SAMSUNG’s SDI is working with Ford to research new battery technology combining lithium-ion with lead-acid batteries for start-stop automotive engines.
Start-stop vehicles stop the engine when they come to a halt, in order to save fuel. However, the constant drain on the battery from repeatedly starting the engine can quickly wear down the lead-acid battery.
Samsung SDI and Ford hope to create a parallel battery which is recharged by regenerative braking, so the engine is started by the lithium-ion component of the system as opposed to the lead-acid battery.
According to Ted Miller, senior manager, Energy Storage Strategy and Research at Ford, the car maker is expanding the use of start-stop technology to 70 percent of its lineup, and the dual battery system promises to extend the capabilities in non-hybrid vehicles too.
“Although still in research, this type of battery could provide a near-term solution for greater reduction of carbon dioxide,” Miller said.
The two companies are also working on an ultra-lightweight lithium-ion battery concept, which would weigh around 40 percent lighter than NiMH hybrid batteries, and eventually replace lead-acid batteries.
According to Mike O’Sullivan, vice president, Automotive Battery Systems for Samsung SDI North America, lithium-ion batteries are lighter and more energy-dense than other types of batteries, making them ideal for personal devices, but also for vehicles.
“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,” he said.