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New Battery Breaks Barrier For Electric Cars


New Battery Breaks Another Barrier In Electric Car Development

Development of alternative fuelled cars is continuing to make steady progress, with many manufacturers focussing on electric powered cars as a medium term option.

Progress in development of electric power took a major leap forward recently when a mitsubishi fto fitted with manganese lithium-ion batteries covered 2,142 kilometres in 24 hours.

The record distance was set at mitsubishi motors' car research and development centre proving ground, where the fto-ev covered 899 laps of the 2.4 kilometre track at an average speed of 89.3 km/h.

The newly developed manganese lithium-ion battery has faster charging and greater cruising range per charge.

Charging the batteries used to power an electric vehicle has traditionally been a very lengthy process, restricting both the time a vehicle can operate and the cruising range per charge. Previously vehicles have been limited to about 150 kilometres a day.

To try to overcome this, mitsubishi researchers are placing their focus on speeding up the charging time and extending the battery capacity per charge. The new batteries have a capacity of 27 kwh and can be recharged in 20 minutes, compared with 55 minutes and 26 kwh for the nickel-hydrogen batteries that have been a focus of research in the past. The maximum charging current is 240 amps for the lithium-ion cell compared with 100 amps for the nickel-hydrogen battery. At 360 kg the lithium unit is also 80 kilograms lighter.

Lithium-ion batteries are now being used in mitsubishi's hybrid electric vehicles which are also fitted with high economy gdi engines. These energy systems switch back and forth constantly between expending power for acceleration and storing power during braking to provide remarkable fuel efficiency.


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