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Report: Toyota and Renault Considering EV Plant in Mideast

31 May 2007

Ynetnews. Executives from Renault and Toyota have been speaking to officials from Israel and Jordan in an attempt to launch a joint venture for a factory specializing in environmentally-friendly electric cars. According to the plan, the location of this factory would be near the border between Israel and Jordan, in an area called Peace Valley.

Direct discussions between Israel and Jordan were held a week and-a-half ago, at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East, according to the report. Also according to the report, Israel’s Vice Premier Shimon Peres promised tax incentives and government grants to car manufacturers willing to take part in the project.

One of the leading figures in this joint project is Shai Agassi, former chief technology officer of the software giant SAP AG. After quitting SAP earlier this year, Agassi claimed he wishes to concentrate on “green” issues. According to Agassi, Israel should attempt to be independent of oil within 10 years. An electric car industry would be an indispensable step towards achieving such a goal.

(A hat-tip to MannyGo!)

May 31, 2007 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

Even a short range EV could cover all of Israel from Jerusalem. Makes sense. But 10 years for Israeli energy independence sounds unrealistic unless this guy knows about a so far secret cheap battery that can do it.

Wow! How has this been missed previously?

Henrik,
Zebra cells can be made cheaply in mass production
after all salt is the major ingredient , and there´s plenty of
that out there !
Back in the eighties when I was a buyer for a computer
manufacturer , most of the back up cells we used for our memory
boards were made by an Israeli company , and I seem to remember
that they were Lithium , so they will probably manufacter them
in Israel

Dare I hope that this is the beginning of something really big? We aren't talking about a couple of small companies here.

Henrik:

You are right, but there is one problem. “Rise” from Tel-Aviv to Jeruselem is 2500 feet, from Dead Sea – 3700 feet. It will take quite powerful battery to accomplish the jorney.

Henrik, I beg to differ on the "Rise" problem you are talking about. Take for example a mid-size car of about 1500 Kg, having to climb 3700 ft (1127.76 meters). Potential energy = mass * g * height = 16.58 MJ = 4.6 KW*hr. Assuming a low energy density of 90 W*hr/Kg (such as Altair Nano lithium battery), it would take an extra 51.2 Kg of batteries to keep the same range going up. On your way down, the car will recover a good portion of this extra energy depending on how efficient the re-gen breaking works.

If this project is realized they will probably do an EV similar to the Think. http://en.think.no/company/pressemeldinger/think_inngaar_samarbeid_med_tesla_motors. The battery may be Zebra. The last price estimate I have for Zebra is $300 kWh (but I think the price is old). A small EV will need at least 25 kWh to get a 110 mile range. That is $7200 for the Zebra battery. This is much cheaper than lithium batteries but I expect that Zebra batteries are increasing in price right now because they contain nickel and the price of nickel has exploded by %500 the past 2 years. http://commodities.thefinancials.com/. The lead carbon battery from firefly may be an interesting alternative for EV use. For sure, Tesla right now has the cheapest lithium battery for EVs on the market. However, from the announcement it says that Think pay Tesla $16000 for each 25 kWh battery pack that is $637 kWh. Only wealthy ‘green people’ will buy a small size EV for $35000-$40000 as I believe it will cost to do an EV with lithium batteries. But there are hundreds of thousands of such people around in Europe, Japan and USA so they should just start producing these EVs even if ordinary people can’t afford them. Think will be the first real test of the business case for small expensive EVs. Eventually price will fall on lithium batteries (notably the LiFeP04 chemistry) but the price of practically all other battery chemistries will increase because of permanently increasing prices of raw materials notably on cobalt, lead, and nickel. I don’t think supply will catch up any time soon to increasing demand for these metals and therefore the price increases will not go away the coming years. The same goes for oil for the next 15-20 years until cheap batteries and biofuels start having a real impact on global oil consumption by substituting demand for oil.

The major auto companies would probably continue with
the Zebra as it is a proven NMHY technology. And,
suppliers would be willing to compete, to keep growing market share,
if the Li-ion ramp up in production creates significant
competition, down the road. Remember, the segment for the
automotive battery is going to grow exponentially in the next
decade, especially when oil starts to hover closer to $80.00 US.
So,no matter what, the competitors will come out and fight
for what will possibly be the next most lucrative resource
on a global scale. This profitable energy storage market will
have many new players who have yet to jump in the game.

Why don't they just bring back the EV1. They already made it, a great short distance electric car. They can add a fuel cell to recharge it with hydrogen on the go (or use a gas generator back-up for now) - if you really need to go over the 60mi battery limit. Add a few thin solar panels and maybe even some wind turbines inside to take advantage of the free power from moving and increase that limit.

This technology works, we just need to demand it.

If you don't know what the EV1 is...watch "WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR"

Available at NETFLIX.com

While good for its day, I th!nk we can do better than the EV1, You would find that bringing it up to today's safety specs would add a fair amount of weight. You might be able to offset that by installing LiFePO4 batteries, but that would probably put the cost our of reach. I could be wrong.
Wind turbines inside? Are you talking about carrying around a wind turbine that you set up while the car is parked? Not very many places would be windy enough for that to make a difference. If by some chance you are talking about mounting them on the outside and generating power while you drive ... that would be perpetual motion ... doesn't work.

The Negev and Jordanian deserts could provide for completely renewable powered (mostly thermochemical solar energy, with some wind) economies for both countries.

Waste heat could be exploited for (seawater) desalination to make potable freshwater, as well as chemicals from seawater.

What about sodium ferrum chloride (NaFeCl2) battery?
The current Zebra battery contains nickel and it makes it expensive.I know that originaly the this type of battery was without nickel.If it's possible to remove nickel from battery than price will go down.Only iron and common salt will be the major components.And they are very cheap.

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