Turquoise Energy Ltd.News #12
Victoria BC
Craig Carmichael  -  February 9th 2009
January in Brief (overview... summary... the short version!)
* or, this TOC is the Super Short version...

Electric Hubcap Car Drive Project, Longwinded Detailed Report
* Electric Hubcaptm is (today) ready to test

Turquoise Battery Project, Very Longwinded Detailed Report
* Interesting Chemistries Emerge
* University Battery Researcher to run performance tests and evaluate my Electrodes

January in Brief
    This month is the anniversary of starting on the batteries. A year ago I was looking for good batteries to use with the motor concept that became the Electric Hubcap. The NiMH batteries of GM's EV-1 sounded great until I found that Chevron et al had seemingly hijacked Cobasys, the new company that had started making them, buying up the shares and then quietly making the batteries unavailable.
   That got me going and I spent January 7-10th (2008) on the web trying to see if making Ni-MH batteries at home looked potentially doable. I thought the potential was there, so I started ordering chemicals, then I got into even more promising looking chemistries. But I had a lot to learn about electrochemistry and batteries, and it's taken a year to more or less nail down all the basics.

    After a few months on batteries with nothing that worked acceptably, I decided it was time to do the car motor, planned vaguely since about December 2007. That, at least, I thought I could have working soon enough. It turned out I had a lot to learn about synchronous permanent magnet motors, too!
   A few motor and motor controller designs and variations later I did get a prototype to move the car, but not until October. Then, what with cold weather, various things and perhaps some project "burnout", it seems to have taken about an extra two months to get the "production prototype" on the car to test, which I've just finally done today. Now I'm very nervous to connect the batteries and see what happens!

   Having already seriously trespassed on February -- thinking I'd have the car running on electricity and to be able to say at least a few things about it -- I'm sending this newsletter now, and God willing, for the next newsletter (in under [3] weeks) I'll have some good details!
The Electric HubcapTM Vehicle Drive Motor
January Gory Details
    In marine thought, gasoline and electric outboards are considered to be equivalent with a ratio of horsepowers of 2.5 to 1. (Diesel is 4 to 1.) My car is "62 HP", but it pings like crazy if I push the pedal more than half way, so perhaps I really only use 30 HP. IF one can apply the 2.5 ratio to cars, then 30 HP over 2.5 means a 12 HP "typical" electric motor. If the Electric Hubcaptm is a further 1.5 to 1 ratio, that's 8 HP. That would require two of them.
   On the other hand, it's said that 10 HP is needed to move a car along a level highway at highway speeds, that reduces to 4 HP for a typical electric motor then to 2-2/3 HP for the EH.
   Without being more sure until I've tried one out, I'm anticipating that one EH will drive a car, though performance may not be spectacular. Two should give it very good performance.

    Although I feel I'm six weeks behind, January saw testing the new motor stator and repaired controller on the bench, breadboarding and testing then making the new control circuit with the low frequency pulsing to protect the motor at stopped and very low speeds, Searching out a new rotor with a better shape for the magnets, mounting magnets on it, rewiring the car and a new aluminum wiring box for better heat dissipation.
   The new control circuit uses just three standard chips to provide pulse width modulation, the low speed protection, and forward-reverse: basic motor operation. I thought that was a pretty lean design, however, when I counted up all the discrete supporting components - resistor, capacitors, diodes and a transistor - there are thirty of them! But it works, so the microcontroller version, a project in itself with the required programming, can wait a while.

   The "new" rotor (from the garbage at some brake shop - I think it's a Subaru rotor) is a much better fit. I also finally found the long lug nuts I've been looking for - lying on the ground at an outo wrecker's. I was having such trouble getting what was needed that I had got as far as buying hex rod and a 12mm tap and making two myself - ugh!

   Previously, the rotor went onto the wheel, then long lug nuts went on, sticking out past the ends of the bolts to extend the lugs, and the rest of the motor mounted outside of those nuts via short bolts fitting into them. That meant to remove the magnet rotor required jacking up the car and taking the lug nuts off. With the new rotor, everything mounts outside except the wheel, so the tapered nuts go into the wheel properly and they don't have to be removed to take the whole motor off. And it's about three pounds lighter.

   The car rewiring was overdue. I'd used #10 wire when I was going to use 120 volts DC, and it was too thin when I decided I'd be more likely to live through the project if I used 36 volts with triple the current. I went up to #8, which should be adequate for the three foot run. #6 would have been better, but it was just Soo heavy looking, and would need such big holes and clamps, that I set it aside. Some of the connections from the front of the car had to be changed for the new PWM control too. Now there's nothing up front except the rheostat under the gas pedal and the Forward-Off-Reverse switch beside the gear shift.

