Hybrid car batteries are becoming more expensive ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Hybrid car batteries are becoming more expensive

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Hybrid car batteries are becoming more expensive

Lithium-Ion vs Nickel Hydride Batteries
Most hybrid cars on the road today use nickel-hydride batteries to power their electric engines. But, according to this story (Prices surging for hybrid batteries), nickel is highly prized right now with stainless steel products becoming more and more popular. And so, despite dropping prices in other areas of production and parts, automakers haven't been able to significantly drop the overall price of building hybrid cars. This makes some automakers (Nissan is nervous when it comes to hybrids) reluctant to build hybrid cars.

The answer, according to the article, is to switch to another method for building batteries, specifically lithium ion batteries. Lithium is used in smaller batteries, but have not been successfully converted into batteries useful for car engines. Lithium costs more, for one thing. Higher production volumes should drive the price down, unless we end back up where nickel batteries are now. With limited supplies, the price will go back up.

Lithium batteries can store more energy than nickel batteries, which could lead to higher capacity batteries, which could lead into plug-in hybrids becoming a reality, and not just a specialty package done by outside manufacturers.

Lithium batteries are predicted to be in hybrid cars within three years.

Drawbacks to Litihium ion batteries
According to wikipedia, lithium ion batteries are currently one of the most popular types of battery (in smaller applications), with one of the best energy-to-weight ratios, no memory effect and a slow loss of charge when not in use. They can be dangerous if mistreated, however, and unless care is taken they may have a shorter lifespan compared to other battery types. Its life span is dependent upon aging from time of manufacturing (shelf life) regardless of whether it was charged, and not just on the number of charge/discharge cycles. Rather than showing a gradual shortening of the running time of the equipment, Li-Ion batteries may often just abruptly fail.

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3 comments:

Mike@HCVN said...

The Energy Blog has been following Firefly Energy off and on. They're working on fiddling with lead-acid batteries for higher densities and less memory effects. They may be serious, or just another fly-by-night with good marketing, but it's a reminder to not shut the door on older battery techs just yet.

Mike

Martin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HP Laptop Batteries said...

Personally I have been looking far forward, at the new technologies for batteries about to be released. Two technologies that have fascinated me lately are the algae type batteries, and the new paper batteries with the special ink dye.

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