Monday, January 24, 2011

What consumers need to know about electric car batteries

A variety of electric vehicles will hit the market this year, raising questions about the most critical element of any electric car: the battery. How often do you have to replace the battery? Will it be recycled? Can you charge a battery even if it is not empty? How many charging cycles can the battery handle? Is it true there's a worldwide shortage of lithium? "If I want to buy an electric vehicle, I would want to know how many miles can I drive under REAL driving conditions, how long will my battery last and how long will the battery take to charge," said Venkat Srinivasan, a staff scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab who writes a popular battery blog at www.thisweekinbatteries.blogspot.com. More>