Dyson plots electric car with breakthrough battery

May 18th, 2016 § Comments Off on Dyson plots electric car with breakthrough battery § permalink

Tech firm Dyson is secretly working on an electric car, which would give Britain an answer to the EVs in development from heavyweight Silicon Valley giants, Google and Apple. And the Dyson car could have double the energy density and range of today’s EVs, thanks to a breakthrough solid-state battery.

News of Dyson’s EV was accidentally leaked in the government’s recent National Infrastructure Delivery Plan 2016-2021 which stated: ‘Dyson [is] to develop a new battery electric vehicle at their headquarters in Malmesbury, Wiltshire… This will secure £174m of investment in the area, creating over 500 jobs, mostly in engineering.’

Source: http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/car-news/tech/dyson-plots-electric-car-with-breakthrough-battery-car-june-2016/

Nissan’s 60-kWh, 200-Mile Battery Pack: What We Know So Far

November 6th, 2015 § Comments Off on Nissan’s 60-kWh, 200-Mile Battery Pack: What We Know So Far § permalink

Will the next-generation 2018 Nissan Leaf offer an option that could provide 200 miles of more of real-world driving range?

Based on the concept car and prototype battery pack that officially bowed this past week, coinciding with the Tokyo Motor Show, it’s increasingly likely.

One of them is that it points to how a new generation of vehicles with autonomous-drive modes might look—and function with pedestrians, normally driven cars, and the immediate surroundings.
With the concept Nissan also dropped some hints about a potential styling direction for the next-generation Leaf electric car.

Furthermore, the concept officially threw in a 60-kWh battery—which, if it’s affordable enough, could be the key to stay competitive against a raft of rivals including the Chevy Bolt, and Tesla Model 3.

Although a Nissan official told us that 60 kWh isn’t a hard-and-fast capacity number, the approximate size is something that the automaker plans to offer in the next several years.
And that pack isn’t just concept-car fantasy. It exists (pictured above), developed internally by Nissan, and they’re calling the pack a working prototype, aimed at providing a 500-km (300-mile) range in the very generous European or Japanese driving cycles.

In all, it’s quite different than the currently available 24-kWh pack in the Leaf or its upgraded 30-kWh pack that’s going to be available beginning in a few months. The latter will offer an EPA-rated 107 miles.

At least for now, any claims that the automaker is planning to move to an external supplier are premature.

Lithium-ion battery pack of 2011 Nissan Leaf, showing cells assembled into modules 

 This past week, at the Nissan Technical Center at Atsugi, Japan, we were about to learn more about this pack from some of the team overseeing its development. Here are some key points of this next-gen, 200-mile battery:

Different chemistry. 

The prototype moves from a nickel manganese cathode to a nickel manganese cobalt one. The anode remains made of graphite, and the electrolyte remains a lithium compound.

Flexible pack structure. 

The current Leaf battery uses four cells per module (with 48 modules in the entire 24-kWh pack)—a structure that allows a uniform height and shape for the pack. But this one moves to a multiple-cell configuration; Nissan will be able to adjust the number of cell stacks (and thus height) depending on packaging and capacity demands. An official said that they were conservative with the number of cells per stack in the original battery design, but with essentially no failures or issues, they’re fine perhaps dramatically increasing that number.

Faster charging. 

Engineers have made an effort to reduce impedance, through the increased quantity of cells and a revised electrode material. This allows longer charging at maximum current—and will potentially allow faster-rate 100-kW charging versus the current 50-kW. Higher voltage is under discussion.

More weight, but a lot more power density. Using the 24-kWh pack as a baseline, Nissan says that the new 60-kWh pack weighs just 220 pounds more. So with that older pack weighing in the vicinity of 660 pounds, that ups overall weight to nearly 900 pounds. It’s impressive, considering the gain in kWh per pound.

Air cooling. 

Nissan made the original Leaf battery pack completely air-cooled, and while there were some early, isolated issues in very hot climates like Arizona, those seem to be largely solved today. Liquid cooling isn’t being considered for an entirely new, larger-capacity battery—at least in this prototype form. Forced-air cooling isn’t likely either.

Increased state-of-charge range. 

That’s thanks to a wider voltage range—which runs at about 2.5 to 4.15 volts in the current battery.

Longer service life. 

Nissan has revised the electrode material and optimized the lithium electrolyte (it won’t say how in either case), with the net effect being less of a performance drop over years and hundreds of charge cycles. Suppressed lithium corrosion will help durability, too. One of several charts we saw but were instructed not to publish, if to scale, suggested that instead of a standard capacity degradation to 80 percent after five years, it now might be 90 percent.

ORNL Solid-State Battery Test: 90% Of Original Capacity After 10,000 Cycles

November 7th, 2014 § Comments Off on ORNL Solid-State Battery Test: 90% Of Original Capacity After 10,000 Cycles § permalink

Researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory recently presented a high-voltage (5V), long-lasting solid-state battery.

According to ORNL, this new cell can achieve an extremely long cycle life of over 10,000 cycles, while retaining more than 90% of its original capacity. Additionally, the Coulombic efficiency is near 100% on the first graph.

Is this the long awaited breakthrough?

