Don’t Dismiss Lead Acid Batteries Yet

Don’t dismiss lead acid batteries as yesterday’s quaint technology yet, it still has some life left.

The gist, when it comes to electric vehicles, EV and all types of hybrids, HEV they all depend on some sort of energy storage, mainly batteries.  While lead acid batteries have been the most commonly used and by far the cheapest, they are not the most powerful.  They are also very heavy and don’t offer nearly as much energy per weight as nickel metal hydride, or the famous lithium-ion ones.  However, engineers are still working on making lead batteries more efficient and if this article from AdelaideNow is anything to judge from, we should see more developments in this field.

The problem with lead batteries is when they are repeatedly charged and discharged the battery plate, which excites electrons used for the electric vehicle, EV or hybrids, HEV electric motor become coated with deposits lowering their efficiency.  The same thing happens with NiHM though not as fast.  However, the UltraBattery, developed by Dr Lan Trieu Lam and the CSIRO team, combines the best of both world with lead-acid battery ultracapacitor technology.

Without the battery deposit, it can store energy longer with less degradation and boosts the battery’s life to that of NiMH batteries.  In lab tests, the UltraBattery lasted 4 times as long as top of the line lead-acid batteries by producing 50% more power.

We feel the immediate future of battery technology will go through some “hybrid battery” coupling the best of an ultracapacitator and conventional battery wither in the form of lead acid, NiHM or Lithiums.  This is the thrid time in a month we hear of breakthroughs in the department and we feel they will power EV at some point in time.