Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Power The Almighty Buck

Stimulus Could Kickstart US Battery Industry 369

Posted by kdawson
from the charging-ahead dept.
Al sends along a Technology Review piece that begins "Provisions in the Congressional stimulus bill could help jump-start a new, multibillion-dollar industry in the US for manufacturing advanced batteries for hybrids and electric vehicles and for storing energy from the electrical grid to enable the widespread use of renewable energy. The nearly $790 billion economic stimulus legislation contains tens of billions of dollars in loans, grants, and tax incentives for advanced battery research and manufacturing, as well as incentives for plug-in hybrids and improvements to the electrical grid, which could help create a market for these batteries. Significant advances in battery materials, including the development of new lithium-ion batteries, have been made in the US in the past few years; but advanced battery manufacturing is almost entirely overseas, particularly in Asia."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Stimulus Could Kickstart US Battery Industry

Comments Filter:
  • Environmental issues (Score:4, Interesting)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @06:37PM (#26894933) Journal
    My understanding is that battery manufacturing pollutes the environment, and other countries have fewer environmental regulations, making it easier to do whatever you want. Realistically, think about it......do you want a battery manufacturer in your back yard? It may sound selfish, but I really don't. Maybe it would be ok, though.....
    • by h4rr4r (612664) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @06:43PM (#26895051)

      I would want a nice clean one in my back yard. We should set tariffs on products that are not manufactured in a way that would be legal in the US. This would level the playing field.

      • You can't have it. (Score:2, Insightful)

        by tjstork (137384)

        Sorry, you can't have it. There's always going to be some set of people that don't want to live up to the same environmental standards as you. Some people might not care about a 1-million chance of getting cancer, but you might. What right do you have to hold them back, in a Democracy?

        I say, keep the asians out, but let each state do its own thing. I would add though, as an aside, if a state is blocking economic development due to environmental laws, and have to come crawling to the feds for a loan (say

        • by h4rr4r (612664) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @07:18PM (#26895521)

          So other than racism do you have any comment you wanted to make?

          The reality is dumping in China or in California will impact everyone. Do you know where rivers end up going? We can and should set standards on environmental cleanliness. Then to ensure that our companies are not at a disadvantage all products imported to this nation must be produced in a way that meets those standards or its cost should be increased via tariffs to prevent abuse of the commons.

          The reality is dumping has a cost, but it is externalized. A tariff would merely internalize this cost.

          • How is it racism? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowsky@NOSpAM.gmail.com> on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @09:48PM (#26896979) Homepage Journal

            To say that the asian countries should be kept out of the USA. To a nation, China, Japan, S Korea, all adopt mercantile trading policies - essentially hoarding dollars the same way 18th century Britain tried to load up on gold. At the same time, they protect their own economies from foreign imports both by encouraging a nationalistic culture that rejects foreigners and foreign things, and also through a use of tariffs. The fact of the matter is, you would be extremely hard pressed to make any reasonable argument that any asian country is interested genuinely in free trade. Go ahead, name me just one. Call me a racist all you want, but the same damn US Trade Office report on Japan's own unwillingness to buy stuff is that.

            Trade with asia is like a black guy trying to get a job in the old american south. No matter how he dressed, what degree he had, he was screwed because he was black. The same thing with trade with Asia. They can complain about this feature or that feature all they want to, and then perhaps even bribe some American media whores to defend their points, but the overall thrust is that no matter what the USA makes, or Europe for that matter, there will be no significant free trade between the West and Asia. It's just not going to happen.

            Free traders have been predicting a leveling of trade with asia now for 40 years, and I'm sick of waiting. Kick them the fuck out!

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by arekusu_ou (1344373)

              Maybe if overpaid workers and grossly overpaid management aren't raising the prices of products, they'd sell better overseas. Granted the auto-industry is too easy a dead horse to kick at the moment.

              But the fact of the matter is, the US economy is on a race to collapse, called inflation. They try to make profit as high as possibly raising the price of goods. This forces cost of living to go up, ultimately forcing the wage to go up following suit, and companies with set unrealistic profits raises the price

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by WaZiX (766733)

                I'm not an economist, but it's easy to see when something like this isn't working out.

