May 23, 2007
New Material Lowers Fire Risk Of Lithium Batteries
A new material may help make lithium batteries more feasible for constructing hybrid electric vehicles.
Researchers at Tonen Chemical, an affiliate of ExxonMobil Chemical based in Tokyo, Japan, have developed a new separator that plays an active role in keeping batteries from overheating. The material could make it possible to slow the reactions, allowing the battery to cool off rather than bursting into flame, says Peter Roth, program manager for advanced technology development at Sandia National Laboratories, in Albuquerque, NM. Sandia is now testing the safety features of the new separator.
Better battery technology will eventually cause electricity rather than liquid hydrocarbons to power most vehicle movement. Liquid fuel will get used mostly for longer trips. Batteries will power most shorter trips.
The aluminum prooposal isn't very good.
The Purdue researcher says that IF aluminum stays below $1 (it's at $1.25 now), and IF fuel cells become cheap, then hydrogen can just break even with $3 gas. Meanwhile, electricity via a battery is the equivalent of $1 per gallon.
So, if fuel cells come from behind to catch up with batteries, it's fuel will still be 3x as expensive, and you'll still have 350 pounds of aluminum to exchange at every refueling!
The latest generation of li-ion batteries have a very high number of charges, and can be recycled easily.
The Zap Car which will soon be released, seems to have an advanced nano-technology lithium battery with a 350 mile range per charge, with very long life also. I am pasting below the information and web site. The barrier is the fact that these advanced batteries are very expensive, and this 5 seat car will cost more than $75,000 when ready next year. But if these batteries are mass produced in the future, the price will decline dramatically.
100% Electric; 4 electronic wheel hub motors sporting an aggressive 644 horsepower with super capacitor energy bursts
0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds with top speed of 155 mph
Mileage & Range
350 miles per charge; about 1 cent per mile; rapid 10 minute re-charge; 9,000 life cycles
Seating for 5 +2 with European ergonomic design; all electronic touch screen controls on-board carputer: Windows XP, Wi-Fi, Blue-tooth, High definition video, iPod ready, Fire wire, USB2 and Mini USB ports
When does it get too late for all of this? Maybe Zap-Car can do it –get the price down that is— as we happily wave bye-bye to Ford, GM and Toyota. I want an electric sedan very badly, but $75K is the realm of the vanity car, not a viable alternative. We wait a few more years; again.
Has anybody seen an analysis of compressed air cars? I've seen several that appear to be close to production, or actually in production, but they are all small, slow vehicles like this one: http://www.theaircar.com/