EV20Q Euan McTurk Battery Engineer

battery engineer
 In this episode of EV20Questions Euan McTurk talks about electric vehicles and batteries. Electric vehicle battery engineer and Electro chemist has a home town of Dundee in Scotland. Related to @Shes_Electric who we have already heard from in EV20Q-10. His daily driver is a 24kWh Leaf and is happy with the service it gives him.

Euan has a Peugeot 106 Electric which is a rare vehicle he managed to buy from a lecturer at the university where he studied. It is a car made in small numbers and was only available for lease. One or two of these slipped through the net and Euan got his hands on one. He also has a Honda hybrid which is totally futuristic looking and incredibly efficient. Only recently has been surpassed for the best available drag co efficient of a car.

Honda Insight Hybrid

Battery Engineer

Euan McTurk is an expert on batteries (battery engineer) he has great advice on how to keep your battery in good condition. Ewan knows all about the internal workings of batteries and how to do tests on them to understand whats happening to the chemistry and heat within the battery. He did that type of work in Warwick in the midlands of England. He’s working on battery management systems with another company doing exciting development on new batteries. During the podcast we chat about the upcoming solid state batteries. Solid state will be more efficient and last longer than the current battery chemistries. In theory they will charge faster and not be killed by the dendrites. Solid state electrolytes will give better energy density which is far better for electric vehicles. Could be still five or ten years away and other battery chemistry could prove to be better and take pole position.

John Goodenough started the Lithium Ion revolution and is still working away at the at age of 94 as a battery engineer. There is a huge momentum for the development of battery technology now. Tesla working on this as is Toyota and other multi-nationals. All going toward moving away from burning fossil fuels and towards using electrons.

Euan reminds us that there were electric vehicles before the oil industry took over. It’s a huge shame that the electric cars were put to one side. If the research had gone into batteries instead of internal combustion engines where would we be now? Was it the invention of the starter motor making it easier to get the ICE car running which killed off the electric car development?

4 Comments

  1. Before I read and listen, here an image of my Gen.1. 2004 HONDA INSIGHT hybrid with full aerodynamic drag numbers – 0.25 x 1.895 m2 = 0.474, since typically only the first number is quoted, but usually never multiplied by the vehicle’s cross-section in m2 to arrive at a comparable number, such as here 0.474.
    That is why this INSIGHT-model may indeed remain the most slippery car, which together with its 852kg (incl. A/C) weight due to aluminum body, a range of least-resistance attributes, mild NiMH-hybrid system boosting the 1-L. triple , along with a 5-speed manual produces least fuel-burn and thus least CO2 emissions – without turbo-complexity, magic Diesel-claims, or special exhaust-gas treatment fluids. With her 40-Liter gasoline you can do in excess of 1000km of range. 20 year old technology from a minor global car-builder !

    Now enough of my self-indulgence…
    …and to get on with the reading of your link.

  2. Six items of concern:
    1. Quoting only one half of any aerodynamic drag-formula is like discussion batteries’ Amperage without interest in their Voltage. The HYUNDAY IONIQ will not be able to match the Gen.1 INSIGHT’s overall number of aerodynamic efficiency some 20 years after the HONDA specialists took this task most seriously indeed as part of the whole Hybrid-project’s coherent approach to set a new standard for range per unit of fuel.

    2. No word on the overall ‘dirty’ footprint in the production and inevitable disposal of massive battery-banks ?

    3. The comparison of E-cars to ICE-cars calling the latter more ‘complex’ is a bit breezy with 7000+ individual cells in a Model S = 14,000+ for positive and negative combined, just in the battery alone.

    4. No consideration of the spectacular fire-hazard of such types for underground/under-building garages, with tragic cases taking 3 days for the hulk to stop cooking off one more cycle.

    5. No word on the massive copper-consumption and construction carbon-footprint for the grid to eventually pump the energy-density you get in a gallon of gas or even Kg of locally-produced Hydrogen.

    6. The ‘death of ICEs’ seems wildly pessimistic, since as a fuel H2-generation and combustion is indeed infinitely ‘renewable’, without fossil liabilities, with NOX-issues addressable in a number of ways, without ‘precious metals’ and ‘rare-earths’ to be ethically compromised by, and leveraging the whole fully-developed car-production-, repair-station- and gas-station infrastructure around the world.
    Only ICEs that emit nasty particles and lethal gases will be ‘banned’.

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