                I am, and your comment made absolutely no sense...

                But the fact of the matter is, the US economy is on a race to collapse, called inflation.

                The US had an annualized inflation rate of 0,09% in December 2008 and hasn't had an inflation rate above 4% since 1991. What exactly are you talking about?

                Maybe if overpaid workers and grossly overpaid management aren't raising the prices of products, they'd sell better overseas. Granted the auto-industry is too easy a dead horse to kick at the moment.

                BMW, VW, Mercedes all produce their cars in high-wage countries. The problem with GM is that they make cheap shitty cars in the US. No one wants their cars AND they are expensive to manufacture... Not exactly what I call a brilliant business model. If anything, wages in the US should _increase_, because Am

            • by kestasjk (933987) * on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @12:10AM (#26898203) Homepage
              How convenient, after years of economic prosperity on the back of trade with China (which both benefited from) now that there's a crisis they're against free trade and everyone should isolate themselves.

              Like it or not it was the greed of certain Americans that caused this crash, the reason it spread all across the world is because the whole world has been investing in the US sub-prime sector.

              Trying to deny that we live in a global economy, just as it goes into a crisis, is extremely irresponsible and we'd only end up hurting ourselves.

              Finally if you want to "Kick them the fuck out" try not buying their products.. Good luck, their products are what make the Western lifestyle affordable.
              • by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowsky@NOSpAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @01:24AM (#26898759) Homepage Journal

                How convenient, after years of economic prosperity on the back of trade with China (which both benefited from) now that there's a crisis they're against free trade and everyone should isolate themselves.

                China and the USA have a complicated relationship that goes through weird phases. By and large most Americans like Chinese people... Chinese food is great, the history and artwork are just amazing. There's always going to be an American soft spot for China because the two countries are opposites in some ways - China is very old, and America is very young.

                Like it or not it was the greed of certain Americans that caused this crash, the reason it spread all across the world is because the whole world has been investing in the US sub-prime sector

                Well, I'm not buying the sub-prime thing. The total value of all mortgages in the USA is only about 10 trillion dollars, and so I would think that if the subprime mess were the problem, that's only about two trillion worth, and the USA has already pumped that much money into the banking system to cover those losses, either via TARP, or via games played with the Federal Reserve.

                Finally if you want to "Kick them the fuck out" try not buying their products.. Good luck, their products are what make the Western lifestyle affordable.

                Um, the western lifestyle was more affordable before those products happened. It used to be, before free trade, that a single man could work 9-5 at a steel mill, support a stay at home, a bunch of kids, pay for medical expenses out of his pocket, own his house and have two new cars and a TV, and he could send his kids to college. When he retired, he got a company pension that lasted not only until he died, but until his wife died. Since the emergence of free trade, bit by bit, that standard of living has been eroded and that's what the Democrats are just screaming about while, foolishly, Republicans keep pushing the free trade button despite all the ruin that it caused. Yes, its good on paper, free trade is, but it just doesn't work.

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by dodobh (65811)

                  Perhaps you need to adjust for the fact the Free Trade is in fact benefiting a few million people out there, who just don't happen to live in the US?

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by ZorbaTHut (126196)

                  Um, the western lifestyle was more affordable before those products happened. It used to be, before free trade, that a single man could work 9-5 at a steel mill, support a stay at home, a bunch of kids, pay for medical expenses out of his pocket, own his house and have two new cars and a TV, and he could send his kids to college. When he retired, he got a company pension that lasted not only until he died, but until his wife died. Since the emergence of free trade, bit by bit, that standard of living has be

                  • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                    by drsmithy (35869)

                    However, the person staying at home had fewer luxuries. No large-screen TV. No XBox 360. No electronic picture frames.

                    This argument pops up all the time in these types of discussions, and it's specious. Yes, people might not have had a TV half a room wide, or a massive SUV, or any of those fancy toys they have today.

                    But they had contemporary equivalents, which is the OP's point - while absolute living standards have continued to increase, relative living standards (may) have declined.

                    (Back then, of c

                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  by Abcd1234 (188840)

                  Well, I'm not buying the sub-prime thing. The total value of all mortgages in the USA is only about 10 trillion dollars, and so I would think that if the subprime mess were the problem, that's only about two trillion worth, and the USA has already pumped that much money into the banking system to cover those losses, either via TARP, or via games played with the Federal Reserve.

