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    Energy Density: Why Gasoline Is Here To Stay
    By Hank Campbell | August 2nd 2012 11:00 PM | 44 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Hank

    I'm the founder of Science 2.0®.

    A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone ever had. Others may prefer Newton or Archimedes...

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    Like people who approach geopolitics with the attitude of "If people would just talk to each other, we would all along", there are a lot of naïve assumptions about just dumping gasoline.

    We know it causes emissions, and emissions are bad, we know a lot of the money paid for oil goes to fund Middle Eastern terrorism, and that is bad - those things should cause both the left and the right in America to want gasoline gone. And yet it is not gone.  The reason is simple: gasoline is a lot more efficient than alternative energy proponents want to believe.

    Take solar power as a comparison.  If you use solar power to charge your iPod, it requires an array of panels, it takes a long time, and you will need to do it again in a day.  That's not a knock on solar energy, the efficiency of solar power panels are pretty good, about 8 percent; by comparison even plants using photosynthesis are only 5 percent efficient and it's hard to argue with plants and photosynthesis.  But efficiency alone is not painting an accurate picture.  The energy density of gasoline is much, much greater.  For perspective, Ken Cohen of ExxonMobil (I kid you not, they have a blog - it's pretty interesting too) notes that a gallon of gas has enough energy to charge an iPhone every day for almost 20 years.

    Is that right? How did he come up with that number?  Let's do some arithmetic.

    Energy density is the amount of stored energy in something; in the case of gasoline we talk in America about a 1 gallon volume but I will use both metric and standard for the values. Gasoline has an energy density of about 44 megajoules per kilogram (MJ/kg), converted to American values that is 1.3 × 108 J/gallon. 3.61 × 106 joules is 1 Kwh and 1 Kwh can run a TV for about 24 hours. That means a gallon of gas contains the energy density to power your television for 36 straight days - in a comparatively tiny package. How large a battery would you need to run a TV for 36 days?  Gigantic.


    Link: ExxonMobil Perspectives

    Cohen likens it to backpacking - anyone who has hiked or been in the military knows you want as much energy as possible in as small a space and weight as possible.  MREs may not taste good but there is no question they pack a lot of calories in a tiny form factor.  So it goes with gasoline.  If 13 gallons of gasoline keep an entire car going for 400 miles at a high rate of speed, that is darn efficient energy density.  It is also not easy to replace, not because we are 'addicted' to oil or because oil companies are buying up alternative fuel ideas and mothballing them.

    It's plain hard to beat and progress is about making our lives better, not living in the dark and being happy about windmills.  Hydrogen would be great but unless you have a fuel tank the size of a double-decker bus, it is not taking you 400 miles.  And electric cars are risky unless the government spends trillions putting in electric stations every 10 miles.  Ethanol was the last craze of the Anything-But-Oil contingent yet even they had to succumb to reality and recognize that the lower energy density meant 25% worse gas mileage - worse for people, worse for food prices and worse for the environment.

    The same naturalists who think ancient Egyptians had better technology than the modern kind and want America to be like it was a hundred years ago don't accept that gasoline has lasted for 150 years because it packs a lot of energy density punch.

    It doesn't mean electric cars are out of the picture, they are the wave of the future, as is solar power - but that's a basic research problem before it can become a technology one. Rushing to replace what we have because activists hate successful companies isn't good for anyone.

    Comments

    Thor Russell
    "the efficiency of solar power panels are pretty good, about 8 percent;"
    really? That figure must be 5-10 years out of date now. As I said before, where can you even buy such a panel, where did you even come up with such a figure from.
    http://sroeco.com/solar/most-efficient-solar-panels 
    What is it going to take for you to stop repeating that "fact"?

    And what would you accept as a decent range for an electric car?
    The Tesla S gets 265 miles, the problem is that the cost needs to come down.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Model_S 


    At what point does normal improvement become "breakthrough"
    The following has been confirmed by independent testing:
    http://enviasystems.com/announcement/  400 Wh/Kg

    A significant improvement compared to
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium-ion_battery 


    Put that battery in the Tesla S and it will go significantly further than many existing petrol cars I have driven on a single tank.
    Thor Russell
    Hank
    What is it going to take for you to stop repeating that "fact"?
    You need to do some research on photosynthetically active light. You seem to think a rating based on 100% active light is the actual efficiency.  I am comparing real world energy, like plants and gasoline-powered cars. I wish you were right and I were stupid and the efficiency was magically double, like you insist is 'fact'. Then the power company would put solar panels on my house and all of my neighbors and we'd all make $100 a month selling it back to them.  Instead, it would cost me $25,000 to cut a $100 electric bill per month in half.

