I just want to know if people have the same general opinion as me which is that “as of this moment that lithium ion battery technology will be the EV battery technology for the future for numerous reasons including energy efficiency, range etc and that the lead acid battery will not be around for much longer, but on the other hand if attempts to improve the lead acid battery technology are successful then this scenario could be reversed due to the lead acid battery technology being much cheaper which would make the EV more affordable for more people.
There’s been talk recently of breakthroughs in Lead acid batteries that would increase the energy density as well as the longevity of lead acid batteries. Of course there’s been so many claims for energy storage recently they oughtta change it from “snake oil” to “wonder battery”. Pb is not exactly on environmentalists Christmas list and you’d think that having used lead acid batteries forever, someone would’ve made some kind of progress by now if there was ever going to be.
I’m more interested in the progress being made in NiMH batteries. Again, Ni mining is not as environmentally friendly as we’d hope, the raw materials will probably always cost more, but they definitely can go through many charge cycles and Sanyo has already overcome the self discharging issues in their Eneloop batteries and increased the longevity from great to down right amazing and they have just begun, they’ll have gen 2 out soon and gen 3 out in the next 5 years. Price wise, the raw materials cost more, but for now the total out the door manufacturing $/usable kWh is about half of Li ion batteries (or less), and that’s with dozens of heavy hitter electronics companies working on it, while hardly anyone has worked on NiMH in the last 10 years. From what companies like the Volt’s battery supplier LG Chem are saying, we might be waiting quite a while before Li ion prices drop by a factor of 2.
In reality, there will probably be something totally different energy storage chemistry that will change everything. We can only hope. If ever there was a time for it to happen, it’s in the next couple of years. We’ve got countries like China buying more cars than the US now and there’s just not enough oil to support 1 billion more cars, then you’ve got India that is quickly catching up to, woops, another 1 billion cars, I don’t think it’s gonna happen, not all running on oil. You’ve got a terrible economy and the one thing we know people want is batteries. With batteries an increasingly integral part of our daily lives from our cell phones, to PDAs, laptops, power tools, and EVs obviously.
What is claimed to be new with lead cid battery the use of carbon nanotechnology. In one report on Ecolocap it was stated that the same technology could be applied to lithium batteries. Whether any of this is true remains to be seen.