German Handelsblatt Reports On Electric Batteries: “Unreliable”, “Fire-Hazard”, “Impractical”

Germany’s top business daily Handelsblatt here reports that although lithium-ion batteries promise to become efficient someday, they continue to be plagued by technical problems, calling them “unreliable and a fire hazard“.

Video: Electric cars continue to be plagued by safety and technical issues (not featured in Handelsblatt story, for illustration only).

The Handelsblatt cites expert battery consultant Karl Nestmeier, who travels across Europe and advises companies on the use of lithium-ion batteries. According to the Handelsblatt:

What Nestmeier has seen during his travels as an expert, not only makes him shake his head, but also infuriates him.”

Nestmeier has seen metals twisted from the intense heat generated by the batteries, calling them a “technical-safety disaster“. If used for homes, they could cause fires, or produce dangerous gases that would damage lungs. Nestmeier believes that some of the batteries should be illegal due to their high potential hazard.

Handelsblatt writes that as the solar boom continues, there’s a correspondingly increased high potential for danger, and that companies have done too little to improve safety. One reason behind this, Handelsblatt writes, is the “insufficient product liability laws“. Many companies refuse to accept any liability for malfunctions in their general terms and conditions, and get away with it.

A number of manufacturers, some from Asia, offer budget quality cells along with unrealistic “lifetime and safety promises” that make them almost impossible to resist.

German Environment Minister ditches electric car

In other news, the Environment Minister of Germany’s most populous state, North Rhine Westphalia, has decided to ditch her e-car, Bild reports here. The reason: According to Bild, Christina Schulze Föcking says her Tesla lacks the necessary range to make it practical.

Hypocrisy…Green party candidate opts for diesel

In Austria Green Party candidate Ulrike Lunacek has been using a small bus for travel between her campaign stops, according to the Kurier.at here. You’d think the vehicle would be outfitted with an electric drive and batteries so that it could run on the clean, green energy that they constantly preach about.

Wrong!

It turns out that Lunacek is using a diesel-engine-powered vehicle – the very type that all European greens have been blasting since the German diesel scandal broke out. An electric one, the Kurier.at writes, would only have a range of under 200 km, and so not enough to get around in any practical manner.

Hypocrisy among Greens knows no limits it seems. Obviously even the Greens themselves are not even sold on what they preach. That sort of low grade technology is good enough for the masses, but not for government officials.

 

20 responses to “German Handelsblatt Reports On Electric Batteries: “Unreliable”, “Fire-Hazard”, “Impractical””

  1. Ken Ventura

    Just wanted to let you guys know that Facebook is not letting Administrators of pages post your articles. looks like biased moderating to me. I saw this today on a page posted. https://www.facebook.com/FoSClimateEd/posts/1446523968759781.

  2. JB

    Chariots of Fire?

    1. clipe

      snicker

    2. Henning Nielsen

      Chariots of Fire, Feet of Clay.

  3. Bruce of Newcastle

    The problem with Li batteries is the same as with your lead-acid car battery. Impurities can lead to the formation of a metallic dendrite which grows out from the cathode during recharging. The dendrite can cause a short circuit if it reaches the anode, leading to a battery fire.

    For electronic devices the battery is small, so impurities in the materials might cause one battery in a thousand to be rejected by the manufacturer.

    But a EV battery is like having a thousand small batteries all hooked together – so the chance of dendrite formation rises with increasing battery capacity.

    To prevent this it is possible to remove the impurities in the materials to a level a thousand times lower than is acceptable for small batteries. But that massively increases the costs of production of EV batteries.

    It’s a bit like balancing a sword on the tip of your finger. It is possible, but you have to be very careful.

    None of this affects an internal combustion vehicle – ICEs are much more tolerant of impurities in fuel or the mechanical parts.

    1. SebastianH

      As batteries get bigger and bigger they will be more and more in charge states that do not harm the battery chemistry making them last longer. And there are also chemistries that are more stable (but with lower energy density). The mass production of cells in the coming decade will most likely lead to very long lasting batteries. As a side effect, the costs per use will go down drastically. They predict that battery prices will get as low as 100-150 $/kWh, but if they can make them last for 10000 cycles instead of 2000 cycles this would have a far bigger impact on prices and safety for use in cars.

      1. Bruce of Newcastle

        Dendrite formation is a problem with any battery chemistry which uses a metal below its melting point. If battery researchers can produce a hydrogen battery (note – not a NiMH-like system which contains a metal) it would be as you say. That is a hard ask given hydrogen’s very high overpotential.

        I should add that I’ve been doing electrochemistry for several decades. I’ve produced a lot of dendrites in my time.

        My view is if the climate consensus people are serious they should pursue methanol synthesis. Centralized production of methanol from CO2 and electricity fits the zero net emissions aim but uses the existing infrastructure and takes advantage of the high energy density of liquid fuels. Batteries and EVs should be restricted to the golf course.

        1. SebastianH

          Dendrite formation is a problem with any battery chemistry which uses a metal below its melting point.

          I agree, but with a bigger battery (with more of those small cells), the conditions for them to form are met less often. You don’t have to discharge them fully as often, you don’t have to charge them to 100% as often and charging them “fast” (as in more range per minute waiting) is less stressful (lower C rating).

          My view is if the climate consensus people are serious they should pursue methanol synthesis. Centralized production of methanol from CO2 and electricity fits the zero net emissions aim but uses the existing infrastructure and takes advantage of the high energy density of liquid fuels. Batteries and EVs should be restricted to the golf course.

          That would be quite wasteful though as you’d need lots of energy to synthesize methanol. The same energy could make battery electric vehicles drive 2-3 times more distance.

          I am not opposed to the idea though. Some car owners might require things from their cars that battery electric vehicles can not meet without weighing tons. And since a high percentage renewable grid requires technologies like Power2Gas we would have some methane to spare for those use cases. That mode of travel would likely be always more expensive than using a battery car and having to wait a few hours at charging stations on very long trips …

  4. SebastianH
  5. Bitter&twisted

    SebastianH’s deluded optimism for all things “green” is pathological.
    He really does need to to seek professional psychiatric help.

    1. SebastianH

      Optimism for all things green? If those things were as bad as you guys hope them to be, why invent stuff to discredit “green” things?

  6. Bitter&twisted

    SebastianH there’s only one group going round “inventing things” and that is the alarmists.
    Every day new mythical CO2-generated horrors and we only need $xtrillion to solve it.