Are high energy batteries safe

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Are high energy batteries safe

  1. 1. Are High Energy Batteries Safe? Brought to you by Automotive IQ By: Peter Els Ever since Sony and Asahi Kasei released the first commercial lithium-ion batteries in 1991consumer bodies and professionals alike have been critical of their safety. Exploding cell phone batteries and laptop computer batteries that spontaneously ignite have all made headline news; and more recently Electric Vehicles (EV), Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) and even aircraft have all been in the news after apparently suffering a similar fate. According to Strategic Analytics, 98% of EVs used Li-ion batteries in 2010, with this figure set to increase to 100% in 2017. Similarly, 11% of mild hybrid EVs used Liion in 2010 with predictions doubling that percentage by 2017. For the same period it’s predicted that full hybrid EVs will rise from 0% Li-ion powered to 17%: An indication that, for the time being, Li-ion is taking over from nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) in the electric and hybrid market. However consumer concerns remain, fueled by regular reports of exploding batteries or fires. The facts surrounding Li-ion battery fires Most fires have been as a result of thermal runaway incidents related to lithium-ion batteries and have involved a wide range of vehicles: Zotye M300 EV, Chevrolet Volt, Fisker Karma, BYD e6, Dodge Ram 1500 Plug-in Hybrid, and the Mitsubishi iMiEV and Outlander P-HEV have all been affected. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------IQPC GmbH | Friedrichstr. 94 | D-10117 Berlin, Germany t: +49 (0) 30 2091 3274 | f: +49 (0) 30 2091 3263 | e: eq@iqpc.de | w: www.iqpc.de Visit Automotive IQ for a portfolio of topic-related events, congresses and conferences: www.automotive-iq.com
  2. 2. Image credit: 26th International battery seminar & exhibition: 2009 B. Barnett, Tiax. Lithium is used in batteries as an anode because it has extremely high electrochemical potential, with lithium-ions moving to the electrode producing the energy. Lithium’s low atomic weight is also useful in reducing the mass of the batteries. However, lithium is an alkali metal along with sodium, potassium, and the rest of the first group on the periodic table. Not only are these elements highly flammable, but they are also extremely reactive. So when a Li-ion battery does overheat, the lithium in it accelerates the breakdown of other cells making it prone to thermal runaway. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------IQPC GmbH | Friedrichstr. 94 | D-10117 Berlin, Germany t: +49 (0) 30 2091 3274 | f: +49 (0) 30 2091 3263 | e: eq@iqpc.de | w: www.iqpc.de Visit Automotive IQ for a portfolio of topic-related events, congresses and conferences: www.automotive-iq.com

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