Plug-in hybrid vehicles improved by nickel-metal hydride batteries

The seperation has becoming clear in the past decade – nickel-metal hydride,  or NiMH, batteries will now be utilized exclusively for plug-in hybrid vehicles, or at least those that are made by Toyota, a top auto manufacturer who is at the forefront when it comes to the use of the NiMH batteries.

On the other hand, lithium-ion batteries have sufficient density in terms of energy, and are therefore ideally used by the plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Plug-in hybrid vehicles by Toyota find success with NiMH

In fact, this designation of battery types to various plug-in hybrid vehicles and other EV models has been increasingly becoming the norm for the last couple of years.  However, as researchers and battery tech experts are able to improve the energy density of NiMH cells, this might be great news, and the result that the BASF chemical supplier wants to get.

In a Technology Review article by Kevin Bullis, he discussed the possibility of NiMH cells having 10 times energy density compared to conventional battery cells, making them highly practical for application in plug-in hybrid vehicles.

NiMH batteries a perfect fit for hybrid vehicles according to Bullis

The goal is having a cost per kilowatt-hour lower than $150, which is better than the cost of commodity-format cells distributed by Tesla Motors and Panasonic after they are manufactured at the currently-constructed Nevada gigafactory.

The BASF research is focused on the modifications of nickel-metal electrodes microstructure.  The changes will render the unique structure stronger and ultimatelydecreasing the amount of material used.

It is expected that even though a smaller amount of the NiMH electrode is utilized, it will still produce the same power.  The researchers at BASF have already come up with NiMH cells that possess twice the energy density of ordinary cells, which currently brings them to about 140 watt-hours a kilogram.

NiMH electrode currently harnessing 140 watt-hours per kilogram

It is below the 230 watt-hours of the superior Li-ion cells available today. Still, the light-weight characteristics of NiMHcells is negated by two factors.

Advertisment - Learn more

The first is the fact that lithium-ion cells are more likely to deteriorate over time, at a rate faster than NiMH cells. Li-ion battery packs currently have extra cells in order to compensate for the expected loss.

NiMH batteries are also safer in terms of internal parts and chemistry compared to Li-ion type. This is because of the absence of liquid electrolytes that can spill or leak in case of an accident.

Safety measures are needed in order to prevent any added weight to the battery beyond that of the lighter lithium-ion cells. Still, researchers at BASF continue to find out ways that will further improve their cell’s energy density.

Lithium-ion batteries are still the favourite in EV battery industry

BASF maintain the ultimate target of improvement is capability, which is ten times more than the present nickel-metal-hydride battery. At any rate, lithium-ion type of battery is still considered to be the favourite for most plug-in hybrid vehicles and EVs.

The research performed at BASF only emphasizes all the efforts being done by development teams all over the world and since batteries are bound to experience continuous evolution, this is great news for the industry. In the end, plug-in hybrid vehicles and their owners will be the ultimate beneficiaries.

The Author

Hi, my name is Eddy and I am an editor and content creator working within the media release department at Australian Solar Quotes and American Solar Quotes. Within my work I strive to educate and inform others through my coverage of current news and events within the renewable energy field from around the world. I invite you to join the conversation by commenting below with your thoughts.

×

Mark from Hammond Park, Western Australia asked for 3 quotes for solar about 8 hours ago!

G from Burleigh Heads, asked for 3 quotes for solar about 8 hours ago!

Keith from Highfields, asked for 3 quotes for solar about 9 hours ago!

Leah from Marian, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar about 10 hours ago!

ray from Bargara, asked for 3 quotes for solar about 10 hours ago!

Robin from Maryborough, asked for 3 quotes for solar about 10 hours ago!

Alister from Euleilah, asked for 3 quotes for solar about 10 hours ago!

john from Sunshine Acres, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar about 10 hours ago!

ernie from Cannonvale, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar about 12 hours ago!

wayne from Oakey, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar about 12 hours ago!

Marilyn from Armstrong Beach, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar about 12 hours ago!

Erkin from Craigieburn, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar about 12 hours ago!

Felicity from Northcote, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar about 12 hours ago!

Tracy from Gracemere, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar about 12 hours ago!

Nic from Greenvale, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar about 13 hours ago!

Allan from Jensen, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar about 13 hours ago!

Heather from Mount Waverley, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar about 19 hours ago!

fina from Mount Sheridan, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar about 19 hours ago!

Tina from Point Cook, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar about 20 hours ago!

Stephanie from Bundoora, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar about 24 hours ago!