Are lithium ion batteries the key to the future of EVs?  According to John German, author of "Hybrid Powered Vehicles" published by the SAE and former Honda engineer, the answer is no.  But li-ion will have a place in the field of advanced vehicles.  As German told in an interview, li-ion is not the answer for full EVs, but the technology does offer a perfect solution for hybrid vehicles.

According to German, li-ion is not really a suitable solution for EVs because the technology does not offer additional energy at full capacity.  Lithium offers benefits over other types of batteries such as quick recharging capability and lower weight, but according to German, increasing range via lithium technology is unlikely.

However, hybrid vehicles could benefit from lithium.  as German says, the quick discharge and recharge of li-ion suits hybrids and plug-in hybrids perfectly.   Hybrid will make financial sense to buyers soon and li-ion offers lower weight and quicker charging through regenerative braking than other battery types.  Additionally, plug-in times for PHEVs are shorter when equipped with li-ion batteries.

But what about costs?  As we all know li-ion doesn't come cheap.  It's more expensive than some competing battery technologies and consumer dislike having to pay a higher amount for hybrids.  German explains that within 10 to 15 years lithium-ion batteries will decrease in cost to the point where a mainstream buyer will consider a hybrid vehicle.  As German says in the interview with, " In another 10 to 15 years, we should be at the point where the mainstream customer, the average customer, will accept the cost of a hybrid system at $1,000 to $1,500 more. There's enough benefit for mainstream customers to accept it."

So if li-ion doesn't hold the key to the future of EVs, what does?  We are eagerly awaiting that next key breakthrough in battery technology that will drive electric vehicles into the future.

Source:  Hybrid