We can send men to the moon. We can, apparently, send a spaceship to Mercury and guide its orbit instantly FROM HERE.
We can send someone’s voice to you NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE. And your voice can be sent back to them, in an instant, no matter where THEY are.
But we can’t do sh&t with batteries. They don’t last any appreciable, additional length of time than 50 years ago.
As consumers, we don’t seem to care. We throw 3 billion of them away every year. And replace them with 3 billion more.
We tolerate “battery paralysis.” How many Christmases have been ruined because of the lack of batteries? Who was the horrible prick that invented the phrase “batteries not included”?
The 3 billion doesn’t even include the modern-day stuff that is built into the products we use. That hand vacuum you recharge? Ever notice that after getting a good 20 minutes out of a full charge in the first year, it then quickly drops off to about 10 minutes, and steadily loses a minute per month from there?
Do you do anything other than tailor your clean-ups around the shortened time, sprinting around the living room before your ten minutes is up?
Anyone have a laptop battery that really lasted as long as claimed, even on day one? Within six months, the battery holds a charge for about 33 minutes. By end of year one, you spend your day running around town looking for a Starbucks that has not yet CEMENTED UP ITS ELECTRICAL OUTLETS (a story for another day).
So where does this put us with the emerging electric automobile? Which, oddly, doesn’t leverage any new "electric" technology – but is simply a chassis full of HUNDREDS OF OLD-STYLE BATTERIES.
They call it “range anxiety” – an EV driver’s fear that the car isn’t going to make it as far as the next nonstandard charging outlet.
What if these batteries end up performing like the ones in the hand vac? Or the laptop?
What if drivers find out they can never achieve the promised 100-mile range on a single charge, from day one? What if, during year two, they start to notice the car acting like a laptop, unable to last more than 50% of claimed duration?
How far will EV drivers compromise? “Yep, we own one of those. Of course, we only use it to go to the end of the driveway to get the mail, but we feel really good about helping to save the planet.”
And you thought those semi-annual laptop recycling events in your hometown were a hoot.