                  The only reason you're "not buying" it is because you haven't actually learned anything about it. Go read about Credit Default Swap

    • by timeOday (582209) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @07:05PM (#26895343)
      Certainly, some of the money should be spent studying environmental issues.

      And, not all "battery" technolgies are harmful; I read one proposal for storing and shipping hot water as a cheap and quite efficient means of energy storage. Pumping water uphill is another.

    • by Rei (128717) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @07:09PM (#26895391) Homepage

      Every type of battery is different; categorizing them all with a single statement about the consequences of their manufacturing is silly. You might as well just claim "My understanding is that businesses pollute the environment... do you really want a business in your back yard?"

      FYI, but the sorts of batteries being looked at here -- mostly phosphate or manganese li-ions, lacking in cobalt cathodes -- are among the most environmentally benign battery chemistries out there.

  • by mc1138 (718275) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @06:38PM (#26894951) Homepage
    It's really positive to see things like this coming out of the stimulus package. Yeah there's some serious question as to how well its going to do getting us out of this recession, but that being said, it does have some nice provisions in it for science related improvements, including a nice sized boost to NASA. Long term this is the sort of investment that will help keep our economy moving and on the forefront of innovation.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @06:49PM (#26895139)

      You feel good about an agenda being forced on you and paid for with your taxmoney? This has nothing to do with the economy. They are using the economy as an excuse to pay for things that are not necessary.

      drink the cool-aid sheeple.

    • by PitaBred (632671) <slashdot@pitabre ... g ['s.o' in gap]> on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @07:08PM (#26895369) Homepage
      Bullshit. This is just more pork that's avoiding the issue. A "stimulus" would be punishing the people responsible for this mess, setting things up so that it can't happen again, and giving people faith in the system so that they aren't scared to spend their money knowing it will come back to them.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Rei (128717)

        How do you plan to give people "faith in the system"? Do you have any clue how much toxic debt there is circulating out there? If you think things are bad right now, just wait to see what the unemployment situation is like by the time the financial system has worked it all out of its system; unemployment always lags behind everything else. Right now, about the only entities that *can* borrow money effectively are governments -- in particular, the US government.

        $800B sounds like a lot, but we'll be lucky

        • by DerekLyons (302214) <`fairwater' `at' `gmail.com'> on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @08:30PM (#26896319) Homepage

          Right now, about the only entities that *can* borrow money effectively are governments -- in particular, the US government.

          The business my wife works for is stocking up for the summer, they just got a credit line for five million dollars - the same as they do every year.
           
           

          $800B sounds like a lot, but we'll be lucky if it even manages to stop the slide, let alone pull us back.

          Ah yes, taking money from one pocket (mine) and moving it someone else's pork barrel is a wonderful way to stop the slide. I suspect you've never heard of the Broken Window Fallacy. [wikipedia.org]

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by nedlohs (1335013)

            It's not taking it out of your pocket. It's taking it out of your kids pockets, since it's all borrowed.

          • by AK Marc (707885) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @03:35AM (#26899471)
            The broken window fallacy would be in play if they were paying 500 people to mess up a street and 500 more to clean it. Instead, they are doing FDR-style work (or intending to). Back then, they put people to work doing useless things like building the Hoover Dam and many government buildings still in use today. It's not just paying to fix something they break, or paying someone to sit idley (actually more efficient than breaking something then fixing it). No, they are building something that, has a use. They may not be projects that would have been worth the full cost, but they are certainly better than fixing a broken window or idleness.

            Ah yes, taking money from one pocket (mine) and moving it someone else's pork barrel is a wonderful way to stop the slide.

