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Interesting story in that popped up on my Google feed.
I would be very interested to see what the cost of swapping the empty £5,000 batteries is with a new full battery. If it works out at 10p per mile or less then they may have a viable option. But it does make things wierd. When do you swap your battery? When it is at 0 or 150 miles? Etc. It will depend on having thousands of retailers that can fit them. Anyway this was the daily mail so it is probably not accurate.
 

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This Technology has been around for many years, but oddly lithium ion is favoured when this has greater energy density. More info here..

and this one Renault back in 2015...
 

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I've mentioned this several times but in relation to Alcoa's research on it. Not heard of this guy.

My position on Al-air primary cells would be to use them as range extenders. You could nibble away at the Al-air capacity over time when you go a little beyond your usual range on rechargeable. Surely that has to be the idea; a battery with a battery REx.

No indication of the price of the cells. That is the overwhelming factor. I can't see it ever making sense as the primary energy store. What do you do when you get to 200 miles left and have a 300 mile drive? Throw away 10% of the capacity? That will get expensive.

 

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I've mentioned this several times but in relation to Alcoa's research on it. Not heard of this guy.

My position on Al-air primary cells would be to use them as range extenders. You could nibble away at the Al-air capacity over time when you go a little beyond your usual range on rechargeable. Surely that has to be the idea; a battery with a battery REx.

No indication of the price of the cells. That is the overwhelming factor. I can't see it ever making sense as the primary energy store. What do you do when you get to 200 miles left and have a 300 mile drive? Throw away 10% of the capacity? That will get expensive.

That’s the bit that struck me as odd. If you use 80% and need to swap, do you get the replacement at 80% cost since your returning 20% usable.
 

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That’s the bit that struck me as odd. If you use 80% and need to swap, do you get the replacement at 80% cost since your returning 20% usable.
Don't think that would work easily as the aluminium is eaten away by the electrolyte whilst in storage so capacity is most quite quickly.
 

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A non-rechargeable battery like this that has to be swapped when it gets low is never going to be popular, even if it offers more range. I'd file it with hydrogen (for light passenger vehicles) as dead in the water.
 

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Also they lose capacity quite quite rapidly when not in use so may not really work as Rex
I only read one of the articles linked, but it says exactly the opposite:
Also, once the al-air battery is switched off it remains dormant, with no power loss until turned on again.
Where did you get the information it loses capacity quickly when not in use?

Having to refill regularly the electrolyte makes it sound like it wouldn't really save time over high power charging though.
 

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It's fairly green in that it's 100% recyclable.

But at 7p per kWh and potentally 10% lost due to early swap out you're looking at petrol costs.
My solution would be to have two or more batteries and swap one when it's drained.
Or 5 then refull 80% on a charge/swap(hmmm where have I heard that before)

However at 5k for a tesla sized "tank" this could compete.
Assuming 20% profit, of the rest 40% of a tesla is batteries.
12.8k
thus a teslav3 equiv would be 33k vs 40k
Or 33p a mile lease + 10p a mile fuel
vs 40p a mile lease + 3p a mile fuel.

So about the same over 45 to 50k miles.
Then it just gets more expensive.

Problem is the infrastructure.
Petrol stations would need a fair whack off these. And thyd be a lot easier to steal. At 100£ each plus markup expect a fair few robbery attempts.

This seems one off these error bar 1 situations.
Depend how you do the maths this will either fail./succeed excessively
 

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electric cars are supposed to be green tho. if you have a battery that cant be recharged it wont be green -so may as well stick with petrol.
The aluminium is recycled elsewhere, by electrolysis in fact. You put electricity across a molten mix of the aluminium hydroxide and get aluminium metal back out of it again.
 

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When I charge my car on 5p/kWh Octopus go electricity, it costs me less than 1p per mile, why on earth would it make sense for me to buy an aluminium air battery costing 7p per mile? If a batttery lasts for 200,000 miles and costs £5000 that adds 3.5p per mile, still way cheaper than aluminium air. Presumably aluminium air would only work with many plants to recover the spent aluminium and electrolyte otherwise you would have to transport the depleted Al-air batteries vast distances. It might make more sense than Hydrogen fool cells for trucks but I'm not convinced it works for cars.
 

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When I charge my car on 5p/kWh Octopus go electricity, it costs me less than 1p per mile, why on earth would it make sense for me to buy an aluminium air battery costing 7p per mile? If a batttery lasts for 200,000 miles and costs £5000 that adds 3.5p per mile, still way cheaper than aluminium air. Presumably aluminium air would only work with many plants to recover the spent aluminium and electrolyte otherwise you would have to transport the depleted Al-air batteries vast distances. It might make more sense than Hydrogen fool cells for trucks but I'm not convinced it works for cars.
The TechCrunch article has this info on costs....

