February 11 News: Battery Innovation Is Doubling Core Performance For Electric Cars Every Decade

Battery innovation is improving around 5 to 8 percent per year, which can deliver a doubling in core performance metrics for electric cars every ten years. [Gigaom]

While battery innovation appears gradual, the incremental leaps add up over time. Battery innovation is improving around 5 to 8 percent per year, which can deliver a doubling in core performance metrics every ten years, which is ultimately really “revolutionary” said [Tesla’s CTO and co-founder J.B.] Straubel. Because of the large size and heavy physical weight of batteries involved with electric cars, the impact of battery innovation on the design of the car can be even more significant than Moore’s Law has on some computing products, added Straubel.

For car design, “It’s almost as if the properties of steel were improving at a rate of 5 to 8 percent per year,” said Straubel.

the energy density of batteries goes up 15 percent every 18 months; the cost per kilowatt hour goes down 15 percent every 18 months; the life cycles of the batteries (how many times it can charge and recharge) goes up 15 percent every 18 months; and the cost per lifecycle-mile does down 50 percent every 18 months.

Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that a federal decision on the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline should arrive in the “near term,” but did not define what “near term” means. [The Hill]

While solar is a far less polluting energy source than coal or natural gas, solar panel manufacturers are creating millions of pounds of polluted sludge and contaminated water each year. [WaPo]

Residential solar financing, the predominant business model in some of the largest residential markets in the U.S., is forecasted to rise from $1.3 billion in 2012 to $5.7 billion in 2016. [GreenTech Media]

The European Union will devote 20 percent of its 2014-2020 budget to climate-related spending, though other related funding has been cut. [RTCC]

According to the 2012 French Electricity Report, 1.022 gigawatts of solar energy were installed that year, increasing solar capacity in the country by 67 percent. [Clean Technia]

Wind power expanded globally by almost 20 percent in 2012, reaching a new peak of 282 gigawatts of total installed capacity. [The Guardian]

8 Responses to February 11 News: Battery Innovation Is Doubling Core Performance For Electric Cars Every Decade

  1. Sasparilla says:

    The rapid and consistent advancement of battery tech (for cars) is expected to continue through this decade and beyond – currently plug-in vehicles (without subsidies) are an option for the wealthy for the most part – but the implication of this consistent drop in battery prices year after year is that by the end of the decade – a plug-in with 20 miles of range (or more) will be a no brainer for most of the auto market.

    With the consistent fall of prices of Wind and Solar – we’d be in such a better place if we had another decade or two so that the market could take care of the transition for us on a cost basis alone.

  2. Photon says:

    Not that I’m trying to be a naysayer, but let’s take an honest look at the source and context for these numbers:

    Source: The executives of two companies (Tesla and Better Place) which are banking their future on improved battery tech.

    Context: An “Investor Summit”, i.e. a sales pitch to help keep the cash flowing.

    Was there any specific data they were referencing? An outside study, or report?

  3. Sasparilla says:

    You’re right about that particular article Photon, however the constant, steady rate of increase in capacity and lowering of cost for the Lithium battery tech has been ongoing for the last 10 years (this isn’t a new situation) – its not just the battery makers and automotive makers that have been saying this (and it continuing to say so).

    The big change, recently (last 4 years really), is that serious investment money is now being put into the sector and research, since the opportunities are becoming visible (and on a timescales) suitable to parts of the investment community. The advancement of battery tech suitable for vehicle (and so many other uses) will do nothing but snow ball from here on out, IMHO (and unlike the NiMH battery technology, no oil companies own the patents – although I’m sure they’re watching this very warily).

  4. Turboblocke says:

    That WaPo story on waste talks of millions of pounds of waste. Tends to exaggerate the amounts and is more dramatic than talking of hundreds of tons.

  5. Joan Savage says:

    The Taisei Corp has developed a method of dismantling old skyscrapers that are too close to other buildings to use a wrecking ball and explosives. They say their method is safe and clean.

    Japan’s incredible shrinking building

  6. Joan Savage says:

    Nature Geoscience:

    Atlantic Ocean CO2 uptake reduced by weakening of the meridional overturning circulation

  7. David B. Benson says:

    That is of interest, thank you.