Are Batteries Ready for Plug-in Hybrid Buyers?

The notion persists that battery technology and cost remain as barriers to commercialization of electric-drive passenger vehicles. Within the context of starting a market for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), two aspects of the purported problem are explored: i) PHEV performance goals and ii) the abilities of present and near-term battery chemistries to meet the resulting technological requirements. Evidence indicates that present battery technologies do not meet the requirements that flow from three sets of influential PHEV goals due to inherent tradeoffs among power, energy, longevity, cost, and safety. However, this paper also demonstrates that part of this “battery technology and cost” problem is overly ambitious PHEV performance goals thought to be necessary to meet consumer priorities. For this study, PHEV designs were elicited from potential early buyers among U.S. new car owners; most design PHEVs that are less technologically advanced than assumed by experts. Using respondents’ PHEV designs, peak power density and energy density requirements are derived, showing that current battery chemistries can meet them. By assuming too aggressive PHEV goals, existing policy initiatives, battery research, and vehicle development programs mischaracterize the batteries needed to start commercializing PHEVs. To answer the question whether batteries are ready for PHEVs, we must first answer the question, “Whose PHEVs?”


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: DVD
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 18p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 89th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers DVD

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01155429
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 10-0732
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jan 25 2010 10:21AM