In tests, Jackson’s Aluminium-Air power technology could create a 1,500 mile range battery with a 90 second swap system. The benefits are obvious: Cost effective for the driver; safe & CO2 free; recyclable and reusable; and with an £0.08 / mile cost to driver. The batteryis also low cost: just £60/kWh (Battery Price to OEM).
 

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It would still come back to the oft discussed chestnut with having battery swaps for lithium batteries - the cars would need to have standardised cell sizes, etc.
And like hydrogen it needs a substantial network infrastructure to be built before it will be attractive for car buyers - the chicken and egg situation.
 

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The TechCrunch article has this info on costs....

In tests, Jackson’s Aluminium-Air power technology could create a 1,500 mile range battery with a 90 second swap system. The benefits are obvious: Cost effective for the driver; safe & CO2 free; recyclable and reusable; and with an £0.08 / mile cost to driver. The batteryis also low cost: just £60/kWh (Battery Price to OEM).
From the figures, a 1500 mile battery at 4 miles/kWh means the battery has 375 kWh capacity, at £60 / kWh that means the battery costs the manufacturer 375 x £60 = £22,500, at $100 /kWh a 60kWh lithium battery pack costs an OEM $6000 or £4600 + a bit for the pack and BMS. Who's going to pay an extra £13-14K for an aluminium air battery powered car and then 7p per mile more to drive it? If you live 400 miles from the Al-air production plant, that's an 800 mile round trip for your battery when it gets replaced. There is currently only one aluminum smelting plant in the UK in Fort William,

Making Aluminium from ore require Sodium Hydroxide, a fair bit of heat and vast quantities of electricity. The process gives off quite a lot of CO2, 2.3 tonnes per tonne of Aluminium produced, not including the production of the electricity used. As with any mining / smelting operation there is always a lot of spoil and for aluminium red mud produced. It's certainly not CO2 free!

I didn't see anything in the article about the power output of the Al-air batteries. Lithium ion batteries have allowed high powered electric motors in cars, If the batteries can't produce lots of peak power you might need to use super capacitors of a battery capable of delivering the high currents required for acceleration and to re-capture the energy from regenerative braking which means even more expense.
 

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The aluminium is recycled elsewhere, by electrolysis in fact. You put electricity across a molten mix of the aluminium hydroxide and get aluminium metal back out of it again.
(this is not a criticism of you but the concept )
So instead of using electricity to melt down aluminium, create a new battery, charge it upvia an electrolyte (that energy doesn't come from nowhere) transport it to a fitting centre (lot ofw eight, lot of cost), transport the old units back to a smelter (weight and cost), etc, why not, I dont know, say use it to directly charge a car battery so you dont have to visit a garage every couple of weeks, (not really an improvement over a fossil fuel car in that respect).
In terms of energy use its not much different to fuel cells and H2 except at least with H2 it can go in any sized container and doesn't require all cars to have the same form factor (which fact alone makes it a non starter).
The whole idea, even if its got the stated attributes in the DM (obviously doubtful) , is ludicrous, to choose a word. carefully. It would be ludicrous even if batteries weren't falling in price and even if rechargeable solid state with 2x-3x density batteries weren't going to be available in the medium term

All this guy has done, at absolute best, is invent single use batteries that will be more expensive per mile than current technology. Hmmmm :unsure:
 

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(this is not a criticism of you but the concept )
So instead of using electricity to melt down aluminium, create a new battery, charge it upvia an electrolyte (that energy doesn't come from nowhere) transport it to a fitting centre (lot ofw eight, lot of cost), transport the old units back to a smelter (weight and cost), etc, why not, I dont know, say use it to directly charge a car battery so you dont have to visit a garage every couple of weeks, (not really an improvement over a fossil fuel car in that respect).
In terms of energy use its not much different to fuel cells and H2 except at least with H2 it can go in any sized container and doesn't require all cars to have the same form factor (which fact alone makes it a non starter).
The whole idea, even if its got the stated attributes in the DM (obviously doubtful) , is ludicrous, to choose a word. carefully. It would be ludicrous even if batteries weren't falling in price and even if rechargeable solid state with 2x-3x density batteries weren't going to be available in the medium term

All this guy has done, at absolute best, is invent single use batteries that will be more expensive per mile than current technology. Hmmmm :unsure:
I don't think that the transportation is a big deal, actually. No more nor less than shipping petrol around. In fact, less. It is a lot easier to ship solid parts on pallets.

Aluminium smelters take all sorts of crap aluminium and ores and chuck them all in together. That is ongoing. All this will do will be to add a bit more al-compound in and take a bit more al out than happens 'currently' (pun).

In terms of energy use, I think H2 would actually be MORE efficient for a given amount of stuff. But aluminium isn't known for being difficult to handle, explosive, leaky, volumetrically dense. Fuel cells are easily polluted, even by the very low levels found in 'modern' cities'. A bit of particulate, a bit of SOx, pooof goes your fuel cell. It probably makes more sense to carry your own cylinder of clean O2 on board a FCEV.

