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German battery could jump-start electric car production
12-10-2007, 02:18 PM,
German battery could jump-start electric car production
German battery could jump-start electric car production

FRANKFURT: German cars are known for strength, speed and high fuel consumption, but a firm in eastern Saxony has designed a lithium-ion battery membrane that could finally make electric cars common.

For years, battery-powered cars have been hampered by technological hurdles, with researchers seeking to resolve problems of weight, autonomy and ways of recharging vehicles quickly and easily.

Recent progress towards lighter and more powerful batteries has been made however, in particular by groups like the Japanese car maker Toyota with its hybrid vehicles, and high-tech firms in France.

Germans were said to be plodding along behind, but batteries made by the a firm called Li-Tec "take up 30 percent less volume than those from Toyota" and "allow you to go three times further for the same weight than French models," said Tim Schaefer, a director of the company in eastern Kamenz.

"The foundations have now been laid" for the building of electric cars that also deliver performance, he added.

A spokesman for the German tool and auto parts company Bosch said: "It's a step towards totally electric cars."

Housed in a stylish rectangular silver pouch, the "Separion" consists of two lithium electrodes in an electrolyte, or liquid conductor.

What differentiates it from similar batteries is that the electrodes are separated by a flexible ceramic membrane that provides greater thermal stability, according to the German group.

A drawback of lithium-ion batteries is a risk of explosion if they overheat.

According to Felix von Borck, director of the Akasol research centre in western Darmstadt, the Separion goes a long way towards resolving that problem.

"It's a true technological break," Borck said. "It is a crucial boost for the success of lithium-ion batteries."

Li-Tec has joined a consortium that includes Bosch, chemical giant BASF and German car maker Volkswagen to develop the product, which has existed for two years.

"This is just the technology," von Borck said in reference to current models.

"Now someone must be found to produce them" on an industrial scale.

Given past problems, many industrialists remain sceptical, while others are developing competing energy sources of their own like hydrogen fuel cells.

"BMW developed projects in the 1990s," a spokesman for the Bavarian car maker said, but concluded they were too complex to bring to the market.

"Today there has certainly been progress," he nonetheless added.

"We think the first series of electric cars could arrive within five to 10 years. But it's a niche market for small city carsÂ… not 'the' solution for questions of mobility."

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&I've come to the conclusion, after having spent many years in politics, is that our presidential elections turn out to be more of a charade than anything else, and I think that is true today. It is a charade,& - Ron Paul, Sept 2008.
We're in a lot of trouble, watch this -
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You cannot tax someone's labor because that is slavery
- Ed Brown, June 18 2007
The world's &freeest& country has the highest number in prison.
- arundhati roy
The crisis of modern democracy is a profound one. Free elections, a free press and an independent judiciary mean little when the free market has reduced them to commodities available on sale to the highest bidder.
- arundhati roy
The era of manufacturing consent has given way to the era of manufacturing news. Soon media newsrooms will drop the pretense, and start hiring theater directors instead of journalists.
- arundhati roy
The structure of capitalism is flawed. The motor that powers it cannot but vastly increase the disparity between the poor and the rich globally and within countries as well. Parecon is a brave argument for replacing that flawed machine and offers a much needed -- more equitable, democratic, participatory -- alternative economic vision.
- arundhati roy
[The choice between John Kerry and George Bush] is not a real choice. It's an apparent choice. Like choosing a brand of detergent. Whether you buy Ivory Snow or Tide, they're both owned by Proctor & Gamble.
- arundhati roy
No government's condemnation of terrorism is credible if it cannot show itself to be open to change by nonviolent dissent
- arundhati roy
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Dr. Hermann Oberth who pioneered rocket design for the German Reich during World War II and later advanced rocket technology for the American manned space launches, cryptically stated: "We cannot take the credit for our record advancement in certain scientific fields alone; we have been helped."

When asked by whom, he replied: "The people of other worlds."

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