Lithium Price And Fast Charging

Are we starting to see the light at the end of tunnel for electric vehicles, EV batteries?  It could be.

The gist is that, as anyone knows, lithium battery prices must come down in order to mass manufacture EV at an affordable price.  Also, fast recharging station networks need to be in place in order to drive these EVs across long distances.

Settling On A Standard.  If the industry had a standard for lithium batteries, it could feasibly start mass producing them and we would see the prices go down.  Mike Tinskey, manager at Ford’s sustainability activities explained it well at the Plug In 2009 conference:  “…(by having) unique packs and cells, it creates a challenge and an obstacle to having secondary ownership…  The biggest issue with batteries now is not necessarily the technology, it’s the volume.  If the battery manufacturers could get north of 100,000 packs, annually, prices come down drastically.  One path forward is that we all collectively focus our initial volumes on common packs.” Courtesy GreenCarCongress.

Fast Charging.  Talking to Coulomb Technologies Richard Lowenthal, Founder and CEO, the solution is with fast charging stations both at home and on public grounds to enable long distance commute.  We need to develop more stage 2 charging systems and bring them to consumers.  Currently, stage 1 is anything that will run off of a 100V plug but stage 2 is more promising as it uses 240V that can be installed in homes.  stage 2 cuts down the charge time by half.  Ideally, stage 3 would be the perfect solution but handling up to 440V of current is something that will require much attention to safety.

As the industry matures, there needs an agreed upon type of lithium batteries we be used in most vehicles.  Exotic EVs could sport advanced lithium chemistry but there will still be a need for fast charging stations using stage 2 and hopefully, soon enough stage 3.