    I have written before here on the 'efficiency' mistakes people make.  And in Forbes. And it's a chapter in the book I co-authored.  It's a common mistake.  Most people are not as smug as you are in being wrong, though.
    Thor Russell
    I know what photosynthetically  active light is. What I want is some reference to back up your claim that all the quoted figures are somehow off by a factor of two.
    Where is your evidence, calculations and references to back up your claim?
    Thor Russell
    Hank
    I know what photosynthetically active light is.
    No, you don't.  Or you wouldn't be confused about how a manufacturing rating and the real world are different.
    Thor Russell
    Well provide some evidence for goodness sake!
    Thor Russell
    Gerhard Adam
    And what would you accept as a decent range for an electric car?
    Explain range?  I'm not interested in 265 miles or 300 miles or 400 miles if I have to go 500 miles.  With gasoline, I have a 10 minute stop to refuel and I continue on my way.  So a term like "range" is essentially meaningless because with a gasoline powered engine, it is essentially unlimited [only by the availability of service stations].

    This holds true for my lawn mower, etc.  If I have to contend with a "range" after which I am down for several hours, then it is useless.  It is worse than useless, it is dangerous because of the risk of being stranded.
    The roadside Tesla Superchargers can charge about half the battery in 30 minutes, providing up to 150 miles...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Model_S
    So, at 60 mph, then I can expect to spend at least 20% of my travel time charging the battery.  Of course, that's assuming that I strictly adhere to 60 mph or less.

    I didn't see anything indicating how this affected battery life when we throw in all the other things that depend on electricity, like headlights?
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    The EPA says the Nissan Leaf goes for 73 and that I believe. It's certainly better than 10.  The Tesla claim about range is just that. Even Edmund's has not done any real-world testing of the range.

    What early adapters have done is modify their driving to the real range of the car. It's fine for those people but the bulk of society cannot or will not do that. Bill Gates famously supposedly said "No one will need more than 637 kb of memory for a personal computer" so perhaps we can convince people that electric cars need not ever be driven for long either.  

    Like I say in the piece, electric is the future - but pioneers get arrows in the back and I would rather remain arrow-free.  I also don't drive enough that I am contributing to environmental damage more with a gas car than I would be with an array of batteries decomposing on my garage.
    Thor Russell
    Thats an infrastructure/recharging issue, yes related to range but not exactly the same. I wouldn't have a problem with 20% of my time charging on trips longer than 250 mils or so because you have to stop for breaks anyway, but if that really isn't acceptable then Better Place with their battery swap stations can definitely work. Given that the vast majority of trips are less than 200 miles you wouldn't need to build as many swap stations as fuel stations. For the people who still don't find this acceptable you can drive over 80% of your miles on electricity with a plug in hybrid, so I don't see that capacity entirely by itself is the problem, its a combination of things with a combination of possible solutions.
    Thor Russell
     Gasoline has an energy density of about 44 megajoules per kilogram (MJ/kg), converted to American values that is 1.3 × 108 J/gallon. 3.61 X106 joules is 1 Kwh and 1 Kwh can run a TV for about 24 hours. That means a gallon of gas contains the energy density to power your television for 36 straight days - in a comparatively tiny package. How large a battery would you need to run a TV for 36 days?  Gigantic. 
    Math checks out, corresponding to the power rating of about 41.7 W, so it would apply to a smaller TV, of the LED type. LCD types of 32" size still have a decent power rating of about 90 W.  
    BDOA
    Some of the Boron-hydrides will beat hydrocarbons for chemical energy, and high speed flywheels can actually have very high energy storage per weight, there is no real limit on rotational energy until you factor in the strength of the material. But boron-hydrides have toxicity problems, and flywheel have potential problem with friction, the gyroscope effect. Leaving the petrol internal combustion engine as the long time winner.
    BDOA Adams, Axitronics
    Halliday
    Yes, gasoline and diesel most definitely have a number of advantages, with energy density and ease of handling being two big ones.