            Oh really? They took it from you? So, your taxes jumped by about $8000 this year? No? Then you are lying. They didn't take anything from you. They increased the $100,000 or so you already owe. And if you have a problem with that, you should have brought it up before, as the paltry $800 billion is nothing compared to the increase in debt over the past 8 years.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by PitaBred (632671)
              And that STILL didn't pull us out of the depression. The only thing that pulled us out was WWII. We aren't learning from history... we're repeating it.
        • by bendodge (998616) <[bendodge] [at] [bsgprogrammers.com]> on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @10:15PM (#26897243) Homepage Journal

          I read an excellent book by James R. Cook called Full Faith and Credit: A Novel About Financial Collapse. It starts out with the US stock market over-leveraged, and then the stock market crashes, mortgages collapse, and massive inflation and interest rates occur as the government steps in and tries to help. The main character is a trader who buys gold and makes a vast fortune.

          As liquidity disappears, hedge and mutual funds and AAA companies fail and the dollar slides, Congress bails out banks and major funds to no avail. At the end a (laughable now) $100 billion stimulus is proposed (centering on infrastructure improvements), but the federal government teeters on default and starts having troubling paying bond interest. Unemployment benefit claims balloon, and in the face of imminent default and chaos, the president courageously proposes and passes a plan to cut the government down to actual income levels and shears off roughly half the government. There are various riots initially, but things finally settle down to a hard and thrifty recovery.

          At the end Cook includes a note saying that the collapse was compressed to 3 years for the sake of the story but that the real crash could take several more years. It's scary how realistic the entire things is, right down to terms like 'stimulus package' and 'bailout'. It's copyright 1999.

        • Do you have any clue how much toxic debt there is circulating out there?

          There is far, far more debt than there is money. It can't be paid off. It's pretty clear that the US can't even pay the interest any more.

          You can approximate the percentage of people and businesses who may go bust by the credit/debt ratio. Once many of their debts have been written off and the ratio falls, the economy will be ok again for a few years until the debt grows out of hand again. (maybe the system will have been reformed by then, who knows).

          Approximate numbers (not quite up to date, but ballpark,

    • 400 million for climate research? OK, another 450 for the manned space program (drop in a bucket) but their funds that were going to fix the place got butchered? (50m instead of the 250m they needed)

      So out of 789 BILLION NASA gets 1 Billion and that is OK? So, that puts NASA up to 18 billion? Well, who got more?

      So, lets see where did the rest go? The bulk of the 20 billion or so is for the NIH to establish a National Health Registry. Actually the figure is about 19 billion of what is allocated to "sci

  • Irony (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @06:38PM (#26894969)

    I find this ironic as I got laid off from a battery company. Too late for me I guess...

  • by pieterh (196118) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @06:40PM (#26895003) Homepage

    Every time I read "grant", "advanced research", and "tax incentive", I see "gift", "white elephant", and "sleaze".

    Yes, it's good to spend collective funds on roads, bridges, art, maybe even public fiber, insurance, and banking. But anything the market can do, it should. And I mean a free market, not that fake crony capitalism championed by Bush. In a free market, with proper authority to stop the powerful from escaping the rules, every company is free to compete without barriers. Every subsidy, cheap loan, and grant is a distortion of that market unless it goes to areas that cannot make a profit.

    • Well, if every grant, cheap loan, and subsidy is an unfair boost to unprofitable companies then every labor law, environmental law, and union is an unfair kick in the nads. Seriously, if you want clean air, health insurance, and no little kids getting their finglers chopped off you are going to need to subsidize many industries, at least until the rest of the world is forced to follow the same rules.

      • by pieterh (196118) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @07:11PM (#26895429) Homepage

        Read my post again. A free market is not the Wild Wild West. Unions, labor laws, and environmental laws are about stopping the powerful from escaping the rules. In a free market, for example, an individual has the option to withdraw his/her labor. Big businesses try to remove this options. Unions put it back.

        At the same time, unions can work against a free market, when they get too powerful and themselves try to escape the rules (like competition).

    • by OwnedByTwoCats (124103) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @07:01PM (#26895297)

      It's such a good thing that the government never subsidized research into computer communication networks!

      Now check the gauge on your sarcasm detector.

      • by pieterh (196118)

        Yes, DARPA invested in TCP/IP very early on because it was a lot cheaper and better than buying proprietary networks for military use. Does not mean the Internet was funded by grants and loans and subsidies, any more than Linux is funded by grants today.

