Lithium-ion Battery – “key to the success of Electric Vehicles”. Electric Vehicle’s success relies mostly on the battery technology applied in them. Nobody would prefer to buy an electric vehicle paying more than the normal gasoline vehicles, and had to charge them every now and then. The battery of an electric vehicle is no less than what a heart is to a human being, thus for a better electric vehicle its battery is very crucial and needs to be the best.
In the present scenario there are many sorts of batteries available like Lead-acid battery, Nickel-metal Hybrid battery etc., but the Lithium-ion battery has attracted attention due to its potential for use in hybrid electric vehicles. The market for Lithium-ion batteries is rapidly expanding as an alternative to the nickel-metal hydride batteries, which have been utilized in the hybrid market so far. In addition to its smaller size and lighter weight, Lithium-ion batteries deliver performance that helps to protect the environment with features such as improved charge efficiency without memory effect, which means that you do not have to completely discharge them before recharging, as with some other batteries.
Measures are being adopted in a variety of different fields to help prevent global warming by reducing CO2 emissions. As a result, the automotive industry has become a focal point when considering impact on the environment. Also Analysts are not predicting a drop in oil and gasoline prices anytime soon, effectively shifting car manufacturers into high gear to find the next best way to power vehicles. In an environment where motor vehicle requirements including lower exhaust emissions and better fuel economy are prevalent, it is anticipated that the practical use of hybrid, electric, and fuel cell vehicles will continue to increase. Lithium-ion batteries (Li-ion) may be that magic bullet in this regard.
Lithium-ion batteries have higher energy densities than lead-acid batteries or nickel-metal hydride batteries. Due to a high energy density the battery can store more electricity in the same size cell. That means that with the same amount of electricity it is possible to make the battery smaller. The electrodes of a Lithium-ion battery made of lightweight lithium and carbon. Lithium is also a highly reactive element, and can store a lot of energy in its atomic bonds; this translates into a very high energy density for lithium-ion batteries. Due to their compactness, durability and lightweight, these batteries have become popular with electric cars.
The most obvious difference between Lithium-ion battery and nickel-metal hydride battery is of the material used to store power. So, a typical lithium-ion battery can store 150 watt-hours of electricity in 1 kilogram of battery. A NiMH (nickel-metal hydride) battery pack can store perhaps 100 watt-hours per kilogram. Although 60 to 70 watt-hours might be more typical. A lead-acid battery can store only 25 watt-hours per kilogram. Using lead-acid technology. It takes 6 kilograms to store the same amount of energy that a 1 kilogram Lithium-ion battery can handle. That’s a huge difference.
Advantages of Lithium-ion battery:-
- They hold their charge. A Lithium-ion battery pack loses only about 5 percent of its charge per month, compared to a 20 percent loss per month for NiMH batteries. Self discharge cases are very rare in case of Li-ion batteries.
- There is no Memory effect, which means that you do not have to completely discharge them before recharging, as with some other batteries.
- Lithium-ion batteries can handle hundreds of charge/discharge cycles.
All technologies have pros and cons associated with them and Lithium-ion battery is no different. It’s not that Lithium-ion batteries are flawless. They have a few disadvantages as well:
- Also, they start degrading as soon as they leave the factory. They will only last two or three years from the date of manufacture whether you use them or not.
- However, they are extremely sensitive to high temperatures. Heat causes lithium-ion battery packs to degrade much faster than they normally would.
- A lithium-ion battery pack must have an on-board computer to manage the battery. This makes them even more expensive than they already are.
Lithium-ion batteries have attracted attention due to their potential use in electric cars. Lithium-ion battery ideal for being a battery on an electric vehicle because it is light in weight. Slim laminated and compact in structure and above all is very easy to install. Hence makes the planning and design of car body easier.