On 25 May 2017 at 23:11, Brandon Hines via EV wrote:

> what would [be Goodenough's] motivation to make an outrageous or bogus
> claim.  It is not like he is shopping his invention to venture
> capitalist. 

I doubt that he's doing anything like that.  But all kinds of bad things can 
nuke a promising product between the lab and the marketplace.  

The development works in the lab model, but doesn't scale to a useful size.  
They can't find a way to produce it practically or affordably.  It needs 
some kind of material that only comes from politically unstable parts of the 
world.  A couple of prototypes blow up or burn, and the negative PR kills it 
(see: Ford Ecostar and the sodium sulfur battery*).  Something else better 
or cheaper comes along before it's developed, and grabs the potential 
market.  

They're working with public funding, and some rich person sees a threat to 
his established market and lobbies the government to take the funding away 
(see: Koch brothers and solar energy).  Or new politicians come along and 
take it away just because that's what they do (see: Ronald Reagan moves into 
the White House and immediately has the Carter PV panels ripped off its 
roof).  The market changes and the invention becomes a white elephant, at 
least in the short term (see: cheap fuel and late 1970s - early 1980s EV and 
battery research).

The developers team up with larger partners who argue over goals, push out 
the originators, bring in their own guys, and run it into the ground (see: 
Renaissance Cars Tropica / Zebra / Xebra).  Or the inventor sells the rights 
to some large corporation which then sits on it, or sells it someone else 
who sits on it (see Ovonics).  

The list goes on and on and on.  The system doesn't like change, and wires 
around it in any way it can.

Even when the system works, practical application can take a long time.  The 
first experimental lithium ion batteries were developed in 1980, IIRC.  The 
first commercial lithium ion battery was released 11 years later.  Lion 
didn't become all that common in (expensive) portable electronic gadgets 
until at least 1992 or 1993.

FWIW, the first Lion-powered EV I know of was the Altra EV, a rather sizable 
wagon based on a Japanese-market Nissan.  Nissan built 200 of them between 
1997 and 2001.  Some of our older California correspondents may remember the 
Altra.  I wouldn't be surprised if Bruce Parmentier got to drive one.  ;-) 

Altras used Sony lithium-cobalt and Hitachi lithium- manganese modules. The 
range was stated as "up to" 120 or 140 miles, with 70- 100 miles considered 
more realistic.  

The range numbers sound a lot loke the Leaf's, don't they? It seems as if 20 
years haven't really changed much in that respect, they've mostly just 
brought the price down to affordable levels.

*Ford developed the sodium-sulfur battery in 1965, but they didn't actually 
use it in an EV until 1991.  That was the Ecostar van.  Two of the pre-
production samples caught fire while charging.  That made a good excuse to 
abandon the project.

David Roden - Akron, Ohio, USA
EVDL Administrator

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