To boost the range of pure electric vehicles (EVs), automakers need more onboard energy. To get more energy, they need bigger battery packs.
That's why manufacturers such as Tesla Motors and BYD Automobile are rolling out vehicles with massive EV battery packs. Tesla's Model S offers a choice of three packs -- 40kWh, 60kWh, and 85kWh. The smaller packs have approximately 5,000 cells in them, while the bigger packs incorporate 8,000 cells, and weigh up to 1,200 pounds. Similarly, BYD's highly anticipated e6 will use a 1,400lb, 71kWh battery.
Not all automakers are building such massive packs. Nissan's Leaf uses a 24kWh model, while the Chevy Volt employs a 16kWh battery, and the Toyota Prius PHV (a plug-in hybrid) incorporates a 5.2-kWh unit. We've collected photos of a wide range of EV battery packs, ranging from production to research devices.
Click on the photo below to scroll through our EV battery slideshow:
The electric DeLorean's battery bay houses the vehicle's electric motor and half of its battery pack. (Source: DeLorean Motor Co.)
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For a close-up look at GM's Chevy Volt, go to the Drive for Innovation site and follow the cross-country journey of EE Life editorial director, Brian Fuller. In the trip sponsored by Avnet Express, Fuller is taking the fire-engine-red Volt to innovation hubs across America, interviewing engineers, entrepreneurs, innovators, and students as he blogs his way across the country.
deux chevaux Appreciated your humor and mention of the fasinating Citroen 2CV chassis and lightweight body concept designed. Good NEW design is refreshing and should be rewarded as it was a short time ago when Tesla's JB Straubel received the Engineer of The Year Award.
The following is from the TESLA site bio on JB; thought you guys would like to read it.
"As Chief Technical Officer The story of JB's career started at a junkyard in Wisconsin, where, at the age of 14, he discovered a discarded electric golf cart and decided to rebuild it. Thus began a lifelong fascination with energy work and electric vehicles.
As a co-founder of Tesla, JB has overseen the technical and engineering design of the vehicles, focusing on the battery, motor, power electronics, and high-level software sub-systems. Additionally, he evaluates new technology, manages vehicle systems testing, and handles technical interface with key vendors.
Prior to Tesla, JB was the CTO and co-founder of the aerospace firm, Volacom, which designed a specialized high-altitude electric aircraft platform using a novel power plant. At Volacom, JB invented and patented a new long-endurance hybrid electric propulsion concept that was later licensed to Boeing. Before Volacom, JB worked at Rosen Motors as a propulsion engineer developing a new hybrid electric vehicle drivetrain based on a micro turbine and a high-speed flywheel. JB was also part of the early team at Pentadyne, where he designed and built a first-generation 150kW power inverter, motor-generatorcontrols, and magnetic bearing systems.
Armed with a bachelor's in energy systems engineering and an master's in energy engineering from Stanford University, JB left the cold winters of Wisconsin for good. He now lives in Menlo Park, Calif., where he continues to indulge his passion for electric transportation: he built an electric Porsche 944 that held a world EV racing record, a custom electric bicycle, and a pioneering hybrid trailer system. JB is also an accomplished pilot.
At last, a company is showing some sense with incorporating their batteries. TESLA seems to be using the batteries to replace the floor structure so it is the battery weight minus the floor weight (picture 16). This location makes sense since it gives a low centre of gravity, it is in an area that is acceptable to be flat and simple, and is air cooled from below with the option of cooling through the structure. (see citroen 2CV chassis and lightweight body concept designed before WW2 and produced in 1948) It can also provides underfloor heating for the cooler countries. Now all the car needs is a light aluminium or composite body strong enough to resist a roll etc. Next step is the bulkheads to be made into batteries. Eventually body panels would be the batteries. Replace your old batteries and upgrade the car design, colour and possibly battery design at the same time. I thought this was common sense over a decade ago so it is good to see it beginning to become reality. May the technology evolve. Exciting - isn't it?