My point is that if this was a REx then, yes, for sure, as you say you MAY never need to use it in a BEV.

But why do people have 60kWh BEVs when (let's say) they never use more than 40kWh of it in a day?

The benefit of having a REx is that you can run your BEV right down to flat and not worry about making the charger ... which you probably would have done anyway!

So rather than take that charge up at 50 miles out from your next convenient charger when you only have 50 miles indicated left, you can just carry on and if you hit 0% then it is no sweat with 1,000 mile of battery REx underneath you.

I recon 20kWh of BEV pack could be replaced with 100kWh of Al-air, so you effectively end up with a car with 140kWh (40kWh rechargeable + 100kWh non-rechargeable) instead of 60kWh. In the former case, you will probably use all 40kWh, in the latter case you will probably only want use 40kWh! The difference is that the latter will have consumed many more speciality materials that could have gone into building 50% more cars AND not be ideally suitable for that emergency dash from London to Aunt Ethel who lives in the Highlands.

I understand people don't quite get the full impact and significance of a 'good' BEV with a REx, which is why the Ampera never sold very well, but a BEV with a 'lightweight' smaller batter has many benefits when tied with a REx. The only real question is; what is the best REx?
 

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The only real question is; what is the best REx?
I agree with much of your entry. It has always been a conflict over whether it's best to have a large battery and large range, or a smaller battery with a Rex - to give enough range for most daily use but with reserve range if required for the odd trip. If a cost-effective Rex can be developed it would solve much of the pure BEV negatives. In my opinion, the mistake that Rex providers make is to try to specify the output of the Rex so that it can propel the car at normal speeds alone.

Some years ago I proposed a system with a quite small Rex generator on board that only produced 3kWh. And the car with a range of 150 miles on battery. And with the Rex only activated by the drivers' intervention. Typically a driver would then use the battery for day to day mileage. And if a journey beyond 150 miles was planned then the Rex would be activated at the start. In the three hours of the first 150 miles journey the Rex would have provided another 9kWhs, or 40 miles extra capacity.

The car would have the capacity to run within its 150 miles range. Or run its onboard Rex to extend the range to circa 200 miles. Or, just use Rapids as normal. But if that Rapid fails, leaving a low SOC, then the Rex could provide an alternative to a flat-bed trip to get to the next Rapid.

I would suspect that the extra cost of a small Rex generator would be far less than doubling the battery size. Less weight. And the bonus of a 240v AC supply for home use. Making the car a bit cheaper and more versatile. Certainly I could survive with such a system. And I am not alone in my car usage pattern.
 

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I don't think that the transportation is a big deal, actually. No more nor less than shipping petrol around. In fact, less. It is a lot easier to ship solid parts on pallets.

Aluminium smelters take all sorts of crap aluminium and ores and chuck them all in together. That is ongoing. All this will do will be to add a bit more al-compound in and take a bit more al out than happens 'currently' (pun).

In terms of energy use, I think H2 would actually be MORE efficient for a given amount of stuff. But aluminium isn't known for being difficult to handle, explosive, leaky, volumetrically dense. Fuel cells are easily polluted, even by the very low levels found in 'modern' cities'. A bit of particulate, a bit of SOx, pooof goes your fuel cell. It probably makes more sense to carry your own cylinder of clean O2 on board a FCEV.

My point is that if this was a REx then, yes, for sure, as you say you MAY never need to use it in a BEV.

But why do people have 60kWh BEVs when (let's say) they never use more than 40kWh of it in a day?

The benefit of having a REx is that you can run your BEV right down to flat and not worry about making the charger ... which you probably would have done anyway!

So rather than take that charge up at 50 miles out from your next convenient charger when you only have 50 miles indicated left, you can just carry on and if you hit 0% then it is no sweat with 1,000 mile of battery REx underneath you.

I recon 20kWh of BEV pack could be replaced with 100kWh of Al-air, so you effectively end up with a car with 140kWh (40kWh rechargeable + 100kWh non-rechargeable) instead of 60kWh. In the former case, you will probably use all 40kWh, in the latter case you will probably only want use 40kWh! The difference is that the latter will have consumed many more speciality materials that could have gone into building 50% more cars AND not be ideally suitable for that emergency dash from London to Aunt Ethel who lives in the Highlands.

I understand people don't quite get the full impact and significance of a 'good' BEV with a REx, which is why the Ampera never sold very well, but a BEV with a 'lightweight' smaller batter has many benefits when tied with a REx. The only real question is; what is the best REx?
A big advantage of a smaller main battery BEV is it can be charged much quicker timewise on a rapid than a battery twice the size.
There seems to be a lot of advantages in a mix and match type of approach using multiple technologies giving a better overall experience with less compromises in some areas.
 
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