General Electric Presents Zero Emission Electric Bus

The Global Research team at General Electric announced an EV advancement today, that could proliferate EVs and maybe even lead to a widespread adoption of the electric bus. The company demonstrated a dual battery system that has the potential to cut battery costs by 20 percent.

The hybrid system research team paired a sodium battery, much like those big industrial batteries, with a high-power lithium battery, combining their strengths and eliminating their weaknesses.

Li-Ion batteries, which are used in today's EVs, are a compromise between power and energy storage, which means they can provide a lot of power for acceleration, but cannot hold enough energy stored for driving range. At the opposite side of the spectrum, sodium batteries store enormous amounts of energy, but they have a lower discharge rate, which means they are less optimized for power.

The beauty of our dual battery system is that it can be scaled to deliver just the right combination of power and storage,” said Lembit Salasoo, Senior Electrical Engineer and GE’s Principal Investigator on the hybrid bus project.

At this point we start to see where the cost savings come from, as eliminating the need to build a battery that's optimized to provide both power and storage capacity means that batteries can be built to suit the needs of specific vehicles.

Right now, our bus has a top speed of 50 mph and about a 60-80 mile range under idealized conditions. The ultimate target is 62 mph and a real-life 100-mile range, while traveling a transit bus route with its multiple stops and starts,” said Lembit.

The bus fits perfectly in GE's growing hybrid and electric technology portfolio, which includes a new battery factory being built in upstate New York, new WattStation EV chargers, and smart-charging partnerships with Nissan and Better Place.
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