The present, the future, today

Yesterday I went to listen to a talk by Prof. Maria Helena Braga on high density new architecture batteries. Her work is remarkable – let me use some adjectives here: it’s mind blowingly good, Google her, you will be amazed -, and it’s highly promising in terms of (real world) fast charging super batteries: the time to market it’s not today, it will take time, but from yesterday talk one REALLY wishes that industry steps to bring the technology to real life applications could be shorter, faster! We need those batteries ASAP!

On the other side, I was amazed to listen to some Portuguese high authorities, speaking while introducing Braga’s talk, and later speaking again while introducing the Q&A period after Braga’s talk: a total of 6 Portuguese authorities spoke, I never saw so many people talking to present a guest’s talk… And listening to these authorities a strange thing happened to me: I was feeling I didn’t exist since what I do on a daily basis, from their words, was not possible! I heard “electric cars have no usable range”, “they take too much time to charge”, “the electric motors use rare earth materials”, “there’s no viable way to store electricity for off peak use” …

Power pack? Power wall? Model S? Model X? Model 3? And the other car manufacturers that, because of Tesla, started to present real solutions, not excuses, for new affordable electric cars? Where do these 6 people live? The Model 3 alone has now more than 600 thousand reservation holders waiting for their electric car. For an electric car with no range, that’s an awfl amount of people (600000!) mistakingly wanting an electric car!

I went to Braga’s talk driving a car that has +400 km of range on a charge, I can charge it with 400 V 300 A 120 kW and add +250 km to the range in less than 25 minutes, I drove +43000 km in a year and went to London, Brussels, Le Mans, and back, on electricity only, with as much hassle as driving any other car, actually with less expense, less frustration and much more enjoyment, no pollution, no noise. Three days ago a new record was set on a Tesla P100D: 901 km driven on a charge. The motors are purely three phase, no rare earth materials. I have friends (unfortunately not myself yet) that do have their houses with solar panels & batteries off the grid, it works, I’ve seen it, it’s not a dream and it’s economically viable.

Thank you so much to Prof Braga for that presentation. Thank you to the organizers that made possible this brilliant talk, a great step in the right direction.

But listening to the other words I was feeling from the future arriving to some past, not the present today.

Listening to Braga’s talk I felt our future is arriving today.

Prof Maria Helena Braga
Prof Maria Helena Braga, from here
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