Monday, February 13, 2006

Battery Technology - Why It Is More of A Problem Than A Solution

Along with all the talk about hybrid cars and their fuel saving capabilities there seems to be an absense of the full truth. Yes, they save gas and get better mileage. Yes they do cost more. However, from an engineering viewpoint, they leave much to be desired.

The batteries are not fully charged and are kept at about 60% at maximum to prolong the life of the battery. You would get far better mileage if it was fully charged. Secondly, batteries are still big, heavy and bulky and do not hold much charge and that has not changed very much in the last few decades. For all the R&D (or insufficient R&D at that), there hasn't been a quantum leap in battery technology like there has been in other fields. Go to this about.com article if you want to learn more.

That's why some view the hydrogen cell as the solution. I am not holding my breath but at least it is in use in restricted circumstances.

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