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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.


  1. Mr. Finley

    Please provide me with one of your email accounts that I can send you a picture of my Yuba Mundo (new cargo bike) with HammerSchmidt crankset, Cyclone motor and lithium battery pack (in Pelican cases).

    I would like to also chat with you about the Sanyo batteries, DeWalt, Enersys, etc.

    I am a retired police officer and about to unveil this police Yuba to the Vancouver, Canada bicycle squad in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

    Kind regards,

    Daniel Borden,
    Saskatoon, Canada

  2. Anonymous8:44 PM

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  3. There it is bio-d "mom and pop" conversion shops. These batteries or even the Oasis batteries would make it possible.

    Or clubs, with rudimentary, non-robotic human powered assembley lines. I am thinking of IKEA as a model for kits, you buy the kit that fits your donor car, assemble it at your local conversion club.

    How about aluminum conversion kits to turn a regular car into an ultralight (1300 pound, the weight of the original WW II jeep) that assemble with glue from the frame oieces on up. No welding, a big bonus.

    Then the donor car parts that would be kept would be bolted onto the frame, with mounting points to match the car model.

    The windshield/dash/firewall/ and doorjambs assembley cut out of the old car, it's got the legal ID numbers on it, then fastened onto the new frame.

    Then a fiberglass body over it.

    The original running gear, transmission, wheels, brakes and so forth would work as they had before, then an electric motor and adaptor would bolt to the transmission.

    The new frame would have battery boxes, backup generator box, charge/controller mounting, spots for all the electric power systems.

    If this were done on a basis like the Experimental Aircraft Asociation operates, where owner building protects all parties from law suits, and the asociation sponsors certification and education, it could even be semi-legal!! Hehey.

  4. Hey, bio-d are you back yet? Speaking of cars...Did you see the runaway Toyota news?

    I've got a quick, sure, easy fix on my blog. I know you own a Prius, what do you think?

    I prescribe a simple ignition coil cutoff switch, like one of those hidden anti-theft switches that you can put in a handy spot just in case your car's computer chips decide they want to open the throttle full bore. It doubles as extra theft protection, a good idea for urban drivers of high status vehicles.

  5. I saw your post. That should work but I wonder if the electric motor would kick in?

  6. Anonymous7:07 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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