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$25,000, 350-mile-per-charge electric car could be reality by 2017, DOE says

SecretaryChuIn an event flanked with all the electric cars that have recently come to market, and a handful of those that are poised for sale later this year, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa flipped the switch today on the 500th electric-vehicle charging station installed by Coulomb Technologies as part of its ChargePoint America network.

Coulomb, based in Campbell, Calif., received $15 million last year from the Department of Energy, and $22 million in private funds, to install 4,600 chargers across the country by the end of 2011. About 1,600 are slated for California, 210 of which have so far been installed. L.A. currently has 71 Coulomb charging stations, including the one installed today in the California Science Center parking lot.

"The Department of Energy is happy to be a part of this [event], but more importantly we're very happy to be really trying to push for the electrification of vehicles in the U.S.," Chu said. "The reason is very simple. We have to diversify our transportation energy."

Oil prices may be in flux right now, he said, but developing countries' demand for limited oil resources will continue to push prices higher. He noted that China sold 16.7 million vehicles in 2010 and will sell 20 million cars annually within the next couple of years. The U.S. sold 12 million cars last year.

SecretaryChu3"Because of increased demand, we've got to think of all the other things we can do in transportation. The best is efficiency," Chu said.

Batteries are the "heart" of electric vehicles, he said, adding that the Department of Energy is funding research that will drop the cost of electric-vehicle batteries 50% in the next three or four years and double or triple their energy density within six years so "you can go from Los Angeles to Las Vegas on a single charge," he said. "These are magical distances. To buy a car that will cost $20,000 to $25,000 without a subsidy where you can go 350 miles is our goal."

Chu said he is working to change the $7,500 federal tax credit for electric vehicle purchases to a $7,500 rebate, so EV buyers can get an immediate discount on an EV purchase. Currently, they have to wait until they file their tax returns.

Three years ago, the U.S. made less than 1% of advanced batteries in the world, Chu said. Investments in battery research through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will help build 30 new U.S. battery manufacturing plants, aiding energy security as well as job creation.

"Every time we ship one of these [charging stations], three people go to work for a day: one to build it and two people to install it," said Coulomb Technologies President Richard Lowenthal. "It's a great job creation benefit to all of us.... Not just jobs, but creating an industry."

According to Villaraigosa, "What L.A. has made crystal clear is that the American Recovery Act has helped us put people back to work. It's created jobs, and invested in technology and infrastructure."

L.A.'s infrastructural improvements will continue with the upgrades of 90 existing electric charging stations owned by the city. As many as 400 others are also slated for upgrades in L.A. and surrounding cities, Villaraigosa said.


LA gets wired with new electric-car charging stations

Got an outlet? An iPhone app connects electric car owners with plugs

Torrance Shell station adds hydrogen fuel pump

-- Susan Carpenter

Photos: U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at a California Science Center event celebrating the 500th installation of a Coulomb Technologies electric-vehicle charging station. Credit: David Starkopf / Office of L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

Comments () | Archives (35)

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affableman, I'm saying this as politely as I can, but you sir, are the dolt.
Your claims about the footprint of electric cars are incorrect and not based on any fact. Lithium production is very low impact, and EV production in general, including the batteries, has no grater impact than building conventional ICE vehicles.
As for hydrogen, it has poor energy density, it's hard to store and transport, and it's highly explosive. Other than that....

ELADAVE, most EV's will be charged at night, cheaply, with off peak generating capacity that is already underutilized. We can power millions of EV's right now with no additional generating capacity. Eventually we will need more generating plants, with or without EV's, but we also have time to build them, including greener options such as wind and solar, and 4th generation nukes. Look up LFTR's.

Let's see, if more people drove electric cars, more cars would need to be charged (batteries). Oh, we need more places to charge them, Oh we need to generate more electricity, Oh we need more power plants, Oh, environmentalist are preventing us from building more power plants, Oh we won't have the electricity to charge these cars, Oh we will start driving our gas power cars, Oh everything back to normal. Ahhhh....

Get it right and the cost of a barrel of oil is 30 bucks. This helps folks who cant pay 45000 for a car but also can't affor 4 dollar a gallon gas. Give rebates to those that save our economy and make life better for those who cant afford a 45000 car.

