With all the talk of lithium-ion batteries powering electric cars, people tend to forget that there’s a big, heavy lead-acid battery under the hood of every car on the road. These batteries haven’t changed much since the administration of Harry Truman, though Ford and Samsung want to end the reign lead-acid batteries with a lightweight, lithium-ion replacement.
Debuting in the Ford Lightweight Concept Car, the battery is the result of Ford and Samsung SDI teaming up to develop a cost-effective replacement to cheap and reliable lead-acid batteries. A few years ago, the price of lithium-ion batteries was too high to even consider replacing standard lead-acid units, but the plummeting price of battery technology is making it more feasible.
So what are the advantages of a lithium-ion car starter? Well even though it delivers the same 12-volt output, the Ford/Samsung battery is about 12 pounds lighter than the lead-acid battery it replaces. That may not sound like a lot, but it’s one piece of a plan to systematically put every car in the Ford lineup on a serious diet.
So when will we see the last lead-acid batteries built? Alas, this archaic technology is likely to stick around for some time, though lithium-ion batteries could become commonplace as soon as 2020.