An Ohio State University researcher has discovered what could be a crippling flaw in the lithium-ion batteries used to power most electric and hybrid vehicles.
The flaw is the fact lithium tends to collect in the copper tray that links units in the battery pack sits, thus decreasing battery life in a way not previously known, according to an OSU news release.
The flaw could shed light on why some EV owners, most notably a group of Nissan Leaf buyers in Arizona, have found their vehicles' battery life declined more rapidly than expected.
Battery life is the critical issue for EV automakers and customers alike because that is the point on which internal combustion-powered vehicles have a decisive lead on those using electric power.
"General Motors gives an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty on the batteries in the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in (longer in California), while Nissan has said the battery pack for the all-electric Leaf will have 80 percent capacity after five years and 70 percent after a decade," according to AutoBlogGreen, which broke the story.
Go here for more on the story, including a link to the original OSU news release.