Lead-carbon batteries used in hybrid electric vehicles have passed a rigorous test of their durability with flying colours.
A Honda Civic Hybrid (HEV) with lead-carbon Ultrabattery modules has just recorded more than 100,000 miles on-test in Arizona, USA.
The demonstration vehicle of the Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC) achieved the benchmark – and continues to run smoothly – in just under two years of driving in the varying temperatures and elevations of the city of Phoenix with no significant loss of battery capacity.
Dr Andy Bush, Managing Director of the International Lead Association (ILA), which supports the ALABC’s work, said: “This shows that lead-carbon batteries have made a significant step forward in proving the viability of this technology for use in hybrid electric vehicles.”
In a funding arrangement with the US Department of Energy, ALABC representatives engaged Ecotality North America to retrofit the HEV and replace its Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries with Ultrabattery modules provided by ILA and ALABC member East Penn Manufacturing. The HEV achieved comparable miles-per-gallon performance as the NiMH model, but at a significantly lower cost.
Dr Boris Monahov, ALABC program manager, said: “The ALABC is committed to developing advanced lead-acid and lead-carbon power supply technologies for cost-effective hybrid automotive applications.
“Vehicles like the UltraBattery Civic demonstrate the ability of advanced lead-acid batteries to be an attractive and cost-effective alternative to other advanced battery chemistries in today’s and tomorrow’s low carbon emission vehicles.”
Bob Flicker, East Penn Chief Operating Officer, said: “The data that is being collected on these UltraBattery packs could turn even the harshest critic of a lead-based battery technology in HEVs into a true believer.
ALABC intends to continue running the demonstration vehicle to see how long the batteries will last and is also seeking additional research and development projects to study the performance of this and other lead-carbon designs in automotive and energy storage capacities.
For further information contact: Bob Tolliday, ILA Communications Manager, Tolliday@ila-lead.org tel: +44 (0) 20 7833 8090
Notes to editors
The Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium is an international research cooperative comprised of lead producers, battery manufacturers, equipment suppliers, and research facilities organised to enhance the performance of lead-acid batteries for a variety of markets, including hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) applications and various energy storage systems.
Founded in 1992 as a program of the International Lead Zinc Research Organization (ILZRO), the ALABC pools the resources of its global membership in order to perform specific research on advanced lead-acid batteries that otherwise would not be possible by any single entity. For more information about the ALABC and its accomplishments, visit www.alabc.org
About the ILA
The International Lead Association is a membership body that supports companies involved in the mining, smelting, refining and recycling of lead. The ILA represents the producers of about 3 million tonnes of lead and almost two thirds of lead production in the western world.
With offices in the UK and USA the ILA provides a range of technical, scientific and communications support and is focused on all aspects of the industry’s safe production, use and recycling of lead and helps funds bodies such as the International Lead Management Center and ILZRO.
ILA also supports the Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium, which manages the research, development and promotion of lead-based batteries for markets such as hybrid electric vehicles, start-stop automotive systems and grid-scale energy storage applications. Visit www.ila-lead.org
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