   As long as I was rewiring so much anyway, I decided to change the wiring box mounted in the car. The old, steel, one by now had a lot of holes from various designs but none (and no room for one) in the bottom corner to bring the motor wires in by the shortest route. And I wanted it to be aluminum to help disperse heat from the power MOSFETs in the motor controller.
   All in all, there was a lot more work to getting the new version motor on the car than I'd anticipated.

   As a final thought, I've noticed a minor disadvantage to the axial flux motor design: owing to the tremendous attraction between the rotor supermagnets and the stator iron, there'll be a lot of sideways pressure on the inner bearing. The pressures can be balanced on a radial flux machine. For the future, I may consider a tapered trailer axle with a larger bearing on the inside, even though it's just holding a 30 pound motor stator and not half a trailer plus whatever it's carrying.

 Electric Hubcap Motor Factoids: (Deleting this: please see "About Electric hubcap" web page)

Turquoise Battery Project
December Gory Details
    In the battery field, this month sees a lot of ideas and some new chemicals. They make this write-up quite long, but with trying to push the motor towards "finished" and "tested", not much actual battery work has been done.   It also sees a university battery researcher volunteering to test a few of my electrodes and seeing if they're as good as I think, decent, mediocre, or if I should scrap the works and stick to electronics. He'll also be able to test electrodes individually, which I can't, and so he may find one is good but the other has problems.
   I'll also send him some electrodes made with chemicals I write of below, in particular the calcium and the titanium, which look very promising in alkaline solution, which is what he works with. I may try antimony in neutral solution myself.

Lead-Acid: Sum Current Thoughts

    It appears that one Electric Hubcap motor would require more lead-acid batteries than I'd hoped in order to be really practical. Each battery, even if capable of supplying hundreds of amps, only wants to put out a very limited amperage over any extended period of time, thus needing two or more batteries in parallel instead of one, to avoid being "empty" far sooner than it should and having a much shortened cycle life. (Look up "Peukert's Law" of lead-acid batteries if interested.)
   I have three 50 pound, 100 AH, 12V, "deep cycle" batteries that will put out "625 amps". In fact, the amp-hours rating is for gradual discharge over 20 hours (ie, 5 amps), and discharge even at 25 amps reduces the available amp-hours to around 70. At 75 amps, it's down to 50 AH, ie, 40 minutes of (highway?) driving. (Furthermore, lead acid batteries lose cycle life if they get anywhere close to fully discharged, so one should switch to gas well before the indicated time. Thus, 30 usable amp-hours is a more realistic rating with only one set of three.) I didn't take this halving of capacity into account in my price comparisons a couple of months ago! On the other hand, some of them are rated for up to 600 cycles if discharged by 60% or less each time, whereas I based my previous economic expectations versus gasoline on 200 cycles.

    It all means that rather than simply having three batteries weighing 150 pounds to get 36 volts, to be practical it should have at least double, 300 pounds, or better 450 or even 600 pounds of lead-acid batteries, even without needing the extra driving range all the "extras" would bring. (It partly depends on what the "average" current draw of the motor in "typical" driving conditions turns out to be, eg 45 or 70 amps.)
    It would seem that lead-acid is quite a delicate battery chemistry that needs to be carefully nursed along to get anything even approaching the full specified value and life out of it!
   Someone asked "What about using Ni-MH "AA" cells?". It's been done to run a car, and so has 3000 "C" cells. But let's compare instead with solder tab "D" cells: 10 AH, 1.2 volts, so 12 WH. (Those are the biggest "economically" available Ni-MH's since Chevron and friends abducted Cobasys. "AA"s are 1/4 that size.) The "D" cell is likely to put out about 10 amps max, so for 100 amps at 36 volts, 10 wide x 30 deep = 300 cells: $3000, for 3.6 KWH. This is minimal, like three lead-acid batteries. Again, they would be happier putting out one, two or three amps over time than 4.5 or 7, so 450, 600 or 900 cells would be more effective. According to web sites selling them, they'll recharge "1000 times". No doubt they'd last considerably longer than lead-acid, but like them, attaining the "1000 x" probably has some conditions. Lithium cells appear to be even more expensive.
   The lead-acid batteries might be $150 each, so nine is $1350, for (100 AH * 12 V  = 1.2KWH, * 9 batts. =) 10.8 KWH. (10 KWH of large Ni-MH batteries probably would be about $3000 (300 $/KWH) at fair market price. I'm not sure what happened to Ni-Cd's: I think they're available somewhere. If the recycling program is good, there should be little objection to the cadmium.)
   Better still, I just bought one of the batteries new for $49.95 ("factory seconds"), not $149.95, which triples the economy! (Hah! -- Try finding a bargain on gasoline in Victoria!)

