June 30th, 2008 at 4:03pm
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Plug-in hybrids with lithium-ion batteries are going to be really expensive, but there could be a clever way of cutting the cost.
A plug-in hybrid car with 40 miles range of pure electric power is going to need a lithium-ion battery pack that costs about $10,000.
But it turns out that after those batteries hit their lifetime expectancy in cars, they can still store 80 percent of the electricity they’re designed to hold. And that has attracted the attention electric utilities. They could yank these things out of hybrids and daisy chain them together to make big electric storage depots.
Then, during nighttime, when electric utilities have excess capacity, they could make electricity and store it in those batteries, and then draw that electricity out during the day for peak demand. So plug-in hybrid owners might only lease those batteries for the time they use them, or even sell them to the utilities, and that could cut the cost dramatically.