I BELIEVE YOU CAN never have enough power, a conclusion I formed while flying big jets and small aircraft. I don't fly much anymore but the axiom still holds when considering battery power for consumer electronics, battery banks for solar power or on-board power for personal transportation. So when I buy a new piece of personal luggage (i.e., laptop or mobile phone), I always buy a spare battery as well as a spare charger. Then because I no longer have "Departing Home" checklists, I always ensure one charger is always in my carry-around luggage. That has saved my skin on several business journeys. But how would I fare if my personal transportation was battery-powered?
The first electric cars I drove, vehicles based on the Citroen Berlingo, Peugeot Partner and Peugeot 106, had terrible driving ranges. I could not count on getting a 200 mile round trip from them and that's the amount of travel required to complete a journey from my home to the Irish capital city. All of those cars had nickel-cadmium batteries and with that kind of power system came weight and charging limitations.
Suppliers in Asia, Europe and the States have shown how their lithium-ion batteries can do more than power my mobile phones and camera equipment. With a little more testing, those lithium-ion battery bays may actually give me the range to make a Dublin return trip, with a little top-up at destination required to ensure I have motorway acceleration available.
According to John Reed, "Germany's Bosch yesterday announced a joint venture with South Korea's SDI to develop, manufacture and sell automotive lithium-ion batteries. It will begin operations in September." Sign me up as an interested customer.
John Reed -- "Peugeot and Mitsubisihi to Join Forces on Electric Car Motors" in The Financial Times, 17 June 2008.