Expert Lithium Ion Batteries Will Help Hybrids More Than Electric …

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Expert: Lithium Ion Batteries Help Hybrids More Electric Cars

By Brad · December 14, 2009

hybrids, like the new BMW ActiveHybrid 7, immediately begin to use lithium ion By 2015, nearly all hybrids use the new battery technology, driving the cost for consumers.

It’s reported that lithium ion will usher in a new era of electric and plug-in hybrids. Not exactly, John German, the engineer who wrote the book about cars for the Society of Automotive After 11 years at Honda, now serves as a senior fellow for the Council for Clean Transportation.

In an with PluginCars.com, German the next wave of lithium ion will not significantly reduce the of electric cars, but they make conventional hybrids

Power vs. Energy

A quick course on the difference between and energy, and why it matters.

In German’s the chief benefit of new lithium ion is their greatly enhanced capabilitiesthe rate at which can go in and out of the battery. “But they store any more energy the current lithium ion batteries said German, “What we are at is a battery which is perfect for hybrids.”

PluginCars.com: Why will the new breed of ion batteries be a bigger benefit to hybrids rather than hybrids and electric cars?

The next generation of lithium ion will reduce the cost of the pack for conventional hybrids, but not going to reduce the cost of the pack for plug-in hybrids and vehicles. In effect, these will increase the cost between conventional hybrids and hybrids. That’s going to it harder for plug-in hybrids to with conventional hybrids.

me through the energy and power for the two different categories of vehicles.

For hybrids and electric vehicles, all about the range. You need a amount of energy to drive a distance [before needing to That’s independent of the battery

If the new lithium ion chemistry doesn’t any more energy than old lithium ion chemistry, then you just as much battery to that distance.

And with hybrids, you don’t need as much energy.

The battery in all existing hybrids, up until the new BMW 7. are oversized. The reason they’re is that with nickel hydride [the technology in today’s hybrids], you’re in how fast you can take energy in and out of a without causing significant So these batteries are not sized for the [storage] requirements. They are for the power requirements, so they can enough power without deterioration.

As a consequence, they a lot more energy than really need to.

With the new lithium ion batteries, they can cut down to their actual requirements and still get all the power need.

So, with the new lithium ion the difference in cost between hybrids and gas-powered vehicles come in line?

In another 10 to 15 years, we should be at the where the mainstream customer, the customer, will accept the of a hybrid system.

Meaning, a couple of hundred dollars than a conventional car?

$1,000 to $1,500 more. enough benefit for mainstream to accept it.

How rapid will the from nickel metal to lithium ion batteries be for conventional

It’s a function of sales The current generation of lithium ion is not any cheaper than nickel hydride. And they’re not proven. a lot of the lithium ion chemistries, just and doing nothing in hot weather degrade the battery pack. The will not last as long in as Minneapolis.

There’s risk durability and reliability.

In lower applications, new hybrids just out, carmakers know not going to be able to capture market share right So they’re going to be lithium ion starting tomorrow [See S400 Hybrid and BMW ActiveHybrid 7]. You have a large volume, so risk is minimized and you’ve experience.

It’s going to be cheaper in the run, and you want to gain So, you’ll see very few new hybrids nickel metal hydride.

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The is with high volume hybrids. When you’re hundreds of thousands of Priuses every year, if you encounter wrong with the lithium ion pack, your exposure is The high volume hybrid are going to go to lithium ion last.

But the high volume ones get there by 2015 or so.

What’s feeling about the cost per of lithium ion batteries? What are now and where do they need to be?

I they were $1,000 per but I’m hearing that it may be like $700. It’s to determine the long-term price They shouldn’t have trouble getting down to $320 per kilowatt-hour.

It’s going to take a but with higher volumes and production methods, $320 is in the 2018 to 2020 time

The real question is how low can you drive it. seen some people that the lowest could be to maybe $175.


At $250, mean that plug-in become affordable?

No. At $250 per the pay back is roughly similar to the vehicles of about five ago. So there’s your about 3 percent.

If lithium ion bring the plug-in market to 2 or 3 where will conventional go?

I’ll stick my neck out and say by sometime around 2025 or conventional hybrids will be 70 percent of the market.

And a fairly ramp up from now until

Yes. It will be a curve. like a doubling of hybrid every three to five There’s no doubt in my mind by 2030 that hybrids be in more than half the sold in the US.

I would be astounded if they By 2020, I would say we’d be in the 10 — 15 percent range.

And Obama’s goal for 1 million hybrids by 2015?

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