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Published on December 4th, 2008 | by Andrew Williams

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Southern California Edison Demonstrates Li Ion Battery with 180,000 Mile Lifespan

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Battery provider Southern California Edison (SCE) has demonstrated a lithium ion battery with a lifespan of more than 180,000 miles, a major milestone in advanced battery performance that opens the door to a new generation of electric cars.

Since the average U.S. family car travels less than 15,000 miles each year, the battery could easily provide more than ten years service before it needs replacing. When you factor in the relatively low servicing costs of electric cars, this means that there is now a compelling case for such technology to power future plug-in vehicles.

The announcement follows a series of tests at the company’s Electric Vehicle Technical Center in Pomona, California. Over two and half years, SCE continuously ran a Johnson Controls-Saft battery subpack that is around one sixth of the size used in a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Based on the remarkable results, the U.S. Department of Energy have provided SCE with a full-sized battery pack and instructed the company to consider its viability for large scale application in passenger EVs.

Based on the results of this round of tests, it seems likely that one of the last remaining barriers to the wide-scale adoption of electric cars has been crossed, with room to spare.

Image Credit – cortomaltese via flickr.com on a Creative Commons license


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About the Author

is a writer and freelance journalist specialising in sustainability and green issues. He lives in Cardiff, Wales.



  • http://www.zoomilife.com Electric Vehicle Blog

    Considering there’s only a few sources of Lithium on the planet, any technology that increases the lifespan of these batteries is a major step in the right direction. Combined with some of the latest breakthroughs in Li-Ion battery life, next-gen Li-Ion batteries will be the enablers of the electric vehicle revolution.

  • http://www.zoomilife.com Electric Vehicle Blog

    Considering there’s only a few sources of Lithium on the planet, any technology that increases the lifespan of these batteries is a major step in the right direction. Combined with some of the latest breakthroughs in Li-Ion battery life, next-gen Li-Ion batteries will be the enablers of the electric vehicle revolution.

  • http://www.theenergyroadmap.com Garry G

    Goods news, I guess. But to be honest, I’m very sour on the hype around lithium ions. I think it’s a short step transition to an integrated system that include batteries, fuel cells and capacitors. As a solo platform for vehicles, it just falls short on almost every measurable standpoint (cost, performance, size, weight, discharge rates, safety)

    And agreed with first comment that it’s going to be hard to keep costs down when supplies are so limited. (Not to mention bad publicity when battery powered cars are not ‘independent’ for Americans and Europeans.

    But – it is good news when any energy storage system improves. I’m just cautious about future of battery powered cars.. and think fuel cells/capacitors are going to come back fighting.

    THanks for the post!!

    Garry G

    Editor

    The Energy Roadmap.com

    http://www.theenergyroadmap.com

  • http://www.theenergyroadmap.com Garry G

    Goods news, I guess. But to be honest, I’m very sour on the hype around lithium ions. I think it’s a short step transition to an integrated system that include batteries, fuel cells and capacitors. As a solo platform for vehicles, it just falls short on almost every measurable standpoint (cost, performance, size, weight, discharge rates, safety)

    And agreed with first comment that it’s going to be hard to keep costs down when supplies are so limited. (Not to mention bad publicity when battery powered cars are not ‘independent’ for Americans and Europeans.

    But – it is good news when any energy storage system improves. I’m just cautious about future of battery powered cars.. and think fuel cells/capacitors are going to come back fighting.

    THanks for the post!!

    Garry G

    Editor

    The Energy Roadmap.com

    http://www.theenergyroadmap.com

  • https://www.triond.com/users/beauley Lucien Beauley

    I think Cobalt has to be mentioned as a limiting factor in the large scale production of the Lithium battery here in the U.S. since the largest source and near monopoly of this metal comes from the Congo region of Africa. The U.S. is embarked on a project to produce its own supply, but estimates are that the “Idaho Project” as it is called will only produce 3% of the world market and about 15% of our estimated future needs so Lithium supplies may not be the big issue.

  • https://www.triond.com/users/beauley Lucien Beauley

    I think Cobalt has to be mentioned as a limiting factor in the large scale production of the Lithium battery here in the U.S. since the largest source and near monopoly of this metal comes from the Congo region of Africa. The U.S. is embarked on a project to produce its own supply, but estimates are that the “Idaho Project” as it is called will only produce 3% of the world market and about 15% of our estimated future needs so Lithium supplies may not be the big issue.

  • Uncle B

    Once the catastrophic paradigm shifts forced on the American psyche by the (GRD) great republican depression have had their way, we will be more amenable to smaller, two seater tandem, diesel or Compressed Natural Gas fueled, plug in hybrid commuter cars with carbon fiber and advanced polymer composite bodies. At this point, due to smaller size and light weight of the vehicle, Li ion batteries with 180,000 mile lifespan for normal car weights and sizes will be more than adequate for most situations! Better vehicle aerodynamics and Ultra light Aluminum and titanium suspension parts, rims and motor parts as well as rare earth magnets in motors, will lessen weight. Light weight people will be able to go further in these new weight sensitive vehicles. The future for an oil free America looks brighter with every research development! We will beat this “Oil for soldiers” thing very soon!

  • Uncle B

    Once the catastrophic paradigm shifts forced on the American psyche by the (GRD) great republican depression have had their way, we will be more amenable to smaller, two seater tandem, diesel or Compressed Natural Gas fueled, plug in hybrid commuter cars with carbon fiber and advanced polymer composite bodies. At this point, due to smaller size and light weight of the vehicle, Li ion batteries with 180,000 mile lifespan for normal car weights and sizes will be more than adequate for most situations! Better vehicle aerodynamics and Ultra light Aluminum and titanium suspension parts, rims and motor parts as well as rare earth magnets in motors, will lessen weight. Light weight people will be able to go further in these new weight sensitive vehicles. The future for an oil free America looks brighter with every research development! We will beat this “Oil for soldiers” thing very soon!

  • http://pregunta alvaro andres

    senores cordial saludo, quiero saber si ustedes tiene un soldador de punto para baterias pequeno y de punto adema necesito baterias de liion gracias

  • Justwatching

    I sure wish we could afford the price tag.

    OH, and where do we get the energy to recharge that battery every day?

  • Justwatching

    I sure wish we could afford the price tag.

    OH, and where do we get the energy to recharge that battery every day?

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