I think the era of the wet cell is going to be over soon

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My new Porsche comes with a lithium battery. While I know other cars come with similar batteries my impression was that it was for sportier vehicles. Such as the GT4 or cars intended for some track use. This is my first time seeing Lithium in what I consider a more standard car. I guess with all the modern car electronics needing more and more power this makes sense. To be sure wet cell batteries will be around a long time but I think more and more cars will be switching. I like that this is LiFePO4 chemistry. I feel it's a little safer. I hope it lasts because I am sure replacement costs are going to lead to a lot of heartburn smile [Linked Image]
 
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Negative. Until those batteries become less expensive, FLA batteries are going to be around for a while. Plus, they don't perform as well below 0 degrees.
 
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Maybe. Cars for a long time have been headed towards an era where the owners never pop the hood open, only the dealership does. And most new car owners are apt to flip the car long before any repairs (including a battery) could occur. Hrm. A lithium battery requires quite a bit of charging finesse. I wonder if it would last much longer, and/or give a suitable warning (via the ECU) about needing to be changed in the near future. I mean, maybe it could give a heads-up as to when it wants replacing, and that is just built into a service visit. Anyhow. The car needing more power? No, that isn't what this is for. Momentary surge, sure; but ultimately the alternator has to be able to keep up with the load. IMO this is all about weight savings. As for wet cells, I wonder if they will be around for a while to come. I'm thinking tractors, where weight is good. Would batteries for home solar work well enough? where cost is critical. I wonder if there are other locations where weight and space is less important than cost.
 
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I see your point about the ALT being able to keep up, but what certain times when usage may spike (N/M reading comprehension issue)? Also could these lead to less powerful ALT? Serious question because I don't know what the charging profile of these batteries are. As for the weight, I guess every pound matters but this is a pretty heavy vehicle to begin with but I guess 50lbs is 50lbs no matter how you save it. Never thought of the temperature issue but this car is being sold in some pretty cold places. The battery is inside the cab, near the passenger feet so perhaps that helps a bit. I know that flooded batteries will be around a long while, but I still think we are going to see these in more and more vehicles. Once they are in cars that retail below 60K will seal the deal in my mind.
 
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Mercedes has been using Li-Ions in the AMG Black Label series of their cars. BMW has moved over to Li-Ion on some cars, I assume M-cars. With Porsche's choice of LiFePO4 instead of Li-Ion, looks like VAG could be having Saft, BYD or Clarios make them. LG and Samsung SDI are still using cylindrical cells to make their SLI 12Vs.
 
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I've been toying around with a camper van. The more well-heeled camper crowd are already moving to LiFePO for the coach batteries. Some even go so far as to say it's stupid to get AGM, rationalizing their $4000-$10000 battery/charge-circuitry investment. But, for example, a single 100ah Lithium battery goes for near $1000, whereas the very very best AGM's go for under $400 (some are nearer $250...or less) and an old fashion FLA (flooded wet cell lead acid) is probably still under $200 ($100 for cheap Walmart marine-type). (The Lithium crowd will cry that's not apples-to-apples). I'm sure Porsche has no qualms about charging you $1000 (or perhaps way more) for a new battery, even for a "standard car" like a Cayenne ...‚, but economics will delay the complete obsolescence of lead acid (at least AGM). Still, I am encouraged, that the price curves will begin to change soon, or change more quickly, but I doubt Lithium will be at parity before I have to replace my 2 house batteries. Too bad: because much lighter, potentially greater discharge potential (deeper cycle), and expected life are all great selling points for Lithium. But I got a kick out of a kid telling me his company's LiFePO batteries had a 10 yr warranty, when I seriously doubt his camper conversion company will be in business 10 yrs from now, and I doubt there is much "real life" proof that 10 yrs is reasonable expectation in an off-road environment anyway. But maybe I just lack "vision." I certainly wasn't looking far enough into the future when I acquired my FLA/AGM/Gel-compatible charge controller circuits 4 yrs ago, so I'd probably have to re-invest in that stuff too. Argh.
 
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You hear stories of wet cell lead acid batteries that sometimes reach 15 years of use. Rare, but not unheard of and the best cost/reward ratio IMO. Time will tell with AGM and now lithium technology. It's all about the weight with the lithium, that's why you have seen them available for racing applications for many years now.
 
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I know the Priuses had, at least the early ones, a conventional battery, *and* the hybrid battery. Did they finally eliminate that ridiculous-ness?
 
Given all the efforts in reducing weight in vehicles, lead acid batteries get a fail. It's about time we made some progress. Yes it will be a while for costs to come down. Remember when fuel injection was just for performance cars?
 
