New Car battery

August 17, 2015 | 09:31
A lightweight alternative to Lead acid
A lightweight alternative to Lead acid
Motor vehicle technology has come on leaps and bounds over the years but pop the hood on a modern day car and you are likely to see one piece of equipment that hasn’t really changed over the last 60 years. Despite development of new battery types we are still lumbered with the heavy, dangerous, toxic and ecologically unsound lead acid battery.

Truth is, when it comes to cranking a cold V8 on a winters morning there are few other battery types that can step up to the plate. That could be about to change. A new type of battery under development by Ohm uses a mix of technologies to replace the lead acid battery. First off, the drop-in replacement battery weighs just 6 pounds, about a fifth the weight of its lead acid counterpart. Inside the battery a bank of supercapacitors store and supply the burst of current needed to crank the starter motor and alongside them are LiFePO4 (Lithium iron phosphate) batteries to keep the capacitors charged.

The battery operates down to -30ºC and built-in smart features include discharge prevention to ensure that if the car lights are left on accidentally the battery disconnects before it becomes drained; there should always be enough energy left to restart the engine. The battery is currently undergoing beta testing and should be available by late 2016 if an upcoming crowd funding campaign is successful.
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