Electric battery = car + house

Look here, Dr. Carl.

We are currently in a state of energy flow. Electricity supply is shifting to renewable sources, so batteries are becoming more important. It’s still early days for the batteries, and a few oddities are popping up. For example, can you believe it would be cheaper to charge your whole house from your electric car battery than to buy batteries designed for homes?

A battery provides electricity thanks to a chemical reaction. These reactions start with high-energy chemicals, and convert them to low-energy chemicals. The difference in chemical energy is converted into electrical energy.

The word “battery” was coined by Benjamin Franklin in 1749. He used the word “battery” in the military sense when many weapons are working together.

The term “battery” may mean either an individual electric cell or a group of electric cells connected together.

The first electrochemical battery was made by the Italian physicist Alessandro Volta in 1998. It is in 1800. This collection of zinc and copper plates is separated by paper soaked in salt water. These batteries were not very practical.

In the year In 1836, John Frederick Daniel invented the first practical battery – reliable enough to power electric telegraph networks. Daniel’s cell consisted of a copper sulfate solution in a copper pot, which, in turn, was placed in a vessel filled with sulfuric acid and a zinc electrode.

Electric battery technology has advanced enough that in the early 1900s, some of the earliest mass-produced motor vehicles were powered by electric batteries. But liquid fossil fuels had much greater energy density, which was a huge advantage.

One kilo of gasoline contains 46 MJ of energy. This is about 25 times more than lithium metal, which only holds 1.8 MJ of energy per kilogram.

Raw power is one thing, but efficiency is another. With gasoline, only a third of the energy in the fuel ends up pushing the car down the road – the rest is wasted as heat.

But with an electric battery, 90% of the power drives the car – this efficiency increases three times.

Returning home…

Let’s say it takes 100 kilowatts to run a house for 10 days. And now let’s talk about lighting that house with batteries.

If you buy a popular home battery with a capacity of approximately 100 kWh, that will cost you about $73,000. Yama is a lot.

But say instead you buy a car, specifically a car that’s been sold in America for the past 4 decades, just now released in an all-electric version. This ute comes with a 100 kWh battery, but only costs about USD 42,000. It’s also designed for V2G (stands for vehicle-to-grid), which means the car can both charge from the grid, as well as send electricity to your home.

So for about $30,000 less than the standard home battery, you get enough battery to run the house and a free twin cab.

Of course, you’ll need to do some rewiring to your house, which will cost another $6,000. But you’ll be $25,000 upfront before you can buy the dedicated home batteries.

The car company is overwhelmed with orders for its electric utility, and has sold them all until the end of 2023.

Now the car company has to make a profit. And a home battery company? Well, they must be making huge profits – probably more than is reasonable.

On the one hand, as economies of scale kick in, electric batteries will become much cheaper. Also at the same time, new technology has already made laboratory prototype lithium batteries with more energy-per-weight, and others with much shorter charging times. And the latest surprising discovery is that not only can lithium batteries be recycled very efficiently, but the recycled batteries perform better than the original batteries made from virgin lithium.

So … floor the machine, and heat the floor – all from the same car battery – which is probably why they’re called ‘utility’ vehicles.

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