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China: Slideshow: Electric Car Batteries Get Bigger

To boost the range of pure electric vehicles (EVs), automakers need more onboard energy. To get more energy, they need bigger battery packs.

That’s why manufacturers such as Tesla Motors and BYD Automobile are rolling out vehicles with massive EV battery packs. Tesla’s Model S offers a choice of three packs — 40kWh, 60kWh, and 85kWh. The smaller packs have approximately 5,000 cells in them, while the bigger packs incorporate 8,000 cells, and weigh up to 1,200 pounds. Similarly, BYD’s highly anticipated e6 will use a 1,400lb, 71kWh battery.

Not all automakers are building such massive packs. Nissan’s Leaf uses a 24kWh model, while the Chevy Volt employs a 16kWh battery, and the Toyota Prius PHV (a plug-in hybrid) incorporates a 5.2-kWh unit. We’ve collected photos of a wide range of EV battery packs, ranging from production to research devices.


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