Monday, August 29, 2011

Future of Hybrids - The hybrid battery

If we can get a battery that last from between 16 to 20 years, the hybrid vehicle will be widely acceptance by the motoring public.

There are one billion cars in the world today and with many of the worlds most populated countries fast embracing vehicle ownership this number can only increase at a faster rate. However of this total only about 4 million are hybrids.

Most people know that hybrids uses less than half the fuel compared to a standard vehicle of similar size. So why is it the public have not taken to this new technology?

Two main perceptions holding this technology back are.
1) Hybrids are expensive :  In Australia a standard Toyota Camry sells for A$ 28,988 and the Toyota Camry hybrid sells for A$ 36,990. It is about 27.6% more expensive.

2) When they break down hybrids are expensive to fix : The hybrid battery used in the vehicle is expected to last 7 to 10 years after which it is expected to be replaced which can cost about $4000. In anybody's book this is an expensive fix and it negates all the fuel savings made.

Should hybrids be more expensive to produce? Mass production could close the gap but even so, fuel savings will offset the higher cost of purchase. The main issue in getting hybrid vehicles accepted into the mainstream is the battery. What we need is a battery that can last the life of the vehicle. With the invention of the Power Jockey this is now a reality.

Every time a load is placed on the battery, it experience a dip in voltage which recovers after the engine kicks in. This dip in voltage gets deeper as the battery ages until the point is reached when a cell collapses and the battery fails. From the graph above we can see that this dip in voltage is averted when the Power Jockey is installed. It stands to reason that if the Power Jockey was installed from new, the battery can last more than the 7 to 10 years currently.

We are only installing the Power Jockey in vehicles where the battery has already failed which we have reconditioned and repaired. We have had batteries lasting more than 2.5 years after reconditioning and with the Power Jockey we are confident that we can make the original battery last the life of the vehicle. Extending battery life from 8 years to 16 years would be the biggest factor in overcoming the perception that the hybrid vehicles are expensive to fix when they break down.

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