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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New battery technology to benefit boondockers

A lot of investment, venture capital, and R & D has been flowing into electric vehicle development anticipating an explosion of fossil fuel free vehicles in the years ahead. One of the developments that will bring electric vehicles into the mainstream is the advancements made to batteries, particularly with lithium ion batteries. The first all-electric vehicle performance car was the Tesla sports car, which used lithium ion laptop batteries--lots of them--for power, but the car cost more than $100,000.

But now battery companies spread around the world are working feverishly to invent the breakthrough battery that will change transportation forever. One such company is Mastervolt that has developed a 24 volt lithium ion battery. Weighing in at just 115 lbs., the output is that of four 8Ds. Think of that. A single 115-pound battery functioning as well as four 140-pound batteries--or 560 lbs! Not only that, Mastervolt claims that their battery will last three times longer than the 8D. (Group 8D AGM batteries are powerful 12-volt, 225 to 255 Amp hour, heavy duty, deep cycle batteries costing several hundred dollars and used in large luxury RVs and yachts.)

Though available now only in 24-volt and being marketed to yacht owners, a 12-volt version is in development, which could be a breakthrough for RVers--and especially for boondockers. There is one slight hitch, though. The battery costs $7,500. However, with a smaller 12-volt version, and as demand and manufacturing mass production come together, prices will come down. How far down, is hard to tell, but with competing companies also pushing the same development, it may--hopefully--be sooner rather than later.

You can keep track of their progress on their Web site.

6 comments:

  1. I'd rather put my stock into companies that are developing Fuel Cell technology.

    The advantage to boondockers should be obvious: the byproduct of using hydrogen and oxygen in fuel cells to produce electricity is water.

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  2. Aren't these the batteries that are in danger of bursting into flame?? I just reading about the various hybrid car batteries for now and the future.

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  3. Great battery, nice to hear that there are good things on the horizon. Far out there on the horizon. Holy cow! $7500? It will take a while I guess. I remember when a computer CD burner cost $5000, and today they are only a few bucks. Patience, patience, give us patience. ;)

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  4. ..and if we don't have good batteries, just where do you plan to 'store' the power that the fuel cells produce??

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  5. I wonder when the hundred mile carb. will return?

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  6. I would love to see this battery in the $500.00 range! I'll take 8.

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