Do Electric Car Batteries Use Magnets? Let’s Find Out

Electric car batteries work behind the scenes to enable the technology that powers EVs. They are the automotive industry’s future and necessitate a great deal of technological know-how.

And, no, magnets are not used in electric car batteries. This vital piece of machinery is used with electric motors. However, there has been a recent push to find induction motor replacements. However, magnets are not used in electric car batteries. Here are the specifics.

What Is Inside an Electric Car Battery?

Do Electric Car Batteries Use Magnets?
Do Electric Car Batteries Use Magnets?

In California, electric vehicles use the same type of battery as smartphones and laptop computers. These lithium-ion batteries are inexpensive, simple to produce, and widely available.

Unlike most gadget batteries, which have a time limit, EV batteries have a range. It is the maximum distance an electric vehicle can travel before running out of charge.

Electric car batteries are made up of hundreds, if not thousands, of cells. To maximize charge, these cells are strategically arranged in the battery. The greater the number of cells in a battery, the greater its range.

There are three types of battery cells in EV batteries:

  • Cylindrical cells
  • Pouch cells
  • Prismatic cells

There is a fourth type called coin cells, but they are still in the works. Coin cells have never been used in the batteries of electric vehicles.

The number of cells in a car varies according to its make and model. 9000 cells can be found in cylindrical batteries. Pouch cells are only a few hundred cells in number.

The number of cells in Prismatic cells is even lower. Let’s go over the three options in greater detail.

Cylindrical Cells

Cylindrical cells are preferred by manufacturers because they are simple to produce. These cells exist in a self-contained casing that is relatively isolated from the outside world.

The technology is also very cost-effective and has reached a mature stage. This makes manufacturing cylindrical cells simple.

Cylindrical cells have a significant power limitation due to their shape. This explains why hybrid vehicles use prismatic or pound cells to increase power output.

To facilitate heat dissipation, the surface area of cylindrical cells is typically kept very low. Maintaining a lower surface area also extends the battery’s life.

21700 and 18650 are the most popular cylindrical cell formats. They are the ideal surface area and heat dissipation solution.

Larger cylindrical cell formats, such as the 4680, are preferred by manufacturers. This is due to the fact that their internal design facilitates more efficient heat transfer.

Tesla models and BMW EVs are examples of electric vehicles in California that use cylindrical cells.

Prismatic Cells

Prismatic cells have a rectangular shape that allows multiple battery units to be stacked in modules. Their chemistry is protected by a strong and long-lasting casing.

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Prismmatic cells are classified into two types:

  • The casing contains electric sheets (comprising the anode, cathode, and separator)
  • The electrode sheets are rolled or stacked.

For the same volume, stacked prismatic cells can deliver more energy at a faster rate. Flat prismatic cells, on the other hand, have more energy and are more durable.

In addition, prismatic cells require fewer connections than cylindrical cells. This means that the manufacturer will have to do less welding.

The use of prismatic cells has the significant advantage of reducing manufacturing defects.

Electric vehicles are more likely to use prismatic cells than electric bikes. This is due to the fact that they are far too heavy to be used in smaller devices.

As a result, they are more suitable for energy-intensive applications.

Pouch Cells

A soft battery is used in pouch cells. An aluminum-coated plastic film is used to encase the cell’s components.

When compared to the other types of cells discussed above, these can deliver more power. Pouch cells also take up less space in batteries.

However, there is a catch: their soft casing.

This makes pouch cells extremely vulnerable to external forces. They have the lowest mechanical resistance of any cell type.

As a result, manufacturers must strengthen the structure of pouch cells. As a result, the time and cost spent on manufacturing increase.

However, the exact composition and ratio of these elements are determined by the battery and EV. All batteries contain varying amounts of manganese, iron, lithium, and other metals.

They all, however, make use of lithium cores. This is one of the primary reasons why lithium demand has skyrocketed.

There are few lithium substitutes; all other metals can be substituted. Over the years, the market for lithium-ion battery packs has expanded rapidly.

Many countries are expanding their infrastructure to meet the increasing demand for electric batteries.

Furthermore, governments are attempting to establish a viable supply chain in order to meet demand. In the United States, EV batteries and their components have been the focus of major policies.

China has the largest precious metal supply chain market. Many governments, however, are hoping to establish their own supply chains.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo supplies the majority of the cobalt. The most nickel reserves are found in Australia, Brazil, and Indonesia.

Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile contain 75% of the world’s lithium reserves.

Electric Car Cell Chemistry

As previously stated, the most common battery chemistry is lithium-ion. Lithium is used in the technology to transport electric charges between electrodes.

Let’s look at the most common battery chemistries.

Li-ion

The favorable power-to-mass ratio of Li-ion batteries is one of the main reasons why manufacturers prefer them.

Heavier components can cause a variety of issues, including reduced range. Furthermore, heavy vehicles require more energy to start and stop.

In comparison to alternatives, Li-ion batteries have a high energy density and performance. Li-ion batteries have a 2.5x higher energy density than lead-acid and NIMH batteries.

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More importantly, lithium-ion batteries are easier to recycle. As a result, they are an excellent choice for businesses that prioritize the environment over profits.

