UMi Plus and its Sony battery
Now that Sony revealed its interest in electric car batteries as you can see it here. It’s even more interesting to know what Sony is already achieving in other fields, in this case mobile devices.
Let’s see the battery specs.
Energy density: 690 Wh/L
Lifespan: after 900 cycles retains 80 % of the initial capacity
Nominal capacity: 4 Ah
Nominal voltage: 4,35 V
Max charge power: 15 W (0,86 C)
With this kind of high energy density 900 cycles seem great to me, but the charging rate might seem too low for many.
Let’s compare to the first generation LG Chem battery used in Renault Zoe R240.
First generation LG Chem:
- Cell’s volumetric energy density is 275 Wh/L
- Total battery capacity is 25,92 kWh
- Cell’s volumetric energy density is 690 Wh/L
- Total battery capacity could be 65 kWh
The max charge power would be 56 kW, enough for the 22 kW internal charger and even for a DC fast charger, if the Zoe had CCS capability.
As we already saw in this popular lecture, Renault plans to release a new Zoe with approximately 600 km NEDC range in 2020. It’s 450 km range in the real world, then range will no longer be a problem for the electric supermini.
Not only Renault, but also Volkswagen showed us we’ll only get the 600 km NEDC range electric cars when approaching 2020. The technology already exists, but companies like to make gradual product improvements so that customers need to buy their products more often.
I do expect some tweaks in battery technology before 2020. By then electric cars should be able to charge at 150 kW in DC fast chargers. Some will even double this rate by also doubling the battery charging voltage from 400 V to 800 V, as Porsche as been saying.
While Panasonic seems to have the future assured with its partnership with Tesla Motors, I’m curious to know which partners will Sony find to enter the EV battery business. Can Sony convince Toyota, Honda or Mazda about BEV’s bright future? What do you think?