Thursday, April 12, 2012

Factors crucial to the success of rechargeable batteries in vehicles

I can think of the following factors, and having constructed this list, it is a lot easier to analyze the issue of the future of car batteries.
  1. Cost [of the battery, of course].
  2. Capacity [to store energy]. Capacity is inverse of size, since you can always increase capacity by combining battery packs. So capacity here refers to capacity while keeping size constant.
  3. Charging time
  4. Power capacity - how fast can a battery deliver power.
  5. Commercializability - the ease and practicality with which a battery can be manufactured at scale.
  6. Energy efficiency - what percentage of input energy is retained [and delivered] by battery.
  7. Life - in terms of both number of charging/discharging cycles and time [years].
  8. Safety - what happens if the vehicle meets with an accident? Toxic? Fire hazard?
  9. Self-discharging - how quickly does the stored energy deplete when the vehicle isn't being used.
  10. Weight - closely related to capacity and size, but size and weight are two different things, and we want both to be small.
  11. Recyclability - can the battery be recycled easily, fully and profitably? What environmental risk do the non-recyclable components pose, and what is their recommended disposal method?

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