    Hydrogen looses big-time on both accounts.

    Batteries and even super-capacitors have a ways to go.

    However, there are other liquid fuels that may be near enough to being in a similar ballpark such that price may be able to be used to help offset the differences, or, at least, provide competition.

    What if scenario:

    What if we had automobile engines that could burn any combination of gasoline, ethanol, and methanol.  (I call this a more "true flexfuel" capability.)  Such has been possible for many decades.  In fact, if I remember correctly, the patent has already expired, so it is in the public domain.

    While all three fuels have similar ease of handling, it is true that the energy density of ethanol is only about 2/3rds of gasoline, and methanol is only about half of gasoline.  However, what if the price per energy content were lower for the gasoline alternatives?

    Of course, part of the problem is that we consumers are used to buying our fuel in terms of volume, and I doubt that most consumers will want to convert energy values when trying to determine which fuel to buy at any given fill-up.

    So, what if we change the pricing model to an energy content basis?*

    OK.  What units of energy should we use?

    I had once thought that one could use some "gasoline equivalent" volume, but when I read "Sustainable Energy - without the hot air" and saw his argument for using kilowatt-hours (kWhs), I decided that kWh makes the most sense.  As he puts it, it is a unit of energy that almost all homeowners, at least, are familiar with.

    As an additional benefit, plug-in hybrid users would have an easier time deciding between plugging their cars in, or buying fuel.

    What do people think of this proposal:  True(r) FlexFuel engines, with fuel sold in energy units (kWh)?  Would that have the possibility of providing real fuel competition?  Would consumers actually care?

    David

    *  Actually, this can help with other issues, like the dilution of alcohols with water, the volumetric expansion of gasoline with rising summer temperatures, and the decreased energy density of "reformulated" fuels during the summer months in many areas.

    MikeCrow
    Many European engines are already rated in kW's
    Never is a long time.
    Gerhard Adam
    So, instead of horsepower, is the kW something like the equivalence in Volkswagen engines?   :))
    Mundus vult decipi
    MikeCrow
    It could be I suppose :)
    The motorcycle I rode earlier this week has the equivalent power output of about 5 of the early boxer engines, in about a 400lb package. It was entertaining, though I suspect it's cost in insurance and tickets would exceed it's purchase price in short order.
    Never is a long time.
    Halliday
    Another thing attesting to the utility of the units (though kW is more SI than kWh).
    Quentin Rowe
    You've hit the nail on the head, Hank. It's the energy density that makes gasoline and diesel the ultimate energy medium for our time. I've raised this issue before in my Kicking Loose from the Age of Fire article. I would add that it is the mobility derived from the energy density that makes it the champion of all. Currently, there is no alternative when it comes to transport.
    But here's where I cringe a bit:
    For perspective, Ken Cohen of ExxonMobil (I kid you not, they have a blog - it's pretty interesting too) notes that a gallon of gas has enough energy to charge an iPhone every day for almost 20 years. 
    Well, show me a petrol powered TV that's 100% efficient, and then this statement will start to mean something. And just where would you insert the I.C. gen set? He might as well say there is, via E=mc^2, 56.3 x 1018 Joules/kg energy in the fuel. Big number, but fat lot of good if you can't makes it push electrons.

    The most important thing to learn from this is that it is transport, or our desire to be mobile, that demands the greatest use of energy along with the approximately 75% waste that goes with our pathetic (but improving) attempts at being efficient.
    It doesn't mean electric cars are out of the picture, they are the wave of the future, as is solar power - but that's a basic research problem before it can become a technology one. Rushing to replace what we have because activists hate successful companies isn't good for anyone. 
    I'm glad you said this - I was getting worried you might be biased  ;-)    However, I don't believe anyone is rushing. Going bust usually sorts this out. You need that desire for change, however misinformed, to drive the change. Just look at the advancements in battery research&technology. As is typical with tech history, once the need&focus shift, the advancements come.

    Earth Report Card: Can do better...

