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Publisher's Blog

Gerry Woolf

Mars is a great market for pure EVs


All power to Elon Musk and SpaceX. What an incredible achievement to build the world’s most powerful rocket, make much of it reusable and have a sufficient sense of humour to put one of your other company’s product— a Tesla electric car, atop of it all and send it toward Mars! Tesla is losing a fortune, so what the hell?

This writer didn’t know if any of the Tesla team was at last week’s Advanced Automotive Battery Conference in Mainz last week, but maybe Menahem Anderman had a word in his ear. “You’ve got about as much chance of selling fancy electric cars on Mars mate, as you have in the USA or even China for that matter.” So perhaps Musk took him literally at his word?

It’s still all about the battery and Anderman literally laughed out of court the major automotive OEM’s predictions about how many pure EVs they’ll sell by 2025— only seven years away. 20% market penetration?  “Balls” as we say in the UK. Anderman reckoned 5% or probably less. It’s a little different in the People’s Republic of China. If you want a car in Beijing, you have to have an electric. It’s a government order.

But for the rest of the world? Big lithium-ion will still be too damn expensive even that far down the road. No cheap ingredients… nickel cobalt.  Get that into your heads!

Draw your own conclusions; it’s stop start for the rest of us. And that means… yes, lead!

The lead people though were not present in large numbers at AABC— outnumbered 10:1 by the advanced chemistry people.

In their own cosy sessions the lead men concentrated on difficult technical issues but failed to be exuberant on the good things coming their way in years to come— as long as they can keep the damn legislators off their backs. Maybe that’s the problem… they are too old to party! But they need to… lead industry stocks have got to be a better bet than so many new alternative chemistries.

You can read more about what really mattered at AABC in my exclusive report in the Spring issue of BEST. Make sure you’ve subscribed.

Apple Electric Car? B*ll*cks !

Short of a definitive announcement from the company, you can take all the stories about Apple coming up with electric car any time soon as total bollocks and a figment of a flaccid and useless mainstream press adding up one and one and making it 27.

The editor’s take

AABC: Lead is far from dead again and nobody else is making money!
There’s a plethora of hybrid, pure electrics and plug in electrics now available from German manufacturers— more than 60 variants but nobody is buying— well not in any serious numbers…

Musk was right… now make it happen

What’s your definition of good engineering? Mine would include making use of the stuff that’s already there, cannibalising (if necessary) existing kit to make what I need or want to try. That’s what I learned as a kid messing around with electronics half a century ago and I’m glad to say it's a philosophy that rings true with some of the best minds out there today.

Seriously missing Google

It’s only the absence of Google that makes you realise just how dependent we’ve become on it and how valuable it is.

Energy storage: It’s been a long time coming

It’s been a long time coming: this ‘energy storage’ malarkey. But visitors to this year’s Intersolar in Munich were in for a treat— a whole hall dedicated to the stuff.

Online, on-digital and on-target— are you?

Phone directories. When was the last time you used one?

The curse of the ABC

The curse of ABC has failed to arrive: On the anniversary of 9/11