BOX 4.2

Status of Advanced Battery Technology

Lead acid batteries were invented in the 19th century and are still the standard battery technology in vehicles today. The GM EV1, a production battery-electric vehicle (BEV), used this battery technology as recently as 1999, and then transitioned to the nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery.

The next generation of batteries, based on lithium-ion chemistry, is widely deployed in consumer electronic devices. Of course, the power and energy storage requirements of these devices are much smaller than those of electric vehicles.

Hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs) require batteries with high power (commonly stated in units of watts per kilogram). Plug-in HEVs (PHEVs) and BEVs require significant energy storage (along with sufficient power). Today’s batteries have an energy storage capacity of 150–200 Wh/kg. A typical vehicle consumes approximately 0.25 kWh per mile in all-electric mode. Typical electric motors that can propel a vehicle require power ranging between 50 and 150 kW.


Chemistries


Table 4.2.1 summarizes the promising advanced battery chemistries and their performance characteristics. Significant amounts of research and development are being devoted to promising new versions of the chemistries of cathode materials, anode materials, and electrolytes, as well as to manufacturing processes.

TABLE 4.2.1 Lithium-ion Battery Cathode Chemistries

 

Lithium Cobalt Oxide

Lithium Manganese Spinel

Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt

Lithium Iron Phosphate

Automotive status

Limited auto applications (due to safety concerns)

Pilot

Pilot

Pilot

Energy density

High

Low

High

Moderate

Power

Moderate

High

Moderate

High

Safety

Poor

Good

Poor

Very good

Cost

High

Low

High

High

Low-temperature performance

Moderate

High

Moderate

Low

Life

Long

Moderate

Long

Long

Source: Adapted from Alamgir and Sastry, 2008.



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