All Electric Vehicles

Electric Car Batteries: All About the Electric Vehicle Battery.

There is a big race on now for manufacturers to get a hold of the electric car batteries market. They are mostly racing to perfect the Li-ion batteries. Most people would say at the moment that itís the battery technology thatís holding back electric powered cars so they are a huge part of all-electric vehicles.

Even the best batteries at the moment are expensive and heavy, if they want to get the range and performance of the internal combustion engine.

Whatís the best battery type?

Tesla Li-Ion Battery Lithium-ion (Li-ion) is the best by far at the moment. They have the greatest amount of energy storage so are lighter than the other types and get you the best range. They also have the least self discharge of all the types which means it doesnít loose energy when not in use. They have been used commercially since the Ď90ís which means people are less experienced with these compared to the other electric car batteries though, but it also means there is a lot of improving that can be done.

NiMh BatteryNickel metal hydride (NiMH) these are the second choice usually for all-electric car manufacturers. Theyíre used in most hybrid cars though as they are much cheaper than Li-ion. They can contain high amounts of energy but not as much as the Li-ion batteries. They also can be easily recycled and donít have any toxic materials.

Lead-acid BatteryLead-acid are batteries that have been used since the 1800's. They are the batteries you would see in forklifts or ride-on lawnmowers or golf carts. They are very cheap, mostly because they have been in use for so long and they are completely understood. They would be the last choice for car manufacturers as they are much heavier than the rest compared to the amount of energy they can hold. You would see them in a lot of the earlier electric cars.

Do they need to be replaced?

Theyíre going to need to be replaced sometime but with the li-ion batteries in the Tesla electric car, for example, they claim they wonít need to be replaced for over 5 years or over 100,000 miles but during this time the capacity of the batteries slowly goes down giving it less range.

Are they expensive?

Right now the best batteries like Li-ion are very expensive, thatís why most of the hybrids would use NiMH but they are still pretty expensive. Itís the batteries that make up most of the cost in the cars and for ordinary people to come around to buying electric cars that cost needs to come way down. The only way the cost is going to come down though is through the experience of working with batteries or mass production so really itís only a matter of time.

Chevy Volt Battery

Batteries are really a key point in the electric car. Just like everyoneís talking about oil now, I think in the future were all going to be talking about new types of batteries!

Here is a good comparison by the EV Society of Canada of some of the batteries available.

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