A look inside the lithium batteries used in electric vehicles:

1. Cathode
They are made of lithium oxide ions and determine the battery’s capacity.

2. Anode
They emit lithium ions, allowing current to flow to an external circuit.

3. Electrolytes
They contain solvents, salts, and additives. Electrolytes provide a medium for ion exchange between cathodes and anodes. This is also the source of the battery’s name (Li-ion, meaning lithium carrying ions).

4. Separator
The separator is used to keep the cathode and anode from coming into direct contact.

Electric vehicles have a higher demand for Li-ion batteries than consumer electronics. Li-ion battery packs’ energy density is approaching its limit.

This has prompted researchers to investigate new materials in order to meet the insatiable demand for energy.

Nickel Metal Hydride (NIMH)

NIMH is better suited to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (EVs) (HEVs). NMH batteries last longer than lithium-ion and lead acid batteries, but they have a few drawbacks.

They are less expensive to manufacture than Li-ion batteries. When left idle, they have extremely high self-discharge rates.

When operating, NIMH batteries also generate excessive heat. Heat buildup can shorten the life of a battery. They can also emit dangerous amounts of hydrogen.

Increased demand for NIMH technology would have an impact on consumer electronics such as computers. NIMH batteries are also used in the majority of power tools.

This means that the construction industry would be impacted by the demand for NIMH.

Solid State Electrolytes

Solid state electrolytes address all of the drawbacks of Li-ion batteries.

Fire is a major concern when using Li-ion batteries. Li-ion batteries contain flammable liquid that is difficult to extinguish. In comparison, a Tesla fire required over 4,500 gallons of water to extinguish.

Furthermore, handling Li-ion batteries necessitates the use of trained personnel. Additional resources would be required for the fire department to train its personnel.

To instill greater confidence in motorists, automakers are transitioning to solid-state batteries.

Solid-state batteries take up less space than Li-ion batteries. This is significant because most EV batteries are heavy and have an impact on vehicle handling.

Manufacturers are looking for alternatives, such as solid-state batteries, to improve handling and range.

In contrast to Li-ion, which uses a liquid electrolyte, the technology employs a solid disc electrolyte. Many researchers believe that solid-state technology is the ideal solution for a variety of devices.

Solid-state batteries are used in many devices such as wearables, RFIDs, and pacemakers. However, the technology is still in its infancy.

Solid-state batteries will take some time to become more stable for use with EVs.

Ethical Concerns

Unfortunately, the extraction of these metals is considered hazardous to the environment. Most metals are only found in a few places, such as South America.

The mining of these metals has sparked heated debate. There are reports of humanitarian concerns and international government intervention.

Lithium also consumes an excessive amount of water, which can compete with agricultural resources. However, when compared to crude oil, using lithium is the lesser of two evils.

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According to the EEA, electric vehicles in Europe emit fewer greenhouse gases than gasoline vehicles. Furthermore, researchers are developing new methods of extracting metals without harming the environment.

Another major issue is the recycling of EV batteries. Recycling materials, according to experts, will play a role in the manufacturing process. This will only occur as the industry matures.

EV manufacturers have spent billions of dollars to reduce the environmental impact of battery manufacturing. The goal now is to find a low-cost method of recycling metals without mining.

Manufacturers such as Volkswagen secure long-term supply chains for battery production by utilizing renewable energy sources.

This practice will become more common as companies invest more in environmental research and development.

What Happens When EV Batteries Die?

All devices will eventually reach the end of their useful life. Batteries are no different.

Manufacturers have yet to develop a method for properly recycling electric vehicle batteries. Dead batteries end up in landfills as a result.

This is a major issue because EV batteries emit heavy metals and toxins. In other words, we’re back to square one: are EVs truly environmentally friendly?

The majority of EV batteries have a life expectancy of 10 to 20 years. Tesla is currently developing a million-mil battery.

Furthermore, the proliferation of solid-state batteries may benefit the environment. Manufacturers will have to find inventive ways to reuse dead batteries until then.

Do Electric Car Batteries Make Use of Magnets?

Lithium and carbon are the primary components of an EV battery. These substances are not magnetic.

Lithium is a metal that is alkaline. Furthermore, adding a magnetic charge to lithium has no effect on the battery.

The behavior of Li-ion batteries in the presence of magnets is being studied by researchers. Magnets are thought to help improve battery performance.

A magnetic field, according to the researchers, could align carbon graphite flakes with electrodes in situ. This alignment may provide lithium ions with a more direct path through the battery.

As a result, battery performance has improved. However, keep in mind that this is still under investigation.

What Happens If I Keep a Magnet Next to My EV Battery?

Magnets should not be kept close to your EV batteries. Nothing out of the ordinary will occur for the most part.

According to one theory, the magnet will deplete the battery’s capacity. However, this will not result in a noticeable change in your battery.

The battery drain may be greater in the presence of a larger battery.

To be safe, we recommend that the reader keep magnets away from the battery. Keep the batteries in their own container.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, the inner workings of electric vehicle batteries. No, magnets are not used in electric car batteries.

Electric vehicles, on the other hand, use magnets to help them move. Magnets may not be used by all EV manufacturers.

Electric vehicles (electric cars and electric bikes) have been interesting to me for the past few years, and I will always love them. With my electric car, I spend many of my weekends going to different places in different cities. Here I am sharing my knowledge, experience, and important facts about electric cars and electric bikes.

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