By now we're all aware that the environmental impact of cars and trucks goes well beyond the emissions produced during operation. There is the energy used to produce and dispose of the vehicles and their components, for example, and the cost of getting the fuel for the vehicles out of the ground and into the tank. The impact of making nickel metal hydride batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs) was the center-piece of a controversial study published by CNW several years ago. That study
Carmakers don't typically ask prospective customers how long the warranty should be on their new car. That decision is usually made based on how much the manufacturer thinks longer warranty coverage will cost and what its competitors might be doing. However, as we enter the era of electrification we are dealing with a major new factor: the battery packs.
Later today, General Motors will make some announcements* regarding the battery pack in the Chevrolet Volt. Volt marketing director Tony DiSalle and vehicle line director Tony Posawatz will be hitting the keyboards this afternoon to answer any questions from readers about the news. General Motors' massive battery lab in Warren, MI has been cycling battery packs for more than two years through accelerated tests in order to have confidence that the packs will last for 10 years and 150,000 miles. A
As several countries vie for the top spot in the automotive rechargeable battery market, a few front-runners have emerged. Notably, China's push to lead the world in advanced battery technology has propelled the nation towards the front. The efforts here in the States have kept the U.S. in the running for top honors and you certainly can't overlook South Korea and Japan. As each country competes to rule the roost, more and more government money has been dished out to fund the advanced battery ef
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 Ma
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.
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 someho
EnerDel Inc. announced plans to open li-ion battery plants in both China and Europe in an effort to triple its battery production by the end of 2011 and meet the expected demand of new partnerships. Though the company currently holds deals with just two automakers (Think and Volvo), it plans to announce two additional customers by the end of the year, one hailing from Europe and the other from Asia.
Safety is a common concern as the automotive industry moves towards electric vehicles. In particular, focusing on the potential risks involved with li-ion battery technology is crucial as automakers move away from NiMH packs and towards li-ion storage.
We know that General Motors has the largest battery lab in the world, one that's capable of carrying out all kinds of scientific tests, but that's a little boring, if you ask us. If you want to test a battery's durability, do you really need fancy lab equipment and sophisticated computers? Or can you just use a few household items, a swimming pool, bullets and a lot of time? Maybe it's time to ditch the lab coats, fire up the oven and learn how battery testing is really done.
Massachusetts-based A123 Systems has been one of the rising stars of the lithium battery field in the last several years. In spite of that, the company that was started by a team of MIT researchers has struggled to raise cash to manufacture automotive cells in the United States.
If a report in the Times of London is accurate, it would go a long way toward explaining Nissan's claims that the Leaf electric car will be profitable at just $33,000. The report, which focuses mainly on Nissan executive Andy Palmer, states that the 24 kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery pack for the EV costs only £6,000 (about $9,000) to produce. That works out to just $375 per kWh, a figure that no one else in the industry is currently claiming is possible.
Battery breakthroughs seem to pop up almost every day. There's always a new idea, different material or unique design that makes the battery better. Some manufacturers make outlandish claims that can't be true while other companies string us out for years awaiting amazing products. This time around, Hitachi makes a bold claim for its breakthrough-tech, but it's believable and has already been put through preliminary tests.
Tesla Motors has never officially announced who supplies the lithium ion cells used in the Roadster's battery pack, but it does have an agreement with Panasonic to supply cells for the Model S. Chief Technology Officer JB Straubel was in Japan this week and received the first batch of new lithium ion cells from Panasonic Energy Company President Naoto Noguchi.