Indicative energy technology assessment of advanced rechargeable batteries

Geoffrey P. Hammond, Tom Hazeldine

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Several 'Advanced Rechargeable Battery Technologies' (ARBT) have been evaluated in terms of various energy, environmental, economic, and technical criteria. Their suitability for different applications, such as electric vehicles (EV), consumer electronics, load levelling, and stationary power storage, have also been examined. In order to gain a sense of perspective regarding the performance of the ARBT [including Lithium-Ion batteries (LIB), Li-Ion Polymer (LIP) and Sodium Nickel Chloride (NaNiCl) {or 'ZEBRA'} batteries] they are compared to more mature Nickel-Cadmium (Ni-Cd) batteries. LIBs currently dominate the rechargeable battery market, and are likely to continue to do so in the short term in view of their excellent all-round performance and firm grip on the consumer electronics market. However, in view of the competition from Li-Ion Polymer their long-term future is uncertain. The high charge/discharge cycle life of Li-Ion batteries means that their use may grow in the electric vehicle (EV) sector, and to a lesser extent in load levelling, if safety concerns are overcome and costs fall significantly. LIP batteries exhibited attractive values of gravimetric energy density, volumetric energy density, and power density. Consequently, they are likely to dominate the consumer electronics market in the long-term, once mass production has become established, but may struggle to break into other sectors unless their charge/discharge cycle life and cost are improved significantly. ZEBRA batteries are presently one of the technologies of choice for EV development work. Nevertheless, compared to other ARBT, such batteries only represent an incremental step forward in terms of energy and environmental performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-571
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Energy
Early online date4 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2015


  • Economics
  • Energy storage
  • Environment
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Technology assessment


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