Reply to "Electric Cars - Saviours of our environment or just another fad?"

winkyincanada posted:
Huge posted:

Part of the extremely high cost of the batteries is the requirement to charge in less then 3.5 hours.

Lithium cells capable of being fast charged require substantial quantities of lanthanum (as LLTO in the cathode) - that greatly adds to the cost and massively adds to the environmental impact.  The longer the range of the car the more this applies.  Regular fast charging also substantially reduces the life of the cells.

Furthermore the range is usually quoted under very gentle constant speed driving conditions with new cells; in practice it's something like 60% to 80% of the quoted value.

Lanthanum is a major component of NiMH batteries. But Tesla uses Li-ion batteries which don't contain any significant lanthanum. They can be charged 80% of capacity in 30-40 minutes. (Most lanthanum is used for refining oil as part of the catalytic crackers.)

Lanthanum is used in fast charge Lithium batteries as Lithium Lanthanum Titanium Oxide (LLTO) used as a Lithium Ion transport accelerator.  Old style Li- ion batteries don't use it, but take 3.5  hrs to charge.

It's always possible that Tesla are using a new (and secret) form of Lithium battery.

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