    • "Yes, it's good to spend collective funds on roads, bridges, art, maybe even public fiber,"

      If the public is actually demanding such infrastructure from the government then sure. If the public NEEDS a road to be built and is asking it of the government and willing to pay taxes to see it built then fine. However, when the government sets about the build industry for the sake of "creating jobs" then it has to invent projects. The result is infrastructure that people didn't really need. Jobs also weren't "creat

      • I hate to reply to my own post by I have to correct a grave typo:

        "Today the fed artificially manipulates interest rates by selling bonds"

        That should be "artificially manipulates interest rates by PURCHASING bonds".

      • The result is a debasing of the currency which makes it very hard for people to save. And we end up in a habit of lending / borrowing.

        YES, thank you. I have been saying that for years and so have other Libertarians, but neither the right nor the left (each for their own different reasons) wants to hear it. I am becoming convinced that despite its drawbacks, a return to the gold standard [wikipedia.org] is the only viable alternative. Governments have proven themselves time and again to be either untrustworthy or bunglers when it comes to managing fiat currencies.

    • Some kinds of research have the problem that they require rather large, long-term bets. The only private-sector businesses that can sustain that are very large ones that can average across even large projects, and very large businesses tend to be managed by revolving doors of managers optimizing for stock price (often short-term, medium-term at best; not 30-year horizons). Smaller businesses tend to have managers in it for the long haul, who do what they think is good for their business rather than their ca

    • Every time I read "grant", "advanced research", and "tax incentive", I see "gift", "white elephant", and "sleaze".

      You forgot "gift to China" in that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Brandybuck (704397)

      The average congressman is barely able to find their own ass with both hands and a mirror. Yet we expect that these people are more qualified to run industries than the experts in those industries. This stimulus package is nothing more than a trillion dollars of salted pork.

      Just like 9/11 was an excuse for congress to meddle in our private lives, the economic crisis is just an excuse for congress to spend our money. Obama told us this package was so urgent that we couldn't even take the time to READ it. He

  • Why batteries (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jhfry (829244) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @06:40PM (#26895013)

    I don't want another battery, I want something completely new. I hope that the text of the bill doesn't actually use the words "battery" or even "electro-chemical".

    I would so much rather a ultra-capacitor or some similar storage device that could conceivably be free of rare metals, and have extremely fast charge times (were the current available)

    • by Eukariote (881204)
      What you want might soon be available: http://bariumtitanate.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]
  • by bogaboga (793279) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @06:43PM (#26895045)

    Stimulus Could Kickstart US Battery Industry...

    The stimulus *could* do this or that or else...

    I am tired of that kind of language. Can someone tell us what the stimulus *will* actually do? Could this or that or else does not say much at all.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by SupremoMan (912191)
      I must agree with Parent's sentiment. It could do anything, it's a lot of money. I can tell you thou it won't do much probably.
        • Make up some fancy-named bullshit project
        • Write a description with lots of buzzwords and claims that it will create a lot of jobs.
        • Con the relevant congressmen (those in whose district the project will be carried out).
        • ???
        • Profit!
      • Its Schrodinger's stimulus!
    • by snspdaarf (1314399) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @06:46PM (#26895089)

      Can someone tell us what the stimulus *will* actually do?

      It *will* increase the deficit.
      Other than that, the jury is still out.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by timeOday (582209)
        Longer term, the deficit increase is far from certain. If successful, the stimulus will lessen the deficit in the next several years by increased employment, economic output, and tax revenue.

        Of course, we'll never know for sure, even in retrospect. Some people still think the New Deal was a net loss.

        To the grandparent I say, certainty is simply not a realistic request. Would I like certainty before investing in stocks, or taking a job, or starting a business? Sure. Ain't gonna happen.

        • wisdom should be rewarded.
        • Deficit refers to a balance sheet in which the total planned expenditures amount to greater than the expected income.

          So yeah, if government freezes it's spending projects and there is increased economic activity, and consequently increased tax revenue, then the deficit could shrink.

          Then again pigs could grow wings and fly.

        • It will be successful at what the congressmen are trying to get, but it won't be successful at anything else.

          The reason is obvious. If it was an efficient distribution of economic effort, the market would already settled or been moving towards it without the implied threat of violence inherent in the robin-hood style scheme.

