Greater range possible with new EV battery

by Ernie Hernandez on September 26, 2011

Axeon EV batteryPotential 35% range improvement

A group of three electric vehicle (EV) battery developers in Europe have developed a Nickel Cobalt Manganese (NCM) design battery that occupies 50% less volume and 30% less mass – all  while providing a range improvement of 35% over existing Lithium Iron Phosphate technologies. The group is led by Axeon.

Not being electrical or chemical engineers, we will leave the chemistry evaluations to others, but certainly any research that moves EV battery technology in the direction of small, lighter, further must be considered a good thing. The questions then become – does it really work, is it scalable, and at what cost?

According to the consortium, an advanced demonstrator has been tried in a test vehicle increasing range, functionality and performance. Consortium partners include Allied Vehicles which provided the test vehicle. A battery management system (BMS) developed by Ricardo, the third member of the group, monitors battery condition.

So it would appear that a functional battery pack has been developed. It remains to be seen if the design is scalable and at what cost, but moving the technology forward is a step in the right direction.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris September 26, 2011 at 1:52 pm

This sounds like a legitimate announcement – real world testing, not just in a lab. A quick look at the periodic table makes me suspicious of the claimed improvement (Ni is in group 10, Co in group 9, while Li is group 1), but I’m not an expert. Any improvements in battery tech is welcome news.

Reply

Sasparilla September 27, 2011 at 8:47 am

Definitely welcome news, anything is good of course. I wonder if the chemistry would have better long term capacity characteristics than Li.

It needs to be remembered as well that both GM and Nissan said, prior to first sale of their plug-in vehicles (about 2 years ago if memory serves), they were already testing the next generation of Li batts they will use in the next generation Leaf and Volt and they were showing capacity improvements of around 100% (i.e. double the capacity for the same size).

Battery tech is moving extremely fast, unfortunately waiting on the next generation vehicle to roll out the new battery tech is the pacing item, it appears. 2014 or 2015 rollouts should be very cool.

The question this begs is what range Nissan will go for with the next gen Leaf (150 miles and reduce pack size and cost?). Presumably GM will just keep the same range on the Volt and reduce the pack size and cost.

Reply

Ernie Hernandez (LEAFguy) September 27, 2011 at 7:50 pm

We already know that LEAF 2.0 will have the 6.6 kilowatt charger onboard versus the current 3.3 kilowatt unit. My guess is that range will go up vs. incorporating a smaller, lighter battery pack. More people are concerned with range than any other concern.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: