Volt Battery for the Long Run
One of the issues that the Chevy Volt extended range electric vehicle addresses right out of the box is that of range anxiety. With its claimed ~340-mile range (the first ~40 of which can be provided by the vehicles 16-kWh lithium ion battery alone and the remainder from its gasoline-powered 1.4L four-cylinder engine generator) that is easily more than enough to drive to the store and back several times (unless, of course, you live in Lubbock and get your groceries in Houston or something).
Apparently there is another concern, one experience by all who use anything from a digital camera to a cell phone: battery life. Seems like no matter how you manage the charge (keep it topped off; run it down to zero and then charge back up; do both while keeping the device in the refrigerator or under a pyramid-shaped object that also keeps your razor blades sharp. . .), the batteries give up the ability to maintain the zap all too easily.
So GM is going the distance in terms of the battery.
As Micky Bly, GM executive director, global electrical systems, put it, “Our customers are making a commitment to technology that will help reduce our dependence on petroleum. In term, we are making a commitment to our customers to deliver the highest standard for value, safety, quality, performance, and reliability for an unprecedented eight years/100,000 miles.”
That’s right: an 8/100,000 warranty on the lithium ion battery (specifically, LG Chem’s manganese spinel lithium-ion chemistry), all 161 components, 95% of which were designed and engineered by GM, and which are about to go into full production at the GM Brownstown Battery Plant in Michigan.
With vehicles like the Toyota Mirai and the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell, you might think that hydrogen-fueled vehicles are a brand-new phenomenon.
The changing landscape requires not only new approaches to powertrains—but even new types of vehicles. Here’s how one supplier is addressing these changes.
Lithium-ion batteries have become the technology of choice for EVs, and falling costs and rising energy levels could keep them on top for nearly two decades.