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Musk Has The Wrong Technology|
The BYD E6 uses LiFePO batteries which have a number of advantages over Musk's technology including:
1) better safety if damaged (one accident with an E6 resulted in a fire but that was caused by arcing of the battery rather than through battery damage per se, whereas some airline companies refuse to ship large batches of Li-ion batteries as used in Teslas,
2) quicker charge times (50% fast charge in 10mins, compared to Musk's 20mins),
3) better voltage stability, meaning a longer cycle (though this would make it harder to detect when your battery was about to run flat),
4) longer shelf life (Musk's battery will deteriorate faster over the years resulting in reduced range),
5) high discharge rate (faster accelerating car),
6) better environment impact without cobalt electrodes, and with all battery components recycleable, and
7) no thermal runaway.
The biggest downside of LiFePO is energy density; about 14% lower than Musk's Li-ion. LiFePO became commercially viable when Yet-Ming Chiang et al. at MIT solved the low conductivity problem.
The E6 is already at Musk's target price for his affordable Model 3 Tesla car which is dependent on the Gigafactory bringing costs down: $35,000 and sales started in 2011. Now used in China, Columbia, Costa Rica, The Netherlands, UK, US and Taiwan.
There's a HUGE demand for Musk's 7kWh Powerpack home battery with 38,000 reserve orders. But his own Solar City has hit problems with feed-in tariff legislation such that they it's not economically viable and only offer the larger 10kWh Powerpack battery which is only for power failure backup. This only has a peak power of about 2kW!!! Perhaps that's why Musk has invested in the Gigafactory; to bring costs down such that it becomes the VHS of the battery market, krappier than Video2000 or betamax but market monopoliser.
Incidentally, solar is MUCH CHEAPER than the subsidised fossil fuels: According Deutsche Bank’s recent bullish report on solar power, unsubsidized rooftop solar power costs $0.08 – $0.13 per kilowatthour (kWh) globally, which can be as much as 40 percent below retail electricity prices.
- Solar energy enjoys a glowing outlook.
Notable exceptions include the gangster-run states, Amerika and Poodleville where solar is, only just, more expensive. But Poodleville is notorious for a report claiming that wave power was too expensive only to admit now, decades later, that the report over-estimated wave power costs by a factor of ten!!! Most other non-thieved states show a HUGELY lower solar price.