          It will increase jobs where they matter: on the "jobs created" sheets of the politicians who voted for it, but it will drain the same or more jobs silently from elsewhere in the economy

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by GodInHell (258915)
            Wow -- the ratio of mantra to mental effort on that post slid heavily toward BS.

            The market dictactes the most efficient way for capital to achieve it's end -- the creation of additional capital in the hands of those who hold capital. For the few who succeed in this effort it is an amazingly efficient system. Unfortunately these efficiencies include allowing the poor and the elderly to die of starvation and lack of health care -- a very economical solution to excess labor -- but one that our society fortuna
      • by Brandybuck (704397) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @08:02PM (#26896035) Homepage Journal

        There are only three ways to finance a deficit: taxes, debt, and inflation. Add this trillion dollars to Bush's trillion dollars, and the inescapable conclusion is that payment will be large, painful, and unlubed.

        • by Chris Burke (6130)

          Add this trillion dollars to Bush's trillion dollars, and the inescapable conclusion is that payment will be large, painful, and unlubed.

          Now I don't know where you get that idea, seeing as the stimulus bill specifically allocated $3 billion to providing Americans with lube. You should be getting a coupon soon redeemable for a jar of Vaseline or KY jelly (your preference since the gov will not be wearing a condom latex or otherwise).

        • by wytcld (179112) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @11:36PM (#26897955) Homepage

          If you finance with debt, and spend the money borrowed on something that makes you markedly more productive, in the end it can be far cheaper than never going into debt at all. Let's say I'm selling firewood. If I borrow to buy a chain saw and a mechanized log splitter I'm going to be able to produce 20 times the firewood in the same amount of time, with the same amount of labor. That log splitter pays for itself in the first year. Smart debt is like that.

          The whole point of "capitalism" is capital - specifically borrowing it through various mechanisms so it can be employed to produce efficiencies that more-than-pay-it-back. A system without such mechanisms of debt isn't capitalist at all. Not all uses of debt work out; but when they do it's the very genius of the capitalist system.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by novakyu (636495)

            Except, of course, in a capitalist system, the person who lends the money or tool has a choice.

            You don't have such choice when the government decides to "borrow" from you to fund some "capitalistic" venture. And, to note this distinction, most people use a different word when the government engages in a "capitalistic" activity. They call it fascism.

            You can look up what Mussolini said about merging of the government and corporation. As long as these two stay far apart, we are good. The moment they start touc

          • That is.

            You're imagining that there are dollars outside your system which can come in and pay your debt.

            National currencies aren't like that. All the dollars and all the debt are already there inside.

            The US is in this position; All it's debts are denominated in US dollars. There are 47 trillion in US debts. There are only 11 trillion US dollars.

            How can you pay back the debt? No matter what you do. No matter how efficient you are, no matter how hard you work. There are still only 11 trillion dollars to pay b

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by senorpoco (1396603)
      http://www.rules.house.gov/111/LegText/hr1_legtext_cr.pdf [house.gov] QUALIFIED PLUG-IN ELECTRIC VEHICLE is defined as a vehicle "which is propelled to a significant ex- tent by an electric motor which draws electricity from a battery which "(i) has a capacity of not less than 4 kilowatt hours (2.5 kilowatt hours in the case of a vehicle with 2 or 3 wheels), and "(ii) is capable of being recharged from an external source of electricity.-"
    • It might help you to think about what a lack of stimulus will do: inappropriately inflate the value of cash. Basically, if there is some sort of stimulus, people with skills have an opportunity to sell their skills. Without it, people with skills will go unemployed.

      I have ten good job applications sitting on my desk right now. I would happily give any of them the one job. So because I've got a bit of cash to spend, I'll be employing a person better qualified than me to work at a substantially lower ra

