Concerned About Plug-In Hybrid Battery Life? How's 180,000 Miles?

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Plug-in hybrid batteries may last longer than you own your car. Southern California Edison (SCE) said Tuesday that they've continuously tested a Johnson Control-Saft lithium-ion battery subpack for the equivalent of 180,000 miles with minimal degradation; and the test is still ongoing. You could travel the circumference of the earth over seven times before you'd have to replace this battery. SCE's battery is in a commercial vehicle in their lab and represents one sixth of the whole battery that would power a plug-in hybrid vehicle.

The results of the study have prompted the U.S. Department of Energy to provide SCE with a full sized lithium-ion battery to evaluate. SCE has been working with the Electric Power Research Institute and other notable partners like Ford to study plug-in hybrid vehicles for some time. Ford and SCE collaborated to test plug-in hybrid Escape SUVs in real world conditions in Southern California starting in January of this year.

The news about battery durability reinforces the idea that plug-in hybrids may be the last link between gas vehicles and full electric ones. Whether the Detroit Three will be around to see these new technologies to fruition is another story.

Source: Edison International, Motor Authority

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