Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has developed a hybrid car battery that costs 70 percent less all while charging faster, providing 50 percent more power and recharging more times, increasing the life of battery by 300 percent. CSIRO's so called UltraBattery combines technologies of the capacitor and a regular lead-acid battery to make a better battery. Capacitors and batteries working together is not a new thing but the Ultrabattery gets the advantages without using control electronics.

The batteries have undergone testing in a Honda Insight for the last year in the UK and just passed 100,000 miles. "After all this testing we are now very confident we can support medium hybrids or even full, plug-in hybrids," says David Lamb, leader of CSIRO's low emissions transport research. The test car was not perfect and David admits "it is 17kg heavier and that creates a fuel consumption penalty of 2.8 percent. But it is about one quarter of the cost, so you save around $2000 on the cost of building the car."

2.8 percent loss in fuel economy for $2,000 in savings sounds like a good deal to me. David thinks Japanese automakers (the battery was produced in Japan by Furukawa Battery Company) will think it's a good deal too and says that we'll be able to buy UltraBatteries in just two years. "They will have had these batteries on test for a year and if they have done as well as that car in England they will be as thrilled as we are and will be doing their best to find ways to milk the technology in some future model. But they don't tell us what they are doing," explains David.

I can't wait! Move over Ener1, I have a new favorite battery.

[Source: TG Daily, iTWire, tipster Chris]

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