No doubt about it. Battery technology is one of the keys to electric mobility. For years battery life and range was seen as a major hindrance to the wide spread use of electric vehicles. But the potential of the lithium-ion battery is rapidly changing this perception, making electricity an effective alternative to petrol or diesel.
A breakthrough in battery technology has made lithium-ion batteries meet the specific energy, power, mass and durability requirements of cars designed for practical everyday use like the Opel Ampera.
While the majority of conventional hybrids (hybrid-electric vehicles or HEVs) out on the road today use nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery technology, the Opel Ampera is powered by a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery pack comprised of more than 200 lithium-ion cells .
Lithium-ion batteries provide nearly two to three times the power of a NiMH battery in a much smaller package. It also offers a higher energy-to-weight ratio, an important consideration in automotive applications since excess mass affects efficiency.
Lithium-ion batteries suffer little or no memory effect (lazy battery). Everyone who uses rechargeable batteries is familiar with this phenomenon, which can occur when batteries gradually lose their maximum energy capacity if they are repeatedly recharged after being only partially discharged. Lithium-ion batteries also have a low loss of charge when not in use so they will hold their charge when they’re parked in the lot at the office.
Battery testing is progressing as planned with no significant roadblocks in lab or on-road testing. Our team of engineers have completed more than 1.5 million kilometers and four million hours of validation testing on the battery cells, modules, and packs since 2007. The development, validation and test teams have met thousands of specifications and validated each of the Ampera battery’s 161 components to ensure we deliver on the reliability, safety and durability you expect from us.
The battery itself is T-shaped, and is located centrally in the chassis . This keeps the centre of gravity optimally low, an absolute must for balanced handling. It also means that it does not compromise the load space area . Which is why the Ampera actually has over 300 liters of trunk space and seats four grownups. Perfect for everyday driving.