Battery provider Southern California Edison (SCE) has demonstrated a lithium ion battery with a lifespan of more than 180,000 miles, a major milestone in advanced battery performance that opens the door to a new generation of electric cars. However this doesn’t say anything about the energy density of the battery, and it only hints at the number of charging cycles the battery can withstand.
However, since the average family car travels about 10,000 to 15,000 miles each year, the battery could last about ten years before it needs replacing. The battery test, conducted in a laboratory setting, uses a Johnson Control-Saft lithium-ion battery sub-pack that is one-sixth of the actual battery size used in a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. The sub-pack has been tested continuously for two and a half years, and testing continues to monitor the battery’s remarkable performance.
The U.S. Department of Energy has provided SCE with a full-size lithium ion battery and has asked SCE to test and evaluate the battery’s viability for passenger car application.
So it appears that we have a few more years of testing before these types of batteries will be released into the wild. In my view it would be better to start field testing these on a wide scale, using real cars and real people on lease type basis in the same way that BMW are doing with the Mini-E.