Ricardo and QinetiQ have begun a two-year project aimed at reducing the cost of Lithium-Ion batteries for hybrid vehicles while protecting or improving vehicle performance. The collaboration is being funded in part by the U.K. government’s Department for Transport.
The Reduced cost Li-Ion (RED-LION) project hopes to demonstrate the application of new Li-Ion cell chemistry in a hybrid vehicle battery with an estimated production cost one-third that of conventional battery technologies and about half the weight.
The battery system represents approximately one-third of the incremental manufacturing cost of a typical hybrid vehicle and adds considerably to the vehicle mass. Last year Ricardo, QinetiQ, and PSA Peugeot-Citroen developed a 100g/km CO2 efficient-C full hybrid diesel demonstrator vehicle based on a Citroen Berlingo Multispace. The firms were pleased with the vehicle’s performance but estimated that its incremental manufacturing cost had to be reduced by half, to approximately $2,900, for the technology to become commercially viable. The RED-LION project hopes to achieve that goal, and to deliver sub-100g/km CO2 emissions.