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Nissan works on recharging Leaf with solar power

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Very interesting. Good luck!

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For the enviroment, for our clean future, god speed Nissan, you got my sale.

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This is a great step, but didn't these ideas get laughed out of the 80s? It's funny to see all this "innovation" coming into fruition knowing we can't afford to do it any other way. How long have these patents been under wraps? Regardless, I want my fusion generator for my Delorean.

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but need electricity, whose production mostly relies on polluting oil or gas.

... and what they fail to mention is that those batteries produce a lot of pollution, and that solar panels require oil to produce. Nuclear power, for all its bad press, is actually cleaner and more reliable per kilowatt than any other system available. Someone said of Capitalism, "It's the worst possible system... except all the others.". The same can be said of nuclear power, it's not ideal, but it beats the pants off all the alternatives.

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batteries can be recycled. electric cars get 100 miles per gallon equilvalent.

nuclear power is like godzilla. no one wants godzilla around untill mothra comes to attack them. then everyone will want godzilla.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Nuclear power, for all its bad press, is actually cleaner and more reliable per kilowatt than any other system available.

Tell that to the ex-residents in Fukushima.

If you count the whole lifecycle cost of nuclear, including decommissioning and waste storage, it's not even cost competitive with renewables.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This car is a waste of good resources. Still requires fossil fuels to make electricity. And it's ugly.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

.. and what they fail to mention is that those batteries produce a lot of pollution, and that solar panels require oil to produce. Nuclear power, for all its bad press, is actually cleaner and more reliable per kilowatt than any other system available. Someone said of Capitalism, "It's the worst possible system... except all the others.". The same can be said of nuclear power, it's not ideal, but it beats the pants off all the alternatives.

Fact is that all materials used in the production of batteries can be recycled. For spent nuclear fuel, call it waste, there still is no solution. Nuclear waste will cease to be a threat to public health after 10,000 years. So much for cheap and safe energy.

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"renewables" like solar and wind aren't always on.

a ball of uranium the size of a baseball has more energy in it then a train of coal.

spent nuclear fuel can be recycled into more fuel, the french do it.

nuclear materials were sitting in the ground being radioactive for billions of years. if the tree huggers would stop legal actions against the governments and energy corporations we could put it back in the ground. ever hear of Yucca mountain?

electric cars can last decades longer then petrol powered cars with millions of yen less in maintenance. newer and better battery packs can be installed and the old batteries can be used for local power storage for years more past their useful life in cars or recycled into new things.

fusion power is still 50 years away.

hydroelectric and geothermal are the best power sources you can get but they are only in certain spots and have expensive start up costs.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Frungy, I didn't really understand why the solar panels require oil to produce. I think they use amorphous silicon panels, which has no connection whatsoever with oil. Maybe their plastic frame, but I don't see any point at the moment in starting a polemic about the utility vs pollution of plastics if organic solar cells become competitive, you may have a point. but the advantages would offset that point. combined with the intensive research into finding alternative carbon sources

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Fusion would be the answer: safe, cheap (once they get it up and running, that is), and no long-term waste problems. The problem right now is it is TOO safe. Scientists have only been able to create a fusion reaction for a few milliseconds before some fluctuation in the components snuffs it out. Solve that stability problem and you'll be hailed as the savior to mankind because power will become plentiful and cheap (like with fission reactors) but also extremely safe - more so than any other current method of power generation.

Regarding how batteries pollute, there's an important distinction to make. Lithium batteries (like some watch and camera batteries) are a hazardous waste problem because they actually contain Lithium in them. Lithium Ion (LIon) batteries (like most laptop and rechargeable car batteries) are NOT a hazardous waste because only an Ion of lithium is present rather than the actual element.

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Good that they're doing this, but can we please cut the adjectives? It was always funny on Seinfeld and the Simpsons when the 'Super terrific happy hour' or what have you started, but come on. We've already got 'super-cool biz'.

