What is the Latest Technology in Car Batteries?

What is the Latest Technology in Car Batteries?

Auto, Aviation & Transportation

Let’s investigate vehicle battery technologies over the past ten years and take a look at the future.

Longevity is what it is all about in the current trends of new vehicle batteries.

When a battery is working, it can get a stable voltage, stable current, stable power supply for a long time.

There are serious questions as to the most practicable way of reducing auto-mobile pollution, which is hydrocarbons and CO are the products of incomplete combustion whereas NOx is formed in the combustion process.

However, those chemical products are very critical because CO could react with oxygen in the air, and make CO2, which is the main pollution in the air, and it has a critical effect for climate. Also, NOx could affect the climate. Because of that, many scientists want to control the climate and air pollution from vehicles, so they decided to research new energy source-batteries. Batteries could stand for fuel energy as a new desired source. Simply, because electricity is cheaper, cleaner, and more rechargeable than fuel energy.

Now there are many kinds of vehicle batteries, but the main vehicle battery is the NiMH battery, which has a nominal voltage of 1.2 V, stores hydrogen as a reaction product in the solid hydride phase. The negative electrode of a NiMH battery is a hydrogen storage material which can allow storage and release hydrogen during battery charge and discharge processes, and the nickel hydroxide positive electrode is reversible between Ni(OH)2 and nickel oxyhydroxide.2

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During charge, the Ni(OH)2 electrode is oxidized, and the MH electrode is reduced. As a result, water is separated into H+ and OH, with hydrogen reacting with the metal in the negative electrode to form MH. At the positive electrode, the OH reacts with the Ni(OH)2 form NiOOH. This reaction results in a change in the Ni oxidation state from +2 to +3. The reactions on charge and discharge could be written as2

M + H2O + e chargedischarge MH + OH                       (1)

Ni(OH)2 + OHchargedischarge NiOOH + H2O + e                   (2)

In reactions 1 and 2, there isn’t net change in electrolyte quantity or concentration over the charge-discharge cycle, and this result contrasts with other alkaline electrolyte systems such as NiCd where water is generated at both charge and discharge.2 In that case, it will keep cycle-life in the battery.

Not only does the vehicle battery have a strong genesis value because of its long history, but the vehicle also has a strong longevity value. Vehicle batteries have opposite longevity concerns, which is a new trend in the future. First of all, electricity is a kind of rechargeable energy which is presented in the vehicle battery. In an electric vehicle, there is a big battery under the car, and it connects to four electric motors. While those four motors are working, there is another generator which could produce energy, and recharge into the battery.

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Because of that, an energy circle becomes presented, so the vehicle battery has a rechargeable energy source. Furthermore, the cost of energy in the form of electricity is cheaper than in the gasoline form. In the United States, the end-user costs are roughly 2-3 cents per mile for electric vehicles and 13 cents per mile for gasoline vehicles. Therefore, the vehicle battery is reasonable in the future because maybe one day, petroleum, coal, and natural gas will run out from our planet, so we must have electricity such as vehicle batteries to support our cars and vehicles. Finally, Vehicle batteries have opposite longevity concerns, which is a new trend in the future.

Hybrid Electric Vehicle becomes often configured with batteries in the rear, electric motor, gasoline engine and electronic control circuitry under the hood. A highly aerodynamic body improves overall fuel efficiency and ensures that the vehicle can travel as far as possible under battery power alone. In a hybrid electric vehicle, it’s very similar to a gasoline vehicle because both HEV and gasoline vehicles are in the same base.

However, HEV which uses the same gallon of gas as gasoline vehicles could run more miles than gasoline vehicles because it will use both engines in working. When the speed is high enough, HEV will allow the gasoline engine to use half power to save gas, and the electric engine is still working. In that case, HEV will gain less pollution, and it will save money.

Figure 1 This figure shows the structure of engine part in a Hybrid Electric Vehicle.4 What is the Latest Technology in Car Batteries?

Although vehicle batteries have opposite longevity concerns, vehicle batteries also have a new trend with long-term effects in the future. At the end of 2014, fewer than 350,000 electric cars had been sold in China and the United States. That’s a good way to reduce pollution and keep a good atmosphere. Besides, electric vehicles have no exhaust and less pollution on the end-user side. Even considering the total exhausts in the whole electricity supply chain, because of the usage of cleaner and more efficient power generators, especially in more developed countries, an electric vehicle powered by the current U.S. electric grid causes 50% less C02 pollution per mile traveled. So the total exhausts by electric vehicles are still lower than by gasoline or diesel vehicles.3

Downside of Batteries

Many customers would like to purchase more and more cars which have batteries to ‘save the planet’. Nevertheless, there are some bad effects for vehicle batteries for a long-term. First of all, when the vehicle battery is broken, many hazardous chemical pollutants will pollute everywhere on the Earth. It will affect our atmosphere, land, and underground water because many heavy metals will harm plants and mammals.

For example, if some grasses are polluted by heavy metals, maybe sheep need to eat grass to grow up. Then humans will kill some sheep, and eat the meat. In that case, the content of heavy metals would increase multiple times, and it’s very dangerous for human’s body in the long-term. Also, the most important thing which should be solved in the future is to build power stations near or on the road. From now on, the best vehicle battery could keep a car working for 400 miles, but there aren’t any charging stations in the gas station near a highway in the US. Also, our battery technology is not as good as petroleum technology, and maybe in the future, there are many excellent technologies in the vehicle battery areas. 

Now, the main air pollution is fine-particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 microns or less which is known as PM 2.5, penetrates deeply into the alveolar region of the lung and may be able to cross into the blood. PM 2.5 is very critical in the air because it may cause climate change, which could let temperature increase and increase sea level, and it also affects people by breath.

Furthermore, there is evidence that suggests that PM 2.5 effects an inflammatory response and causes oxidative damage, and PM 2.5 may increase plaque formation in the blood vessels and could affect the autonomic nervous system, which controls the heartbeat.6 
图片包含 火车, 户外, 轨道, 天空

Figure 2. This image shows high levels of air pollution in Beijing contain a large quantity of PM 2.5.6
Bibliography : What is the Latest Technology in Car Batteries?
  1. Mak, Ho-Yin, Rong, Ying and Shen Max, Zuo-Jun “Infrastructure Planning for Electric Vehicles with Battery Swapping.” Management Science. vol. 59, No. 7, 2013, pp. 1557–1575.
  2. Shinnar, Reuel. “System Approach for Reducing Car Pollution.” Science, vol. 175, no. 4028, 1972, pp. 1357–1360.  
  3. Ovshinsky, S. R. “A Nickel Metal Hydride Battery for Electric Vehicles.” Science. Vol. 260. No. 5105, 1993, pp 176–181. 
  4. Wouk, Victor. “Hybrid Electric Vehicles.” Scientific American. Vol. 277. No.4, 1997. pp. 70–74. 
  5. LeVine, Steve. “Battery Powered: The Promise of Energy Storage.” Foreign Affairs, vol. 94, no. 2, 2015, pp. 119–124. 
  6. Marshall, Jessica. “PM 2.5.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Vol. 110. No.22. 2013. pp. 8756–8756. 

What is the Latest Technology in Car Batteries?

Auto, Aviation & Transportation