    Herein, in the absence of big Ni-MH batteries, is why most people that convert a car to electric are still using lead-acids! 1/2 the price * 3 x the energy / 1/3(?) the life = still 2 x more miles for the same cost. (And withal, they still look cheaper than gasoline... even without bargain prices.)
    And of course, herein is also why I'm trying to make better big batteries, lighter, more robust, and economical.
Car Battery Design Principles

    The above discloses that the main need is lighter batteries, yet capable of delivering sufficient average continuous AMPS during driving, rather than AMP HOURS. Any batteries able to deliver sufficient amps are likely to also have enough amp-hours for a "typical" day's driving by the "average" driver, and beyond that there's the car's original engine. If we can obtain 50, 75, 100, 150, 200 or 500 milliamps per square centimeter of electrode interface without stressing the battery, increasingly lighter batteries can be used. Lead-acid and Ni-MH prefer to run in the lower tens of mA/cm^2. Lithium is in the ones range, so it is generally made as thin film electrodes folded or wrapped up many times to increase contact area. The newest fuel cells and some zinc-air batteries under development obtain up to 200 or 250 mA/cm^2, but again would work best delivering much lighter loads.
    The bulk of the batteries is of little import, only the weight. So, a fluffy material that delivers 500 WH/Kg is in principle as good as a dense material with that spec, except insofar as adding bulk will to some extent increase the weight by increasing the case and constituent sizes.

    Other well known principles are that the batteries should operate well in any state of discharge and should be amenable to random bursts of power and bursts of charging during braking. For these, lead-acid and lithium cells are generally poor and Ni-MH are best.

    If batteries can be recharged in ten or fifteen minutes, or if enough energy can be stored for a full day's driving in a reasonable weight, new possibilities are opened for driving on long trips without gasoline.

    I have only recently fully appreciated that reaction speed is the most important design factor, and I'm now on the quest for more AMPS from any given electrode surface area. I'm by no means convinced 100+ milliamps/cm^2 of efficient, continuous output can't be done. An alternative is wrapped up electrodes to gain interface area in a small space, but I wish to avoid that alternative for batteries I hope can be made without setting up a complex factory.

Voltage Limits

    When I started, in my ignorance I had hoped to use lanthanum as a -2.8 volts negative electrode. Then in my ongoing studies, I found that water - H2O or HOH - dissociates into H+ and OH- ions starting at 1.23 volts. But evidently it's doesn't get very serious until 2 volts is reached. Any substance with a reaction over 2 volts - and there are actually quite a lot of them, eg aluminum at -2.3 volts - will soon discharge itself to its unenergized form. Lanthanum ingots gradually turn to La(OH)3 in hot water alone. Aluminum fizzes away in alkali solution and gets very hot until it's all converted. The heat shows aluminum Has a lot of energy, but it can't be used the way we want. A white powder (Al- or La-(OH)3) is left on the bottom in both cases.
   So I started looking for reversible reactions of around 1.5 volts, thinking of a battery of around 3 volts. (In fact, some things I wrote below reflect this.) However, I've belatedly read that when water hits about 2.4 volts or so (depending on temperature), it starts electrolyzing (one might say charging) into O
2 and H2 gasses. So the upper voltage limit for a water based cell overall is evidently about 2 volts. Unless my "voltage ramp"/"ion exchange" idea doubles that (I do have some hope of that) or somebody can suggest some novel solvent (preferably non-flammable) with a higher breakdown voltage than water that will still deliver a lot of ions quickly, perhaps I'll have to stick to substances totalling below that voltage, perhaps two that are about +1 and -1 volts.

    Notwithstanding the limitations imposed by even two volt voltage restrictions, I keep finding lots more promising looking things to try that seem to have never been tried. (I wish somebody would write a paper on "Battery Designs that Didn't Work". It could perhaps save a lot of trouble if some of what I want to try has already been tried somewhere! Maybe by the time I'm finished, I'll want to write it myself!)

