Why do so many systems still use NiMH batteries? What is the hold up on using Lithium?
Is it just expense? or is there some techno reason?
Lighter, more powerful, and longer lasting....what's the hold up?
Yes, it is cost. If you recall NiMH once were the batteries of choice over NiCads but until NiMH were mass prodiced, manufacurers and consumers were slow to adopt the new technology. The same will be true for Lithium-ions soon. Battery tech is one of the hottest moving industries these days and new strides are made every month.
Construction workers have adapted readily to Lithium-ion power tools because for them time is money.
I think you will see more and more of the Lithium batteries.
They are very expensive now, but in high volume production they should be less expensive than the NiMH (or so the experts say).
There are still (apparently) technical problems remaining in the use of Lithiums for mass produced cars.
Toyota was planning to make the next generation Prius using Lithium, but has backed off saying that they did not feel they were ready yet. They have a massive in house battery program, so I would guess there is something to this.
The Chevy Volt (2010?) will use Lithium batteries as will the Telsa roadster.
I'm surprised that this sort of technology isn't more heavily touted in the public press.
At the very least, a massive distribution of electric cars would greatly reduce our reliance on foreign oil.
As much as I hate government intervention, I would accept a public subsidy which would help fund the purchase of electric cars for lower income people.
The inherent problems with oil dependency are just over-the-top. This is (a kind of) war.
I'd like to see an energy "Manhatten Project" to develop and distribute technologies that get us off the oil.
Conspiricy theorists say that "Cobasys", owned by an oil company, holds several patents on Lithium batteries and is making it difficult/impossible for car manufacturers to use the technology. Interesting concept, but probably not true.
There HAVE been massive publicity campaigns regarding lithium battery technology -- unfortunately it was quite NEGATIVE. Laptop computers catching on fire, toys catching on fire ... fire scares away a LOT of potential customers......
Think I'd rather have a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle under my seat.
Hydrogen...not so sure. Honda will have a hydrogen car out in 2008. It was interesting, but driving range on a tank of H2 wasn't that far...under 300 miles. No refueling stations....just some of the infrastructure problems. Then the costs to get H2 are expensive, unless its a by product of the nuclear process...and last I read on that no one wants a nuke plant in their area....
Chevrolet Volt is to use lithium, but the technology hang up is how to cool these without using up substantial amounts of the stored energy. I hope someone solves it soon as I am trying to hold out for a plug and drive hybrid that can charge in the off hours that will let me go 40 or so miles on the charge and then switch to gasoline for the longer trips (or better yet diesel).
I speculate if America could get just 50% of the cars going less than 40 miles per day off the oil nipple, we would see lots of "threatening" countries collapsing from within when the oil revenues are no longer flowing.
May I suggest...
Here is a link that might be useful: Plug-in Hybrids