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Lithium Ion Batteries are Changing Car Technology Yet Again

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American automobile manufacturer Ford and tech giant Samsung have teamed up to explore pairing lithium ion batteries with traditional batteries in internal combustion engine vehicles. According to Gizmag, this is the culmination of 10 years of research which employs a two battery system to power a vehicle. The system pairs a regular car battery with the type of battery that powers hybrid cars — in cars that are not hybrid. The advantage of using the light and energy dense lithium ion battery is that it has more efficient recharge discharge speeds for regenerative braking. Ford thinks that eventually lithium ion batteries could replace the traditional 12-volt lead acid batteries that we use for cars now, but as it is, the technology that they’re researching won’t be able to be implemented for years. 

Lithium ion batteries have been the choice for hybrid vehicles since the late 1990s when the new vehicles were introduced. These days, the hype is trending toward cars that are completely electric, like those made by Tesla Motors. According to Chemistry World, though electric cars make up less than 1% of the market, the fact that Tesla Motors is abandoning plans to file lawsuits against those using its technologies will boost both the electric car and lithium ion battery industries. 

Anyone who owns or has considered buying hybrid is probably aware of the one looming disadvantage to owning one — the impending failure of the lithium ion battery, which is notoriously costly to replace. Perhaps because of the prevalence of hybrid cars and the advances that have been made regarding the manufacturing of lithium ion batteries, the price of them is declining, at least for one major hybrid manufacturer. According to Green Car Reports, Nissan has introduced a comparatively inexpensive lithium ion battery that is also heat resistant for their Leaf model. The new battery sells for the low price of $5,500 (with added tax and the cost of installation) after the $1,000 credit a Leaf owner will get for the old battery. To make these batteries even more affordable, Nissan plans to roll out a financing plan for the batteries, the details of which the company plans to release by the end of this year. 

Battery technology is at the cusp of changing the way we drive — again. Whether they are found in a non hybrid ICE car, a hybrid, or a completely electric car, lithium ion batteries are carrying auto technology and the way we drive into the future.

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