Battery technology, something that critics of electric vehicles (EVs) have always pointed out as a clear limitation. And yes, of course battery capacity could always improve more, but is that actually a legitimate reason not to drive an EV? With the average person driving only 29 miles a day, why is it necessary to have 330 miles at your disposal in a day? Even having 110 miles in an EV would be considered more than practical for the majority of people when recharging could be completed overnight. That is like having about 1/3 of a gas car's range at your disposal each day, and the majority of people don't drain 1/3 of their gas tank per day. But even with that example, EV's can still easily exceed 200 miles while still maintaining a decent price with for example, the Chevy Bolt.
But is the future of battery technology capacity, lifespan, or both? While capacity is important, but shouldn't a lot of talk be about lifespan as well? For this example, let's examine the cells we use in the Lightning Bug. These cells are produced by Xalt Energy, and according to their spec sheet, to 80% DOD (Depth of discharge), meaning if you use 80% of the battery's capacity, the cells will be good for 14,000 cycles. So in the Lightning Bug, if you drive 88 of the 110 miles range, then recharge, that is one full cycle. When calculating, if one cycle is 88 miles x 14,000 cycles = 1,232,000 miles. What this means, is that the battery pack in the Lightning Bug will last for 1.232 million miles. Obviously, that will outlive the body of the car, in fact it will last for at least 6-8 vehicles! This presents the opportunity to transfer the battery pack into each vehicle that you own! And since the battery pack is half of the cost of all of the parts in the Lightning Bug, being able to pass down your battery pack for that many years is an enormous advantage compared to the average EV battery pack from manufacturers lasting between 8-15 years.
This is why I believe that the life span of the battery pack needs to be seriously considered as an advantage of EVs, or more specifically the EVs from Hawkeye Innovations LLC utilizing these cells. Being able to hand down your battery pack in your vehicles just adds to the multitudes of savings by already owning and driving an EV!
More to come later on battery technology...