Power to the People
"We reached the capacity of lead-acid technology 50 years ago," says Daan Hobbelen, who heads the power storage labs at Mastervolt, makers of marine batteries, chargers, inverters and propulsion systems. "We can make lead-acid better for starting, better for storage, lower maintenance, but there isn't much we can do to add power density." Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4), currently the best alternative, more than doubles Green Machine's range to 20.4 miles using batteries weighing the same as her existing AGM batteries. "Production improvements should increase energy density another 40 percent, and the cost will come down," Hobbelen says.