    Hank
    However, I don't believe anyone is rushing.
    We wasted 10 billion on ethanol and 72 billion on other alternatives, just in the last 3 years.  Not research, direct funding. I'd call that rushing.
    blue-green

    I agree with the emphasis on density and mobility. For inner city use, I suppose that a well maintained electric trolley or subway system would be hard to beat (if you ignore construction costs, security issues, politics ...). If people were spread out more evenly across the globe, then solar would make better sense. There are double-sided 20% efficient panels that can be used to create attractive patio covers. When you factor in the shading to reduce cooling loads, the math gets even more interesting.

    Early science education should come with an understanding or at least an appreciation of the losses associated with each and every energy conversion. The steam era efficiency formula 1-(TempCold)/(TempHot) is accurate for only a narrow range of practical applications. It is hardly clear how to modify it or throw it out for nuclear energy where TempHot is enormous and one might naively think that efficiencies would be very high. In biological processes, where there are only small temperaturedifferentials, efficiency would be near zero according to the heat engine formula.

    30-40 years ago, I recall Howard Odum, system's ecologist extraordinaire, writing (many times) that Middle East Oil is a bargain when compared to the alternatives. He developed a sophisticated method for comparing different types of energy. See

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergy

    I like this drawing 

    used in Rowe's earlier blog. The braking loss and more can be partly regained with “regenerative braking”. I think Mazda is pushing the frontier on that. I'm looking for a system that pays you back everytime you go down a hill while also handling most of your braking needs (and reducing maintenance) without using good old “engine breaking”.

    Halliday
    Scott (blue-green):

    1-(TempCold)/(TempHot) (where the temperatures are measured in absolute terms) is exactly the maximum efficiency possible for any form of heat engine, and is exactly the efficiency of a heat engine using the Carnot cycle.  See Carnot's Theorem.

    However, no true (practical) heat engine uses the Carnot cycle.  One should, of course, use the equation for whatever heat engine cycle one is working with.

    There are, of course, other systems that don't use heat engines, such as biological systems, or fuel cells.  These can get better efficiency than what a heat engine could get because they take advantage of better forms of energy, with fewer degrees of "freedom" (less entropy).

    David

    As always it's a hoot to see Americans jabbering about feet, miles (of course a nautical mile is not equal to a land mile), inches, gallons, etc. People, why don't you invent a US hour (e.g. 83.64 normal minutes, so you can state "I was traveling 34 knots per US hour"), a US day, a US year? Of course, completely diifferent from anybody else. Remember the billion dollar confusion leading to the spacecraft trying to fly through Mars? Congratulations you failed Europeans.

    Hank
    People, why don't you invent a US hour
    You seem to like that the French invented a metric - and measured it wrong. They also invented their own week (10 days) and chopped off a whole bunch of heads while they were in the process. Basically, their goal was to have an alternative to the British, not accuracy.  Or they would have gotten the measurement right.

    Since you clearly must be French, I can see why American culture and tradition irritates you - but the French have yet to put anyone on the moon.
    but the French have yet to put anyone on the moon.
    Only because they lost interest in the moon once they realized it wasn't made out of cheese. :)
    It's been a while since I've witnessed such a poorly formed argument.

    What is the definition of available solar power? That which is outside of our atmosphere?
    Which bands of light are we selecting? Is it for current, average, market solar PVs? or is it for heat->steam->Turbine applications?

    Is there a definition of average car gasoline usage? no. Efficiency ratings for cars include wasted heat energy and drag coefficients? No.

    Simple questions that make this a primary school fight of an article based on bias and ignorance.

    Hank
    You're missing the point of energy density - or are you expecting that solar panels are going to drive you to work?  In reality, we would have to build all of the existing solar panels in America every day for the next 50 years to match energy demand and doing so would require a gigantic chunk of real estate and the environmental lawsuits to go with it.  So your hypothetical world is nice, but it ain't happening any time soon.

    Efficiency is the most overused and misunderstood metric out there; gas cars are 'only' 25% efficient but still far beyond solar ones, though proponents claim they are 85% because the power is direct and ignore generation or storage. It's blatant PR, not science.
    What is the point of energy density? Why so focused on Solar? Why PVs? Perhaps your elaborative illustrations of my supposed sail boat sized car of PV cells driving to work is an attempt to undermine my attempt to elaborate on the greater breadth of considerations on the use of fossil fuels over renewable energy sources.

    I would fail to understand your tunnel vision if not for your clear attempts to draw fish bowl sized bounds to your argument to validate one very insignificant point.

