Hybrid and electric cars live and die by the performance of their battery packs, so battery development is an ongoing process to improve these vehicles.

Eaton Corporation has announced it is currently working on a cost-effective power control system for hybrid vehicle batteries, designed to reduce the size of the battery, without losing battery life or performance.

According to HybridCars, the project is the work of a $2.8 million joint Eaton and DoE fund, with the aim of reducing battery size by 50 percent, and increasing its charge rate to improve efficiency.

The upshot of the technology would be a hybrid battery that can provide more power to an electric motor, yet charge quicker during regeneration. At the same time, a lighter, smaller unit would reduce compromises in packaging and vehicle weight.

Development is now underway at Eaton's facility in Southfield, Michigan, and researchers will be working with a team from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

It's hoped that the technology's benefits won't extend solely to hybrid cars, but also commercial vehicles, and even wider applications in infrastructure, data centers, manufacturing and industrial faculties--battery improvement in one area can frequently benefit those in other areas.

For drivers, it'll mean future hybrids that weigh less, go further on electric power, and spend less time being powered by the gasoline engine--so the benefits are clear.


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Eaton Working On Smaller Hybrid Battery, Improved Drivetrains