Go man Go. Energy dependence perverts our politicians and plunges us into war with animals. Get it right and I will pay more and giggle as the Middle East returns to a wasteland. Will take the profits and help folks in the world who need our help and sleep soundly at night.

FutureUser, I'm saying this as politely as I can but you're a dolt.

Chu's a very smart guy but the environmental footprint of electric cars is huge. Just take a look at where lithium is mined and the scale of pollution it causes.

We need nukes, either more fission plants or better yet fusion. Take seawater and separate out the hydrogen and use it for fuel.

DBM Energie of Berlin, Germany has invented a new Lithium-Metal-Polymer Solid-State battery they've nicknamed "Kolibri". The "Kolibri" reportedly has several times the energy storage capacity of a conventional lithium-ion battery of the same size and weight.

A DBM "Kolibri" equipped all-electric Audi is shown in this (May 2011) video cruising the roads of Germany, with a 280+ mile range on a single charge.

DBM Energie notes their new "Kolibri" Solid-State battery can be recharged faster, is significantly less expensive to manufacture, is safe, and in mass production may cost significantly less (maybe 1/5) that of a comparable lithium-ion battery. The German Federal Government's Institute for Materials Research Testing and Safety along with Germany's independent Dekra Labs evaluated the "Kolibri" earlier in 2011 and it successfully passed with flying colors. Further independent engineering validations of DBM's invention are presently underway.

My auto safety invention will give electric vehicles more range by making them lighter. The invention allows much steel to be removed at the same time that the car is made safer in collisions. U.S. Patent 7,699,347

Please help me get the car companies to evaluate the invention.

In fairness to Secretary Chu, here is what he actually said "To buy a car that will cost $20,000 to $25,000 without a subsidy where you can go 350 miles is our goal."

It's a goal, not necessarily a prediction. Goals are good.

Chu is an idiot. I am STUNNED that this guy is our Secty of Energy. I will be my entire net worth that we won't be within $5K and 200 miles of this fantasy. There are real problems that we aren't even close to solving.

i have a lot of respect for Secretary Chu but $25k 350 mile range battery pack is not going to happen in 2017. i would love to smoke the stuff he is smoking though. Battery technology hasn't improved that much yet. The investment he is making on behalf of tax payer is GREAT and I support it 100%. Hopefully we can see capacity increase of modern battery pack 2 fold 4 fold. but even with 4 fold that is only 160 miles at very high cost.

I think $25,000 is too much for a vehicle. I think around $4,000 - $5,000 is adequate. I would like to ask the car makers to work not only on the energy-efficiency, but also on the MSRP.

This link won't answer your question directly, but here's the rate structure for home EV charging in the LA DWP service area:

Does anybody have the math figured out for the impact of the Electric vehicle charging rates have on the ROI of solar panels?

The vehicle electric rates seem to really put expense on peak rate, does that benefit solar panels? At $0.33 per peak kwh, it seems to say you have to have more generation than consumption.

Is there some combo-rate plan for Solar Panels and Electric Vehicles?

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is *not* pollution. CO2 is plant food. CO2 is healthy and clean. Planet earth's current CO2 level of about 385 ppm is much lower than ideal. Plants thrive on CO2 concentrations of 1100 to 1500 ppm. Thus, to be truly "green" or plant-friendly, we should work towards increasing the CO2 concentration to about 1350 ppm.

The key would be to increase plant food production (CO2 production) by rewarding plant food emitters. If a company's CO2 footprint is too small, then they are not contributing their fair share towards the goal of a truly greener Earth. At the same time, new technologies may be required to increase CO2 plant food production, while continuing to decrease actual pollutants such as mercury, sulfur, etc.

Plant food producers should be proud of their contribution to planet Earth, and nobody should try to shame or penalize them. Without sufficient CO2, planet Earth would be a cold, lifeless orb. Fight global cooling -- more CO2 please!

In 1911, a Detroit Electric cost 2 1/2 as much as a gas car and got 100 miles per charge.

In 1996, a Chevrolet EV1 cost 2 1/2 as much as a gas car and got 100 miles per charge.

In 2011, a Nissan Leaf costs 2 1/2 as much as a gas car and gets 100 miles per charge.

In 2012, a Ford Focus Electric will cost 2 1/2 as much as a gas Focus and will get 100 miles per charge.

