it's the incredibly skeptical attitude to EVs (and pretty much everything else on the alternative energy front) that you see. Nothing but naysayers as far as the eye can see.

      Instead of picking apart every solution because it isn't perfect (which apparently is the prevailing US thinking), the Germans know that even if you come up with a 10% solution, you only need to come up with 10 of them.

      What we've lost is our ability to look at anything in the long-term. Short-term thinking is what is holding the US back...

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