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New battery alternative emerges for hybrid cars

Think the future for electric and plug-in hybrid electric cars revolves around lithium-ion batteries? It appears that a new alternative may be emerging.

The Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium has demonstrated the durability of lead-carbon batteries in hybrid electric vehicles. It retrofitted a Honda Civic Hybrid (pictured) with lead-carbon UltraBattery modules and recorded 100,000 miles of courier duties across Phoenix, Arizona.

Honda Civic Hybrid

The demonstrator was first put into action during November 2011, and continues to be on fleet duty. It has achieved comparable fuel economy performance to the vehicle with nickel-metal hydride batteries but has cost significantly less.

Fleeting testing was the last stage of the UltraBattery Retrofit Project DP1.8 and Carbon Enriched Project C3 meant to examine the prospects and sustainability of advanced lead battery technology. The lead-acid batteries contain high levels of carbon in the negative electrode.

In a report from the US Department of Energy at the end of August 2012, the vehicle totalled more than 60,000miles with a battery capacity of 7.54Ah. It delivered an average of 44mpg, which placed it ahead of the 2010 Honda Civic Hybrid original model which had a fuel economy rating of 42mpg.

The UltraBattery lead-carbon technology was developed by Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation as well as Japan's Furukawa Battery.

Similarly, Furukawa's UltraBattery modules were tested in 2010 inside a Honda Insight on a track in Millbrook, UK. They also reached the 100,000mile marker but automakers wanted to see how the batteries performed in real-world conditions which is what led to this fleet testing.

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Paul Lucas

Filed under: Latest News, Green cars, Hybrid cars, Lithium-ion batteries

2 comments

Murthy Y V R

Is there any choice for storage of power with lead batteries because of the growing cost of the same and the demand for inverter based power storage is increasing day by day? The life of lead battery is not more than 3 years and replacing the same is also is very costly in India. Thus if there are any alternatives for replacing a lead battery with some other cost effective and long life running storage devise would be good for the middle class families of India like countries. Please suggest.

Barry Cotton

I have a lexus GS450H and at 60,000 miles the computer said check hybrid battery the main dealer now says the hybrid needs to be replaced
costs nearly 4000 Euros any ideas please.

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