Seems progress is coming slowly to electric cars.

Why is it that those that continue to say "drill, drill drill!" and wave off the idea of investing in alternative fuel sources aren't seen as the backwards thinkers that they are?

I don't know what will be able to fuel airplanes and ships with in the future, so I'd rather save the petroleum we have for those vehicles and switch to EV's for passenger cars.

I equate those unwilling to see the need to switch to alternative fuel sources much the same as someone in 1910 that stuck with the horse and buggy over the automobile.

Meanwhile 80 MPG $20,000 cars are available today in Europe that perform just as well.

We don't import them because our regulations are minorly different than the EU clean air regulations.

This past weekend saw the first round of the 2011 TTXGP racing championship for electric motorcycles. For clues about how quickly EV technology can replace internal combustion, check out:

The sooner the socialist infested DOE is defunded, the better.

For electric cars to be effective they need a system of swapping out batteries in cars much like we do power tools.

Drive up, snap out, snap in, drive off.

Continuing to drive GAS cars is good for the Middle East
Driving EV's is good for the US.

That's ridiculous. This would be amazing to charge 350 miles overnight at home. D you know that would be well over $100 savings compared to the price of gas every month? Also, every major highway in the US will have fast charging stations within the next 5 years with over 150 miles charging in a hour. You must own Exxon Stock!

People, do yourself a favor. Want a great ride, with luxury? Get a Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, if you can find one. I'm getting about 38mpg, combined and I have all the bells and whistles.

Headline: "$25,000, 350-mile-per-charge electric car could be reality by 2017, DOE says"

Actual quote from article: "To buy a car that will cost $20,000 to $25,000 without a subsidy where you can go 350 miles is our goal"

Misleading that a 'goal' is interpreted as 'could be reality'...

i believe that they still have not developed an electric car that can charge up as quickly as one can fill up a gasoline tank. Until they do the electric car will continue to be a dismal failure.

To the fellow who said America doesn't have a car now that gets 50 mpg, i
drive a 1994 chevy geo 3 cylinder that averages 51.5, they were made between '89 and '94. i bought a new one in '92 that rusted away and am using the engine and tranny in this and another car. simple cars mechanic friendly that run 60-65 in traffic and still get their mileage. i do it every day, commuting 100 miles round trip. Honda made a 4 cylinder that ran stronger
and did the same mpg or better back in the early 90's. all of this technology could have been further refined, but car companies wanted more profit per unit so went to gadgets and more expensive high horsepower cars, promoting the nascar mentality. gore vidal calls us the united states of amnesia.

Myths vs. Reality
Myth 1: Switching to an electric vehicle will just mean that the same amount of pollution comes from the electricity generation rather than from the tailpipe — I'll just be switching from oil to coal.
Reality: According to a range of studies, an electric car leads to 35 to 60% less carbon dioxide pollution from electricity than the CO2 pollution from the oil of a conventional car with an internal combustion engine.[1][2][3] In some areas, like many on the West Coast that rely largely on wind or hydro power, the emissions are significantly lower for EVs. And that's today. As we retire more coal plants and bring cleaner sources of power online, the emissions from electric vehicle charging drop even further. Additionally, in some areas, night-time charging will increase the opportunity to take advantage of wind power -another way to reduce emissions.
A caveat to consider, according to some studies, is that when coal plants supply the majority of the power mix in a given area, electric vehicles may emit more CO2 and SO2 pollution than hybrid electric vehicles.[4] Learn where your electricity comes from, what plans your state or community has for shifting to renewables, and whether you have options for switching to greener power.

The new all-electric Nissan Leaf. Photo by Darrell Clarke.
Myth 2: Plug-in cars will lead to the production of more coal and nuclear plants.
Reality: Even if the majority of drivers switched to electric, the existing electrical grid's off-peak/nighttime capacity for power generation is sufficient without building a single new power plant. Studies have shown that electric vehicle owners will largely charge their vehicles at night when there is plenty of capacity on the grid. In some areas, new "smart charging" allows you and the utility to set up a system by which you and other electricity users distribute the load evenly during charging so that the system is not overwhelmed by increased demand.
Myth 3: Electric car batteries pose a recycling problem.
Reality: Internal combustion engine vehicles use lead-acid batteries, and their recycle rate is about 98% in the US. The newer batteries for electric vehicles, such as those made of lithium-ion, include even more valuable and recyclable metals and will have a life well beyond the vehicle. In fact, a Belgian company plans to use Tesla Motor's electric vehicle battery pack material to produce an alloy it can further refine into cobalt, nickel, and other valuable metals as well as special grades of concrete. Technology will soon allow for EV batteries to store energy produced by solar or wind power.