Electrode Separators

    I knew Cellophane was used as a semipermiable membrane and should be good, but I wasn't having any luck with it myself. Soaking it in a solvent wasn't working. For one thing, I had tried wetting it with solvent for a minute or two, but it turns out it takes 15 to 45 minutes to absorb it. Apparently much slower than a paper towel with water! For another, the last solvent I tried, that (finally) worked to some extent, was a spray with lubricant in it.
   I now suspect oil or grease smeared on it will act as an interface to let things pass through, but haven't had time to try it out yet.
   Having just sold a remaining Supercordertm, a clarinet-like recorder (duct flute) instrument I designed and built a few of from 2003-2006, I've bought the last (I hope) expensive chemical I've wanted to try out in the batteries, osmium, to "dope" the cellophane separator with. Of elements that are actually present on Earth, osmium is the second rarest, beat only by its neighbor iridium, but it looks like it should pass protons like nothing else.

    I had also, ever since I started, been trying to think of a good non-woven textile that might be available for a separator. Aside from uggy fibreglass mat, there's polyamide, but I couldn't find it for quite a while. Even phoning Dupont where it's made no one seemed to know anything about it. Turns out you don't ask for "polyamide" unless you just want blank stares - you ask for "fusable web" cloth in any old fabric store. Then you look at the label and it says "100% polyamide". What I found is pretty thin - you'd need a half dozen or so layers to be safe, I'm sure.
   But the cellophane has more promise to split the battery into two halves that can each handle up towards 2 volts, for a cell of around 3 volts.


    There's theory, and then there's what actually happens. Zinc is right above cadmium on the periodic table. The electrochemical reactions look pretty similar as shown in "standard electrode" potential tables:

Cd + 2OH-  <==>  Cd(OH)2 + 2e-  [-0.81v]
Zn + 2OH-  <==>  Zn(OH)2 + 2e-  [-1.24v]

   But it turns out that's not what actually happens with zinc! Instead, unless the electrolyte is exhausted, the zinc hydroxide continues to absorb hydroxyl ions:

Zn + 4OH-  <==>  Zn(OH)4-- + 2e-  [-1.28v]

We've still moved two electrons, but we now have dissolved zincate ion instead of solid zinc hydroxide. This is where zinc gets its troublesome penchant for moving around and (without design precautions) growing crystal "dendrites" and shorting out the battery after say 10 to 50 recharges. But that's not the end of the reaction. The zincate ion then spontaneously turns into zinc oxide, again a solid, and gives up the two extra hydroxyls (again without moving any more electrons):

Zn(OH)4-- <==> ZnO + H2O + 2OH-

So the overall reaction, indirectly and not very intuitively, is:

Zn + 2OH- <==> ZnO + H2O + 2e-  [-1.28 volts, I presume]

An interesting point about this for a Ni-Zn battery is that the nickel creates water from OH- ions when charging while the zinc creates it while discharging, which should keep the electrolyte level and concentration constant, as is also the case with Ni-MH. With Cadmium, there'd be more water in the battery when it's charged than when it's discharged. There can be too little liquid left in a discharged Ni-Cd dry cell, which may contribute to or account for its problems with shorting after sitting too long or otherwise being completely discharged. (Add some more water and I suppose you can have it burst when it's charging, instead!) It also means calcined zinc oxide ("denzox") from a ceramics supply should be good stuff as-is! The calcium should be a good additive.
   It's good news for limited production as anything coming from a ceramics supply store will probably be considerably less expensive than a similar chemical from a chemistry supply and locally obtainable, although the purity is usually less.


    Looking for interesting possibilities for electrode materials, again the theory and what actually happens can be two different things. An interesting magnesium reaction shown in a table for an acid electrolyte battery is:

MgO(s) + 2H+ + 2e- = Mg(s) + H2O  [-1.722 v]

    That's a great voltage, not too high for water electrolyte but has a lot of energy.
    Looking further, however, one discovers that MgO in aqueous liquid will turn into Mg(OH)2 spontaneously, a reaction with a voltage potential that is too high to use - it won't stay charged. That's the opposite of zinc, where the hydroxide (ion) becomes oxide unasked.


    Manganese is used for most simple one-time batteries. So-called carbon zinc is actually manganese-zinc -- the manganese oxide, a poor conductor, is mixed into graphite (carbon) to increase the conductivity. One-use alkaline batteries are also manganese-zinc. Manganese has a really exciting looking bunch of reactions that seem to hold a lot of promise, but as one delves deeper, one sees that to use any desired one, it would actually be hard to prevent any unwanted ones from happening both in charge and discharge.
   Better to find elements with few, distinct reactions, where one of them is a good one!


