Tag Archives for lithium ion battery
Back in the early 2000s, when the first-generation modern electric vehicles (EVs) were available in limited quantities in places like California, most automakers were skeptical of their own technology and so took the EVs back after the leases ran out, crushing them and creating a lot of ill will in the process. Today, automakers are much more confident in the updated plug-in vehicle technology, but not everyone thinks EVs are worth a damn. A columnist for the right-leaning UK paper The Daily Mail, Sean Poulter, is one of these voices.
Poulter’s piece starts with two points. One is real and needs to be addressed, the other is scare-mongering. Guess which one is which:
The technology used for electric car batteries is so backward they will die after just two years, experts have warned.
The cars will also be extremely expensive to run and cover far less distance on one battery charge than previously claimed, they say.
Two years? First off, older battery technology like the NiMH batteries used in the RAV4 EV (pictured) ten years ago is, in some cases, still running strong. Second, some of the li-ion packs being developed today will have 10-year warranties that the automakers will be on the hook for if they don’t work, so it’s highly unlikely that the packs will wuss out after 24 months, no matter what the pro-hydrogen Institution of Engineering and Technology (which Poulter relies on) says. Poulter also manages to facetiously compare today’s EVs with a standard ICE car that’s been in constant development for 100+ years and, surprise, finds that an EV doesn’t hold up. Heck, even the most bullish of today’s EV supporters – like Carlos Ghosn – have modest goals for EVs in the next ten or so years. Articles like this one just serve to rile up the EVangelists. Thanks to Andy for the tip!
[Source: Daily Mail]
Norwegian electric vehicle builder Think has finally launched production of the lithium-ion battery version of its City EV. The 22 kilowatt-hour battery pack is being supplied by Indiana-based Enerdel which owns an equity stake in Think. Enerdel is now in full volume production of the new battery pack which, should allow Think to ramp up vehicle production and expand into continental Europe and then the United States later this year.
The lithium ion version of the City EV has a range of about 100 miles and supports fast charging to 80 percent of capacity in 15 minutes. The Think City EV is currently being built under contract by Valmet Automotive in Finland. Valmet will also be assembling the Fisker Karma starting early next year. Think also plans to add U.S. production of the City EV sometime in 2011.
A recurring question in the plug-in vehicle world goes something like this: When an electrical vehicle (EV) battery can no longer provide adequate power and range in its primary role of propulsion, then what? More specifically, what else are these partially spent batteries still capable of powering? We’ve heard a myriad of possible uses for them – everything from vending machines to mobile generators – but most of us are more interested in using these hunks of li-ion to somehow power our homes and that’s why were thrilled to hear about this new study.
The California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) will head a joint research study to see just how useful these batteries could be in home usage. The study is funded by the University of California to the tune of $992,000. The CCSE will have a lot of helpers, including San Diego Gas and Electric; AeroVironment Inc., Flux Power and the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at UC Berkeley.
The study is sure to take some time, but you can bet that we’re eager to hear the results. As Mike Ferry, CCSE’s transportation program manager, said:
Even after the end of usable battery life in the vehicle, the batteries will retain 70 to 80 percent of their residual capacity and be highly valued for stationary energy usage and other smart grid applications. A viable secondary market for advanced automotive batteries could cut initial battery costs by spreading those costs over their entire useful lifetime.
See why we’re excited about this study? It’s not so much the batteries powering our homes part that we’re interested in, it’s that mention of reducing the cost of electric vehicles that gets us going. Paying less for EVs? We’ll support any study that searches for ways to make that a reality.
Photos by Sebastian Blanco / Copyright (C)2010 Weblogs, Inc.
[Source: Green Car Congress]
A123 Systems, a developer and manufacturer of advanced Nanophosphate lithium-ion batteries and systems, today announced a production agreement with Navistar to supply lithium-ion battery systems for electric vehicles for the Navistar-Modec EV Alliance, a joint venture between Navistar and Modec Limited of the U.K.
According to the supply agreement, which builds upon an earlier development agreement that was announced in March, A123 will manufacture battery systems for Navistar's eStar electric delivery vehicle at its Livonia, Michigan, facility.
A number of vehicles have already been shipped to Federal Express as part of the earlier development agreement. The work is partially paid for by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding, administered by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Rather than converting an existing, conventional fossil-fuel powered truck, Navistar's eStar truck is a commercial electric vehicle that is purpose-built to be electric. With zero tailpipe emissions, the Navistar EV can potentially reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 10 tons annually, when compared to an equivalent diesel-powered vehicle, the company says.
The Navistar electric vehicle has a gross vehicle weight rating of 12,100 pounds and a payload capacity of two tons. The vehicle will be assembled in Wakarusa, Indiana, and is scheduled for launch in mid-2010.
A123's battery pack will enable the Navistar electric vehicle to travel a distance of approximately 100 miles on pure electricity before needing to be recharged. The battery pack will be capable of a rapid charge rate and will have a charge time dependent on the power of the charging system applied.
It seems like not a day goes by that we don’t hear about some battery company expanding its operation by opening more plants to produce hundreds of thousands of advanced batteries. In the last year alone, we heard reports like this from LG Chem, Johnson Control-Saft, EnerDel, A123 Systems, Nissan, Ford and more. So, if every company is expanding battery production at record rates while few electric cars exist on the roadways, where are all of these batteries going? For now, the simple answer is, nowhere, really.
Most of the companies listed above will begin to slowly ramp up battery production over the next two years. As all of the companies reach full capacity, says Ward’s Dave Zoia, chances are high that there will be way too many batteries and not enough electric vehicles (EVs) to use them. The battery producers’ thought process is quite simple: get ahead of the competition as soon as possible because the EV market is about to explode. But if we think about it for a moment and wonder what would happen if EVs don’t take off, the result would be disastrous. With billions invested into the industry and companies devoting everything they’ve got into EV battery production, a failing EV market would have a profound impact felt everywhere. If this disaster occurs, where would we place the blame? On the governments, of course. After all, they are the ones that dished out billions to convince battery makers to venture into this uncertain, unproven market, right?
Photos by Sebastian Blanco / Copyright (C)2010 Weblogs, Inc.
[Source: Ward's Auto]