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lith ion batteries for prius?

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Posted by bob on April 1, 2008, 12:52 am
when will this technology be in the new ones?

will you be able to use lithium ion batteries as replacements for the ni mh
currently in them?


Posted by Pete Granzeau on April 1, 2008, 7:04 pm


I wouldn't bank on any "forthcoming" technologies ever actually making
it to market.  We have seen others--gas turbine engine, Wankel engine
(only one company actually bothered to work it out, and at what price?),
fuel cells--come and go.  For that matter, several makers have put
electric vehicles on the road, then taken them back and crushed them.
Lithium ion batteries work in low draw electronics, but they measure
things in milliamperes and traction engines hundreds of amperes.

Posted by e on April 1, 2008, 7:35 pm

Pete Granzeau wrote:

That's incorrect.

Lithium ion batteries work perfectly in high current
applications (i.e. laptops), and there are several
companies TODAY offering or demonstrating either
conversion kits for current hybrids, or from-scratch
automobiles with lithium based batteries.


Posted by Pete Granzeau on April 2, 2008, 7:40 pm

I'll believe in lithium ion batteries in cars when I see them there, in
mass production.  Until then, they are just pie in the sky.

Posted by DougSlug on April 3, 2008, 12:00 am

Pie in the sky is pretty far from the truth--there are companies working
hard at scaling them up to mass production.  From a technical standpoint,
lithium ion battery packs are well-suited for traction applications.  The
three biggest reasons why they are not used on a large scale are (1) cost,
(2) safety (lithium ion compounds are highly reactive and unstable at high
temperatures), and (3) cost.  Yes, I listed cost twice because that's the
main hurdle in the short term.  Few people would be willing to pay the
premium, especially when you consider that the NiMH-based hybrids are
already more expensive than their conventional engine counterparts.   You
can also be sure that the folks who get the intellectual property on the
solutions that enable scale-up will be in a position to make LOTS of money.

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