Stuttgart, Germany – Daimler AG has announced that it has made a “crucial breakthrough” in battery technology and has become the world’s first auto manufacturer to succeed in adapting lithium-ion technology to automotive applications. Until now, the technology has been used primarily in personal electronics applications.The new battery will be used in the series-production S 400 BlueHYBRID, beginning next year. The technology was possible thanks to 25 patents held by Daimler. “What we have here is a groundbreaking key technology that is going to be a decisive factor for the future success of the automotive industry,” says Dr. Thomas Weber, member of the Daimler AG Board of Management. “That is a tribute to our intensive research efforts, which we have been conducting in this area since 1992.”
The Daimler system integrates the lithium-ion battery into the vehicle’s climate control system, ensuring that it always works at the optimal system temperatures of between 15 and 35 C, which in turn makes it possible for the battery to provide long service life and maximum performance. Compared to conventional nickel-metal hydride batteries, the new lithium-ion battery is compact and has high ampere-hour efficiency, long service life, reliability even at very low temperatures, and a level of safety equal to that of today’s auto batteries.
While the new batteries will first be used in hybrid vehicles, Daimler engineers are investigating the degree to which the technology can be applied to other vehicle concepts, such as electric and fuel cell-powered cars.