A decade ago, the term “lithium-ion” meant little to consumers. Now, it’s everywhere. Consumers know it as the power source for their laptops, cellphones, hybrid vehicles, and electric cars. It’s also showing up less conspicuously in storage applications on electrical grids. And it has been prominently cited as the battery chemistry that caught fire on Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner.
Lithium-ion’s sudden rise to public prominence has happened for a reason. It’s an energetic chemistry the likes of which have not been previously available. In vehicles, for example, lithium-ion offers three times as much energy as lead-acid and 50 percent more than nickel-metal hydride.
“Lithium-ion has terrific properties in terms of energy density,” David Cole, chairman emeritus of The Center for Automotive Research, told Design News recently.
We’ve collected photos of lithium-ion battery applications from the past five years. From electric cars and hybrids to laptops and grid storage applications, they demonstrate the impact lithium battery chemistries have had.
Click the image below to start the slideshow.
Engineers of Nissan’s Leaf, which made its debut in 2010, wanted their car to have a battery that wouldn’t clog up valuable rear-seat space. Instead of placing the lithium-ion batteries in the back seat and trunk, they created a 24-kWh pack that resides under the floor. (Source: Nissan)
Well agrued, Totally_Lost. I particularly see your point on the systems that would be retrofitted. Add to that plug-in devices from teenagers who are well known for their lack on interest in security. So, good points.
Rob ... the problem with security is it's very hard to retrofit, if not carefully and fully designed in from the beginning.
There are a lot of potential attack vectors for cars of the future, expecially if "entertainment systems" continue to be tightly integrated with control systems. Consider a car that offers internet access with an onboard touch screen web browser for passengers, with outdated browser plug-ins like Java, Adobe Reader or Flash Player -- all of which are potential attack vectors with exploits that don't require click authorization.
Then consider that these plug-in's are not always secure .... and haven't been for a while now. google:
Whitehole exploit toolkit
So far there hasn't been a mandate for highly secure automotive control systems ... and we have people selling chip-kits that replace the factory firmware for many auto's and trucks.
Over heat a large Li-Ion battery pack, and thermal runaway is unavoidable if the thermal management system can be compromised by software ... either disabling termal lockouts for charging, or disabling thermal lockouts for discharging, or both.
I simply raise this, because it's very likely with current trends, that Li-Ion batteries will be a target in the future .... posting this certainly let the cat out of the bag. Someone needs to be responsible up front, and set clear design thresholds for safety ... not just for preventing thermal runaway of Li-Ion batteries, but coordinated attacks which might disable or seize control of a car remotely as part of a coordinated infrastructure attack.
Consider the "Fire Sale" from Die Hard :)
That was theater ... reality isn't that far behind.
I believe that lithium-ion will be with us for a long time to come, Rob. There are so many producers of the technology out there now, and the energy capacity of this chemistry is so great, that engineers will find a use for them, unless some catastrophic accident occurs.
It will be interesting to see how the lithium-ion battery fares going forward. Seems the automakers have invested heavily in this battery, even with the questions still flloating around. Your point earlier concerning the value of a used EVs that needs a new battery still haunts the ultimate validity and afflordability of EVs.
That prediction is very interesting, Chuck. I wonder if the design teams creating EVs with lithium-ion batteries were sufficiently aware of the chemistry challenges. A few screw-ups can do real damage to a business that is still in the cradle.
Wlliam i agree to you although lithium ion cells canbe the future technology but it also has its limitations.One of the major limitation is ageing and this depends upon number of times the cell has been charged it doesnt depend upon the time period of the battery usage infact depends upon the number of cycles the battery has gone for recharging .Research has shown that it should be charged within 40 to 50% rather than 100 percent in order to protect the battery. Secondly one should take care of over charging as well this also reduces the life of lithium ion cells .
A lot of well-intentioned money went into this technology, ChasChas. David Cole -- who is the chairman emeritus of The Center for Automotive Reserach and the former head of the automotive engineering program at the University of Michigan and the auto industry's most respected consultant -- told me this: "The government was waving billions of dollars around, and to get that money, you had to talk about cars and you had to talk about lithium batteries." My personal belief is that many people outside the auto industry made the assumption that batteries would advance the way electronics did two decades ago; all we had to do was throw money at it. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way, and never has during the past hundred years.
far911, battery failure, or at least the reduction in performance after repeated useage, is what I thought I was talking about. It is a combination of factors that use up battery life. More current draw causes a more frequent need to recharge, and it is the charge/discharge cycles thast ultimately use up a batterie's life. So while the relationship is less clear, it is certainly real.
California’s plan to mandate an electric vehicle market isn’t the first such undertaking and certainly won’t be the last. But as the Golden State ratchets up for its next big step toward zero-emission vehicle status in 2018, it might be wise to consider a bit of history.
By now, most followers of the electric car market know that another Tesla Model S caught fire in early February. The blaze happened in a homeowner’s garage in Toronto. After parking the car, the owner left his garage. Moments later, the smoke detector blared, the fire department was called, and the car was ruined. To date, no one knows why.