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^ Quite untrue. Flooded lead acid is the most cost effective way to make a battery with acceptable performance and lifespan. I don't want to pay more to reinvent the wheel nor to have a more complex charge circuit, more prone to failure and more difficult to troubleshoot, as well as far more expensive to repair. If 50lbs seems important to you, okay, but realize that it will change fuel economy by such a tiny amount that you need to be mesmerized by numbers to care. Consider a smaller vehicle (where weight savings % is higher so it makes more of a difference): 50lb / 2800lb vehicle = 1.8% weight reduction. EPA testing finds that small vehicles average a 2.1% fuel economy increase from a 5% weight reduction, so that is only a 0.75% fuel economy increase for a small vehicle and it goes down as vehicle size increases. For a small vehicle achieving, say 30MPG, at 12K mi/yr that's (given current fuel prices) little under $8 saved per year, except that for a small vehicle, you wouldn't save as much as 50lbs but let's ignore that. It is unlikely that a Li-Ion starter battery is going to last more than 10 years (some sources even claim a ridiculously low 2-3 year lifespan, but let's say 10yr), and let's say flooded lead acid lasts 5 since you can get them with a 5 year prorated warranty. 5 additional years at $8 per year is $40 from a battery cost perspective, but even if you count total lifespan that's only $80. If the Li-Ion battery costs more than $40/$80 more than a lead acid, you never break even. I think we can concede that it costs hundreds more for the battery and more complex charging circuit, let alone repair later. In short, it is bad engineering to put a Li-Ion starter battery in anything that does not place weight as the most critical factor for racing performance. If you really care about modern engine emissions from 3 gallons per year of fuel, you'd make life plans to drive less than 12K mi/yr... or plant a tree, or both. Not only do trees and other vegetation scrub CO2, they also convert solar energy into cellulose and eventually oil (if we don't find a more expedient way to extract that energy before then). It's really kind of funny that in the bigger picture, planting crops to make alcohol and 'sink CO2 is more green and sustainable than EVs. Plants necessarily 'sink all the CO2 that burning the fuel produced from them, gives off. The remaining need is obviously to get politics out of it and move forward with more efficient bio-solar cells to produce fuel.
 
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Originally Posted by pitzel
I know the Priuses had, at least the early ones, a conventional battery, *and* the hybrid battery. Did they finally eliminate that ridiculous-ness?
When a Prius is parked with the hybrid system shut off, the high-voltage battery is disconnected by relays on both poles, for very good safety reasons. In that circumstance, what do you suppose would operate the clock, door locks, dome light, etc., or power up the relays to reconnect the high-voltage battery if the "ridiculous-ness" of the small AGM were eliminated?
 
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Originally Posted by pitzel
I know the Priuses had, at least the early ones, a conventional battery, *and* the hybrid battery. Did they finally eliminate that ridiculous-ness?
My Niro has a lithium battery. The neat thing about the NIRO is if that battery is run down and unable to start the vehicle there is a button you can push on the bottom left of the dash that uses the hybrid battery to jump the lithium battery.
 
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Originally Posted by pitzel
I know the Priuses had, at least the early ones, a conventional battery, *and* the hybrid battery. Did they finally eliminate that ridiculous-ness?
Nope - even Teslas have an auxiliary 12V battery to "boot" the electronics and aux loads. The high-voltage system is electromechanically isolated when the car is off.
 
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Originally Posted by pitzel
I know the Priuses had, at least the early ones, a conventional battery, *and* the hybrid battery. Did they finally eliminate that ridiculous-ness?
Still the same. In 2019 buyers have their choice of HV batteries-- Lithium (Prime) and NiMH (e-AWD). Seem to be slowly moving to Lithium, at Toyota's conservative pace. Since the e-AWD is marketed to snowy climates, the better cold weather characteristics of the NiMH are an advantage. My 2006 prius is running a SLA wheelchair battery on the low-voltage side vs the stupid overpriced factory 12V one.
 
Originally Posted by Dave9
^ Quite untrue. Flooded lead acid is the most cost effective way to make a battery with acceptable performance and lifespan. I don't want to pay more to reinvent the wheel nor to have a more complex charge circuit, more prone to failure and more difficult to troubleshoot, as well as far more expensive to repair. If 50lbs seems important to you, okay, but realize that it will change fuel economy by such a tiny amount that you need to be mesmerized by numbers to care. Consider a smaller vehicle (where weight savings % is higher so it makes more of a difference): 50lb / 2800lb vehicle = 1.8% weight reduction. EPA testing finds that small vehicles average a 2.1% fuel economy increase from a 5% weight reduction, so that is only a 0.75% fuel economy increase for a small vehicle and it goes down as vehicle size increases. For a small vehicle achieving, say 30MPG, at 12K mi/yr that's (given current fuel prices) little under $8 saved per year, except that for a small vehicle, you wouldn't save as much as 50lbs but let's ignore that. [quote] $8 x 200,000,000 cars = $1.6 billion dollars. Manufacturers would scramble to lose 50 lbs of weight on a car.
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I can tell you that in power substations we went AGM then valve regulated and now we are going full steam to get all of those out of our system and right back to flooded. These batteries are 20 grand a pop and nothing lasts like a flooded lead acid battery plant. As far as LI .... I love them for my battery tools but when you read about what the mining of the lithium is doing i really wonder if we are not screwing up there too. I'm happy with flooded automotive batteries and with the service they have provided me.
 
