It’s not news anymore when we hear the automotive industry is going down, but this also happens because of the need for another type of energy, something that does not pollute and something that can decrease costs with consumption and maintenance. I’m talking about electricity and batteries here.
Batteries have received a lot of criticism because of the short and lifetime and expensive replacement costs. Besides this, it should be taken into consideration the range that a battery can provide, life charging cycles and charging time. Finally, everything is related to costs, making the EV not much cheaper than a conventional gas car to run, not to mention buying it.
All of these put together don’t make electricity and batteries a reliable and cheap energy source of the automotive industry. But don’t worry, time will only tell that, as people do not give up that easily. Scientists from Southern California Edison (SCE) have developed and tested for two and a half years a lithium-ion battery sub-pack with very encouraging results.
The battery tested survived 180,000 miles with no significant deterioration (about the same mileage as the Prius battery, but 100% electric drive). This test is very relevant for electric cars as it might just have the future we all hope on. An average driver could use the battery pack for about 12 years if he drives 15,000 miles a year which is almost the average lifetime of the car itself. So he doesn’t really need to change the battery.
The Johnson Control-Saft lithium-ion battery subpack was tested in a commercial delivery van in a lab at SCE’s Electric Vehicle Testing Center in Pomona, CA. The size of the battery is one sixth of the actual battery size used in a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Because of the remarkable tests, the U.S. Department of Energy have asked SCE for testing on a passenger car and they supplied a full sized battery for further testing. SCE has the support of the Electric Power Research Institute evaluation of plug-in hybrid EVs.