You know the battery that’s currently powering your laptop? If Panasonic has anything to do with it, the same type of battery may end up powering hybrid and all-electric vehicles in the years to come.
In an effort to curb costs on increasingly popular battery-powered vehicles, Panasonic Corp. has developed a 1.5 kWh battery module from 18650-type (18 mm in diameter x 65 mm in length) lithium-ion battery cells, which are widely used in laptop computers, to provide energy storage solutions for a wide range of environmentally friendly energy technologies. With so much of the world’s auto industry moving the way of the electric vehicle, this new module is quickly gaining attention due to it’s potential to greatly reduce the cost of HEV’s.
The cost reduction on vehicles featuring this new type of battery would be substantial. As noted by Crunchgear, Panasonic wants to push down costs the power systems for (mid-size) electric cars as a whole from the current average of $33,000 to $11,000. The company isn’t first to try this: Tesla’s Roadster from March 2008 also uses batteries originally designed for home electronics.
There’s no mention yet of a target date for the new module to become available commercially. However it’s likely that this information will become available following the debut of the prototype at CEATEC JAPAN 2009 (Makuhari Messe, 6-10 October 2009) and New Energy Industry Fair Osaka (Intex Osaka, 7-9 October 2009).
Category: Battery News