In the old and still lingering days of gas-powered vehicles, knowing when to replace the car battery was one of the most important skills that made a good driver. Furthermore, rapidly advancing battery technology usually meant that by the time the old one was kaput, there was always some new version on the market. A battery that could do more, hold more power and, ultimately, manage its power expenditure intelligently.
There were all sorts of car batteries, from nickel-cadmium to lithium-ion, and the introduction of the smart battery management system certainly made them more efficient.
This is unsurprising when we consider not only how important vehicles are but also how fast battery technology advances. Innovative battery manufacturers Pale Blue Earth say the reason for this is that battery power is intimately related to the commonly held consumer desire for sustainable sources of energy.
The AA or AAA batteries found around the household are still there, but now they are AA or AAA USB C-type rechargeable smart batteries (although resembling the household batteries of old). The same thing happened to car batteries until, suddenly, quite a bigger battery was needed.
EV Batteries Today
We are talking, of course, about the batteries used to power electric vehicles. Whereas a car battery previously powered the ignition, the lights, and the aircon, now it must power the car itself. Naturally, these batteries are significantly larger and, inevitably, considerably more expensive.
So, do you need to replace them? The rate of battery technology advancement in recent years certainly suggests that EV battery replacement might be worthwhile if the battery you are getting is a serious upgrade on the previous one.
With most car manufacturers having pledged to end the production of gas-powered vehicles by sometime around the 2030s, it is clear that we are soon going to need a great many car batteries. This is a number that is currently in excess of global production.
With this ever-present incentive to advance battery technology then, it is clear that there could be a lot to be gained from an EV battery upgrade. But is it practical, and when comes the point where the old battery just doesn’t cut it anymore?
New EV Batteries
As things stand, there are four different types of EV batteries available. Although you could technically mix and match, these usually come with the car itself. They are:
- lithium-ion batteries (by far the most common)
- nickel-metal hydride batteries
- lead-acid batteries
It should be stressed that these battery types don’t simply represent one battery; there are improved versions of all of these in content development.
Yet, you will probably not be driven to replace any of these with a marginally better version of the same. With new types of car batteries though, it could be a different story.
In development right now is the so-called Ultra-Fast Carbon Electrode, which is a device that can be attached to your existing battery and purportedly significantly increase its power storage and operational efficiency. Something like this is what form the first EV battery upgrades take, and it doesn’t require removing the existing battery. It is precisely this that makes it an attractive EV battery upgrade – if only it were on the market now!
There are many other expected developments, mainly revolving around increasing battery power and reducing it cost. Given how many batteries we can expect to need before long, reducing the costly materials used could become a necessity.
So, should you replace your EV battery? It’s probably too early for that now, but there are exciting developments on the horizon.