With the government planning to ban new diesel and petrol cars being sold in the UK from 2030, the electric vehicle (EV) market is set to skyrocket. Instead of using traditional fuel which we source from petrol stations up and down the country, eco-friendlier electric vehicles run on battery power. But what kind of batteries are used in electric vehicles? Join us now as we explore the ins and outs of these innovative batteries.
Understanding electric car batteries
Most modern EVs for sale use similar battery technology. This involves hundreds of separate battery cells that are packaged into pockets, also known as modules, and assembled together to create electric car batteries. The battery is designed for use in all weather and can maintain an optimal operating temperature whether it’s winter or summer.
Although hybrid cars like those made by Toyota employ Nickel-metal hydride batteries, most EVs use lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. These are the same rechargeable batteries that your smartphone uses, just on a more epic scale. With a far higher energy density than other rechargeable batteries like those using nickel-cadmium or lead-acid, Li-ion battery manufacturers are able to reduce the size of the battery packs they produce. However, they are still massive in size for an EV application. A typical EV battery is many metres in length and located beneath your feet (fitted along the vehicle’s chassis).
Li-ion batteries contain ions rather than lithium metal – ions are molecules that possess an electric charge that is caused by the gain or loss of electrons. Far safer to use than other alternatives, EVs are equipped by their manufacturers with safeguards for charging that protect batteries when repeated charging sessions take place rapidly over short time periods.
To sum up, electric vehicle batteries are made up of individual cells that work together to produce electric power to run EVs. While most use Lithium-ion batteries to get where they are going, some hybrids use Nickel-metal hydride batteries instead.