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© Volkswagen 2008
German Trends and Innovations

March 20, 2008

Breakthrough for Super Battery

Notebook computers, mobile phones and camcorders have all been run on small lithium-ion batteries for some time. They are small and convenient energy stores that offer the highest performance. Their use in vehicles was previously considered too dangerous. At temperatures of 140 degrees Celsius, the plastic membranes used in these rechargeable batteries to separate the plus and minus poles begin to disintegrate, thereby causing a short circuit. Large lithium-ion batteries that could power a car would explode if they overheat. German battery cell manufacturer Li-Tec has now developed an effective electric power source: Separion is the name of a flexible ceramic membrane that can be rolled like paper and withstands temperatures of up to 450 degrees. Even at higher temperatures, the batteries do not go up in flames, but simply burst. The company is meanwhile cooperating with Bosch and Volkswagen on the product’s further development. The largest German carmaker has already announced the first series production vehicle that will use this electric propulsion system: VW’s Space Up microvan should be on the road by 2010.

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© Deutschland magazine/February/March 2008/Roland Knauer



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