    Fossil fuels have a greater density and ease of extraction of mechanical energy that can be converted into electrical via generators than can be stored and released in modern batteries.

    No shit Sherlock. What a pointless article and argument. An article you wrote that I have summarized with one sentence. It means absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things.

    Hank
    You seem to be panicking because you have a flawed understanding of energy or why gasoline has lasted so long when other technologies have fallen by the wayside, so you resort to changing to a new argument and being dismissive of this article despite showing no work of your own that shows you have contributed in any meaningful way to helping people understand how energy works. It's okay to not know what you are talking about, I learn new things every day, but you shouldn't be smug.  Just accept you don't understand the benefit and need for energy density and move along.
    MikeCrow
    If you're someone who wants to end the use of fossil fuels for powering vehicles, it makes all the difference in the world, at least until we find some better way of storing a massive amount of energy in a portable efficient package.

    There's a term for that, wait, let me think, Oh I know what it is, Energy Density.
    Never is a long time.
    Thor Russell
    Energy density is clearly not the full story, usable energy density is what matters in the real world. As was pointed out with the TV example, there is no device in the known universe that can turn gasoline into electricity or forward motion with 100% efficiency so quoting the amount of time it could run a TV is misleading as it cannot ever actually do such a thing.
    The same with a car. Its the amount of "push" per kg, or usable energy with a physically possible engine that matters in the real world. Energy density is an intermediate stage, that if quoted by itself as the final figure is as misleading as informative. Energy in a battery can be extracted with 2-3* more efficiency so it would make more sense to graph something that reflects this if you are trying to be informative.
    Thor Russell
    MikeCrow
    Sure, but even with that advantage they're terrible compared to the energy capacity of an equivalent weight in gas. BTW, Internal Combustion engines are  up to around 40% efficient these days.

    As for your comment about stopping for a break every 250 miles, I'll give you a break because I'm going to guess there's not much farther to go on NZ, but I've routinely driven 1,000 miles in 15-16 hours, I have no interest in stopping to change out my batteries.
    Never is a long time.
    Thor Russell
    That sure is a long way to drive in one day.


    Yes the density of batteries is still low, but once again you need to include the fact that an electric motor etc takes up much less space and weight than a petrol one. 
    The Tesla S has been tested independently to 265 miles
    http://www.treehugger.com/cars/tesla-model-s-gets-official-epa-ratings-265-miles-range-and-89-mpge-efficiency.html 


    And it will get better, because the Tesla S does not use the envia batteries which have significantly broken the record for energy density in independent tests:
    http://sufiy.blogspot.co.nz/2012/06/lithium-batteres-envia-systems-400-whkg.html 
    http://enviasystems.com/ 


    This would take it even further. So if you can get say 350-400 miles from a car that would seem to be the important thing to me. Sure energy density is still important, but if the whole system can deliver that range I'm not so sure it matters if you have a high energy density with large engine or low energy density with small engine. 


    To me cost and recharging time/infrastructure will be more important in the near future.

    An electric car with a 265 mile range that can be replenished in 5mins is better than one with 600 miles which takes 24 hours to recharge. In this regard, there is "Project better place"
    They can swap batteries in 2 minutes or so which I expect would be good enough. A Tesla S with swappable batteries (and infrastructure to support!) would meet your needs then I expect. 

    Also consider the batteries with swappable liquid electrolyte:
    Zinc air batteries: http://www.eosenergystorage.com/technology 
    Li-Ion: http://www.ubergizmo.com/2011/12/cambridge-crude-liquid-electricity/ 
    Swapping this at the pump would be pretty much the same experience as driving a petrol car. Perhaps this will end up being what takes off.

    Thor Russell
    Gerhard Adam
    My question is still concerning all the other electrical systems that need to be powered and the effect of terrain.  When a car is running air conditioning, going through mountain passes and elevation changes, headlights, etc.

    This doesn't even begin to address a vehicle of any size that would actually be pulling weight, like a trailer [I'm talking about pickup trucks]. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    Thor Russell
    You'd have to check up on the EPA testing for that. However with regenerative braking an electric car with a given range on the flat would do comparatively better in mountains than a petrol car with the same range. They would both do less than their range on the flat but the electric car would do more than the petrol one.