    I've been sprinkling zircon (zirconium silicate, ZrO2:SiO2), on the surface of the zinc electrode before placing the separator in the attempt to stop ion migration and hence zinc dendrite growth. Evidently it's been done before, although with the oxide (which as usual - and unlike the zinc - becomes hydroxide in an alkaline electrolyte), and in a different (primary) battery. "...our recently demonstrated zirconia hydroxide-shuttle overlayer, which stabilizes alkaline cathodic charge transfer chemistry, 3 also is demonstrated to prevent corrosion of the boride anode."
Battery with Zr(OH)2 guard layers

     When I found a patent for a cerium-zinc battery with an acid electrolyte, I thought that perhaps the patenters could have used zirconium instead of zinc, since zinc loses almost 40% of its voltage (and hence energy density) in acidic electrolyte as opposed to alkaline.
   On the other hand, zirconium's voltage in alkali is too high, and putting it in acid reduces it just enough to make it work in a water based electrolyte - in theory - with exceptional energy. In fact, there are several acidic reduction reactions listed, all starting with zirconium metal and all about -1.5 volts. It almost might not matter which one actually takes place, except for any reaction making ZrO2 or other electrical insulator that would hinder recharging, and migration of ions (with the same challenges as zinc) or other untoward effects.

   IF it works, then with a positive electrode of similar potential (eg the +1.7v of the cerium in the Ce-Zn cells), cells around three volts would be obtained - a voltage range currently "owned" solely by lithium battery types.

    Not knowing enough electrochemistry myself to be sure, I enter into a shady realm of possibilities:
   a) The patenters were fully occupied trying to make the cerium side work

       and they didn't even think about trying anything besides zinc.

       This is quite likely, especially as they speak of zinc as being the
       commonly recognized highest energy electrode substance, without
       discussing its lesser energy in acidic solution.

   b) They dismissed it knowing it wouldn't work for some reason.

       This is also quite possible.

    Given a good chance it was (a), zirconium could, as far as I can tell from the paucity of web search results:
   c) not work anyway for some reason.
   d) work fine but no one has explored it.
   e) work fine but only in some more complex form, for example as a
       chelated metal, which avenues no one has explored.

    So my dillema now is: is it worth trying? One can of course run so many experiments in trying to attain "the ultimate" in possibilities that one simply burns out without ever achieving a marketable product. Better a two volt battery than none!
   Unless it simply works flawlessly or quickly looks like a total flop, the logical result of the first inconclusive experiment is to try more experiments to improve it, turning it from seemingly trying out one simple thing into a whole new area of exploration in itself. And that can get complicated. As with zinc's ion migration and resulting dendrite growth problem, zirconium may have unique vexations that can only be tackled with more experimentation that could potentially take years.

   After all, I started out simply to make Ni-MH alkaline batteries before I saw what looked like some very tantalizing possibilities. If I had just stuck with Ni-MH, there's a fair chance I'd have had working batteries by now. (This is a very good reason to just use zinc or other known electrode material and not think about anything else while you get the cerium - or in my case now, lanthanum or dysprosium - to work!)

    In a best case scenario, the zircon I'm sprinkling on the zinc anyway will work as a binary system with the zinc in the lanthanum/perchlorate battery and the anode will charge up to the zirconium voltage. Then it'll be just a matter of finding best proportions, perhaps mixing some zircon in with the zinc. Otherwise, I've found sone more things of good promise, below!


    In a web search, I found that mineralogists had "discovered a rare inorganic cation", positively charged antimony oxide hydroxide, in a clay.
   This caught my attention. Could "Sb" oxyhydroxide replace "Ni" oxyhydroxide in alkaline batteries? If so, would it have a higher voltage or other advantage such as better conductivity (for more milliamps per square centimeter)? Had anyone ever tried it?

    I got some antimony oxide at Victoria Clay Arts, originally as a minor zinc electrode additive, but I may try it out as a positive electrode of its own some time. Antimony looks like it'll work better in a neutral solution than in alkali.


    After finding the antimony, I thought a good survey of the elements using "webelements" (.com)'s redox diagrams might reveal more. I found barium had interesting possibilities: specifically, barium hydroxide, charging to either barium dioxide or barium oxyhydroxide. But a bit more searching showed barium hydroxide as being rather soluble in water. However, it seemed that barium, strontium and calcium had identical redox diagrams with almost identical voltages.
    Could it be? Yes! Calcium hydroxide is little soluble. It would appear the common lime atom may well make an excellent +1.5 volt potential electrode in alkali or neutral solutions. (If I really must stay below two volts, I'd have to find something crappy for the negative side!)
   The trick with calcium hydroxide is to keep it away from air, as it will spontaneously react with CO2 to become H2O and CaCO3 - which is the form in which it must be purchased. This is gradual as there's only a trace of CO2 in the air, but it means a sealed battery would be vital.

   Changing CaCO3 into Ca(OH)2 is a two step process: heat it to several hundred degrees, eg 1400 F. This splits it into CaO and CO2, a process that emits a bright light: limelight - you've heard of it! Then put it in water. As mentioned with some other things, the voltage of the reaction causes it to turn into Ca(OH)2 by itself. Put that in a sealed jar until you're ready to make the electrode and put it into the sealed battery!
   Other questions are how conductive and how dense the substances are, which reaction will actually take place, and how much it might change size when charging and discharging. If, for example, the hydroxide is 'fluffy' but the oxide is 'dense', the electrode will do a lot of heaving around when in use, which may greatly reduce cycle life and-or performance. Ideally they'll both be the same size.


    Also in the elements survey was titanium, just two elements beyond calcium (elements 20 & 22), as a possible negative electrode. Unlike most of the other candidates, it's not shown as converting to a hydroxide, just to oxides. TiO2 is used in food colorings, cosmetics, paints and pottery glazes. The voltages of these are rather surprising in alkali, and should result in an electrode very forgiving of over and undercharging. The discharged state would be TiO2 (Ti at valence IV), which will discharge no further, and which would charge to Ti2O3 (III) with -1.38 volts potential. If this was seriously overcharged, it would convert to TiO (II) at -1.95 volts, and even more voltage (-2.13) could make it Ti metal (0). None of these states have dissolved ions to allow the zinc problem of dendrite growths, and -1.38 volts is very close to zinc's -1.28 volts.
   Those two forms, especially the last, would quickly self-discharge in water (to Ti
2O3). But those reactions should keep things below the 2.3 or 2.4 volts where water starts to make a lot of gas (H2, O2) and builds up strong pressure inside the battery. They should eliminate the need to add other elements to the titanium oxide to perform that function.

   A couple of other interesting things about these oxides are that the two of interest are about the same size, meaning it won't shrink or expand as the state of charge changes, and the the charged Ti
2O3 is "violet-black", unlike the other - and many other - oxides, which are whiteish. According to one battery researcher, "black powders are usually good conductors". If that holds true, it should mean an excellent rate of charge and discharge when the battery is in the upper area of its charge state -- perhaps that continuous 100 mA/cm^2 is attainable with titanium in alkali!

   I should note, however, that the titanium reaction only moves one electron where the zinc one moves two, so titanium's amp-hours per kilogram rating is lower.

    In web searches, I find many of the above chemicals are mentioned as exciting materials for lithium batteries, though not in other battery connections. I suppose it could be it's all been tried before, but personally, I think major battery research of such an experimental nature wasn't done earlier and now everyone's excitedly experimenting inside the lithium box and they don't look beyond that. It's probably a lot easier to get funding specifically for lithium battery research at the moment - it seems to be the "in thing", hence, that's where the research goes.

   One must narrow one's focus, but not into something with obvious drawbacks without first surveying the possibilities and seeing if simple things of promise have been overlooked, as they so often are.

   The Electric Hubcap is a good example of "missed simplicity": Automotive mechanical transmissions and drivetrains have been the subject of much design effort over the decades, and yet they are still complex, heavy, inefficient mechanical monsters. A motor directly turning the wheel - what could be simpler? - would render all automobile transmissions entirely superfluous. The entire motor is lighter and simpler than the transmission in the drivetrain. But the whole thing was missed until now owing to everyone's narrow "in a box" focus on refining the complexities and nuances of automotive drivetrains. The combination of a PMSM and axial flux to provide such strong low RPM torque that it can directly turn a car wheel enables a fundamental change. (Today's computers and software are chock full of fabulous examples of missed simplicity from one end to the other, but I digress.)

    Doubtless not everything I try will work, and all these chemicals can't be used in the same battery even if they all do as I hope, but it seems likely that experimentation will disclose 3 or 4 practical improved "green", aqueous battery chemistries for electric cars!

Victoria BC