Automobile companies are working flat out on the electric car
In 2003, a fixed percentage of cars in some US states will be so-called zero-emission vehicles. Battery operation is emerging as the favorite of the automotive industry, which is presenting its solutions at the 14th World Electric Car Exhibition in Orlando, which is ending today. The final decision for one of the three future-oriented battery concepts is still pending. The Zebra battery from AEG has already proven itself in practical tests: one charge is enough for more than 100 kilometers. However, due to its high operating temperature, the sodium-nickel-chloride aggregate must be kept warm even when not in use if you want to avoid the waiting time for heating up again.
The two candidates lithium-ion and lithium-polymer battery are still on hold because they are not ready for the market. The former is already being used in the computer industry, says BMW expert Herbert Krantz, but when the cells are scaled up, problems arise that are difficult to solve, such as heat dissipation. In addition, the power source made of liquid lithium cob alt oxide and solid carbon must be electronically monitored - otherwise there is a risk of fire during charging.
The lithium polymer battery is also still struggling with teething problems. The power dispenser is very powerful with a range of around 200 kilometers. However, since metallic lithium becomes porous over time, the battery can explode without warning. The danger can be avoided by separating the thin lithium layers from one another with equally fine polymer layers. But the researchers are taking a multi-pronged approach. "We're working on many fronts," says Ford manager Mike McCabe, "including vehicles with gas engines, the so-called hybrids, and also fuel cell vehicles.