Your EV battery questions answered
What type of batteries do EVs use?
EV batteries have come a long way from the lead-acid batteries they originally used. Modern EVs feature many single cells stacked together to form one large battery that’s often placed beneath the floor of the vehicles’ chassis in a ‘skateboard’ configuration.
Most modern EVs use a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery, while many EV hybrids use a nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery. Many automakers are also working on solid-state battery technology.
What is a lithium-ion EV battery?
A lithium-ion EV battery is a much larger version of the battery used in your mobile phone. Lithium-ion batteries recharge quickly, maintain power for long periods of time, provide consistent voltage, and are robust against moderate temperature changes. That said, they are costly to produce. Extreme temperatures can affect their charging and discharging, and leaving lithium-ion batteries fully charged or discharged for long periods of time can be detrimental to their lifespan.
What is a nickel-metal hydride EV battery?
Many plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) use a nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery. NiMH batteries are long-lived, durable and compact. That said, they have a much smaller capacity (driving range) than lithium-ion batteries. PHEVs don’t need a large battery capacity, because the internal combustion engine (ICE) is used on longer journeys. They do, however, need a good lifespan, since hybrid vehicles cycle the battery from full to empty (and back again) every few miles.
What is a solid-state EV battery?
Solid-state batteries are an emerging technology that some automakers are investing in. These EV batteries could deliver more range in a more compact package with less cooling requirements. They use a solid electrolyte instead of the liquid or polymer gel electrolyte found in lithium-ion batteries. For now, however, large-scale battery production favours lithium-ion batteries.