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I reviewed Dr. Rankin's video, in it there is a claim that information on the internet will be doubling every 15 minutes by 2020. If you think about it, in the course of an hour, there will be 4 times as much information available as when a message was posted. As such, I have decided to reduce the amount of links appearing in my posts and attempt to use key words that can be easily copied and searched.

I will however use this one.

This was my search criteria

li-ion batteries for golf cart

This is the link I decided to use.

Looking the link I find that I can replace the batteries in a 36 volt golf cart for about 1800 dollars. If I use the same capacity lead acid batteries, I can re-power for about 600 dollars. No other changes need to be made, no new chargers, no changes to the golf cart, nothing. There will be some differences though, the Li-Ion batteries will take at least 1800 charge discharge cycles and the lead acid batteries will generally only last 300 charge discharge cycles if they are maintained properly. Also, the li-ion batteries take no maintenance.

Come with me to Pleasantville golf course. In Pleasantville the weather is always nice, nothing fails before its time, and the gold course has a 100 percent rentals on its 100 golf carts 300 days a year. (The other 65 days are used for festivals and such)

On this particular day, the golf cart manager needs to perform the annual battery replacement for his 100 golf carts. It happens every year because after 300 charges and discharges all the battery strings need to be replaced. He is looking at spending 60,000 dollars. However, today he happens to have an extra 20 percent in his budget, so he will replace 10 percent of the battery strings with li-ion batteries. This will cost him an extra 12,000 dollars. 18,000 dollars for 10 strings of batteries and the saving of 6000 dollars not spent on the lead acid batteries.

The next year, he will be looking at replacing 90 strings of batteries as the li-ion batteries still have 1500 charge discharge cycles to go. He will only have to spend 48,000 dollars on lead acid batteries, 18000 on li-ion and only be over budget by 6000, dollars. (80 stings of lead acid batteries at 600 dollars per string and ten strings of li-ion batteries at 1800 dollars per string)

The following year, he will need to replace the 80 strings of lead acid batteries. He will replace 70 stings at 600 dollars per string for a cost of 42,000 dollars and 10 strings of li-ion batteries for 18000, dollars. This year he will not be over budget. He will only spend 60,000 dollars, but he will have ten golf carts with li-ion batteries that have 1200 charge/discharge cycles left in them, 10 golf carts with 1500 charge/discharge cycles left in them and 10 golf carts with 1800 charge discharge cycles left in them.

At this point, his consumption of lead acid batteries has fallen by 30 percent per year, while his consumption of Li-ion batteries jumped the first year and remained steady afterwards. Of course this is a simplified story, but it lays out how the change can and may take place.

Here our story gets interesting. In the fourth year, if the Li-ion batteries are performing as expected, and the price difference has remained the same. (Not likely) Then our maintenance manager only needs to replace 70 stings of batteries. He can buy 60 strings of lead acid batteries for 36000 dollar and spend the other 18000 on the Li-ion batteries and recapture 6000 of his initial investment.

In the fifth year he only needs to replace 60 strings of batteries. If he buys 50 strings of lead acid batteries, he will have 30000 dollars left in his budget to buy Li-ion batteries. Plus he will have 6000 that he recovered the year before. So he can actually buy 30 strings of li-ion batteries not 10. Meaning he doesn't need to to buy 50 strings of Li-ion batteries he really only needs to buy 30 and he still gets to put 12000 dollars back into his recovery funds.

In the sixth year he only needs to replace 30 stings of lead acid batteries. However he has a 60000 dollar budget and he only needs 54000 dollar for the 30 strings of li-ion batteries.

1 90 lead acid 10 li-ion. li-iion at 100 percent
2 80 lead acid 10 li-ion. eldest li-ion at 83 percent
3 70 lead acid 10 li-ion. eldest li-ion at 66 percent
4 60 lead acid 10 li-i0n. eldest li-ion at 50 percent
5 30 lead acid 30 li-ion. eldest li-ion at 33 percent
6 0 lead acid 30 li-ion. eldest li-ion at 16 percent
7 0 lead acid 10 li-ion. eldest li-ion at 16 percent

You can see from the list above, that in 7 years his budget for batteries can drop from 60,000 a year to 18,000 a year with an initial investment of only 18000 dollars.

More interesting is what happens to he manufacturers of lead acid batteries, they drop to 0 percent of the market in 7 years. This is a similar thing to what happened with the film industry and Kodak.

While the golf cart industry is tiny, about a billion in sales in 2008, it can provide the toe hold that lithium ion needs to get a solid manufacturing base going.

At 7000 a cart, the industry will probably produce about 140,000 golf carts this year. This is a rough estimate as the data does not seem to be collected. In any case there would seem to be about a million golf carts in service now. With 6 to 8 lead acid 6 volt deep cycle batteries per cart. Typically golf cart batteries are lasting about two years not one. This would mean that there is about 3 million deep cycle golf cart batteries sold each year. At retail this is a 300 million dollar a year market that will probably be gone in 5 years or so.

Qazulight (I told my wife to hold on to her used li-ion batteries like she would old silver dimes)
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