A $25,000 car that can go 350 miles is a GOAL. However, it will NOT be reached by 2017. That is pure fantasy. A $25K car that can go 100 miles with no subsidy would be good enough but even that is very difficult. (For reference: The Nissan Leaf costs $33K now w/o subsidy and only goes 73 miles per charge according to the EPA starndards.)

What about a $10K rooftop with solar panels. Don't sacrifice one for another.

Cool! I hope to never buy gasoline ever again.

In parallel with electric cars, we have to think about power sources to recharge those electric vehicles. Clean sources or dirty fossil power generated sources ? Our goal is to be independent from Arab oil for security and economic reasons; and a cleaner enviroment to breathe, do not polute ourselves to death.

At just over 4600 miles I'm getting well over 250 MPG in my Chevy Volt plugin electric car. I drive 91% of the time on my on home's electricity at 3 cents a mile.

I have been to the gas station once in 4 months! To buy 4 gallons!

Yes, the technology IS here and you can go buy it NOW. With many more cars to come!

Buy a plugin electric car and stop buying gas.

Say NO to gas! Drive Electric - Live Free

Chu must be smoking something, or maybe just breathing the air around the white house is enough. Remember this guy works for the person who proudly stated there are American cars today that get 50 mpg (sure when driving at a steady 50 mph -- but not on any EPA test that is ever used to communicate with the public).

I love EVs and hope very much for their success, but... to achieve a $25k, 350 mile EV would require a huge breakthrough. Although potential exists for such a breakthrough, like Li-Air, it is still many years away. Currently the Nissan LEAF represents the state of the art (100 miles on LA4, 72 miles EPA, and <$33k). The battery tech for a 2017 model would have to exist today in a lab with proven scale-ability (production feasibility) to be developed in time for 2017. Based on that I would say look for maybe a 10 - 40% improvement in range or price -- not both. I wish politicians who do not know an electrolyte from a Cathode would keep quiet. They just poison the waters by creating unrealistic expectations to justify their own existence.

FYI, LEAF does not use rare earth. Those that do (Toyota) use it for their motors
FYI#2, beware of outlandish claims by small companies, especially when they are seeking federal funding, or by any politicians.

Bottom line: we do not need 350 mile range for EVs to be a success. We just need the 20% or so of the population that drives less than 100 miles a day, has a place to install a level 2 charger, and has a second car they can share to buy one. That would be over 2 million potential customers each year. Not everyone drives, or wants to drive an SUV or a sports car, why should it be different for an EV? Anyone out there like to reduce America's oil consumption 20%? Just look at the drop in prices that resulted from just 2% demand destruction.

Where you getting your scarce rare earth metals from for batteries?

EVs : The Future of Car !

It’s Official: DBM Energy’s Electric Car Battery Is Real !

New independent test confirms 454.82 km driving range on one charge!
It weighs just 770 pounds,
For comparison, the Tesla Roadster’s pack, which claims 245 miles of range, weighs 990 pounds.
The car’s creators even claimed a 6 minute recharge time.

It passed extensive independent safety tests, demonstrated endurance of 5000 charging cycles, this battery will last 27 years.
Lithium cells of Kolibri Lithium battery have undergone a very rigorous tests according to the video from the website of German Ministry For The Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.

Mr. Hoffmann also cites estimates that the mass-production cost of a 98.8 kWh version of the pack would range from 800 to 1,000 euros, or from about $1,100 to $1,400, which is thousands below current costs.

Plus, Nano-Optonics Energy Inc of Japan will produce electric vehicles with in-wheel motors.

It will travel 300km on a single charge - about double what current electric cars can get and employ four motors, one for each wheel.
And SIM-Drive said the price of final electric car should be "on the same level as gasoline-powered cars."
Who can resist this fascinating technology ?


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