  • by wjh31 (1372867) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @06:44PM (#26895065) Homepage
    is this really the most important part of the stimulus in relation to tech, R+D, and similar things, how about a break down of all the ways it's going to affect anything that is 'stuff that matters' to nerds. I dont mean this as a troll, i would genuinely like to see a full list, new age batteries sound good, but cant be the only thing.
  • by Un pobre guey (593801) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @06:47PM (#26895101) Homepage
    Provisions in the Congressional stimulus bill could help jump-start a new, multibillion-dollar industry in the US for manufacturing advanced briberies for congressmen and senators and for siphoning off money from government pork to enable the widespread use of luxury homes and lifestyles by politicians. The nearly $790 billion economic stimulus legislation contains tens of billions of dollars in loans, grants, and tax incentives for advanced bribery research and manufacturing, as well as incentives for earmarks and kickbacks, which could help create a market for these briberies. Significant advances in bribery techniques, including the development of new fully off-shored briberies, have been made by corporate legal departments in the past few years. Advanced bribery manufacturing is primarily at the state and federal level, particularly in Washington D.C., but local governments are looking forward to far greater participation.
  • by D Ninja (825055) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @07:10PM (#26895407)

    - Stimulus Could Give Battery Industry A Jolt
    - Stimulus Gives Battery Industry a Jump Start
    - Stimulus Gives the Battery Industry A Gift That Keeps Going and Going and Going...
    - Battery Industry Charged Over Stimulus

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Dr. Spork (142693)
      And the battery industry would kick-start the stalled auto industry?
    • Those are good, but I actually like the connotations of "kick-start", which implies a lack of good battery technology at this time. That's what kick-starting is for, y'know?
  • It's a cell, unless you've got more than one in series, in which case it becomes a battery.
  • by Locutus (9039) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @07:22PM (#26895567)

    those companies once had millions to develop new battery tech and nothing came of it. Ovonics goes and invents the NiMH, partners with GM and sells a majority stake in the patent and then GM sells that to the oil industry who won't let anyone make large NiMH for electric vehicles. Leave the US auto industry out of this battery industry and maybe something will happen and it'll get a chance to be used in the next-gen autos.

    Remember, the EV1 got over 140 miles per charge on the NiMH batteries in the late 90s or very early 2001 period. GM is hardly getting 40 miles per charge of expensive lithium batteries today and nobody is using NiMH for mostly electric or all electric vehicles. It's not because the tech can't handle it. Ask any of the few Rav 4 EV owners out there.

    If the US auto industry is tied into this, I give it less than a 50% chance of working out to anything viable.

    LoB

    • by nxtw (866177) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @08:01PM (#26896025)

      Remember, the EV1 got over 140 miles per charge on the NiMH batteries in the late 90s or very early 2001 period. GM is hardly getting 40 miles per charge of expensive lithium batteries today and nobody is using NiMH for mostly electric or all electric vehicles. It's not because the tech can't handle it. Ask any of the few Rav 4 EV owners out there.

      By volume, the Volt has 1/3 as much battery as the EV1 (even less by weight). (source [wikipedia.org])

      The EV1 was also designed to be as efficient as possible - it was a two-seater with the lowest drag coefficient of any production vehicle. I can't find any definitive sources, but it seems that the Volt is about 500 lbs heavier as well.

    • People will always use their own money more wisely than someone else's.

      Natural market forces are also very good at determining what is in demand and what is not. We saw a correction in 2008 where businesses that were producing products for which there was no longer any demand started to go under. I think this is inclusive of the domestic auto industry.

      Now the government is pumping tax dollars into "toxic" industries (industries that are worthless). This is a clear demonstration of market efficiency vs. gov

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MtViewGuy (197597)

      However, the EV1 had one gigantic problem: the battery pack was so big that you barely had room for a decent interior! Small wonder why the idea failed.

      A better solution is plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, where you have a powerful battery offering about 40-50 miles range on a full battery charge and then the vehicle operates like a normal hybrid vehicle a la Toyota Prius. Indeed, the 2010 Toyota Prius and 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid already are ready for PHEV conversion as soon as higher density storage batte

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by WindBourne (631190)
        Just, lets make cars have more weight than either approach alone, and have all the issues of both as well.

        I have never understood why ppl push such crap. The serial hybrid makes sense for SOME vehicles. For example, an offroad like a hummer, or a long distance semi truck. That REALLY makes sense for both. BUT for the average driver, they rarely drive more than 100 miles/day. So instead, cars should electrical with at least 100 mile range, AND the ability to have a trailer with power. In particular, a van
    • NIMH?! (Score:3, Funny)

      by vivin (671928)

      Oh my God! They were using RATS to fuel these cars?! Now I truly know The Secret of NIMH [bcdb.com]!

