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Hybrid Technologies Begins Production of Li-Ion Minis

15 July 2007

Hybrid Technologies announced that it has begun production of its all-electric version of a BMW MINI powered by lithium-ion batteries.

The electric Mini has a top speed of 80 mph (129 km/h), accelerates from 0-60 mph in 6.0 seconds, and has a range of 120 miles (193 km) on a single charge. A full charge takes 8-10 hours (220-240 VAC). The Li-ion battery pack supports 1,500+ full charges.

The Li-ion Mini uses a 78 kW peak (105 hp) 3-phase, brushless AC motor combined with a 30 kWh battery pack. (Earlier post.)

The Mini Cooper Frame is produced by the Mini Cooper plant in Oxford England, and the conversion to the all-lithium drivetrain currently takes place in North Carolina at Hybrid’s Mooresville plant.

Hybrid Technologies uses lithium-ion polymer batteries supplied by Korea’s EaglePicher Kokam. (Earlier post.) Kokam uses a lithium cobalt oxide cathode.

In 2006, Hybrid Technologies and Kokam announced they were working on the development of an ultra-high performance electric vehicle that could reach more than 1,000 miles on one charge.

The vehicle would have approximately a 300 kWh system based on Kokam’s technology, according to the two companies.

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July 15, 2007 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

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Just a small correction. Kokam is using NCM - Nickel-Cobalt-Manganese oxide mixture for cathodes. NCM are more safe than pure cobalt oxide based batteries.

This is encouraging. However, when will it be priced for the mass market, i.e., a price point below $25,000?
I hope the next one is made of carbon fiber to extend its range and performance. Right now BEVs are still in the classification as novelties.

I would buy one tomorrow at the right price point.

I'm not too confident in the cells that Hybrid Technologies uses - it was recently announced that New York City had to abort a test program using HybridTech's PT cruisers as taxicabs. Apparently the cars weren't very reliable, and the batteries stopped working in the winter temperatures.

http://www.evworld.com/news.cfm?newsid=15699

In all honesty, lithium phosphate batteries probably offer a better long-term solution than these oxide-based chemistries, as all the data I've seen shows they're operating temperature range, life cycle, and safety is far better. There's a slight drop in energy density, but perhaps that will be rectified through improved cell design (the large format LiFEPO4 cells seem to be consistently inferior to 18650 format cells of the same chemistry).

Either that or you go with more complex battery management packs and software, e.g. Tesla, which by themselves suck valuable energy and add weight.

so what are they going to do with these cars? sell them to individuals? fleets?

A range of 120 miles and 1500 + charges = 180,000 total miles...Sounds reasonable for my needs, but the price will be the kicker.

Their website quotes a price of $40K for a vehicle with a 70-80 mile range. If you want the 120 mile range that cost another $7,500 and air is another $2K making the total price about $50K. Hardly worth it for a micro car that has questionable reliability.

lithium batteries do not seem to like cold weather , my mobile phone
packs in when exposed to cold . Zebra is the way to go at the moment
no cold weather problems , and in large quantitys could be made really
cheaply

Zebra batteries also don't like cold weather (anything below 300 °C) as they would freeze... :)

Thought this design was to use an ultracap for the regenerative braking capture. That would extend range somewhat. Most people will balk at a 4 year lifetime for battery pack. Without a warranty or low cost battery replacement path, this car will have a rough time at its current price point.

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