Nissan has been playing its cards pretty close to its chest when it comes to the production costs for Leaf battery packs. The company recently put a price on replacement batteries for customers at $5,500 plus the requirement to return the old battery. If the decommissioned battery is worth $1,000 to Nissan, as they have stated, that means the battery costs about $6,500 to make, right? Maybe even less if Nissan wants to turn a profit, as automakers are wont to do? Wrong.
Beginning this fall, used hybrid batteries that would otherwise be recycled will get a second life in Yellowstone National Park. 208 nickel-metal hydride batteries are being retired from the Toyota Camry Hybrids they once helped power and will become part of an off-the-grid energy system at Yellowstone's remote Lamar Buffalo Ranch field campus. The Lamar campus provides field seminars and other education and research in the northeastern corner of the park.
As convenient as DC fast charging is, there have been lots of warnings that repeated dumping of so many electrons into an electric vehicle's battery pack in such a short time would reduce the battery's life. While everyone agrees that DC fast charging does have some effect on battery life, it may not be as bad as previously expected.
Chelsea Sexton, founder of the Lightning Rod Foundation, a co-founder of Plug In America, and star of Who Killed the Electric Car, recently sat down with Andy Palmer, executive vice president of Nissan, to discuss the Nissan Leaf and its battery degradation crisis in Arizona. You can watch the 16-minute video below, but here's the gist.
The plot thickens on the health and durability of the Nissan Leaf's battery pack. A class action lawsuit has been filed in federal court by a Leaf owner accusing Nissan of covering up the electric vehicle's range reality. California plaintiff Humberto Klee says Nissan is advertising the Leaf as being able to drive up 100 miles on a charge, depending on variables such as road conditions and weather, but Klee alleges that Nissan has not been honest about the car's real-world range.
Ouch. There's now some independent analysis that says the Nissan Leaf wilts in the heat.
As a company that sees plug-in hybrids as the future, it makes sense that Volkswagen would want to advance the technology needed for these cars. What's less expected is how VW wants to do this: through a new annual "Science Award for Electrochemistry," offered jointly with BASF SE, that any researcher on the planet can apply for at this website.
Is battery longevity a legitimate concern? You bet it is.
If you get enough like-minded individuals together, they can accomplish quite a lot. Take, for instance, a group of fans on the MyNissanLeaf forum who wanted a more accurate way to tell how much further they could drive their Nissan Leaf. They accomplished this goal by coding up a device that plugs into the OBD-II diagnostics port and returns the exact state of charge of the battery.
You may not be able to buy a Fisker Karma just yet, but thanks to MIT you may learn a little bit more about the plug-in's battery life. Back in January 2010, it was announced that the Karma would be using batteries supplied by A123 Systems, which just happens to be an MIT spinoff company. The MIT Electric Vehicle Team is using these A123 batteries to perform a variety of rapid charging tests to get an idea of pack longevity. In one test, they took an A123 cell and performed an automated 1,500 ra
GM-Volt.com found an interesting patent application from General Motors (filed a year ago) that entertains the possibility of refurbishing worn out lithium-ion battery packs such as the one in the Chevrolet Volt. While the Volt's 8-year, 100,000 mile battery warranty will cover a lot of people for a lot of miles, these lithium-ion batteries do not last forever and will need replacement eventually.
Chevrolet Volt battery pack – Click above for high-res image gallery
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.
Of vending machines and cell phone towers: Automakers now planning for "dead" electric vehicle batteries
Electric vehicle batteries don't last forever. Sure, they can be charged up, drained and charged again, but at some point they just won't get the job done anymore. Automakers estimate that advanced batteries will provide about ten years of serviceable life in vehicles. So what happens to that hunk of lithium in your vehicle after it's retired from the intended duties? It gets a second chance in one of several industries lining up to spring new life into that old battery.
Th!nk City - Click above for high-res image gallery
A group of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been focusing their efforts on advanced technology batteries for electric vehicles. Their work on lithium-air batteries has led to several recent discoveries, and gives "riding on air" a whole new meaning.
General Motors realizes that it will need to get the cost of its Voltec drivetrain down in order to stay competitive and allow it to more easily be integrated into other, differently-sized vehicles. Since the battery is the most expensive part of the system, that's where the focus on cost-cutting will go. Among the approaches GM will take for the third generation of the pack, according to the head of its Opel/Vauxhall operations Nick Reilly, is the use of a smaller battery that will not have the