An Electric vehicle (EV) is a vehicle that does not run-on fuels, but instead uses an electric motor powered by batteries. As governments shift the focus to the environmental impact of the vehicles we drive today it is important to recognize what might be under your hood.
EV batteries come in different types:
The lithium-ion battery is a type of rechargeable battery made up of carbon and other substances such as hydrogen and oxygen. This type of battery can hold high amounts of energy, and It is said that it takes roughly eight hours to charge a lead-acid EV battery. Lithium-Ion is most commonly used in cell phones, laptops and now electric vehicles like Tesla’s models and Ford Mustang Mach-e.
However, if it catches fire, it’s very hard to put out the flames because lithium burns quickly once ignited. To top it off, this doesn’t even produce water when burned. The advantage of using Li-ion batteries is that they are thin, lightweight, quick charging and durable. These also have low self-discharge rates, which means they can store power for months without losing charge. On the contrary, though, Li-ion batteries have a high risk of explosion and catching on fire, as well as being poor choices for cold climates.
Nickel Metal Hydride
The nickel-metal hydrogen battery is also known as the NiMH or NiCd battery. This type of EV battery was used in older hybrids and electric cars like the first gen Toyota Prius and Honda insight. It’s very reliable as they can withstand harsh weather conditions (freezing temperatures and hard summer heat) and last long but only if you don’t overcharge them and properly maintain them. Disposing of these batteries can be expensive, and they’re not eco-friendly due to how toxic they are when disposed of incorrectly. With that said, this type of battery can hold a lot of power, and it can withstand many charges before having
to be replaced. The main advantage of this type of battery is its ability to hold much more power than other kinds.
The lead-acid EV battery is very inexpensive and can be used in any weather. This type of battery needs a lot of maintenance, as they self-discharge a lot and have a low energy density compared to other types of batteries. Each cell produces 2 volts, which would take up four cells for an electric car to work, but it doesn’t weigh as much as the nickel-metal hydrogen or lithium-ion batteries, making it more lightweight. Lead-acid batteries are also recyclable. Lead-acid batteries recently underwent a small transformation to nickel-iron to hold more power and run for longer periods. These vehicles are eco-friendly and have low carbon emission rates.
These types of batteries are made up of solid electrolytes instead of liquids. They don’t have flammable solvents, which makes them safer to use in electric vehicles. However, the main problem with these batteries is that they can explode if punctured because the materials inside are very sensitive and explosive. This type of battery isn’t widely used yet due to other more suitable technologies being readily available, but it’s still a highly promising option for the future. Their main advantage is that they can provide high energy densities and last longer than other market options.
Supercapacitor / Ultra-conductors
The supercapacitor (also known as ultra-conductors) battery is the most eco-friendly type of battery out there because it doesn’t use dangerous chemicals instead uses conducting plates. This also produces electricity with no carbon footprint at all. The disadvantage of this type of battery is that they’re very expensive to make and not widely available compared to other types of batteries (but since it’s new, maybe in the future).
Supercapacitors are the newest technology out there, and it could revolutionize how we power our world for years to come. These batteries are eco-friendly, safe and quick charging. They can also provide a lot of energy without adding too much weight to the car itself. However, due to other more suitable technologies being readily available now, this isn’t widely adopted yet – but that will hopefully change soon enough!
All of these batteries have their own advantages and disadvantages, but as the electric vehicle market expands the battery innovation is becoming more of a forefront topic across all manufactures of EV’s. We will continue to see the innovation of batteries grow in held charge capacity and charging speeds with the focus of environment protection.