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Issue #72 - Across the US with 2.5hrs of charging, ICE and PHEV cars being ditched, geothermal is back and solid state batteries might be the solution.

The EV Musings Newsletter
Issue #72 - Across the US with 2.5hrs of charging, ICE and PHEV cars being ditched, geothermal is back and solid state batteries might be the solution.
By Gary Comerford • Issue #72 • View online
If you’re new to this newsletter - welcome. I try to identify some of the more important (but often lesser reported) news articles that are in the world of electric vehicles and renewables.
If you want more detail around the whole EV/ renewable space why not consider subscribing to my podcast. It’s on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you get your podcasts.
Now onto this week’s newsletter.

This Week's Podcast (s).
The EV Musings Podcast: 120 - The Round Table V Episode
The EV Musings Podcast: 119 - The SafeCharge Episode
Top Five EV/ Renewable Stories.
$200 Million Says Solid-State Batteries Will Soon Crack Gasmobile Death Grip
The holy grail of electric vehicle propulsion is a lightweight battery that charges rapidly and has an excellent power to weight ratio. Sure, you can drop 100kwH of battery into your car if you want a longer range (Mercedes EQS) but it’ll still take quite a while to recharge that battery even on a very high powered charger.
So scientists (and product developers) have been looking at solid-state batteries for quite a while. They’ve never really been ‘there’, though. Until now.
A company called Factorial Energy has developed a battery which the likes of Daimler and Stellantis are taking a long, hard look at. Just last month the company popped up when its proprietary energy storage platform FEST™ (Factorial Electrolyte System Technology) caught the eye of Daimler (think Mercedes-Benz among others) and Stellantis (Dodge, Fiat, Chrysler, etc.)
Nissan to End Internal Combustion Engine Development… Sort Of
This is one of those ‘good news/ bad news’ moments. One of the larger vehicle manufacturers on the planet is finally looking to radically downsize the number of internal combustion engines it manufactures. However, the largest market - the US - is going to remain as an ICE market for the foreseeable future.
Why is Nissan doing this? Because it has decided making internal combustion engines that comply with the next round of European emissions regulations will just be too expensive.
Germany has become the largest plug-in vehicle market in the world after China. Nissan is also not planning on any new internal combustion engines for Japan or China, although it will apparently keep refining existing engines and continue to work on hybrid powertrains.
Porsche Taycan Breaks the Guinness World Records Title for Coast-To-Coast Charging
How many times have you heard the retort ‘I can do 700 miles in my ICE car and recharge in five minutes.’?
Well - apart from the fact that the 5-minute recharge is a myth (and we’ll talk about why in an episode of next season’s podcast) - the ding on this is that charging over longer distances will drastically slow down the time taken on a journey.
This was 100% accurate back ‘in the day’. The first LEJOG (Land’s End to John O’ Groats) journey in a MkI Tesla Roadster took 33 hours, most of which was waiting for the charges.
But news comes from the US of a world record-breaking drive crossing the continental United States in a Porsche Taycan and spending the grand total of.. less than 2 and a half hours.
That’s right, 2834.5miles crossed and less time spent charging than you’d spend watching Avengers: Infinity Wars
The car selected was a standard 2021 Taycan equipped with the Performance Battery Plus as well as nice to have luxury items for a coast-to-coast adventure, such as the Premium Package, Adaptive Cruise Control and Porsche Electric Sport Sound. To prepare for the drive, the driver plotted the route across America using Plug Share and the Electrify America app. He benefited from the ease of use of Plug-and-Charge for the majority of the trip
These 12-Mile-Deep Holes Could Convert Power Plants From Fossil Fuel to Geothermal
As we move towards a future with more and more renewables powering our daily lives, we will continue to expand the use of certain key technologies such as wind and Solar. But some of the ‘lesser-used’ renewables will also play a part in that transition.
The demand is huge, baseload power needs to be guaranteed and resources such as Nuclear have a bad political wrap as a source of ‘clean’ energy
Which is where Geothermal could plug a gap.
