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Nano Lithium-Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) Batteries to Take Over

In another segment of “Who Killed the Hydrogen Car?” it has been brought to my attention by someone replying to a post on this blog that hydrogen autos are dead and autos with nano-lithium (LiFePO4) battery technology will take over the world.

As a little background, lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries, or nano lithium-ion batteries as they are sometimes called, are the newest generation of rechargeable batteries on the market, yet they are not widely available as of yet. But, this is about to change. In 2002, engineers at MIT doped the batteries with such materials as aluminum to achieve higher output and more recently autobon black and graphite have been used for greater results.

Taiwanese company Pihsiang Energy Technology has already demonstrated electric scooters and bicycles using LiFePO4 technology. Currently, the nano lithium iron phosphate battery technology is being applied to the company’s production model handicapped electric scooters and in the near future, electric bicycles with this technology will be in production as well.

Another company, A123 Systems of Boston, Massachusetts, was just paid a visit by President Bush, who expressed interest in their LiFePO4 technology for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. A123 Systems has developed a prototype using the lithium iron phosphate battery technology to create a Battery Range Extender Module that may one day help hybrid vehicles achieve mileage of up to 150 mpg.

Why does electric auto technology and hydrogen auto technology have to be mutually exclusive? Why not combine technologies for the best of both worlds? Like I’ve advocated for before, the most effective combination would be plug-in hybrid electric hydrogen vehicles for zero emissions, long range and quick refueling.

About Hydro Kevin Kantola

Hydro Kevin Kantola
I'm a hydrogen auto blogger, editor and publisher interested in documenting the history and the progression of hydrogen autos, vehicles and infrastructure worldwide.

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  1. If batteries technology continues to improve, there may not be a need for hydrogen autos nor hybrid autos. Electric autos are good enough when the short range and long charging time issues are resolved. If electric autos can go more than 150 miles and be recharged in 5 minutes. I don’t mind making a stop every 2 hours.

    One problem with hydrogen economy is the lack of infrastructure support. Besides, hydrogen is only an energy storage medium. It takes power to generate hydrogen by electrolysis. If it were extracted from fossil fuel then it would be as dirty as any other autos when you measure from end to end.

    Consider the energy conversion route, from the Sun to the solar power generator, to electricity, to electrolysis, to hydrogen, to fuel cell, to electricity for the motor. Compare that to a shorter route, from the Sun to the solar power genrator, to electricity, to battery to motor. The insertion of the hydrogen in the route is mainly serve as an immediate clean energy storage. This kind of new breakthrough in battery technology implies that you cut the middleman and leap frog / bypass the whole hydrogen thing totally.

  2. Electric autos fueled by standard coal fired power plants would reduce CO2 and other pollutants by 2/3!

    How can this be? A coal fired power plant converts 58% of fossil fuel to electricity. A gasoline engine converts 19% to mechanical energy. 58%/19% = 3.05 OR 3 times the actual extracted energy for the same fossil fuel content.

    AND at a cost of less than $1 per gallon energy equivalent (based on 5 cents per Kwh (demand metering). The actual energy component from coal is less than 35 cents per gallon.

    I wonder how the emissions to generate 23 Kilowatt hours from a standard, non-sequestering coal fired power plant would compare with burning 1 gallon of gasoline? 23Kwh is the actual mechanical energy produced by 1 gallon of gasoline in a modern internal combustion engine.

    Right now we can’t burn coal in our autos. Convert to electric autos and all energy sources level. In effect we could burn coal, Nuclear, Hydro, photovoltaic, wind, tidal current, methane, and even gasoline (if we were so stupid to do so) once electricity is the primary fuel.

    AND, as opposed to Hydrogen, the distribution system is already in place in the form of High Voltage transmission lines and feeders.

    We would achieve energy independence. We would be able to use some of the 267,000 million tons of coal reserves we have instead of funding Islamic Tyrants and fanatics by buying their oil.

    We could develop our own oil shale reserves which are greater than 4 times the proven reserves of Saudi Arabia. We could turn back from what appears to be certain long term economic disaster.

  3. It is good to know so many people are taking interest in the development of EV’s. The unfortunate point is that so many people hold on to technology in order to have an edge over the competition. Our competition is with ourselves, and whether or not we can come together to redevelop ways of living that are in tune with the whims of the world itself.

    Hydrogen fuel cells are a very viable energy storage system, but are built with platinum plated generators. LiFePO4 has a very strong potential to balance them out for efficiency, but this can’t be the only solution. Hydrogen requires large amounts of power, and clean water. Both are becoming harder to come by.

    The solution we should be striving for is all-encompassing. Multiple methods of storing power for different applications. LiFePO4 cells are great for balancing out generators of all sorts, and stable enough to for all applications. We should utilize this new technology and our ability to develop more efficient Hybrids to increase the capability of existing technology, develop new Hybrids from Bio-Diesel and ethanol, and generate new classes of all electric vehicles.

    The concept of power production saving us from 1/3 of autobon emissions needs to be subsidized by implementing more renewable sources within the infrastructure.

    This field is intertwined with all elements bound to each other in an intricate tapestry of creating the world we want to live in.

  4. admin

    I agree that LiFePO4 battery technology will be around for years to come and make a big impact with hybrid vehicles. I disagree however, that all fuel cells use platinum and that hydrogen production requires a large amount of power and clean water as I’ve blogged about in many posts.

  5. Does anyone look at and think about the Carbon footprint it takes to make batteries, and then dispose of them safely? Lead, Lithium, mercury, Phosphate, etc, etc. are likely ended up polluting just as much as we tend to think of them as the big hero. You have to look at the complete whole picture. Benja has a good hold of this picture.

  6. hi!This was a really exceptional blog!
    I come from roma, I was fortunate to discover your blog in yahoo
    Also I obtain much in your Topics really thank your very much i will come daily

  7. In Australia and specifically Queensland the average commute to work is much larger and requires more energy expenditure than the average stop start commute. Personally I have travelled 70,000 Km (43000+ miles) just getting to and from work day in and day out, in the last year. This is done all hours of the day and night, and can also be at short notice. This makes hydrogen much more suitable for me as an electric auto would also require infrastructure for recharging at work so I can go home. However the temptation is also there to support the hybrid hydrogen movement as although my requirements are large, the potential to save money through solar generation is further increased.

    Also recharging using grid power presents issues locally. Our power company’s currently advertise how to decrease our power usage, with tips and tricks on how to slash your power bill. The problem is, our power stations are already critically overused by industry, and to replace the energy requirements of petrol with grid supply would be un-sustainable and power stations are quite expensive.

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