reportFocus Report 2010: Nanotechnology in Battery for Electric Vehicles
5.10 Focus Report - Battery for EV: Executive Summary
The current European trend tends to reduce the impacts of fossil fuel based road transport on energy dependency, climate change and public health. In this context, the deployment of electric vehicles is of great interest. The oil dependency is reduced as the energy is electric and can be produced locally. The greenhouse gas emission could be limited as no CO2 will be produced by cars and as the energy could come from renewable sources. Electric vehicles are also a great opportunity to increase Europe’s transport energy efficiency. They can be up to three times more efficient compared to their internal-combustion-engine counterparts.
The xEV (HEVs, PHEVs, EVs) battery space is currently virtually all Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) technology. However, the development tends to push to a shift in technology towards Lithium-ion, which offers potentially an increase from 100 to 150% of the storage capacity over NiMH. It has to be mentioned that the term “Li-Ion” does not refer to a single technology but to family of chemistries, each of which has its own characteristics in terms of energy, power, cost, lifetime and safety.
Anyway, for now, no battery chemistry meets all of the needed criteria for xEVs. There are still many technological barriers to overcome to achieve vehicles that can work with the same performance as today’s cars (e.g. up to 1000 km autonomous range) with a price that can be accepted by the customers. However Li-ion chemistries have the potential to meet the needed requirements in the near future. Nanotechnology can have a role in this development.
The considerations should not only been turned to battery pack, some interest should also be focused and battery management systems.
On a more economic point of view, there has been interest in electric vehicles for decades. The hype for replacing of ICE by electric vehicles has only grown up in the recent years. Lot of discussions is then occurring to define standards and EVs societal impact. Estimations of the number of electric vehicles on the road by 2020 are then very dissimilar from between 3 and 7% for the conservative one to 20% for the optimist analysis.
For now electric vehicles market is just a niche market, but it is foreseen that from 2020 onwards the market will grow rapidly. Most car manufacturers announced that their first electric model, mostly on market by 2010-2012, will be produced in volumes tens of thousands of units per year by 2015. For that, the automotive industry has to make some change in terms of costs consideration, car weight, performances, especially driving range.
For that, public authorities have a very important role in the market penetration and the market acceptance of these new products. They can stimulate the EV market setting stringent environmental regulations, incentivising the EV sales or the electricity for their use. They have also a role to play in standardisation either on the electric vehicle side or on the recharging infrastructures.
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