• Nov 21st 2008 at 10:00AM
  • 10
There are three main obstacles to making electric cars a viable alternative to those powered by internal combustion engines: the weight, cost and range of the batteries. Internal combustion engines have range limits based on the size of their fuel tank, but it only takes a few minutes to dump 10-15 gallons of liquid fuel in the tank and be on your way. It takes hours to recharge a battery. Fast charging systems are being developed, but they will require new infrastructure for the high currents and voltages required. The cost issue also works against range. You can reduce cost with a smaller battery, but you know what happens then. A battery with more range is both heavier and more expensive. How about a smaller swappable battery? That's one of the possible alternatives that Tesla is considering for the Model S sedan. This brings a whole different set of problems with it. Even smaller batteries will weigh several hundred pounds, making them difficult to handle. There are also safety issues with handling high voltage batteries. You also need a distribution infrastructure for the batteries and automakers have to standardize on common pack formats to make the whole idea viable. It's not like popping into a drug store for a set of AAs for you camera. Tesla's bright idea just goes to show that electric cars have a long way to go before they can replace internal combustion engines completely.

[Source: Inside Line]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      I like this idea, I really do You could convert most gas stations to recharge centers, drive in, pop out the battery pop in a new one thats been on a charger at the station and be on your way.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "Even smaller batteries will weigh several hundred pounds, making them difficult to handle. There are also safety issues with handling high voltage batteries"

        I dont think there will be any 'popping' in and out. We are not talking about a Stomper with a AA Duracell.

        But I agree in theory with your point, just don't know if it is feasible yet.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Or make it use AA batteries (rechargeable, of course)...

      I kid, I kid.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I say get Geordi and Scotty on the engineering team.

      Then we can set a phaser to overload and bypass the matter/antimatter integrator thru the trionic initiator in the warp induction coils thereby creating a tachyon pulse alleviating the need to have the quantum flux penetrate the subspace field pulse and intensifying the redundant melacors ramistat 14 quilliquad interface modules.

      Problem solved! Plus them phasers are a helluva lot lighter than batteries!
      • 6 Years Ago
      this is why there will NEED to be some kind of standardization of car batteries. Some gas stations and garages could carry the standardized battery and quickly swap it for you while you wait. Since they're getting a working battery back, it wouldn't have to cost very much. It could be like propane tanks for your barbecue.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Kind of like swapping your old propane tank for a new one at the corner store so you can go home and grill. I like the concept, but as mentioned, delivery is another story.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I agree... a standard battery is best.
      I always felt their should be an international union working together on making the best, lightest, quickest battery possible so all manufactures can use.
      If I can go as far as to say.... build the car around the battery.
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