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Originally Posted by Snagglefoot
$8 x 200,000,000 cars = $1.6 billion dollars. Manufacturers would scramble to lose 50 lbs of weight on a car.
Your post makes no sense whatsoever. The manufacturer doesn't get that savings at all, on the contrary it costs the manufacturer more to try to eek out a slight fuel economy savings, and that cost is passed on to the consumer and only rationalized as value if two things are true. 1) The consumer puts and irresponsible # of miles on a year (if they are truly concerned about economy). 2) The consumer gets rid of the vehicle before the higher complexity results in higher and more frequent repair bills, yet that's just passing the buck even if the original buyer does that and gets lucky, and that vehicle is still out there, as a burden to someone else and will result in more landfill waste sooner due to the higher repair costs, then yet another new vehicle has to be manufactured to replace it, at even greater cost to both the consumer and the environment. No, manufacturers do not scramble to lose 50 lbs of weight no matter the detriment. You have no idea at all what you are talking about. On the contrary, the primary customer concern these days is cost of ownership and nobody wants to pay hundreds of dollars (literally, it is the reality of what most repairs are caused by) because some idiot wanted to use a flimsy light material to shave a quarter of an ounce off the vehicle weight. I don't even understand how you can be off of reality this much. How can you possibly translate customer fuel savings into manufacturer costs?
 
Dave. Perhaps we should discuss this over a beer. In the past, manufacturers have been under pressure to achieve better gas mileage. Not sure if that will continue, however, if it does, the manufacturers will be very interested in losing 1% of vehicle weight to achieve a small bump in gas mileage.I demonstrated the two hundred million multiplier to show the potential savings. Certainly, the battery cost will have to come down, but let's check back in five years. BeerCan pointed out he has a lithium ion car battery in a performance vehicle. Let's see if this extends to other vehicles in the next 5 years. By the way, I'm guessing you feel pretty strongly about lead acid batteries, so I'm going to check out of this thread. Goodbye Dave.
 
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Originally Posted by Dave9
Originally Posted by Snagglefoot
$8 x 200,000,000 cars = $1.6 billion dollars. Manufacturers would scramble to lose 50 lbs of weight on a car.
Your post makes no sense whatsoever. The manufacturer doesn't get that savings at all, on the contrary it costs the manufacturer more to try to eek out a slight fuel economy savings, and that cost is passed on to the consumer and only rationalized as value if two things are true. 1) The consumer puts and irresponsible # of miles on a year (if they are truly concerned about economy). 2) The consumer gets rid of the vehicle before the higher complexity results in higher and more frequent repair bills, yet that's just passing the buck even if the original buyer does that and gets lucky, and that vehicle is still out there, as a burden to someone else and will result in more landfill waste sooner due to the higher repair costs, then yet another new vehicle has to be manufactured to replace it, at even greater cost to both the consumer and the environment. No, manufacturers do not scramble to lose 50 lbs of weight no matter the detriment. You have no idea at all what you are talking about. On the contrary, the primary customer concern these days is cost of ownership and nobody wants to pay hundreds of dollars (literally, it is the reality of what most repairs are caused by) because some idiot wanted to use a flimsy light material to shave a quarter of an ounce off the vehicle weight. I don't even understand how you can be off of reality this much. How can you possibly translate customer fuel savings into manufacturer costs?
Fuel economy is not about the consumer. It is about CAFE numbers, which is a financial incentive for the manufacturer.
 
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Anyone ever watched a lithium battery go into thermal runaway? it's ugly. I think it says a lot that the big names in hybrid and BEVs have had such a statistically non-existent issue with traction battery Car B Ques. I mean really - I remember plenty of auto flambé from various fuel system failures in the 70s through 90s, yet with all of our eyes on BEV tech, the entire nation knows when a single Tesla lights it up, and there just aren't that many instances I know of. BUT, Li batteries are unforgiving when mistreated - and increasing scale of use will be interesting to watch. While I was offered a Li option by a co-worker, our CRV just got a lead acid agm.
 
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