Scentists at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Australia have developed what they claim is the world's most effective hybrid car battery.
Named the UltraBattery, the new technology combines a super-capacitor and an old-school lead acid battery in a single unit to produce a cheaper and longer-lasting cell that's also more powerful than any current battery used for hybrid electric vehicles.
According to the project leader David Lamb, the UltraBattery "has a life cycle that is at least four times longer and produces 50 per cent more power than conventional battery systems, and is about 70 per cent cheaper than the batteries currently used in HEVs." Currently, Ni-MH batteries tend to be standard in most HEVs.
At the UK's Millbrook Proving Ground this week an UltraBattery-powered vehicle notched up 100,000 miles, demonstrating that on top of its claimed performance improvements and efficiency savings it's also sturdy enough to go the distance.
The test program is the result of an international collaboration. The battery system was developed by CSIRO in Australia, built by the Furukawa Battery Company of Japan and tested in the United Kingdom through the American-based Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium.