Among itï¿½s famous vestrymen are such folks as George Washington, his father, Augustine Washington, and George Mason. Francis Scott Key, composer of our National Anthem, was a lay-reader in this church. Falls Church is located seven miles west of Washington, D.C., our nationï¿½s capital.
calcars-news carried a message from Falls Church, VA, which for those not in the know is a suburb of Reston.
The message? America, we need batteries. (Gamers imagine Halo-2, the Nigerian Terrorist version.)
The article covers four possibilities: NiMH, which are what “ordinary” hybrids now have; advanced lithium batteries just coming on the scene; plus, two other recently announced developments: a new type of lead acid battery from Firefly Energy and 2) new lithium battery developments at MIT..
- When we move beyond the “available now” category to the “just announced” category, we come to Peoria and Firefly Energy, a spin off of Caterpillar Tractor. These folks have just received a US patent on a completely new form of battery in which the heavy lead battery plates are replaced with lightweight graphite foam. It sounds too good to be true, but Firefly claims their battery can provide the performance of nickel metal hydride batteries at one-fifth the cost and fraction of the weight. If all this pans out, affordable plug-in hybrids and all electric cars just might be available in the near future.
- Another interesting battery technology, which has just been announced by MIT, is an improvement on the lithium battery. By modifying the crystal structure, scientists have found that a battery can be recharged ten times faster. This would open the possibility of all electric cars, with a reasonable range of 100 miles or so, that can be recharged in 5 or 10 minutes from an electric outlet. When you look at the alternatives, all this is starting to sound pretty good provided we have enough resources left to build them.
As Tom Whipple of the Falls Church News Press decries, “even the most free-market Congressman will soon get the message that there are priorities.” Well, I certainly hope so, Mr. Whipple.