• Batteries

    The purpose of a battery is to store chemical energy and to convert this chemical energy into electrical energy when the need arises. An electric or hybrid car battery is like any other battery—except that it is rechargeable and has enough power to move a large heavy vehicle down the road for a few feet or a few miles.

    The automotive battery is actually a battery pack that houses many individual cells that work together.

    Take a look inside the typical lithium iron phosphate battery cell used in electric vehicles:

    University of Michigan

    A rechargeable battery technology developed at the University of Michigan could double the output of today’s lithium ion cells—drastically extending electric vehicle ranges and time between cell phone charges—without taking up any added space. By using a ceramic, solid-state electrolyte, engineers can harness the power of lithium metal batteries without the historic issues of poor durability and short-circuiting. The result is a roadmap to what could be the next generation of rechargeable batteries.

    Read the article

    The documentary below, by Don Siegel, an assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan, provides information on advancements in batteries and how these improvements impact the consumer market and the environment. And the mechanics behind a lithium ion battery.

    There are several types of advanced batteries being used for electric, hybrid, and conventional automotive use. The most popular types are:
    • Lead Acid
    • Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH)
    • Lithium-ion (Li-ion)
    Some of the emerging battery types that are being heavily researched are:
    • Aluminum-air
    • Lithium-air
    • Sodium-air
    • Zinc-air
    • Liquid Metal
    • Tin Nanocrystal Lithium-Ion

    Chevy Bolt Battery History A Chevrolet Bolt EV battery pack, far right, is compared to battery packs from, left to right, a first generation Volt, a second generation Volt, and a Spark EV. (Photo by Jeffrey Sauger for General Motors) 

    CAAT Seed Funded Project