Exciting new developments in LiFePO4

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mzungu's picture
Last seen: 15 years 2 months ago
Joined: Wednesday, April 1, 2009 - 11:15
Points: 3
Exciting new developments in LiFePO4

They're starting to develop quick-charge LiFePO4s: see




for an interesting read. If this tech is indeed introduced within the next 2-3 years, then this opens the door to widespread EV adoption worldwide! IFAIK, its the last real barrier to adoption/viability, etc. right?

Your thots?

Last seen: 7 years 7 months ago
Joined: Monday, April 14, 2008 - 09:49
Points: 517
Re: Exciting new developments in LiFePO4

This is a really nice breakthrough, but I think it's going to impact hybrids more than pure EVs.

They haven't really solved the quick-charge problem for a vehicle with a large battery. Sure, the battery is capable of absorbing the energy more rapidly, but that doesn't increase the amount of power in your average home electrical system. To do a really fast charge at home, you'd need more power than the entire electrical service for your house. You might start to see commercial filling stations with really high-power electrical feeds, but those will take years to become common enough for long-distance travel on a pure EV.

On the other hand, a hybrid tends to have a smaller battery, so it's more likely to run into charge/discharge limits while driving around. This breakthrough makes it easier to use a small battery for rapid acceleration or hard regenerative braking, putting more load on the electrical side of the system and less on the mechanical side.

I still think the idea design, for the next 10 years or so, is a series hybrid with a 20-40 mile plug-in range, similar to what the Chevy Volt is built on. You can build a small combustion engine that is highly optimized for charging batteries, and let the electrical system handle the surges in load associated with normal driving. This is where the fast charge/discharge of the new LiFePO chemistry will do best, not in a pure EV.

My electric vehicle: CuMoCo C130 scooter.

reikiman's picture
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: Sunday, November 19, 2006 - 17:52
Points: 8447
Re: Exciting new developments in LiFePO4

We already had discussed this.. I wrote it up on my blog: Newest Lithium Iron Phosphate battery material promises sea change for electric vehicle usefulness ...

The break through is one of power density, not energy density. I think the people who came up with that breakthrough are misrepresenting the state of lithium batteries, in that they're putting forth a claim that lithium batteries aren't powerful enough for cars when that doesn't seem to be true. In any case the thing we most need is range hence the attribute we most need improved is energy density.

It's also doubtful whether circuits capable of quick recharging a car would be widely available. Such a circuit would be around 400 kilowatts. Do you want that in the hands of Joe Sixpack?

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