1859 was the year when rechargeable battery was invented. Lead Acid batteries are still in use after more than 100 years of presence. It has become a mature battery technology mainly used in internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, bikes, and buses to give them a kick-start and is the oldest example of a rechargeable battery.
Lead acid battery has gone through many developments and got the title as mature battery technology due to its usability, recycling and restrictions to grow ahead. Even though it was the first of rechargeable battery tech, it was not so popular for consumer electronics. It had some disadvantages like discharge capacity of up to 80% of total capacity, limited/less lifecycle, low energy and power density, heavy weight, needs high maintenance. Battery technology kept upgrading and the market got disrupted when lithium-ion batteries were introduced. It gained popularity in short period due its energy capacity, light weight and long lifecycle. Walkman, laptops and cell phones were the first consumer electronic devices which got acceptance from the public which had a better battery in line. Later it went on development and currently acquires almost every mobile device from our heavy use laptops, bluetooth connected headphones-speakers, heavy use cell phones, and high capacity electric vehicles.
Battery Powered Vehicles
Electric vehicles powered by battery are also termed as ZEV (Zero Emission Vehicle) which means vehicle that does not emit any kind of pollutant particle which driving. The concept of battery powered vehicles is way old than we know. It’s almost a century old concept and in the initial stage, those electric cars were powered by non-rechargeable batteries. Later, due to lack of innovation in battery technology, battery powered vehicles were discontinued and diesel & petrol powered vehicles gained traction.
It was then in last two decades where rising fossil fuel prices and global warming pointed towards alternate vehicle technology which could practically replace fossil fuels. Lead acid batteries were highly anticipated battery technology as it was in use for several decades.
Current Battery Technology
Lead acid battery was the first choice when general Motors tried their hands on battery powered car. Due inefficiency and lack of innovation in battery for high density to hold electric power for long period the project for electric cars was delayed for 21st century when lithium-ion batteries were being developed and tested for heavy use in devices like drill machines and many more.
Lead acid powered electric car Reva electric, an Indian made car was introduced to the market in the year 2003 later it went all around globe and Europeans showed interest in this rising technology and the number of Reva Electric sold in India was less than sold in UK itself.
In 2008 Tesla launched its first high power electric car Roadster, it was powered by Lithium-ion cells manufactured by Japanese cells maker Panasonic. Now we all know the current market scenario where battery powered vehicle is disrupting the gasoline powered vehicle.
List of batteries used in Electric Vehicle segment:
• Lead Acid – these batteries are on the verge to be discontinued in EV segment as a fuel tank & will be used to power headlight and other electronic components.
• Nickel-Metal Hydride
• Lithium-Nickel-Manganese-Cobalt-Oxide (NMC)
• Lithium iron Phosphate (LFP)
• Lithium-Titanate/Lithium Titanium Oxide
Upcoming battery technology in EV segment:
Battery technology is currently in innovation stage for EV market where we could possibly witness the best-in-class long range batteries with capacity to go miles without any stop to recharge in the long run. It is the only thing; we’ll have to wait for the EV technology to grow as it is currently at growing stage.
Even fossil fuel vehicles took almost decades to become viable and affordable for the middle-class families. So, in our opinion, we must wait for couple of years to have a better battery for EV which could solve the range anxiety, safety, & performance issues.
– By Parag Ahire