Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Li-Ion Batteries Charge Ahead

Wired News
September 6, 2006

Automotive parts manufacturer Johnson Controls says it will start to produce lithium ion batteries to be used in hybrid vehicles. The development contract for more than $15 million with an unnamed auto manufacturer will provide units for test vehicles with an eye towards volume production.

The goal is to make lithium ion batteries for $500, or cheaper than today's nickel-metal hydride batteries, according to the Detroit Free Press. Plug-in hybrid vehicle companies hope to push the technology so that the batteries can be fully charged and emptied, which can not be done reliably today.

Saving a few hundred bucks on batteries while increasing their capacity would make hybrids even more cost effective. My guess is the earliest we'd see hybrids with lithium ion batteries would be the 2009 model year.

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