Menahem Anderman analyzes the state of car-battery technology
The following is a guest post by Marc Geller, who blogs at Plugs and Cars, serves on the board of directors of the Electric Auto Association, cofounded Plug In America and DontCrush.com, and appeared in Who Killed The Electric Car.
Menahem Anderman, PhD, is Mister Battery Consultant. The California Air Resources Board, DOE, and Congress all seem to turn to him to analyze the state of battery technology. His reports always suggest batteries won’t quite cut it for freeway-capable cars.
His report at CARB in 2003 seemed to suggest the electric cars then on the road couldn’t be functioning as well as they were. Drivers of electric cars were stunned at his low opinion of the state of battery technology. He’s always called upon, contracted with, and his report inevitably finds batteries wanting.
At EVS23, he stopped at the Plug In America booth to challenge what he felt was the overly optimistic tone taken by these advocates in their questioning at various sessions. One of the things he specifically said to Sherry Boschert, author of Plug-in Hybrids, to demonstrate the inadequacy of NiMH in electric cars was that the batteries have been replaced in many of Southern California Edison’s fleet of RAV4-EVs. Chelsea Sexton of Plug In America inquired of Ed Kjaer at SCE to find out what the truth is. Here’s what Mr. Kjaer wrote in response to the inquiry:
How he [Anderman] arrives at this fanciful assertion is frankly mystifying to us.
Were he to actually ask we would tell him that the majority of our EV fleet has consisted of ’98 and ’99 MY RAV4 vehicles. Of the almost 14,000 NiMH battery modules powering these EVs only a little less than 0.5% had to be replaced!
A powerful testament to Toyota and Panasonic design, quality, durability and reliability. And what is even more impressive is the fact that these vehicles were from the 1990’s.
Hopefully this answers Sherry’s question … for the record!
Getting a government contract to express one’s informed opinion about batteries is one thing. That Mr Anderman always find them wanting despite evidence to the contrary is, perhaps, his right. But spreading malicious falsehoods without asking for evidence from those in the know suggests a lack of professionalism that ought raise questions about his analysis and methodology. It’s past time for CARB and other agencies to broaden their search for objective consultants to analyze the state of battery technology.