“Chevron controls the worldwide patent rights for NIMH batteries used in the RAV4-EV, and won’t allow their use in EVs.”
Unfortunately, plug-in hybrids are forced to use lead-acid or lithium batteries, and it’s no accident. Electric car batteries must be able to put out enough power to run the EV without an engine, be able to “deep cycle” for acceptable range (over 100 miles on a charge), and must have long “cycle life” of at least 1000 to 2000 fill-ups (over 100,000 miles, and usually over 200,000 miles, before the batteries need replacement). > >>
The existing and proven EV-95 NiMH battery from Panasonic, which lasts longer than the life of the car, has adequate power for acceleration without an Internal Combustion (“IC”) engine, and can drive an EV at 80 mph for up to 120 miles, went into production in Jan., 1997. These batteries are powerful enough to run an EV from start to 80 mph and for over 100 miles, and have cycle life of at least 1500 — over 150,000 miles before they need replacement> >>
Prototype EV1 named “Impact” delivered in 1989 for a budget of about $3M.
This is the Electric car GM CEO Roger Smith drove into the L.A. Auto Show, although many others were involved in its creation including AeroVironment, John F. Smith, Robert Stempel, et al.
California’s 1990 ZEV mandate forced GM and other auto makers to produce Battery Electric cars such as the GM EV1. GM purchased control of the patents from the inventor, Stan and the late Iris Ovshinsky, in 1994 forming “GM Ovonics” under the guise of going into production with the EV1. But GM’s Andy Card had been fighting Electric cars for years, and GM’s true intention became apparent when on Oct. 10, 2000, GM agreed to sell their control of the EV batteries to Texaco. Less than a week later, on Oct. 16, 2000, only days after Texaco acquired control of the batteries, Chevron agreed to purchase Texaco in a $100 billion merger. Chevron announced the merger even though the GM sale of the batteries to what would become Chevron did not close untilJuly 17, 2000. Perhaps Chevron wanted this sale to be announced prior to the merger so it would not look like Chevron (formerly Standard Oil of California) worked directly with GM. > >>
GM and Chevron collaborated with Toyota-Panasonic in such a way that these batteries were killed, and no such NiMH batteries are available for EVs. Chevron, awash in oil profits, assets and cash reserves, claims that “it’s a chicken and egg problem” of “no demand”, but that does not explain why they sued Panasonic, extracting $30,000,000. Shortly thereafter, the EV-95 line of proven, NiMH batteries still running in the RAV4-EV was shut down and killed, and the batteries cannot be sold or imported into the USA, according to one Toyota spokesperson. Only a few used EV-95, salvaged from crushed vehicles, are available, and those only for warranty replacement on existing RAV4-EV. Toyota won’t sell even these used batteries to EV converters, who need long-lasting, reliable batteries and can’t get them.
“A senior Chevron executive was quoted off-the-record as saying that Chevron was determined not to go down the BEV path again and never to let that happen again in the automotive industry, at least not with NiMH batteries.” Chevron, by virtue of its purchase, apparently wants cars to be powered by gasoline and not by NiMH batteries large enough to drive cars from electric plug-in power.> >>
Chevron’s unit that controls the patents, cobasys, refuses to sell their version of the battery unless, they say, they get “a large OEM order”. Apparently, they also refuse to let anyone else sell it, either> >>
Auto and oil industry detractors — “oilliars” — claim that “the batteries are not ready” for a plug-in Prius. They hope you don’t know about the existing, still-running 2002 Toyota RAV4-EV, which operates entirely on batteries with no help from any Internal Combustion (“IC”) component. It’s easy to add a small engine-generator to this proven EV, and have an instant plug-in hybrid that runs like an EV for 100 miles, and then relies on the generator (like a diesel-electric locomotive, and they are very powerful). Over 1000 RAV4-EV are running far over 100,000 miles with EV-95 NiMH deep-cycling as the only power source for the RAV4-EV> >>
A real Plug-In Serial Hybrid is an Electric car, with a powerful electric motor as its only source of motive power, and with batteries capable of normal driving in EV-only mode for at least 100 miles. This Serial Plug-In Hybrid is just an EV with a small engine-generator for long trips or unusual occasions when you can’t plug in somewhere. Similar to the Diesel-Electric locomotive, the engine’s only use is to generate electric for the drive motor. >>
Phony Plug-in hybrids are of the parallel hybrid variety, where the engine is used as the primary source of motive power and the motor and batteries are just used to start off, or to boost acceleration. They work, but are still gasoline cars at high speed; even worse, without viable and cost-effective batteries, they are just another libel on Electric cars. The lithium batteries in the plug-in prius cost something like $14,000 for 9 kWh, about six times the equivalent cost of NiMH, and even more expensive when you consider that NiMH last longer than the life os the car — even a Toyota car — while the lithium batteries are untried and unproven> >>
The big difference is that the Serial Plug-In Hybrid allows you to run normal driving without gasoline or oil, but the phony plug-in hybrid still requires that you buy gasoline for your daily run. Guess which one the oil and auto companies will try to confuse you with? Right, they will try to push the Phony Plug-In Hybrid or, even worse, the Phony Hybrid that can’t even plug in.
In all cases, the lithium batteries may not last as long as the NiMH, and render the plug-in option prohibitively expensive. AQMD and CARB must be acquainted with the need for NiMH batteries. So far, ONLY NiMH batteries are proven to be economicial> >>
Even if a NiMH pack costs $25000, and even if it only lasts 200,000 miles, that’s only 12.5 cents per mile; and for those with solar systems, the electric “fuel” is free of further cost. In a pure EV or a serial plug-in hybrid, you can normally drive “oil-free”. It’s this possibility that seems to bother oil execs. > >>
The plug-in Prius, using Lithium batteries, still requires you to buy gasoline (the engine turns on when the catalytic converter is cold, or if the speed is greater than 33 mph, burning gasoline)> >>
Chevron and its auto company proxies can kill the idea of plug-in hybrids: obscure the issue, and bring out “dual-mode” and parallel hybrids that can limp along at 40 mph on a small electric motor for 10 miles and re-charge its batteries with a big diesel engine. They are not frightened of lithium-powered plug-in hybrids, and since they have control of and have eliminated the use of large-format NiMH batteries, they have no worries … unless the oil party were to lose an election, of course. A responsible president and prudent Congress could force Chevron to disgorge control of the batteries, and could force auto makers to produce a plug-in serial hybrid for sale on the free market.
Oil and auto company claims that “no one wants an EV” ring hollow when the full cost of gasoline, mostly subsidized by the Taxpayer, is taken into account.