Saturday, November 14, 2009
Mass Production of Multi-purpose Large-capacity Lithium-ion Battery Packs Begins Next Year
Just found this press release over on Green Car Congress:
SANYO to Mass Produce
New Large-capacity High-voltage Lithium-ion Battery Systems
This is big. I've been waiting for this announcement. The pack for "light" electric vehicles (the one with the disembodied hand) has twice the amp hours of my electric bike (but about 25% lower voltage). They sell about a million electric bikes a year in China.
Inside each of those plastic boxes are rows of batteries about the size of a C cell along with some sophisticated battery management circuitry including a charging system. Instead of trying to develop big batteries they are saving money by finding ways to effectively string together small ones using sophisticated electronics to make them behave like one big battery, which is exactly what the Dewalt packs that I use on my bike do as well, except the charging system is separate.
The battery is the weak link in all electric vehicles and solar power as well. These packs are the start of what the world has been waiting for. Put one on each motor for each wheel and you have yourself a low speed four person EV worth owning.
Get the storage version (the one on the left) for your solar panels and you can charge your light electric vehicle when you get home.
The next step will be bigger packs for electric car conversions. That will be a paradigm shift. The big car makers will be forced to compete in price with mom and pop shops converting cars to electric.
For those out there waiting for a pack to replace the V-8 in their F-150, don't hold your breath. That may never be cost effective. The cars of tomorrow will barely resemble the tanks we drive today ...IMHO.
I have not been this excited by since Dewalt power tools announced they would be using A123 batteries in their high-end power tool line. I was first in line to buy and adapt them to an electric bike.
Keep in mind that this is not another pie-in-the-sky technological lab experiment. This is nothing but meat and potatoes mass production of existing, commercially viable technology and it is all that's needed to make these modules affordable. Entrepreneurs will take it from there.