Japanese electronics and electrical company Toshiba, last week launched a battery designed to power the next generation of electric cars. (Read the full story) The SuperCharge battery is fast to recharge, can be recharged 5,000 times and is desinged to last for ten years. It is also light-weight and engineered to avoid catching fire, a problem caused by packing large numbers of traditional lithium batteries into the small spaces needed to power motor cars. Toshiba expects to sell 900 million US dollars worth of the batteries every year as the electric car market grows. While most commentators agree that new battery technology is the key to widespread adoption of electric cars, there is disagreement over the viability of lithium in the long term. While the global capacity to produce lithium currently exceeds supply, the expected growth in demand would require new extraction methods. The process is also heavily pollluting and energy intensive.
The Generator News – Week ending December 5th,2008