Reader Question: EV Battery Corrosion?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply! 

Brazos asks: What stops or prevents the array of batteries in EVs from getting covered in typical battery corrosion (CuSO4) like our combustion cars? Are there no exposed terminals? Even metal within the vicinity of the terminals on combustion cars gets corroded from free electrons in the air.

My reply: The lithium-ion battery packs used in most EVs are different from the lead acid (and usually liquid electrolyte) 12v batteries used to start IC car engines. According to what I have read, lithium-ion batteries don’t sulfate.

The greater danger with lithium-ion batteries is thermal runaway and fire from physical damage to the case (as in an accident) or from poor design (Tesla). I fully expect there will be lots of EV fires as time passes and EVs age. Wear and tear of the battery pack and the car (an worn suspension will vibrate/shake the battery)  will lead to more EV fires as inevitably as mufflers fall off IC cars from rust and age and years of shaking/vibration as they age.

The whole EV thing is as ill-considered as hiring a $3,000 for the weekend Vegas hoa’r and giving her a ring on Monday morning!

EVs are fragile, expensive, short-lived, impractical toys for the virtue signaling affluent. Which would be fine, if the affluent virtue signalers paid for them – and left the rest of us alone!

. . .

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Understood. And solid state batteries are still in development. From what I understand, solid state batteries can shorten charge time( prolly not to 5 minutes, tho) and increase range considerably. Also, they can increase service life. Just wondering if you knew anything about the development of this, and if so could expand on the topic. Seems to me like a breakthrough in battery chemistry that could solve at least some of the problems with the inevitable push to EV’s. They’re coming wether we like it or not.

    • Hi Anon,

      Yes, EVs are coming… but selling them is another matter. This crack-pipe madness is premised on the idea that – somehow – average people are going to suddenly line up and spend 30-50 percent more for a new car (a new EV) without a 30-50 percent increase in their ability to pay for it.

      Unless the government subsidizes EVs for all, this is going to grenade the car business. And if the government subsidizes EVs for all, it will grenade the economy.

      • Scary prospect! But, couldn’t better battery technology solve some of the backward issues? If you have any knowledge about solid state batteries, I’d appreciate your thoughts. I’ve been digging into it a little, and (I’m sure for obvious reasons) can’t find much. From what I understand, they could be the next big thing in battery chemistry. Thought since you’re an insider, you might have some info on the topic.

        • Hi Anon,

          I’ve seen nothing concrete regarding any battery technology that would result in a less expensive, more flexible/versatile car than one powered by an internal combustion engine. It is amazing how much energy even a single gallon of gas contains – and how difficult/expensive it is to achieve the same (let alone better) energy density with batteries.

          I return to my basic question: Why are EVs being pushed on us? There is no market need for EVs. They are functionally inferior in every way except acceleration – and even that advantage is countermanded by the reduced range if you use the capability.

          It’s like being forced to buy a sex robot when the real thing is available and so much better!

  2. They sort of do corrode. They form those dendrites in the electrolyte when they grow to the cathode side, that’s when you get those terrible run away fires. Solid state batteries can fix this. If used in EVs could solve most of the problems with them.

    • Hi Anon,

      Most criticism of EVs focuses on range – and cost to buy – but as I see it, the main issues are recharge times and shorter economically viable service life.

      Even if an EV could be fully recharged in 15 minutes it would still be a step backward in terms of convenience and ease of use as any IC car can be refueled in 5 minutes or less.

      Would you tolerate waiting five times as long at a drive-through window? Why would anyone (excepting fanatics) be interested in a car that makes them wait at least five times as long to “refuel”?

      And that’s in my “15 minutes” scenario.

      In the actual scenario, an EV takes 30-45 minutes – best case – to partially recharge.

      Madness. A kind of Harrison Bergeroning of transportation.

      Then, there’s the economic madness of a car that lasts maybe 8-10 years before it requires a hugely expensive “repair” (battery replacement) that renders the car a throw-away or at least, a very poor choice vs. an IC cart that lasts 15-plus years (usually) before expensive problems begin to crop up.

      • I think part of the disconnect is the reality that so very few people are actually driving electric (or even hybrids for that matter), so they aren’t experiencing the many problems with them. The fanboys don’t want people to see the many issues with electric cars so they whitewash them away with glimmers of false hope “in the future that won’t be a problem”.

        Unfortunately most won’t until they own them, and at that point it will be too late as most IC vehicles will be discontinued by then.

        I don’t see any actual things in the pipeline that would solve any of the issues with electric. Batteries in their current form are a dead end as far as I am concerned, and not just with vehicles. They don’t work all that well in smart phones IMHO.

        We will see if market forces are enough to bring this nonsense to an end. Just the fact that electric is still less than 1% after all the thumbs the government has put on the scale to force it is a good sign. But so far most are carrots, we will see what happens when they bring out the sticks.

      • eric, the FedEx plane that went down with a load of Samsung batteries disappeared down the memory hole nearly instantly. Samsung recalled a billion dollars worth of phones to retrieve the remaining bad batteries. It was a QC problem and it went on for a huge number of batteries and the disappeared plane was the undeniable truth they could no longer avoid along with exploding phones. Seems like it was a variant in the 5 series. They had to make sure the seal between the two components didn’t fail…..in the future.

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