It's White House or bust for Detroit, will Intel go into the car battery business? Mercedes puts two displays in the dashboard, and we drive the 2009 Acura TL.Listen now: Download today's podcast SHOW NOTES
Hewlett-Packard early next year will begin offering a new line of "Enviro" batteries for laptop users who want to upgrade to longer-lasting and more sustainably designed batteries.
HP and Boston Power have been testing the Sonata lithium-ion batteries for three years. The batteries were designed specifically for laptop use. After three years of use, the batteries will be able to keep 80 percent of their initial charge.
Laptop battery time typically starts to drop significantly after 150 or so charges, or cycles. Boston Power says that its batteries can be charged 1,000 times and get "like … Read more
Hawaii has decided to partner with Better Place to bring car battery exchange stations for electric vehicles to the islands, Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle announced Tuesday.
Better Place stations, similar in concept to gas stations, offer drivers with electric vehicles an automated system that swaps out exhausted lithium ion car batteries for fully-charged ones. The swapping system is intended to be convenient for both drivers and local electric companies, since Better Place can recharge the exhausted batteries with excess electricity generated from renewable sources during off-peak electricity hours.
Lingle said the project is an example of Hawaii's efforts to … Read more
The headlong rush to create electric cars for green-minded consumers may come with a significant economic and environmental cost.
Lithium ion batteries--the same used in electronic gadgets and laptops--have become the preferred battery type for plug-in hybrids and electric cars now starting to come to market.
That swelling demand has some industry observers concerned that there will be a shortage of the metal lithium, the material used to make the batteries.
"You can solve the transportation problem but end up creating an equally vexing commodity problem," said Matthew Nordan, president of emerging technology consulting firm Lux Research. "… Read more
Updated at 2:15 p.m. PDT with the names and quantities of notebooks affected by each manufacturer.
More than two years after the largest battery recall in the electronics industry, Sony batteries have been fingered again as the culprit in more than 40 worldwide incidents of laptops overheating.
Sony and the Consumer Product Safety Commission will announce Thursday afternoon that Sony is supporting the voluntary recall of 100,000 notebook battery packs powered by Sony's 2.15Ah lithium ion cells. Thirty-five thousand of those were sold in the U.S., and 65,000 in international markets. Sony says … Read more
Mini just revealed the Mini E on Friday, scheduled to be revealed at the 2008 LA Auto Show. The E stands for electric, as the major difference between this and the standard Mini is the all-electric drivetrain. The Mini E will be produced in a limited quantity of 500-1000 units and leased to customers in a few major cities.
The Mini E's 204 horsepower electric motor also puts out 162 pound-feet of torque with juice being supplied by advanced lithium ion battery tech. Charge time is expected to be about 8 hours with a range of about 150 miles … Read more
The last time I flew out of San Francisco, my laptop battery conked out as we passed Salt Lake City. Considering how I was stuck in cattle class with no chance to recharge the unit, I closed the computer in disgust and proceeded to slip into a deep sleep.
If my laptop drops dead one more time because the battery's out of juice, I may go postal. I know. There are worse things in life. But how lame is lithium ion? I'm sure that my frustration's not unique. Many (most?) of you have surely engaged in the … Read more
Boston-area battery upstart A123 Systems on Friday said that it plans to go public and raise $175 million.
The company, which is not profitable, on Friday filed papers in which it said it intends to raise as much as $175 million, based on the registration filing fee. The money will be used to expand it manufacturing and research facilities as well as pay back about $2.5 million in debt.
A123 Systems was spun out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology seven years ago to commercialize lithium-ion batteries for a range of applications.
The batteries, which the company says last … Read more
A123 Systems has signed on electricity utilities to use its lithium-ion batteries for short-term energy storage, according to a company executive.
The company, spun out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a closely watched venture that is best known for activity in the auto and power tools markets.
But lithium-ion batteries, already used in millions of consumer electronics devices, can be plugged into the electricity grid as well, according to … Read more
Lithium-ion batteries. They do blow up good.
Peter Roth at Sandia National Labs is conducting research on the durability and reliability of lithium-ion batteries, which are expected to power plug-in hybrids and electric cars in the future. Lithium-ion batteries store more energy than conventional batteries--six times as much as lead acid and two to three times as much as nickel metal hydride batteries, according to Sandia. However, lithium-ion cells can have unfortunate side effects.
Namely, an internal short circuit can lead to fire and a nasty explosion. In 2006, Sony had to conduct a multimillion-dollar battery recall because some had … Read more