- Aug 30, 2011
Analyst says limits on batteries mean electric vehicles are doomed
He suggests that while using batteries in a hybrid makes sense, full on EVs in which batteries become "fuel tank replacements" are a waste of both technology and resources:
His analysis, titled "It's Time to Kill the Electric Car, Drive a Stake Through its Heart and Burn the Corpse" certainly sounds decisive-and also more than a little depressing. And angry. However, Peterson's numbers have some curious assumptions hiding among the authoritative-sounding results. In short, his numbers suggest that if you buy an EV at current prices and performance, you're unlikely to save money compared to an ICE vehicle unless gas prices rise steeply or you keep your EV running past the warranty – a conclusion that should stun no one. Getting from there to "burn the corpse" seems quite a leap, but Petersen doesn't stop with putting a stake through the Leaf and Volt. In his opinion, Tesla is "doomed" and A123 should "stop chasing rainbows" and limit themselves to motorcycles.Using batteries to enable energy efficiency technologies like recuperative braking is sensible conservation.
Using batteries as fuel tank replacements is a zero-sum game that consumes huge quantities of metals for the sole purpose of substituting electricity for oil.
Does he have nothing positive to say about battery-powered cars? Well, actually, he does:
The surprise winners in a resource constrained world will most likely be disruptive innovations like... Axion Power International.
Wait a minute. Who is Axion? They're "a small public company involved in advanced lead-acid battery research and development." And just who is John Petersen? "From January 2004 through January 2008, he was securities counsel for and a director of Axion Power International, Inc." And just how objective is his analysis? According to Alt Energy Stocks, "Some of the stocks mentioned on the site are owned by the editors." This is far from the first time Petersen has attacked lithium batteries and touted Axion or its partners as an alternative. Please keep that in mind before sharpening any wooden implements.