  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @07:54PM (#26895951)

    a few years ago I bought a currie electric scooter, just for fun. it gets about 10-15 mi range before it runs out.

    the idea I would LOVE to see is where there are frequent stops (like gas stations) where you can swap your drained batt for a freshly charged one. they have that idea for propane tanks at supermarkets - you don't have to WAIT to have yours filled; you simply swap your empty for a full one.

    why can't the same thing be done for short-distance pure electric vehicles? the issue with these vehicles is distance on a single charge and if you can make the batts swappable (easily and safely) then you have removed the distance limitation.

    its a huge infrastructure to implement, but at some point, we NEED to rethink our whole energy plan. this could be one way.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @08:01PM (#26896027)

    As an R&D type who has spent way too much time in the business world I can tell you that Obama, despite having thrown gargantuan amounts of money at this, is going to have a hard time making it stick.

    Western business has a sickness which one might call "middle man disease". For every $1 put into battery factories, 90c will go on financiers, accountants, marketers, "business development" and whatever else the middle men of today choose to call themselves.

    It is folklore that in certain parts of the world nothing gets done without bribing the right people. We have the same thing in the West except its a legalised, lobby-driven, slick form of bribing.

    For example in my native UK whenever the govt has some new "initiative" its remarkable how the same usual self-promoting suspects are quick to get around the trough. Despite inventing nothing (and contributing very little) this is where the vast majority if the funding gets creamed off. When the oxbridge/city/public school set have had their fill what little is left is passed on to their mates the next stratum down.

    And so on and so forth. On and on, down and down until the likes of you and me see a pitiful salary and a budget so tight nothing of value can be done and under terms and conditions so punishing (think: ownership of arising intellectual property) that nobody in their right mind would even think of getting out of bed to do it.

    Its a systemic sickness and Obama needs to get a clue real quick that between his lofty goals and the poeple doing the actual work lurk the layers upon layers of talentless parasites that got us here in the first place.

    It makes me mad that ANOTHER generation is lost to the same ivy-league/power/money/military-industrial complex.

  • No, Batteries will not jump start the economy. Why? It is still cheaper in the eyes of the moneymen to send the R&D to India or some other country. In effect, the stimulus funds will end up benefitting a third world economy. I would only jump for joy over this if there was legislation to ensure that jobs would be created here in the US and that all R&D and manufacturing happens here. I really, really do not want our funds being used to help the Indian or Chinese economy.
  • Almost all of the stimulus is earmarked for other countries, mostly China.

    It will not stimulate any American jobs.

    The reason for this is because we do not make anything here. Even the research will not bring sustaining jobs, because once the research is done it will be owned and manufactured by the Chinese.

    Lets face it. The USA is done.

    I think the best we can do is figure out how to reconstitute the government and how are we going to get rid of all these corrupt people running the country now in a peacefu

  • by feepness (543479) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @11:04PM (#26897685) Homepage
    ...causing starvation and riots in poorer countries that needed corn for food.
  • by Russ Nelson (33911) <slashdot@russnelson.com> on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @12:04AM (#26898163) Homepage

    And the end of the stimulus will kickstop the US Battery Industry. There are many examples of subsidized industries that died when their subsidy went away -- and industries that remain subsidized because they lobbily heavily to keep their subsidy (cough ag subsidies cough) (cough mortgage deductibility cough).

    Subsidies are fucking stupid. The stimulus is fucking stupid. A trillion dollars later, we'll have tons of jobs -- all of which depend on further borrowing, further taxation, further inflation. Or do you think the US government can spend a trillion dollars without distorting the marketplace?

  • by MadMidnightBomber (894759) on Wednesday February 18, 2009 @03:17AM (#26899387)

    I'm perplexed. Why is there so much fuss about spending $800bn on at least vaguely useful stuff when the Iraq war has already cost you $600bn and that's not counting ongoing medical care for the 30k+ injured veterans? Serious question guys - I really didn't see people complaining about the cost of the war in the same way as they're complaining about this stimulus bill.

Reference the NULL within NULL, it is the gateway to all wizardry.

Working...