Ford and Samsung collaborating for better battery technology

Ford and Samsung collaborating for better battery technology image

Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: Ford | posted June 04, 2014 07:27

Advanced research may make regenerative braking available on non-hybrid models.

Ford Motor Company and Samsung SDI, an affiliate of Samsung Group, have announced that they’ve conducting research and extensive work on two different types of battery technology for automotive use to achieve greater fuel efficiency.

The first is a dual-battery system that will combine a lithium-ion battery with a 12-volt lead-acid battery that will give non-hybrid vehicles the capability to store energy from regenerative braking, use it to supplement engine power and save fuel in the process.

“We are currently expanding our Auto Start-Stop technology across 70 percent of our lineup, and this dual-battery system has the potential to bring even more levels of hybridization to our vehicles for greater energy savings across the board.  Although still in research, this type of battery could provide a near-term solution for greater reduction of carbon dioxide,” said Ted Miller, senior manager, Energy Storage Strategy and Research, Ford Motor Company.

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Also on the docket is research on a longer-term ultra-lightweight lithium-ion battery that according to Ford and Samsung ‘could one day render traditional lead-acid batteries obsolete’ and with the weight reduction and higher power output make a Ford’s performance more efficient.

“Lithium-ion batteries are typically used in consumer electronics because they are lighter and more energy-dense than other types of batteries, which also make them ideal for the vehicle.  Battery technology is advancing rapidly and lithium-ion could one day completely replace traditional 12-volt lead-acid batteries, providing better fuel efficiency for drivers.” said Mike O’Sullivan, vice president, Automotive Battery Systems for Samsung SDI North America.

The research uses lithium-ion battery technology currently available on Ford’s electrified vehicles, which already are 25 to 30 percent smaller than hybrid batteries made of nickel-metal-hydride while offering three times the power cell.