UltraBattery Promises More Power, Less Cost For HEVs

Chicago (IL) - Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has developed a new battery for hybrid electric vehicles that could deliver a 50% increase in power, a 70% decrease in cost and a 300% improvement in life expectancy.

A Honda Insight test vehicle using the battery recently completed a 100,000 mile test proving the capability of the technology. According to CSIRO, the system combines supercapacitor and a lead acid battery in a single unit and achieves much a much better performance in key disciplines.

"The UltraBattery is a leap forward for low emission transport and uptake of HEVs," said David Lamb, who leads low emissions transport research with Australia's Energy Transformed National Research Flagship. In fact, the battery could make hybrid vehicles more powerful, increase their range and MGP rating and last well beyond the typical life of typical vehicles sold to consumers today.

At least the Honda Insight, which was driven over the 100,000 mile distance over a period of 12 months at the Millbrook Proving Ground in the UK, indicates the potential of the technology. Details about the future development of the battery were withheld, but the UltraBattery appears to be too heavy to become an interesting solution for today's cars. "CSIRO's ongoing research will further improve the technology's capabilities, making it lighter, more efficient and capable of setting new performance standards for HEVs," Lamb said.