HEV Batteries

HEV Batteries

I provide rigorous scientific data in my papers on batteries for automotive propulsion. These papers are listed in the PUBLICATIONS section. It is not practically possible to replace the utility provided by an automobile using gasoline/diesel with the same level of utility using electric batteries. I demonstrate in my papers that with energy density ten times (!) greater than that of lead-acid batteries, and using the military ammunition material thermite (an impossibility from an engineering standpoint), it is still not possible to do the replacement.

There is an excellent heuristic proof of my scientific analysis—uneducated “inventors” and entrepreneurs tried to make electric cars for over one hundred years and yet none of these cars have at least the same performance value vs. cost value as conventional cars. To replace the existing conventional cars infrastructure, dramatic improvement of electric car value over conventional ones is a must.

There is also proof of wasted efforts in development of “lithium” batteries for cars. You can find more complete data on Wikipedia. Lithium-ion batteries have achieved energy density of 0.65 MJ/kg. This is four times better than lead-acid starter batteries in conventional cars. In comparison, the energy density of gasoline, kerosene, fuel oil, and diesel are in the range of 44–48 MJ/kg. It means that we need lithium battery approximately seventy times heavier than fuel in the fuel tank of a conventional car to have the same utility. This is proof of uneducated, wasted efforts to make an electric car. With near seventy times greater the disadvantage in energy density, there is no chance of making an electric car using lithium batteries to replace conventional cars.

There is an existing field of use for electric CARTS, however. These are golf carts, Key West carts, and forklifts for use inside warehouses and factories. Once, Thomas Edison worked relentlessly to develop a battery for cars at Henry Ford’s request and funding. He found a nickel-iron battery that beat lead-acid in performance vs.-cost. It has double the energy density and can be charged-discharged in operations for decades. This is the battery for future electric cart transportation in cities without conventional cars, eliminated due to effects of carbon dioxide emissions on food supply.

The necessary condition for electric carts is that electric energy must come not from fossil fuels, but overwhelmingly from nuclear energy. The existing electric cars create more carbon dioxide emissions as they use electricity generated from burning coal or natural gas, which is another nail in the coffin for our food supply.

In the meantime, hybrid-electric cars are the interim answer to our ever-increasing need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in our effort to prolong the food supply. In marketable HEVs, the battery acts like a starter for the car instead of a starter for the engine in conventional cars. So, the battery does not need high-energy density, only power density. Existing HEV batteries provide near one (1) kW/kg power density. There was a comparison made by Caltech professionals decades ago for ranking various battery chemistries for power density. Not surprisingly, lead-acid beat the competition. It won even before technical ranking because of its use throughout the car market – a lead-acid battery is used in all cars to start the engine.

We are working on changing a lead-acid cell construction to resemble a NiMH cell construction to provide the same or greater power density. An additional advantage of the lead-acid battery for HEVs will be its smaller volume, as there are more kg per liter. There is already competition among manufacturers displaying the life of such lead-acid batteries in HEVs over the 100,000-mile mark, similar to the existing claims by HEV makers. Why do this? Lead-acid batteries will reduce the cost of HEV power plants to below conventional levels, and by doing so will allow HEV makers to practically completely replace conventional cars. This will create a measurable impact on carbon dioxide emissions from transportation and will give us several more years of the food supply.