Don’t the batteries take up a lot of space in the car?
On the contrary – spaciousness and variability of the interior are one of the biggest advantages of electric vehicles. It’s true that a lot of batteries are needed to ensure adequate driving distance, but these are located in the floor of the car. Not only does this prevent them from being an obstacle, but they also provide a low center of gravity, making for excellent handling. The electric drive itself is much more space-saving than conventional engine designs. There is no need for a large transmission, and electric motors are considerably smaller than combustion engines.
Can the batteries be recycled?
Battery recycling is crucial for our industry. While it’s possible to recycle Li-ion batteries, the costs are exceedingly high. As eMobility becomes more widespread, the production of Li-ion batteries will increase, driving demand for raw materials and resulting in more batteries at the end phase of their lifespans. These effects will spur the development of cheaper and more effective recycling methods.
What options exist for re-using batteries?
Even after a battery has reached the end of its in-car lifespan, recycling is not the only option. These batteries can be remade into energy storage devices, and in doing so, the overall lifespan of the battery will be prolonged by many years. In other words, we’ll give our batteries a second life.
Is there any difference between batteries for PHEV (hybrid) cars and purely electric BEVs?
Yes, there is. There are fundamental differences in their capacity and design. PHEV batteries have less capacity and are usually located towards the back of the car, under the second row of seats, as the vehicle also has to accommodate an internal combustion engine. The design of BEV batteries, generally reminiscent of a skateboard, is derived from their location in the floor. As BEVs have no internal combustion engine, the battery logically has more capacity.
What sort of capacity do these batteries have?
The main indicator for electric cars is their range on a full charge (i.e. powered solely by electricity). These days, the electricity-only range of PHEV batteries is around 50 km, compared to a BEV battery’s 300 kilometres or so. However, by 2020, when the VISION E concept is set to be launched as a production car, the range per charge will be around 500 km.
What ways are there to charge a battery and what are the differences between them?
There are currently two common ways of charging an electric vehicle: one via a rapid charging point, the other via a standard household power socket. Rapid charging points can be found in places such as shopping centres, and are being extended to petrol stations and locations in cities. The advantage of these points is that they draw on a higher charging current than the power available at home. The difference is due to the size of the fuse.