New study launched to improve the design and efficiency of lead acid batteries in electric vehicles

A Sheffield academic has been awarded over £100k from the Engineering Physical Sciences and Research Council (EPSRC) to investigate improving the efficiency of lead acid batteries for Electric Vehicles.

Battery electric vehicle.

Lead acid batteries, although used in typical fuel cars, have not been used in conventional electric cars over fears that the electrodes do not age evenly.

The project, led by Dr James Green from the University of Sheffield, will look at the design of the battery electrode to make the electrode age more evenly and therefore increase efficiency.

Dr Green, from the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering said: “There is little appetite among battery manufacturers to move away from a conventional design because it is believed that the cost of production will increase or that production will be more difficult and expensive.

“However, CO2 targets are now at such stringent levels that every effort must be made to maximise the use of renewable energy sources or secondary energy sources like rechargeable batteries.”

This research will also investigate the feasibility of manufacturing more complex electrodes to ensure that the output of the work has practical value. The team will also consider how this research can work with Lithium batteries.

Supporting the project are the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC), a consortium of 70 lead battery manufacturers and lead producers – the largest of its kind in the world, and Controlled Power Technologies (CPT), an SME specializing in the design of CO2 reduction products for the automotive industry.

The University of Sheffield’s Energy 2050 institute is a world-leading hub in the area of batteries and energy storage. The group recently announced they have been awarded a grant for £520k from the EPSRC to look into improving the understanding of physical processes and accelerating technology development of energy storage.