When we think about the scale of the energy transition, we measure that in terawatts—trillions of watts—that’s what it takes to cover the world,” says Carlos Araque, CEO and co-founder of Quaise Energy. “So when you look at that scale, it is very evident that we’re not going to be able to transition energy on wind and solar alone.”
Uses “millimetre wave” drilling systems to go as far as 12 miles underground—that’s 3 to 5 times deeper than typical oil and gas drilling—reaching a layer of rock, which is more than 700 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat can be used as a constant power source essentially anywhere on the planet.
The company is targeting a cost of 1 to 3 cents per kilowatt-hour, cheap enough to compete with fossil fuels and, ultimately, replace them for baseload power when other renewable electricity isn’t available.
Most power plants, “you burn a fossil fuel to heat water up, make it into steam, and use the steam to make electricity with a turbine,” he says. “Geothermal replaces the burning of the fossil fuels—the steam comes from the ground.” By going to existing power plants and drilling holes there, the company can avoid rebuilding other infrastructure
Skoda Announces It’s Ditching PHEVs, Going All-In on Pure EVs
More and more legacy car manufacturers are moving away from fossil fuel production. Whilst dinosaurs such as Toyota, Lexus and, Land Rover appear to be oblivious to the onset of the EV age, Skoda is looking to embrace it quite fully. It has committed to focusing on pure BEV only and stopping making hybrid and plug-in vehicles.
This is good news - although the date isn’t actually clear for when this will happen. Tye will have 3 more EVs in the range by 2030.
It’s worth noting that despite having many cars based on the VW brand, unlike VW and Seat - through Cupra - they have not chosen to create a vehicle based on the ID3. They have the ID.4 based Enyaq, though
A cool EV or renewable thing
From episode 119
Researchers in Russia have found a way to leverage a large chunk of the medical waste that’s being produced as a result of the pandemic. Specifically the single-use face masks.
The scientists repurposed used face masks into “highly efficient textile supercapacitors,” and used waste drug blister packs as a shell, thus forming the basis for creating batteries.
Apparently, the high volume - and ease of gathering - the disposable face masks meant they were able to do this easier and cheaper than with other waste materials which generally needed more energy-intensive methods to process.
The team said the mask-derived batteries were “superior in several ways” to heavier, metal-coated conventional batteries, which had greater manufacturing costs and did not have the added benefit of diverting polymer waste from landfills.
The team said the resulting batteries had a high density of stored energy and electrical capacity, of up to 98 watt-hours/kg, which puts them in the ball-park of the current average lithium-ion batteries.
From episode 120
We’ve heard that Tesla is looking to create Full Self Driving software and install it on their various models. Testing is underway with that (and there is a whole discussion about whether testing something like that on public roads with general members of the public is something we should be condoning or not) but while Tesla has been getting all the headlines a company called Cruise is already running full self-driving vehicles for ride-hailing services in San Francisco.
The ride-hailing service runs genuine driverless cars based on Chevy Bolts. They don’t even have a safety driver behind the wheel in case of accidents. There are caveats, though. The vehicles only operate during the day, only on certain areas and streets within the Haight-Ashbury, Richmond District, Chinatown and Pacific Heights neighbourhoods, and they can’t charge for the rides yet. They use LIDAR rather than the cameras that Tesla vehicles are equipped with.
Would you get into a car that didn’t have a driver? Not sure I would. But it seems to work well for Cruise
Something To Think About.
The podcast has just finished the last episode of season 6. As per usual it will be going on ‘hiatus’ for a few short weeks to allow us to catch our breath, chat with our Patreon members and work on episodes for season 7.
The newsletter will still come out every other week, though. But if you want to catch up on any past episodes of the podcast head over to the EV Musings Podcast to start your listening
What's in the mystery box this week? Click to find out.
What's in the mystery box this week? Click to find out.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Gary Comerford

Topical stories about renewables, EVs and things that are interesting to EV drivers.

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