Good Lithium Battery for Electric Cars?

by Allen

Is there a lithium ion battery available anywhere for sale that can power an electric car?

Hi, Allen -
After all that exploding laptop footage on the evening news, you still want to strap a thousand or so of these batteries to your butt and play kick the can with the Sequoias and Xterras out there on the freeway?

Yeah, me too!

Happily, there's a good lithium battery out there for you and me, Allen.

One possibility is Lithium Iron Phosphate, or LiFePO4, the prismatic Chinese cells that you can get from distributors here in the US. They're getting less expensive all the time, they last a long time, and they're very safe. The exploding laptop thing doesn't happen with LiFePO4.

I did an interview with my favorite US distributor of these LiFePO4 cells. You can contact him directly from that link - scroll down a bit for the form.

The other option is Lithium polymer, or LiPo. They are also safer and cheaper than the typical li ion, and also flexible enough in their design (and their casing, because the polymer makes up much of the structure of the battery) that they can be made credit-card thin or whatever shape you need to fit into your car - a real advantage! Both Kokam in Korea and ABT in China make LiPo batteries.

I suspect LiFePO4 will be the lithium battery of choice for electric car conversions for a very long time, and the price just keeps coming down!


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