Ford and Samsung Announce Hybrid Technology Which May Be Used in High Volume on Non-Hybrid Vehicles

Posted by at 3:56 pm on June 3, 2014

Ford has been doing battery research for 100 years; going back to Henry Ford and Thomas Edison’s work on electric vehicles employing nickel-iron batteries as a replacement for lead-acid batteries. Last year, Ford invested $135 million in design, engineering and production of key battery components, and doubled its battery testing capabilities. Today Ford and Samsung SDI have introduced a dual-battery system for gas-powered cars, which is results of 10 years of work. . The process combines a lithium-ion battery with a 12-volt lead-acid battery for a new power source that the companies said could provide fuel savings by enabling regenerative braking in non-hybrid and non-electric vehicles for the first time. Ford already offers regenerative braking in its hybrid cars, returning up to 95 percent of electrical power otherwise lost when braking to the battery and providing large fuel savings over non-regenerative braking vehicles. “We are currently expanding our Auto Start-Stop technology across 70 percent of our lineup, and this dual-battery system has the potential to bring even more levels of hybridization to our vehicles for greater energy savings across the board,” said Ted Miller, senior manager, Energy Storage Strategy and Research, Ford Motor Company. “Although still in research, this type of battery could provide a near-term solution for greater reduction of carbon dioxide.” Ultra-Lightweight Battery Technology While the new dual-battery system could start rolling out in Ford vehicles in the not-so-distant future, Ford and Samsung SDI also are researching a longer-term ultra-lightweight lithium-ion battery that could one day render traditional lead-acid batteries obsolete. The research advances lithium-ion battery technology currently available on Ford’s electrified vehicles. “Lithium-ion batteries are typically used in consumer electronics because they are lighter and more energy-dense than other types of batteries, which also make them ideal for the vehicle,” said Mike O’Sullivan, vice president, Automotive Battery Systems for Samsung SDI North America. “Battery technology is advancing rapidly and lithium-ion could one day completely replace traditional 12-volt lead-acid batteries, providing better fuel efficiency for drivers.” Lithium-ion batteries currently used in Ford’s electrified vehicles are 25 percent to 30 percent smaller than previous hybrid batteries made of nickel-metal-hydride, and offer approximately three times the power per cell. The ultra-lightweight battery concept offers a weight reduction of up to 40 percent, or 12 pounds. Combining the battery with other weight reduction solutions, such as the Ford Lightweight Concept vehicle, could lead to additional savings in size and weight of the overall vehicle, as well as increased efficiencies and performance.

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