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Comment Re:Truck Stops, Gas Stations, etc (Score 1) 734 734

How old are the batteries? Do you own your battery? What is a battery worth? Do you load your truck with aging, unreliable batteries to swap-off with other aging, unreliable batteries?

When it comes to a truck which will have a sizeable number of large batteries, you're pretty much statistically guaranteed to never have more than a dud or two so long as the battery management process is sound.

As a service station manager, how do you test each of these batteries to ensure its safety and reliability (its level of aging)

By, for example, any of the dozen or so methods already used for this purpose?

As a service station manager, how do you offset the cost of rotating out old batteries traded in by truckers?

By rolling that into the swapping cost?

Could you please ask questions a little harder than "What does 1+1 equal?" I'm seriously not getting why you don't already know the answer to these questions you're asking.

Changing batteries in something like a truck is a labor-intensive process.

Wait a minute, you think that when people talk about battery swap they're talking about someone going up and swapping batteries by hand?

mounting may preclude a fast removal operation.

Many companies have already demonstrated battery swap for cars, which is a far harder target than trucks. With trucks, my preferred mounting is on the trailers themselves (with the cab having its own, non-swappable batteries). You already have, today, stuff mounted to the underside of trailers. It's right where the structural strength is already located and you have tons of open space underneath for easy access and standard form factors. It's an order of magnitude easier challenge than for cars, which you practically have to have disassemble their frames to get their batteries out.

The operation may take 40 minutes overall

Battery swap in the much harder case of cars can be done in less than a tenth that time.

Mounting the batteries affects balance, thus handling, thus safety

And you're envisioning that one would load all of the batteries only on one side or something...?

Think about it as if you were going to swap an entire, pre-filled gas tank

And think about having the tank you plan to switch out be a standardized external tank mounted in a standard form factor on a standard trailer.

Comment Re:"to this very day..." (Score 1) 94 94

He invented something so he got a 18-year country-wide monopoly on the idea. What's the problem?

He invented a place on your computer desktop that you can click with a mouse and it will open a menu.

Genius, I tell you. Who would have ever thought something like that was possible?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

Comment Re:Truck Stops, Gas Stations, etc (Score 1) 734 734

Assuming an overall pack energy density of 200 Wh/kg, 1kWh would weigh 5kg. A typical truck may move around 1 tonne 120 miles per gallon of diesel. A gallon of diesel contains about 10kWh of energy. An electric motor will use it about 2,5 times more efficiently than a diesel ICE, so 120 miles per gallon of diesel equates to 300 miles per 10kWh of electricty, or 30 miles per kWh electric, or 30 miles per 5kg of battery pack. So every 30 miles of range you want takes up 0,5% of your cargo mass. If you want say 300 miles range then it would consume 5% of your payload.

On the other hand, the price difference in the cost of fuelling the truck (diesel vs. electricity) would be massive. For each tonne of cargo (assuming 300 miles vehicle range and an average haul distance per hour of say 60 miles), giving up 50kg of cargo to enable to you spend $0,30 on electricity ($0,10/kWh) instead of about $1,80 on diesel ($2,70/gal), or a savings of $1,5 for giving up 50kg of cargo. If we scale to say 50 tonnes of cargo then this equates to giving up 2,5 tonnes (5%) of your cargo to save $75 per hour.

Comment Re:Trucks will be hybrids, not pure EV (Score 1) 734 734

There have been electric delivery trucks for a long time - for example, Smith Electric Vehicles has been making li-ion trucks almost as long as Tesla has been around. And they follow up on a long history of electric delivery vehicles on a continuous line dating back to the early lead-acid days. But "existing" doesn't mean "having blown the market wide open". The big question is when that could happen.

You know, though, as ridiculous as it sounds, I almost wonder Tesla's efforts could evolve into a killer delivery vehicle. The Model S / Model X drivetrain is already starting to get into the power range of a big rig, and big rig budgets can afford their high prices. Combine that this potential solution to charging over long distances and you really could have a winner.

Comment Re:Truck Stops, Gas Stations, etc (Score 1) 734 734

I wouldn't count on really powerful fast chargers ever getting really cheap. Cheaper than they are now, sure, but just ignoring all of the communication and high power conversion hardware you still have to have:

1) A powerful cooling system in your charger (for a really powerful connection, you even need to liquid-cool the charging cable)
2) A huge amount of copper (or aluminum, but that comes with a number of additional challenges) in your charger
3) A high power feed installed to your location
4) A high capacity and high power battery buffer to even out your charges if you want really fast charges / fast charges for big packs (say, 250+ kW)
5) A professional electrician to do the installs (and remember, we're not talking about home wiring here, we're talking about huge-current high-voltage connections). ... and so forth. These things will always add up. So maybe we'd not be talking about $100k to add one.... but I'd be shocked if even in mass production they could be manufactured, delivered and installed for under $10k. Probably several tens of thousands of USD per unit.

Comment Re:Biohacking? (Score 1) 57 57

But they didn't win, did they? If they didn't win, it's irrelevant.

