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GM takes on Tesla

… in a big way, with new battery technology and a lot of upcoming models:


Well, that, is promising. The Bolt already had greater range than the promised but never available $35K Tesla Model 3. A 600 mile range means interstate travel has far less compromises and the argument for EVs is far better.

Prismatic cells are more space efficient that cylindrical cells as long as GM can heat and cool them. The limited cobalt and price are huge. If they can acheive $100 per kWhr, that beats lead acid batteries at about $130 per kWhr. That price means home use with solar is a far more price competitive.

Go GM! Apparently Tesla has improvements in their batteries coming soon, too. I wonder what range someone with a lead foot would get? I saw a Fifth Gear episode last week where they tested the latest Nissan Leaf with a reported range of 100 miles. They got about one third of that. As you may know, those guys almost always have two toes through the floorboard.

The first out of the gate with game changing technology is rarely the ultimate winner in established markets. The novelty will wear off. The elephant has since shed a lot of weight making them more nimble and allowing them to pivot to new technologies faster. While I do not agree with the methods they used to do so, they remain a significant force to be reckoned with. Unless Tesla can continue to innovate and stay well ahead of them while also offering more modestly priced options, they will be overtaken by the traditional manufacturers as they build momentum. My prediction from several years earlier…

I truly hope this becomes a reality. They have the engineering might and money to do it.

It’s still using a Lithium design that may be obsolete in a few years.

When they get the manufacturing costs of Graphene down - it could be a big change in the market.

Absolutely. This would certainly tip the scales dramatically in favor of electric only…

That’s been true from the beginning:


Heh heh, the type is too small for me to read. But yeah, ask Xerox about it or Polaroid or Univac. Do all the ground breaking hard work for someone else to take over. Of course there are exceptions like 3M but they are losing their way it seems. Kinda like the guy who works hard and becomes rich for his kids to squander it and their kids start over like Grandpa.

The story of how Graphene was first made is interesting. Supposedly a scientist wanted to know the properties of a single atom’s layer of graphite. Graphene is like a 2-dimensional version of graphite. Not knowing how to go about making such a thing, he started with a chunk of graphite (probably either from a pencil lead or a piece of burned wood) and used it to put a thick black mark on a piece of paper. Then he placed a piece of scotch tape over the mark and slowly pulled the tape off. He kept doing this until eventually he was pulling off one atom’s layer at a time, which remained attached to the scotch tape. Voila, Graphene! I’m not sure how he knew there was only one atom’s layer remianing on the scotch tape. But apparently he knew how to test for that.

Eventually, Toyota will want to get into the electric car market. Their hybrid business is so good that they didn’t need to get into electrics. They are way behind in this area. One way to catch up fast is to buy an electric car manufacturer. Tesla might be a good target, providing at least five or six fully executed designs and vertical integration with a battery factory. Toyota could take the entrepreneurial success Tesla and turn them into a professionally run car company.

Click or tap on it. Or was that a joke🤔

I had to click on the photo one time, it enlarged, then I clicked again, then again, before the text was big enough for me to read comfortably. Clicking on it any more didn’t work, so if my geezer eyesight ever weakens beyond what it is now I’m out of luck I guess … lol . .

Sort of but clicked once and get the pdf. Clicked again and it expanded. Neat.

After reading it, I will say that often two people come up with the same idea at the same time and then argue who was first. The other thing is that the time period has to be right and also the necessary machine tools and processes need to be available for something to take off. Bad timing and all. I guess it doesn’t really matter, it’s who actually can bring it to market for common use that is remembered, but ole Hank still knows what he did back in his garage before anyone else.

I had a couple things that I had never seen before and made myself for use on vacation. Then one curious guy taking a look at it and about a year later they were on the market. I never would have done it, so I guess good for them. Still it was my idea.

I hope they have made some improvements. Battery technology has been a limiting factor not just for cars but pretty much all portable electronics for quite some time. The last big advancement was Li Ion tech several years ago and we’ve been tweaking that ever since but ultimately, the power density and cost still needs to improve.

I have to say I’m a bit suspicious - what typically happens with developments like this is the marketing and PR executives make an announcement long before the engineers have finished developing and worked out all of the production and performance issues and the final product ends up falling far short of what was originally promised or gets cancelled completely. Apple’s AirPower is an excellent example of this.

Whatever happens, I hope they do license the tech for a reasonable fee since the entire industry could benefit from it.

Not likely, and it’s not unusual to expect a decent royalty if the battery technology is licensed. Toyota lost a law suit and had to pay a royalty for every hybrid they sold to the patent holder. I imagine that patent expired by now. The patent is probably why GM only built mild hybrids (low voltage). GM may also sell batteries to other auto manufacturers like Tesla plans to do.

Yeah, I’m sure that’s what will happen. In other areas of tech they apply a doctrine/principle(?) called Fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory (FRAND) to patents that are deemed essential. Battery tech probably wouldn’t fall under that category, though. What we really need is an arc reactor.

And the technology doesn’t go the way of the 50 mpg carburetor…

Heh heh, never was such a thing. Still think GM is sitting on a 100 mile carb? Why wouldn’t they used it now instead of all the other silly stuff? That hydrogen generator my BIL saw at a truck stop 30 years ago was also a cruel hoax.

True but it is voluntary. When standards setting bodies standardize on a technology, they request relevant patent holders to license their proprietary rights. The patent holder does not have to agree. If they do not, they must be excluded from the standard. Double edged sword. If one entity holds all the cards, they can’t be forced to cede their lawful rights…

1931 and this paper had at least 98 pages in its Saturday edition… wow