In the States, tech giants can't build their own electric-car-battery plant without begging the government for the money. But in Japan, things are different. According to a report from the Nikkei business daily - kindly flagged by Reuters - Nissan and NEC will invest at least $1.1bn in an effort to churn out lithium-ion …
Research & Development?
Japanese companies throw money at researching and developing new product.
US companies throw money at researching and developing the financing and enrichment of corporate executives who can then go to Washington to ask for a handout.
I think the Japanese have their priorities screwed up. Why would they want to make all that extra work for themselves? Golly, I mean, once R&D is complete, they'll have to get their hands dirty manufacturing product, stocking and marketing it to customers.
As if Lithium wasn't expensive enough
Well this will put the price of notebooks/net books up.
As if lithium wasn't already in high demand!
That is easliy understood when you compair countries. Japanese help each other make a better tomorrow, in north america, we are selfish, If it needs help (no matter what it is) We expect others to do it ( neibours,goverment etc.) besides offering help. We developed electrice cars in the 90's but without goverment and incentives we failed.
It the nature of the beast, We would buy Asian products before we buy our own, It starts from the individuals all the way up to goverment, .Look how hard it was for them go get 14 billion.
If north americains were more asian we would only buy our products, protecting our jobs, and supporting our goverments.
I hope we fail maybe it will be the shot in the ass we need to wake us up amd smell the coffee. I would like to see the automotive sector fail and force us to servive or die. So we can buy more asisn product. ( By the way I own no such products in my home nor at work. I personally do not support them and seek only north american manufacture products. whom home base is firmly planted into the soil of this great country)
Yeah, but it's still our money. So how is this shaming America?
The thing is, if the US was a world leader in X market and another country, lets say Japan had companies who wanted to play catch up so went to their gov. saying "yo, sup, give us some dosh so we can like, compete", the US would cry foul.
It is *not* the job of government to fund private industry, in fact there are competition laws out there which prevent governments giving financial assistance to companies to help them better compete. If you cannot compete on a level playing field, don't compete, inovate and produce a better product, if you can't do that because you were waiting for the gov. to give you a hand out, then you have already failed.
Idiots I tell you, idiots, Japan is showing the US up, private industries funding their own projects to the tune of over $1b, putting their own money where the risk is, not expecting the tax payer to fund the risk.
lithium readily available
There are a LOT of lithium reserves around the world, don't worry about the price.
The real problem is that lithium battery anodes more than double in physical size as they are charged up, this causes them to eventually crumble and that's why the batteries lose capacity and why they're so susceptable to metal contamination issues (damages internal insulation as pressure builds/releases in the cells)
It'd be better to look to alternative technology than Lithium. My personal pick is that supercapacitors have a lot of the advantages of Lithium without needing to be babied _and_ can handle charge rates which would cause lithiums to explode (important for downhill or hard braking regeneration). Sticking those in front of less fragile chemical storage would have a lot of milage.
Valuable contribution to the future
This has much more potential to make the world better than Tesla Motorcars. Tesla was the trendy poster child for electric car, and people talked about them as if they were making a difference. But it was more of a stunt than progress. They were connecting together thousands of lower-end off-the-shelf laptop batteries and making the battery pack fit into an existing chassis. There was a lot of design and engineering work to make it function, but none of that work carries forward to a cost competitive electric car.
Why am I being so harsh? Because almost every main-stream press story about Tesla has been "it goes really fast on only pennies of electricity! It requires no gas or service! It's the future!" The stories hasn't evolved to the point where they talk about if it's progress.
My experience with laptop batteries tells me that in less than a year the owners will notice a significant performance decrease, and in two years of daily use the battery will be at 30% capacity with a major loss in performance. Most of the buyers of a high-performance car won't want a medium-performance car next year, and a low performance one the following year. After one or two $20-30K replacement batteries the car won't be worth running. They will turn into garage queens, kept in refrigerated rooms to keep the batteries from aging. ("Pennies in electricity to drive, kilobucks of refrigeration to park.")
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