The latest on EV battery technology from the experts (part 2)

Helpful tips from Don's Pro Tech Automotive


April 13, 2024

In this issue we will continue the discussion begun in The Loop newspaper's March 16 issue describing the latest on EV battery technology.

The future of battery technology

Automakers are busy looking for the right combination of compounds for the next big break in EV batteries. Right now, there are two main contenders to power the next generation of electric vehicles.

Solid state batteries

Many automakers are working on a new kind of battery, called a solid-state battery, which doesn't use any sort of liquid electrolyte. Theoretically, a solid-state battery would have excellent energy density, thus giving better driving range with less space and weight in a vehicle. With a solid-state battery onboard, the electric vehicle range could hit 500+ miles on a single charge, with recharging from home taking as little as 10 minutes.

With that kind of potential, it is no wonder automakers are throwing resources at solid-state battery development. Recently, Hyundai filed a patent (US-20230420764-A1) for a solid-state battery design that applies constant pressure to each battery cell. Volkswagen is also chasing a solid-state battery solution with several partners in the battery technology space. Additionally, Toyota is working on a solid-state battery design with hopes for bringing solid-state EV batteries to their fleet by 2027.

Sodium-ion batteries

While not exactly the newest EV battery technology around, sodium-ion batteries may have their day soon. Chinese automaker BYD recently broke ground on a sodium-ion battery plant in Xuzhou, China. Sodium-ion batteries are cheaper to manufacture, but less energy dense than lithium-ion batteries. While currently not ideal for long-range cruising, they are perfect for small city vehicles with plenty of access to charging infrastructure. Automaker Stellantis also recently invested in Tiamat, a French company working on building sodium-ion batteries. The case for integrating sodium-ion battery-powered vehicles into the automotive industry will likely depend on the local market where they are driven.

Battery life matters

Extending EV battery life is a hot topic among electric vehicle owners and prospective shoppers. Answering "How long do electric car batteries last?" depends on the battery type and how it is charged/discharged. EV battery replacement is possible, but not always a straight-forward process. Changing an EV or hybrid battery requires special training and tools due to the high voltages involved.

Right now, replacing an EV battery can cost more than the vehicle is worth, much in the same way a blown engine can make it cost prohibitive to repair a car. But there are companies remanufacturing hybrid battery packs, so it isn't too far-fetched. In fact, your repair shop can order a remanufactured hybrid battery pack from a local parts dealer.

Stay tuned to find out what the next EV battery technology breakthrough brings. There is no denying that electric vehicles are now a permanent part of our motoring world.

The knowledgeable staff at Don's Pro Technology can help you with your EV and hybrid batteries, as well as locating home EV battery chargers.

Don's Pro Technology is located at 230 E. Tehachapi Blvd., in Tehachapi and can be reached at (661) 822-1600.


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