NIMH batteries Held Hostage by Chevron-Texaco

March 24, 2007

Chevron and EVs

Plug-in hybrids are forced to use lead-acid or lithium batteries, and it’s no accident. The existing and proven EV-95 NiMH battery from Panasonic, which lasts longer than the life of the car, has adequate power for acceleration without an Internal Combustion (“IC”) engine, and can drive an EV at 80 mph for up to 120 miles, went into production in Jan., 1997. These batteries are powerful enough to run an EV from start to 80 mph and for over 100 miles, and have cycle life of at least 1500 charges — over 150,000 miles before they need replacement

California’s 1990 ZEV mandate forced GM and other auto makers to produce Battery Electric cars such as the GM EV1. GM purchased control of the patents from the inventor, Stan and the late Iris Ovshinsky, in 1994 forming “GM Ovonics” under the guise of going into production with the EV1. But GM’s Andy Card had been fighting Electric cars for years, and GM’s true intention became apparent when on Oct. 10, 2000, GM sold their control of the EV batteries to Texaco. Less than a week later, on Oct. 16, 2000, only days after Texaco acquired control of the batteries, Chevron agreed to purchase Texaco in a $100 billion merger.

Then, Chevron sued Panasonic for making the EV-95 NiMH Battery and Toyota for using it in the RAV4 EV, in the amount of $30 million – and won. Production of the EV-95 NiMH battery stopped and consequently the RAV4 EV. The RA4 EV is running today with the original batteries, many of them have over 100,000 miles.

Shortly thereafter, the EV-95 line of proven, NiMH batteries still running in the RAV4-EV was shut down and killed, and the batteries cannot be sold or imported into the USA, according to one Toyota spokesperson.

Toyota still uses a smaller NiMH battery in their Prius and Camry Hybrids under agreements with Chevron. Toyota will not make their Hybrids plug-in without consent from Chevron. Toyota can only produce a plug-in vehicle without permission from Chevron when they have an alternative battery Technology or when the NiMH patent runs out in 2014.

“A senior Chevron executive was quoted off-the-record as saying that Chevron was determined not to go down the BEV path again and never to let that happen again in the automotive industry, at least not with NiMH batteries.” Chevron, by virtue of its purchase, apparently wants cars to be powered by gasoline and not by NiMH batteries large enough to drive cars from electric plug-in power.

Chevron’s unit that controls the patents, cobasys, refuses to sell their version of the battery unless, they say, they get “a large OEM order”. Apparently, they also refuse to let anyone else sell it, either

Auto and oil industry detractors — “oilliars” — claim that “the batteries are not ready” for a plug-in Prius. They hope you don’t know about the existing, still-running 2002 Toyota RAV4-EV, which operates entirely on batteries

The lithium batteries in the plug-in prius cost something like $14,000 for 9 kWh, about six times the equivalent cost of NiMH, and even more expensive when you consider that NiMH last longer than the life os the car — even a Toyota car — while the lithium batteries are untried and unproven

Even if a NiMH pack costs $25000, and even if it only lasts 200,000 miles, that’s only 12.5 cents per mile; and for those with solar systems, the electric “fuel” is free of further cost.

A responsible president and prudent Congress could force Chevron to disgorge control of the batteries, and could force auto makers to produce a plug-in serial hybrid for sale on the free market.

With the NiMH batteries, the EV1 got up to 160 miles on a single charge and that was over 10 years ago!

Posted to Yahoo Groups Electric Cars for Sale March 24, 2007.

The need for plug-in cars transcends money or commercial interest. Lives are being lost fighting for oil, while billions are expended in handouts to foreign dictators to support our oil addiction.

Now, Chevron Oil is making an economic argument, confused and incoherent, for why it is hogging control of the NiMH batteries, while GM is pretending that NiMH does not exist, and claims the success of the plug-in idea depends on Lithium batteries. Perhaps it does; but the fact that jet engines were not yet ready didn’t stop Grumman from making a great propellor fighter.

If these two companies, GM and Chevron, were not traitors, they would release or develop the NiMH plug-in car, while waiting for Lithium.

We know, after all, that NiMH works, and is economically feasible, no more than 6.5 cents per mile in life-cycle battery cost.

Instead, these two TRAITORS, Chevron and GM, put their perceived economic interest, in selling more petroleum at higher prices, above the national interest, which is to reduce dependence on overseas oil imports and reduce vulnerable oil supply lines.

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