In an interview for CBC/Radio-Canada, the event’s chairman explained that Li-ion batteries meet the needs of these vehicles better than any other type of batteries. At the same time, Dr. Karim Zaghib, chief researcher at the Hydro-Quebec Research Institute (IREQ), warned people about the illusion that Li-ion technology can provide as much range as a conventionally-powered automobile.
Compared with other types of batteries such as lead, nickel-cadmium and nickel-metal hydride (NiMH), Li-ion batteries offer many benefits, including superior range, the lack of "memory" effect and environmentally-friendly manufacturing.
However, Hydro-Quebec says that Li-ion technology also poses a few problems and inconveniences, like overheating during summer and the need to warm up the batteries during winter. That’s why they developed a patented battery that uses ferrous phosphate instead of cobalt for the cathode.
The 2010 IMLB is set up by the Electrochemical Society, a New Jersey-based, nonprofit, educational organization concerned with a broad range of phenomena relating to electrochemical and solid-state science and technology. Hydro-Quebec is one of the sponsors.
Throughout the conference, participants can test-drive a number of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids that naturally rely on Li-ion batteries. Auto123.com got in on the action and will soon bring you a series of related features and reviews. Here are some of the models available for testing at the IMLB:
This electric four-seater based on the Mitsubishi i features a 47-kW motor and a 16-kW/h Li-ion battery. It can reach speeds of up to 120 km/h and cover a distance of 120 kilometres on a full charge, which requires 7 hours.