At the minute there are many disadvantages with hybrid cars.
One of them being the Safe use of high voltage batteries, in
Hybrid cars they use high voltage battery packs, these batteries are relied upon
to power just about everything in the car from the Motor to the internal fixture
such as radio and lights. If the battery was to become faulty it could prove to
be a health and safety risk if the battery becomes “live”, if the car does
become “live” and the passenger touches the car and they are touching the
ground they will become electrocuted.
Another disadvantage of hybrids car the predominant reliance
on fossil fuels, this is because hybrid cars use energy from the electric motor
and the fossil fuelled mechanical engine, this is bad because it means more
money will still be spend on refiling the mechanical engine with fossil fuels
to burn. Hybrid cars also still produce harmful emissions, which is bad for the
Although this is improving the distance that can be reached
on a single charge of the battery is still lower than using a fossil fuelled mechanical
engine to drive the car. This may still be a turn off point for some customers
who were wishing to invest in a hybrid car before finding out the maximum
distance it can go on a full charge.
There is still a huge cost that is involved in owning and
running a hybrid car, this is because the batteries do not last forever and
need to replace more often than a mechanical engine will need to be replaced.
Below I have listed and explained the new advancements in
technology in hybrid vehicles.
Heavy batteries are the cause of the
problem for many fuel-conscious drivers’, this is because the more weight you
have in your vehicle, the more energy you’ll need to use to move forward.
Many researchers have recognizing this
problem, and have looked into making hybrid battery packs much lighter, A group
at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has found a way to make
lithium-ion batteries both lighter and faster. The problem with lithium-ion
batteries was their slow release of electrical energy. Scientists who had
tackled this problem had thought lithium atoms were moving too slowly through
the battery material, The MIT researchers think the problem might be from the
nano-scale size of the technology that’s making it difficult for ions to
Their solution was to use a lithium
phosphate coating that helps speed ions along, this makes it easier for them to
quickly reach the battery terminals. The new battery material also stops the
degrading of the battery packs, which means that manufacturers can keep the
sizes of the batteries much smaller than before. This reduction in size will
reduce the overall weight.
Car companies such as tesla, Toyota and
many others can guarantee that their hybrid battery packs for the life of the
car, which in recent years has been around 100,000 miles (160,934 kilometers)
or more. And the warranties on the batteries generally last for eight years or
even longer, in some cases. The battery in the 2010 Toyota Prius, for instance,
has a 10-year, 150,000-mile (341,402-kilometer) warranty.
New Lead-acid Battery Advancements
There have been advancements in the use of
lead-acid batteries instead of lithium-ion batteries. This is because although
lithium-ion batteries are a potential alternative to nickel-metal hydride
systems, they have been proven to be too expensive and unreliable for those
interested in hybrid cars. NiMH batteries aren’t necessary cheap, and their
potential to become cheaper is low.
Lead-acid batteries are a solution that has
been proposed, this has raised eyebrows because the material (lead) is heavy
and is bad for the environment which is the opposite of what customers want. Researchers
in Australia and Japan looked into the technology to see what they could
improve. The researchers created what is known as the Ultra Battery. The Ultra
Battery uses super capacitors, which are electric devices that give hybrid cars
large bursts of energy necessary for acceleration without degrading the
The used of this new technology could cost
manufactures $1,000 less than the batteries of before.
Use of Lithium-ion Battery
of hybrid car battery packs use nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries. This is
because NiMH batteries are a more reliable energy source of energy for hybrids,
they have long lives and are inexpensive. Some of the lower-power battery packs
can cost as little as $600. The lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery is one of those
alternatives. Many people are now familiar with lithium-ion battery technology
through their use in various electronic devices. For hybrid cars, they offer
high-power and high energy for their weight and volume, and they’re more
efficient than nickel-metal hydride batteries.
The use of
lithium-ion Batteries in hybrid cars is still in its development, there are
still some issues with its reliability being unproven, the higher costs of
lithium-ion when compared to costs of nickel-metal
hydride (NiMH) batteries, in future development of the batteries it is believed
that they will be smaller and lighter, which is good.
It’s still a
little early for lithium-ion technology in hybrid cars — its reliability is
unproven, and the cost is higher than that of NiMH technology. If more testing
and investment continues, however, you might see smaller and lighter
lithium-ion battery packs in hybrid cars very soon.
How solar is being used in Hybrid cars
Due to the use of solar panels to provide electrical energy to
the battery, which provides energy to the electric motors, this means there is
no burning of fossil fuels. If there is not burning of fuels there will be no emissions,
this protects the environment. This key aspect of solar-powered cars is of
interest to motorists who wish to utilize personal transportation without
contributing to air pollution and greenhouse gases in the environment.
Preservation of Natural Resources
Although the panels and other components of a solar-powered
car initially consume energy and resources to manufacture, a solar powered
hybrid/electric car would require no additional energy input from for instance an
engine. The further use and development of solar panels will mean there will be
a decrease in the dependency of fossil fuelled motors, with it only to be
limited to the lubrication of wheels and other moving parts.
No Fuel Costs
Sunlight, which solar panels convert into electricity, is
available and free to everyone during the day and because of the decreased
amount of dependency on fossil fuels solar charged cars will be free to run. These
are considerable economic incentives to develop, produce and operate solar
Examples of cars with solar panels
The batteries seem to be the limiting factor in the
popularity of electric cars. This is because they are one of the most expensive
components of the vehicle, and have limited range compared to gasoline powered
While there have been
some impressive advances in recent years, a team of researchers have created a
super capacitor film that could in the future replace the need for a battery
altogether within the next five years. This has been achieved by a
collaboration between scientists at Rice University and Queensland University
of Technology resulted in two papers, published in Journal of Power Sources and
In this super capacitor there are two layers of graphene
with an electrolyte layer in the middle. The film is strong, exceedingly thin,
and is able to release a large amount of energy in a short amount of time,
which is essential for customers.
Super capacitors can offer vehicles extra energy spurt for
acceleration this is because of the high power output in a short time, meaning
a faster acceleration rate of the car and a charging time of just a few
minutes, compared to several hours for a standard electric car battery.
Ordinary batteries such as lead acid and other types take up
a large amount of space, whereas the super capacitor film could be integrated
into multiple parts of the vehicle, for example the body panels, roof, floor,
and doors. A super capacitor this large could provide the vehicle with the
amount of energy it needs, while making the vehicle itself much lighter.
In the future, with further development in this area, it is
hoped the super capacitor will be developed to store more energy than a Li-Ion
battery while retaining the ability to release its energy up to 10 times faster
– meaning the car could be entirely powered by the super capacitors in its body
panels, It is hoped that after one full charge, cars of the future should be
able to run up to 500km (310 miles) which is the same to a petrol-powered car
and more than double the current limit of an electric car.