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Fadamor: did you get bad marks in school? Ions are atoms with a electical charge to them because the number of electrons is different from the number of protons. so the batteries contain just as much lithium.

there needs to be gov't programs to make recycling your old car battery packs a positive in people's wallet. that or you get a discount when buying a new electric car or battery pack.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Fadamor: did you get bad marks in school? Ions are atoms with a electical charge to them because the number of electrons is different from the number of protons. so the batteries contain just as much lithium.

Perhaps I phrased it wrong. Here's what I was trying to say put in a couple of different ways:

From a chemical standpoint Lithium batteries use lithium in its pure metallic form. Li-ion batteries use lithium compounds which are much more stable than the elemental lithium used in lithium batteries.

Quoted from http://www.greenbatteries.com/libafa.html

According to the U.S. government, lithium ion batteries aren't an environmental hazard. "Lithium Ion batteries are classified by the federal government as non-hazardous waste and are safe for disposal in the normal municipal waste stream," says Kate Krebs at the National Recycling Coalition. While other types of batteries include toxic metals such as cadmium, the metals in lithium ion batteries - cobalt, copper, nickel and iron - are considered safe for landfills or incinerators (Interestingly enough, lithium ion batteries contain an ionic form of lithium but no lithium metal).

Quoted from http://blogs.computerworld.com/node/3285

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Can anyone expand as I'm a bit confused by the article. What exactly are Nissan proposing - to have solar powered recharging stations around the country or is this some plan to recycle the batteries for another use ? If it's the former then logistically it could be difficult to implement if the number of electric vehicles on the road grows exponentially as you'd expect.

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As I read it, the batteries are expected to out-live the life of the cars they're put in. Those batteries could be put to use in solar charging stations until their charging capacity has been completely used up and the batteries sent for recycling.

A great idea on the surface, but given how laptop batteries (they're also Li-ion batteries) only last a couple of years before their charging capacity is greatly reduced, I wonder just how long these CARS are expected to last, considering Nissan expect the cars to expire with the batteries still able to hold 80% of their charge! What is it that Nissan expects to wear out in the Leaf besides the batteries?

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With the current technology, in order for vehicle to have self sufficent system, the most effective method is the hybrid system, similar to Prius. Leaf could still use the existing lithium batteries, but rather than a plug in system, they should install Honda or Kawasaki small 4-stroke motorcycle engine, maybe a lightweight 400-600cc engine with the driveshaft, that can be used in place of battery when it is low to charge the battery. These small motorcycle engines are inexpensive, watercooled, capable high-rpm, proven and reliable. If leaf is made even lighter, you might be able to get 60-90 mpg. This will be sufficent for low speed city driving.

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a small comment on the Li/Li ion discussion: the difference is that metallic lithium get easily oxidized to lithium ion, whereas lithium ion does not easily get reduced to metallic ion. This gives you the difference in their properties: ionic lithium resembles ionic sodium (the one in salt), it's soluble in water, rather non-reactive and non-toxic. By contrast, metallic lithium reacts violently with water, and may also ignite when freshly cut, posing safety hazards.

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a car wearing out to the point of not being usuable and the point when the first owners trade in/resell there leafs are different things. nissan is probably talking about the point where the first owners will replace the leaf with a new electric car. the car its self with its naturally minimal maintenance can last decades if taken care of. new battery packs are surely going to be available.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I like the L.E.A.F...it is a real goer. Blows away most so-called sports cars for performance - and apparently it has been performance limited by Nissan! I'd like to see them tricked up and competing in "eco-friendly" motor racing - it would destroy the PRIUS make no mistake.

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What about putting solar panels in the roof of the car?

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Some people think the Nissan Leaf is ugly. Like most new models with radical style changes, they eventually grow on you. The Leaf is very well made and in real life much larger than what you imagine from a photo. Can't help but be impressed seeing one close up.

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