Report: Toyota developing magnesium batteries as lithium alternative

Filed under: Hybrid, Technology, Toyota

magnesium on periodic table of the elementsWhether you’re talking about cameras, phones or electric cars, lithium is the current battery of choice. Lithium can pack much more energy than the nickel-metal hydride cells hiding in the boot of a Toyota Prius, but that doesn’t mean that the rare earth metal represents the zenith of battery technology.

Bloomberg reports that scientists and engineers at Toyota’s Ann Arbor, Michigan technical center are on the lookout for the next big thing in batteries, and the automaker thinks it may be on to something. Lithium’s possible replacement is composed of magnesium and sulfur, and Toyota engineering manager Jeffrey Makarewicz reportedly feels the batteries can be ready as soon as the year 2020.

The problem with lithium, according to Makarewicz, is that it can only optimally hold about 2,000 kilowatt-hours of energy. That’s apparently not enough spark to consistently power the plug-ins and EVs of the future. We’re guessing Makarewicz is alluding to the fact that electric cars like the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf only have enough juice to venture 35 to 100 miles on a single charge, while even the most inefficient gasoline mills can travel hundreds of miles

So, will magnesium one day surpass lithium as the battery guts of the future? We have no idea, but we apparently have about a decade of patient waiting before we can find out.

[Source: Bloomberg | Image: Life123.com]

Report: Toyota developing magnesium batteries as lithium alternative originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 12 Jan 2011 14:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Report: Toyota developing magnesium batteries as lithium alternative”

2012 Ford Focus EV to use liquid-cooled lithium-polymer battery

Filed under: Sedan, Technology, Hatchback, Electric

Ford Focus EV prototype

Ford Focus EV – Click above for high-res image gallery

When the 2112 Ford Focus Electric debuts in late 2011, it and the Chevrolet Volt will have a common feature in addition to their LG Chem lithium polymer cells. Ford confirms that the Focus EV will employ a liquid-cooled battery pack with automatic thermal management, just like the Chevy.

Ford opted for active thermal management solution in order to help maximize the Focus EV’s battery performance and lifespan. By protecting the battery from overheating, the system can help prevent the development of cracks in the electrodes. Those imperfections eventually reduce the pack’s ability to hold a charge. Conversely, warming the cells when cold will improve the battery pack’s winter performance. When the car is plugged in, the thermal management system will use grid power to precondition the battery before charging actually starts.

So far, Nissan and Mitsubishi are the only major EV manufacturers that are sticking with passive air cooling for plug-in vehicles. Nissan has committed to an eight-year warranty, but it remains unclear how well the battery will hold up over regular use in differing climates.

Gallery: ABG Quick Drive: Ford Focus EV mule

[Source: Ford]

Continue reading 2012 Ford Focus EV to use liquid-cooled lithium-polymer battery

2012 Ford Focus EV to use liquid-cooled lithium-polymer battery originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 04 Sep 2010 13:41:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “2012 Ford Focus EV to use liquid-cooled lithium-polymer battery”