Scientists at Ohio State University have been dissecting exhausted batteries to learn more about what happens when electric vehicle batteries die. There's a lot to like about electric vehicles, but with them there's potentially a major problem ahead. Batteries have a tendency to lose their ability to store power over time. Different automakers have been looking at various aproaches to keep from having this be a consumer problem, with plans to lease batteries separately from the vehicles in some instances.
Users of cell phones, laptop computers, and all kinds of battery-powered devices are already well aware of this fact. Researchers hope to give battery makers new insight that can lead to ways of extending the life of these batteries. Preliminary examinations of automotive lithium ion batteries shows that "a fraction of the lithium," which transfers charge between the cathode and anode of the battery, is being lost to use when it "combined with anode material in an irreversible way." Battery manufacturers may be able to work with this knowledge to create batteries that are more resistive to this loss. Better batteries that hold charge longer will provide vehicles that can run farther and longer.
written by Alessandro Machi, December 06, 2010
written by Patty Hattaway, December 10, 2010
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