“A high-voltage (5V) solid state battery has been demonstrated to have an extremely long cycle life of over 10,000 cycles. For a given size of battery, the energy stored in a battery is proportional to its voltage. Conventional lithium-ion batteries use organic liquid electrolytes that have a maximum operating voltage of 4.3 V. Operating a battery above this limit causes short cycle life and serious safety concerns.” 

“This work demonstrates that replacing the conventional liquid electrolyte with a ceramic solid electrolyte of lithium phosphorus oxynitride (Lipon) eliminates the limit of conventional lithium-ion batteries. A model battery of LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4/Lipon/Li has been operated over 10,000 cycles at a charge voltage to 5.1V.  The solid state battery retains more than 90% of its original capacity after 10,000 cycles. Such a battery has a cycling lifetime of more than 27 years with a daily charge/discharge cycle, exceeding the lifetime of most devices and even vehicles. This work infuses new life into the existing chemistry of high-voltage lithium batteries.”

Well…maybe, but we don’t see a few important bits of data, which concerns us a little. The energy density value is missing and, on the second graph, we see that efficiency is falling down together with discharge rate.

At 2C rate (30-minute discharge), you can take just half the energy as at C/10 (10-hour discharge), which is not preferable. Old fashion liquid electrolyte lithium-ion batteries are almost as good at higher currents as at low, and we need this to be true of these batteries, especially those in electric cars. 2C is just about 50 kW from ~24 kWh battery pack in Nissan LEAF (which has an 80 kW motor).

Without maintaining efficiency at higher currents, the battery will waste all of the additional energy (if in fact energy density is higher).

Source: ORNL via Gree Car Congress

Government backing will see more electric vehicles on Scotland’s roads

November 6th, 2014 § Comments Off on Government backing will see more electric vehicles on Scotland’s roads § permalink

The number of electric vehicles on Scotland’s roads is set to increase exponentially over the coming months due to initiatives set in place by the Scottish Government.

Transport Scotland has announced plans to dedicate £1 million to the development and use of electric vehicles, particularly in Scotland’s car club sector.

The pioneering move will see the UK’s leading independent car club, City Car Club, add 20 new electric vehicles across Glasgow and Edinburgh.
» Read the rest of this entry «

New battery gen: Sakti3 demonstrates impressive energy density with solid-state battery cells

August 28th, 2014 § Comments Off on New battery gen: Sakti3 demonstrates impressive energy density with solid-state battery cells § permalink

For a few years, battery insiders have been talking about a startup company called Sakti3. The University of Michigan spin-out has received millions in funding from backers including Khosla Ventures and GM Ventures. Until recently, the company has been pretty secretive, but this week CEO Ann Marie Sastry told Scientific American that the company’s prototype battery cells have reached a record energy density of 1,143 Watt-hours per liter – more than double that of today’s best lithium-ion batteries.
» Read the rest of this entry «

Researchers Create Pure Lithium Anode, “The Holy Grail” For Battery

July 30th, 2014 § Comments Off on Researchers Create Pure Lithium Anode, “The Holy Grail” For Battery § permalink

Lithium-ion battery pack for 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV electric carLithium-ion battery pack for 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV electric carEnlarge Photo

Existing lithium-ion batteries rely on the movement of lithium ions between the anode and cathode–and back–as the battery charges and discharges.

It’s one of the best options we have for powering electric vehicles (and most consumer electronic devices, for that matter) but there’s still room for improvement.

Researchers at Stanford University have published a report in the Nature Nanotechnology journal detailing the creation of a pure lithium anode, potentially boosting battery efficiency by a large margin over today’s units.

According to Phys.org, a pure lithium anode is considered the ‘Holy Grail’ of battery design, returning the usual improved-battery benefits: higher energy density, lighter weight and more power.

In an existing lithium-ion battery, the anode is typically made of graphite or silicon. These are largely used for their stability, rather than their efficiency. » Read the rest of this entry «

2017: Next Nissan LEAF (mk3) to get a more ‘mainstream’ look & bigger capacity battery 300km/180miles?

May 11th, 2014 § Comments Off on 2017: Next Nissan LEAF (mk3) to get a more ‘mainstream’ look & bigger capacity battery 300km/180miles? § permalink

Nissan executives have shared some of their goal for the next version of the popular LEAF electric car. Top of the list are more “mainstream styling” and a new higher-capacity battery that “greatly increases its range”. In fact, they see greater range as key to higher sales.

“The battery chemistry is all about range and energy density. That’s where you see the technology moving very, very fast,” said Andy Palmer, executive vice president in charge of Nissan’s zero emissions and Infiniti businesses, in an interview last month at the Beijing auto show. “This really is the game-changing technology.”

» Read the rest of this entry «

AU: Nissan Exec: Reliable 125 Miles Of Range Coming To LEAF By 2016

November 28th, 2013 § Comments Off on AU: Nissan Exec: Reliable 125 Miles Of Range Coming To LEAF By 2016 § permalink

While No Drastic Changes Are Planned For The 2014 MY LEAF, The Same Can Not Be Said For Future Model Years According To Nissan Exec

A lot of things happen at the Frankfurt Auto Show (IAA) this month and a lot was said; but lost in all the hoopla was a Nissan’s exec’s admission that the LEAF would see a range improvement of a reliable 200 km (124.2) miles within the current generational cycle.
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