Batteries found in the low-budget hybrid vehicles were not manufactured to suit the climatic conditions of Asian countries, but compatible with European and American countries, Auto Hybrid Electronics (Pvt.) Ltd Managing Director Nuwan Madhanayake said.
Madhanayake is a qualified engineer in the hybrid vehicles and the founder and Managing Director of Auto Hybrid Electronic (Pvt.) Ltd and Nuwan Madhanayake Auto Hybrid Training Centre.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, he said the hybrid batteries, which were made based on the climatic factors of a particular country, could be suitable for another country’s climatic conditions, but not with full efficiency.
“In the European countries, most of their roads were highways and hybrid vehicles that used to run daily have to travel a number of hours to reach a certain destination.”
“The situation is totally different in our country and as there are no such highways in our country. Engines run for short periods of time depending on the traffic conditions. That does not help to charge at least one cell of the battery completely,” he said.
“Therefore, issues in hybrid batteries getting increasing, when comparing to European and American countries.”
“Those countries have higher consideration in emission and vehicles are designed to suit them. When importing hybrid and electric cars, they should be made according to our environment factors,” he said.
“The development in hybrid technology in European and American countries changed instantly within a short number of years. We had adopted their hybrid technology forcefully to our country with a risk of increase the emissions.”
“When it comes to repairing these batteries, none of the said hybrid technicians know much about the technology, with that risk the problem will lead to harmful results.”
“Due to the tax increase, the number of vehicles imported to the country was reduced but before the tax increase, many cars including electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles less than 1000cc were imported.”
There are two types of hybrid batteries as nickel-metal-hydride or NiMH battery and Lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are dry cell and maintenance-free.
“Electric and Plugin Hybrid Vehicles most of the time use lithium-ion batteries. The energy density of lithium-ion batteries are higher than NiMH batteries.”
“NiMH batteries work efficiently within a temperature range of between 22 to 24 Celsius, but lithium-ion batteries need a temperature of 18 Celsius to get its maximum efficiency.”
“If vehicles user NiMH or lithium-ion batteries have a hybrid mechanism the most important thing to maintain was the relevant battery temperature to increase its lifetime,” he said.
“Many luxury and super luxury vehicles are design with inbuilt cooling system for batteries to make them work at maximum efficiency,” he said.
“Since low-budget hybrids do not have such technology due to high costs involved, the batteries run the risk of low performance and durability,” he said. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)