Two quick notes on things that happened this week. The first represents the present; the second (hopefully) the future.
Chevy Volt pricing:
Its $41,000. No surprise there. There is a tax rebate that gets this down to $33,500. The leasing option seems cheaper, but seems limited to 12,000 miles a year. I drive 18,000 a year and I rent (which means no charging at home for me). I will not be in line for one anytime soon.
The Nissan Leaf is $33,000 before rebates and $25,500 after. This seems so much more manageable, but its only a 100 miles range. You win some, you lose some. What we need is a cheaper battery.
Which leads me to…
A discussion of the future of the battery:
Those who follow this blog know that most of us at LBNL work as part of a large program called the Batteries For Advanced Transportation Technologies. The Program is funded by the US DOE and has researchers from all over North America. It’s the top battery people from Universities, National Labs, and companies. The team reads like the who’s who of the battery world. The goal of the Program is to perform the research needed to discover and make the next-generation batteries.
This week on Tuesday, all of us met for a day at LBNL to discuss the future of batteries. We discussed ways to make higher energy, lower-cost materials, methods to make the battery last longer, and the challenges with moving to new batteries that promise significantly higher energy density compared to today’s batteries. Below is a photograph that we took at lunch.