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Report: Hitachi Develops High-Power Automotive Li-Ion Battery: 4,500 W/kg

The Nikkei reports that Hitachi Ltd. has developed a high-power lithium-ion battery for hybrid-electric vehicles. The battery reportedly has specific power of 4,500 W/kg— a power increase of 70% over its current models, and 50% over a new version Hitachi plans to begin mass-producing next year.

Hitachi aims to begin commercial production of the new battery in the mid-2010s. The battery also boasts a 20% longer life, at 10 years, about the same as the life of a car.

Hitachi, which in 2000 became the first company to mass-produce large lithium-ion batteries for cars, has sold 600,000 units so far. It aims to sell 100 billion yen worth of vehicle-use lithium-ion batteries in fiscal 2015.



Remember that "Power" is a measure of Amps x Volts delivered (how quick & fast you can go), NOT a measure of energy capacity (Distance). EVs will not really take off until the energy capacity per unit volume and weight goes up by a factor of 2-4 times. A ten year life is excellent and will push forward Li-ion batteries usage in EVs.
1. Energy capacity (KW/Hr) per unit volume and weight?
2. Cycle depth, discharge, to achieve 10 year life?
3. Charging capability - both medium and fast?
4. Safety protection system/electronics?
5. Warranty?


Now if only there were enough lithium available on the planet.


These batteries will allow PHEVs with small battery packs (3-5 kW) decent performance (at least in city driving) in battery-only mode.
Energy density not to brag about, probably like peers, 80 - 100 Wh/kg.
Can be used in cars with 10 - 20 miles electric range. That's enough for many people.
Given extra weight and price of current batteries, it's a good starting point for PHEvs.

After 7-10 years the batteries can be replaced with much cheaper ones, that will fit into same space, and offer 2-3 times longer electric range. Even if the ICE won't be in working order at that time, the car could be used as an electric vehicle (if designed with this in mind).
Or ICE could be removed to make the car lighter (if it wouldn't unbalance the car), or replaced with an extra battery pack.


Power density is not really a problem with today's lithium ion batteries, it's increased energy density that's needed.


This is likely for compact batteries for mild hybrid systems. Likely only 60-70 wh/kg but allows for a battery small enough to fit under a seat that can handle the load needed for mild hybrid uses.


Power density of 4,500 W/kg is pretty impressive when you consider A123 cells have to output @ 100c to deliver 3,000 W/kg!!


there is little problem with enough Lithium. Lithium represent about 6% of the Earth's crust.

The USA has massive shut-in reserves. At one time, the US was a large source of Lithium. Then the heavily concentrated Saline reserves were discovered in Chile and Peru. Over time the Lithium mines in the USA were moth-balled due to the cheaper lithium produced in S.A. But those reserves while for present demand are not large enough to supply Lithium for the entire world fleet if converted to electric autos.

But simply re-opening the mines in the USA,(and China), more than suffices.


4.5 kW/kg will be great for KERS systems in F1.

This year they are limited by the rules to only 60 kW, which isn't that huge an advantage.

But soon (possibly from next year even) the rules will allow 120 kW from KERS, which can be delivered from just 27kg of this battery.


That's I realy like.


David R. Deam,
EV's will take off when they are available and gas prices are climbing steadily, which they will once the economy rebounds. Distance or capacity is already sufficient for most driving needs.


Your "opinion" has been noted.
Studies support my message.


Yes and the Bolvian government insists that before mining the lithium the car companies and battery makers will need to set up manufacturing plants in Bolivia before one gram of their lithium is used in an EV. This came out in special reporrt which was aired recently on PBS.


This seems to indicate that Power density has been about solved.

Energy density will be improved progressively but a thecnology breakthough may be required to move it much above 300 Wh/Kg, but it will come. Electrovaya's has already reached 330 Wh/Kg and is testing a 450 Wh/Kg unit.

What's wrong with a large Lithium Battery manufacturing plant in Bolivia? The local labour cost is very reasonable (more than competitive) and lithium supply would be solved for many decades. With a battery factory built close to maritime shipping lines, batteries could be shipped world-wide at a reasonable cost. Bolivia is not that far (by sea) from the California market.

Lithiun may not be the favoured medium for more than 10 years or so. Other technologies may use other materials.


You are "spot on" about Bolivian gov & Lithium.
In terms of volume, equivalent grams of lithium is equal to 0.3 times the rated Amp-hour capacity of individual cells, regardless of cell size. Assuming a nominal cell voltage of 3.3V for Electrovaya's 330 Wh/Kg, I calculate 30 grams (~1 ounce) of Lithium per Kg of battery weight. If an EV has a 33KWh battery then there would be less than 1/3Kg of lithium per vehicle. The US has substantial Lithium reserves that are presently un-tapped.



The lithium required for a 100 Kg, 33 Kwh battery pack may be much more than 1/3 Kg.

Could it be more like between 3 Kg and 33 Kg?

I heard of about 12 to 14 Kg per 100 Kg battery pack, with average current technology. As technology and process are optimized, lithium required may drop by 50% of so within 5 or 6 years?


From what I have read its always roughly 1 kg of lithium metal for every kwh of pack. Now remember that takes 6 kg of lithium whatever it was.. carbonate I think to make 1 kg of lithium metal.

Also remember just like with platinum no one actualy mines for lithium they get it mining for something else. Its just a minor side product worth only a small amount of whats actualy being mined. In this case I think the main mined thingy is potash.


Sorry - my error, off by a factor of 10 = 3Kg for a 33KWr battery system.


Let's get real
Electrovaya's 330wh/kg is flat-out BS.
This density is for a very expensive manganese li-poly battery itself that may some day find its way into cell phones, it does not include lost density for protection circuitry.
Iron Phosphate cells (A123 and several Chinese knock-offs) run 100-110Wh/kg. Even at $500/Kwh the cost for 100 mile range EV will be ~$17K just for the batteries or $35K for 200-500 mile range. GM knows this and that's why they shooting for only 40 mile range on the Volt at ~$7K for the battery. All of the world's major Li-ion battery manufactures are focused on Phosphate chemistry, again ~110Wh/Kg. I too dream about owning a nice electric car, unfortunately reality keeps popping up in my face when I research the Hard Data/Facts.


Forget Lithium
Focus on Dilithium Crystals instead, they are used to power space craft and you can buy them now with your credit card.

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