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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Some cars are more reliable than others, but even the vehicles at the bottom of this year’s Consumer Reports reliability survey are vastly better than those of 20 years ago in the key areas of powertrain and hardware, experts said this week.
As it does every year, Consumers Union recently surveyed its members on the reliability of their vehicles. This year, it collected data on approximately 1.1 million cars and trucks, categorizing the members’ likes and dislikes, not only of their vehicles, but of the vehicle sub-systems, as well.
A few weeks ago, Ford Motor Co. quietly announced that it was rolling out a new wrinkle to the powerful safety feature called stability control, adding even more lifesaving potential to a technology that has already been very successful.
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