Electric car batteries: let's get to know them

To get rid of the idea that the electric car batteries they are simple batteries just a little larger, let's think about the energy they can discharge. There battery of an electric scooter, just to give an example, it contains enough current to make a vehicle of about 100 kg travel, plus the driver, up to 80 km / h with a range of a hundred kilometers (more or less), go up including. Do the proportions with a car and you will have an idea of ​​what they are today electric car batteries.

The basic principle remains that of the battery, that is, the energy accumulator, but in terms of power and danger electric car batteries they are closer to a petrol can than to a TV remote control battery. Precautions, maintenance and safety rules must go hand in hand. In order not to have problems with these new objects in our everyday life, first of all we need to know them a little better.

The batteries currently in use on electrically powered low-emission vehicles, they are built with three technologies, from which different characteristics and performances derive. These three technologies are: nickel-metl-hydrate (NiMH); lead-gel (PbGel / Silicon); lithium (Li). The batteries Lead-acid and lithium-based ones have sub-categories, but this is the broad distinction. Let's get to know them better.

Electric car batteries nickel-metal-hydrate. They are in danger of extinction, progressively replaced with lithium ones. These are the first used on older generation hybrid cars, as an 'additional' power supply to the petrol engine. Their limit is the scarce autonomy they give to the car when traveling in electric only: only 3-4 kilometers.

Electric car batteries leaded. These are also being replaced by lithium batteries, which are much lighter. The technology of batteries lead-based is the oldest, but not the most obsolete because it has recently been innovated with 'lead-gel' technology which has slightly improved its performance. The batteries Lead acid are considered safe and reliable, but older ones require periodic additions of water or acid and have an average life of 3-400 complete discharge cycles. Considering that one discharge cycle corresponds to about 70 km of autonomy, the batteries lead-based (which cost about 400-500 euros for an electric car) have a duration of about 20km. With lead-gels, things are a little better.

Electric car batteries silicone. Don't get distracted, it's still about batteries lead acid above. This definition arises from the fact that the batteries lead-gels contain an element called silicon gel, which leads some retailers to misnomer call them 'batteries silicone '(perhaps to make them think lighter). Don't worry, they don't exist batteries of rubber and lead weighs like lead.

Electric car batteries lithium. These are the most modern, but there are several versions. Those with lithium-polymer LiPo are dangerous because in the event of a collision they can ignite and explode. For this reason, they are not used on means of transport, but are used in the world of the Internet of Things (Internet of Things) to power the sensors that the objects are equipped with ('thin-film' batteries). Safe and reliable versions of the batteries lithium are those with lithium-ion (Li-Ion), those with lithium-iron-phosphate (LiFePO₄) and those with lithium-iron-yttrium-phosphate (LiFeYPO₄). The best at the moment are considered the LiFePOs, which have the characteristic of losing only 5% of their charge capacity every year.

What does a charging cycle consist of? The life of one battery it is not measured in years but in charging cycles, in practice it depends on the intensity of use. But be careful: The charge cycle does not correspond to how many times the battery is recharged, but to how many times it is sent to zero. Example: if I download the battery to 25% and then I reload it, I have not completed a recharging cycle. The cycle will be complete only when I have downloaded the battery by 25% three more times, thus reaching 100%.

The important thing to know is that one electric car battery (and all modern batteries in general) should never be 100% discharged because the more this happens the less the battery lasts. If the 'ancient' batteries nickel-cadmium of mobile phones had to be 100% discharged to avoid the so-called 'memory effect', for batteries today the exact opposite is true and they last longer if they are downloaded / reloaded little and often.

What is the discharge capacity? It is an important indicator of the quality of one battery auto, but it is little known and even less communicated. The higher the discharge capacity, the greater the amount of energy that one battery can provide. A high discharge capacity of the battery is necessary to power powerful motors and have good performance. The discharge capacity is indicated with a capital C on the outer casing of the battery, followed by a number that the higher the higher the capacity. Be careful though: 2C means 2 x 100 = 200A, but C2 means 100/2 = 50A.

Among the related articles you may also be interested in: Battery invasion: things to know

To find the charging stations for your electric car closest to where you are, you can use thesearch engine available in the article:Charging Columns for Electric Cars.

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