    Pickup trucks pulling weight would be last to electrify I expect, or if biofuels can ever work then perhaps never. If corn waste can be turned to fuel cheaply and sustainably then you may as well use it for the hard to electrify transport. However space wouldn't be such a problem for a truck, so the liquid electrolyte/cambridge crude could work well.

    Thor Russell
    MikeCrow
    While an electric engine is smaller than a combustion engine, battery weight far exceeds any difference. A lotus Elise weights a lot less that a Tesla. And that excess weight should up in it's performance.
    I'm also not so keen on trading out my $10,000 brand new battery pack for some old one that I get at a swap station. While there are ways to equalize it, it will require reconditioning the battery packs, which isn't cheap, and will have to be passed on in the swap fee. Can they charge a battery, amortize the repair cost for the price of a tank of gas?

    A lot of my mileage, would be in the range of an electric, but not all of it. I'd like to convert my SUV to CNG, but I don't think at it's age I'd get to an acceptable ROI.
    Never is a long time.
    Hank
    At least for the next few years, no one who knows what they are talking about contends electric cars are cost-effective or better for the environment.  They are just proof of concept so companies are encouraged to make them better.  
    MikeCrow
    There currently is no acceptable battery for an electric vehicle, unless you're willing to accept many limitations.
    IMO electrochemical storage will never(well you do know how I feel about the word never) work.
    I do hold out hope that some type of supercapacitor might be developed that would be acceptable.
    More likely, an advanced fuel cell that runs off CNG or something like that.
    Hydrogen isn't a fuel, it is a storage medium, so that has some possibility. But it will require an advanced electrical infrastructure, of course electric vehicles will require that as well.
    Never is a long time.
    Thor Russell
    "no one who knows what they are talking about"So a one liner is worth more than a long and detailed analysis? They are better for the environment:

    http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Guest-Post-EV-Myths-and-Realities-Part-2-Green-as-the-Grid/
    Thor Russell
    Hank
    You'll have to forgive me for not believing that a guy who is in investor in Tesla and another who is an attorney for the NRDC don't debunk the actual science.
    Thor Russell
    Oh dear how about you actually address the calculations. Someone putting their money where their mouth is does not somehow make calculations incorrect.
    Thor Russell
    MikeCrow
    They can swap batteries in 2 minutes or so which I expect would be good enough. A Tesla S with swappable batteries (and infrastructure to support!) would meet your needs then I expect.
    While I was driving I was thinking about this. And here's why this will either not work, or not work as expected.

    Batteries go bad, and are expensive to repair.

    So, there will be people who, when their batteries start going bad, will take a long drive and show up to swap out their bad battery for a good battery.
    If they can test the battery before the swap, the swap will also have to include a repair fee, which could be thousands. What's going to happen to people who need a charge, have bad batteries, and don't have the thousands it will charge?

    If they can't test, they will either go out of business, or have to charge way more than the cost of energy for a charge. But a pre-swap scan will have to differentiate between one needing a minor repair vs one near the end of battery life.
    Never is a long time.
    Hank
    I'd love to see what they think of all the acid rain when people are driving electric cars and need to replace batteries. At least they would not worry about global warming in the future so much.
    Thor Russell
    Once again provide the calculations and evidence.
    How much acid rain (a precise number not a hyperbole) would be produced if all the cars in the world were converted to modern Li-ion, and how does that compare to the acid rain produced by current energy technology?
    http://machineslikeus.com/news/newer-lithium-ion-batteries-greener-expected 



    Thor Russell
    Hank
    It's more fun to have you walk behind every comment I make and ask me to rewrite whole articles in comments so you can then post a link to an advocacy piece from a lawyer (or whoever) that you claim debunks it, without you ever actually saying anything meaningful.
    Thor Russell
    So an article referencing real calculations is not sufficient to challenge a claim presented without any evidence whatsoever? Where did you get your initial idea that batteries would cause so much acid rain, (it must have been presented with evidence right) and what would it take for you to change it.
    Thor Russell
    Thor Russell
    The idea is that the company is responsible for maintaining the batteries. Project better place does that. So bad batteries are taken out of circulation by them. It tests them and is responsible for them. They have just started up, but there are life cycle tests on the batteries for them to base their assumptions. Time will tell of course.
    Thor Russell