New Nissan Battery Keeps Going, and Going, and Going

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Lithium is known as a reliable treatment of depression. A double dose of lithium with a touch of cobalt is now prescribed by Nissan to cure range anxiety and other assorted phobias afflicting owners of plugins. The Nikkei [sub] writes that Nissan “has nearly completed development of a lithium ion battery that can power an electric vehicle for 300km on a single charge, about double the capacity currently possible.”

Nissan hopes to sell cars powered by the Energizer-bunny of all plugins by 2015.

Otaku (nerd) alert:

According to the Nikkei, “lithium ion battery capacity is largely determined by electrode performance. Nissan is raising capacity by improving the positive electrode, specifically, using nickel and cobalt, not only manganese. The new battery can store about twice as much electricity as batteries with positive electrodes made only from manganese. It is robust enough for practical use, able to withstand 1,000 or so charge cycles.”

Nissan figures the new double-dose battery will cost about the same as conventional lithium ion ones to produce. The amount of (obscenely expensive) cobalt is negligible, says the Nikkei.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • Porschespeed Porschespeed on Nov 29, 2009
    And buying Porsches doesn’t hurt the US? $50,000 and up leaving the country everytime one is bought. With a screen name of porschespeed you must be on board with that. I guess Porsches run on unicorn farts. Fair enough, with the caveat that the total value of all Porsches ever sold in the US is a tiny drop in the bucket. But yeah, fair enough. I get 20 mpg on the car and ride a KLR650 @ 50mpg to balance that off. I'm not suggesting that everyone stop driving. Quite the contrary, if we quit wasting in other areas, we will have more leftover to drive with - sorta. And will save us a ton of money by defunding some bad actors. Hydrogen is at best a storage medium, at worst, a complete maguffin. Beyond that, the amount of hydrogen that would be released refuling millions of hydrogen vehicles would cause even worse greenhouse issues. (Though few want to talk about that...)
  • Robert.Walter Robert.Walter on Nov 29, 2009

    People speak of H2 as if it is some easy to exploit universal panacea. To the best of my knowledge, H2, in the form we can use it, comes from two sources: 1) electrolysis (i.e. more electrical generating capacity will have to be brought on-line), and/or b) as a by-product of refining petroleum. I will be interested to see how many others are identified by the B&B in response to this post.

    • Patrick Serfass Patrick Serfass on Nov 30, 2009

      Hydrogen is not generated as a byproduct of refining petroleum. It is used TO REFINE petroleum and make fuels cleaner, like removing the sulfur from diesel. This of course is in addition to hydrogen which is used for making peanut butter, steel, light bulbs, fertilizer, cooling power generators and fueling devices like fuel cells which can power your laptop, home or car. Using hydrogen and electricity to transform the way we power our cars both have their challenges and whe used together, the most progress will be made. Battery cars need hydrogen fuel cells to make family-sized, long range vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles need batteries to capture energy from braking and deceleration. They work best together.

  • Lynn Ellsworth Lynn Ellsworth on Nov 29, 2009
    An electric car with 300km range sound very promising, until you imagine all those coal-fired generators struggling to keep the power grid from collapsing. How is this progress? Every time someone mentions electric cars someone jumps in with the above comment. How many times do we have to explain how electric power generating companies work? OK here goes for the umpteenth time. Power companies can not shut off or slow down their huge coal, oil, or water generators at night when less power is needed. That is why most power companies lower their rates at night. The huge generators have to run at a level to meet peak demand and can't be slowed down for non-peak times. We would be doing the power companies a favor and ourselves a favor if we could find uses for power at night like recharging our cars.
    • Daanii2 Daanii2 on Nov 30, 2009

      That's not exactly how power companies work. They can, and do, slow down power generation from non-peak times. Certainly there is late-night power available at a small marginal cost. But I think it's a little different from what you describe.

  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Nov 30, 2009

    What Folkdancer is saying is exactly why the Electric Power Research Institute supports development of electric cars. (Please note: I'm going to be one of the last people to buy an electric car unless ICE becomes unaffordable for me. I love ICE, and I love it straight, like my bourbon.)

    Other sources of H2 would include from alcohol, or natural gas. It would be a good storage medium for electricity from wind and solar, although it would be considerably more efficient to store in batteries, if decent batteries can be developed. (Watch this site 20-25 years from now imo.)