A new lithium ion starter battery weighs only 2.5kg and is being used by the German Red Motorsport team in a Lotus. Conventional starter batteries for this type of application typically weigh from 15kg to more than 20kg.
“We’ve been astounded and delighted by the low weight and the size”, enthused team managing director and driver Martin Roos. “You can clearly feel the power of this technology.”
The battery has been developed using materials developed by Degussa AG of Dusseldorf. At the heart of the battery is a thin ceramic composite “Separion” separator. Degussa has also developed electrodes and electrolyte additives that make the batteries more powerful and safer. The batteries have passed overcharge and nail penetration tests. When conventional separator materials were used, on the other hand, there were instances of smoke development and in some cases, outbreak of fire.
Sven Augustin, responsible for Automotive Marketing at Degussa believes that, “This lithium-ion technology will be used in the future also for energy storage in hybrid vehicles.” The Lotus also has a specialty coating that uses matting agents from Degussa in its production and light windshields whose weight has been reduced from 9.5kg to 4kg using a specially developed scratch resistant acrylic, also from Degussa. More information from Degussa