WOW! So, y'all mean that when the CHEVY VOLT grows to the physical size of a 1959 CADILLAC SEDAN de VILLE BROUGHAM, we'll have enuf energy storage that we'll be able to go to the local grocery store & back w/ the A/C & radio turned on, on a single charge? I can't wait!!!!! In the mean time, I'll stick w/ my trusty, ALWAYS reliable, TOYOTA, which consistently gets 35 mpg, and I can park in my garage!!!!
o 52 mph - 2003 Prius with +90k miles (total approaching 150k)
o 52 mph - 2010 Prius with +26k miles
The trick is to maximize EV or coast in free-wheel operation until the engine reaches an efficient, thermodynamic temperature range. Then drive the Prius as you would any other car.
Traction batteries have their use but it is best applied to provide power until the engine reaches peak, thermodynamic efficiency . . . and then give the engine a break when it can't be efficient. Meet me at the gas pump if you have a different point of view. <grins>
I'd like to save money. I get 24 MPG in my vans and run them to around 240,000 miles. I would have to have them for longer trips even if I owned an EV. The way I look at it, the $40,000 for an EV would buy a lot of gas. Factor in the extra insurance and plates and you could have bought even more gas. A hybrid would be better if it had the needed cargo room. I could get by with one vehicle. Sadly, 240,000 miles comes out to a lot of batteries. Even recharging it for free, It would be hard to come out money ahead. This is not to say that there won't be some fantistic discovery in the world of batteries down the road. Look how far LEDs have come from indicator lights to lighting warehouses. Or maybe it will be a super capacitor or solar panels to power the electrolisis that will harvest hydrogen from water so we will have hydrogen for fuel cells.
We don't understand our taxing situations in Indiana either. Where did wheel tax come from? As if the plates didn't cost enough already. And if you put up a tent for an event in Elkhart, you pay tent tax. From my lips to God's ears.
I'm not down on EVs, I've built two but not for long trips. Regards, Pete O.
In running into fixed objects, I think you're right. Mass alone doesn't help. But in collisions with other vehicles, conservation of momentum favors the heavier vehicle, simply on the relative delta-velocities experienced by the two. If you end up in the middle of the crumple zone, it won't help you, but mass does have a beneficial effect independent of stuctural design. Extreme example: a one inch rock and a ping pong ball collide. Both objects may survive with minimal damage, but I'd rather my brain experience the accelerations of the rock than those of the ping pong ball.
Now about your other comment about why unsubsidized EV's don't sell? I agree with you there. Liquid transportation fuels provide energy density and 're-charging' convenience thus far unmatched by plug-only EV's.
Sorry I didn't buy an EV to save the planet. I bought an EV because I wanted an electric car and to save money. After 8,000 miles on the LEAF I am saving $0.20/mile in gas cost ($4.07 gas 17mpg and $0.14 KWHr @ 3.5mi/KWHr) so after 9 months I have $1,600 offset cost. If the battery goes 80K miles that's $16,000 for a new battery, if 160K miles it's a free car!
As for insurance the cost for the LEAF is the lowest for the 4 vehicles I pay insurance for. What else can I say?
So what's so bad about electricity? It can be made from many energy sources including coal, natural gas, hydro, and wind but my preference is to use nuclear based electric generation to power the planet and if you insist, you can use petrol to generate electricity at higher cost.
Instead of recycling or disposing the used LEAF battery (20KWHr remaining capacity), it can be charged by PV panels to store the electricity. I don't understand your taxing situations. There are many ways to tax EVs and I'm sure there will be additional ones soon.
Well PETE you need to let yorself be heard! Write your CONGERESSMEN! Let them know you dont want to pay for SUN especially when you can turn the power it creates off so easy; and ask them to JUSTIFY your rain tax?
FACTS: well run nuecler Fissionplants ARE (today) the greenest and lowest KWH cost generation @ about 1.5 cents, coal @ 3.0 cents /KWH, natural gas @5.4 cents/KWH, and oil @ 6.1 cents /KWH. Other Nano based nuecler FUSION derivites are NOW IN THE WORKS all yeild a CLEAN (NO ATOMIC radiation hazzards or polution product) 1 KWH @ 0.1 cents! This and other methodology is under investigation presently for automotive use.
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