So, you think it's "irrelevant" that this sacred GMO industry that you worship sued to block other companies from labeling their food as "GMO free"? You are truly a zealot. It wasn't about them trying to "prevent FUD". It was about them trying to block the free speech of people who don't use their products. And this is the industry to which you're willing to hand over the keys to our food supply?

I still don't see you providing any shred of evidence that there are proven human health concerns for GMOs.

For me, this is not about health concerns. If I was concerned about the food I eat, I wouldn't have had that burrito from the food cart lady with the prison tattoos this afternoon.

This is entirely political. It's a pro-consumer issue for me. The consumers are paying the bill for GMOs, so if they want, they should get to know what they're paying for. I'm not asking for a law to be passed, I'm asking for food companies to start labeling their products truthfully. And to stop with using lobbyists to influence the government to pass laws to keep consumers from knowing what they're buying. And consumers should continue to run from GMO products until the industry is willing to label their products with this one truthful fact.

And I want transparency in the patenting of basic foodstuffs, because that matters to me, and I'm the one paying the bill.

Comment Re:Biohacking? (Score 1) 57 57

If the customers "don't" get what they want, then buy the (likely overpriced) stuff labelled "GMO free"

I bet you didn't know that the GMO industry sued to prevent people from labeling their food "GMO free".

Face it, they just don't want you to know what you're buying.

Nutritional information and list of ingredients are *government mandated*.

But the kosher and halal designations are not. Nor is the word "delicious" in big letters or any of the other words on the label. When I walk into the grocery, why doesn't the sign above the corn say, "Roundup Corn 3 for $1"? If the wondrous, miraculous benefits of GMO foods really exist, why doesn't the GMO industry advertise that fact to the consumers?

And if you say "They can't, because there's so much FUD", then you should know that the only proper commercial response to FUD is exercising your freedom of speech to market your products in a positive manner. The answer to bad speech is more good speech, not doing everything you can to obfuscate what is a truthful statement: "This food is made from genetically modified organisms". I would also request that the patent be clearly marked on the label. I want to know if the basic foodstuffs I buy are patented. Or is that also information I should not be allowed to have?

Comment Re:Biohacking? (Score 1) 57 57

Labelling them is arguably a "warning".

And arguably, it's truth in advertising.

There are labels of all sorts on food. There's a little "K" in a circle that means kosher and there's a symbol for Halal and there's labels that say "Grown in California" and "fresh" and "delicious". Those are not warnings.

There is nutritional information, there's a list of ingredients. If consumers want it, why not a simple little symbol that shows the food was grown from GM organisms?

Remember, it's the consumers that are paying for all the GMO research, for all the products, for all the salaries of all the scientists, for all the marketing and for the lobbyists trying to get the federal government to pass industry-friendly laws.

When an industry tries to get laws passed which are meant to make sure customers DON'T get what they want, it raises red flags.

Comment Re: Wow (Score 3, Insightful) 63 63

I wouldn't be surprised if they could get some more specific clues on what water it's been in - for example, marine growth species types or isotopic ratios - to help pin it down better than just general drift calculations (lots of places could dump debris on Réunion). There are could also be potential clues on how much sun or what temperatures it's been exposed to, such as rates of plastic degradation, and perhaps that might also help give them better ideas of what areas it's been in based on weather patterns since the flight was lost.

There are so many potential clues... each one rather vague on its own, but all together, I imagine they'll get pointed in the right direction.

Comment Re:not there yet (Score 1) 57 57

I was diagnosed as a Type 1 in 1997. Back then, a 10ml vial (U-100) of Eli Lilly's Humulin R or NPH costs--I'm not making this up-- $17.00. Today, without insurance, the same vial goes for $99. And this is for insulin made from recombinant DNA tech that has been around since the '70's like the article mentions.

The wonders of modern science. Pharmaceutical companies use recombinant DNA tech to make a drug cheaper to make but more expensive for sick people to buy.

Ain't it grand?

Comment Re:Biohacking? (Score 1) 57 57

The food religion says GMO is bad until one of them happens to need insulin and also happens to be allergic to "natural" cow insulin, then GMO produced humulin (secreted by a genetically modified e. coli bacterium to be chemically similar to human insulin) is a miracle.

And because tomatoes are delicious, we should all go eat a whole bunch of Atropa belladonna.

The GMO religion believes that every GMO is a good GMO. That no genetically modified organism can ever possibly hurt you, so you must not be allowed to know which foods are from GMOs. They've never heard about NewLeaf Potatoes or LibertyLink Rice.

You know the difference between GMO produced humulin and GMO produced food? GMO produced medicines are labeled. You know what else is different about them? The drug manufacturers who use GMOs have done a good job of marketing their products and the makers of Agent Orange have done a lousy job of marketing their products. Maybe if they used some of the money they spend lobbying congress to pass industry-friendly laws to market GMO foods to consumers, they might be able to sell people that genetically modified foods have worthwhile benefits.

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson

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