August 14, 2015 weblog
Ohm has worked up a drop-in replacement for car battery
Ohm is a 6-pound drop-in replacement for your car battery. What's not to like about what it claims to deliver. It never needs jump-starting. Works on the coldest days (in temperatures as low as -40C). Lasts more than twice than lead-acid batteries, which go for three years. Here, you are looking at a 7-year average lifetime. No lead, no acid. When Ohm says it is a drop-in replacement they mean that it is installed in the same way.
The site says to "remove the positive and negative leads from your old battery, drop in Ohm, and reattach the lead to Ohm (red/positive lead first to prevent sparking)."
Also, Ohm is "smart" enough to prevent accidental draining if the driver forgets to turn off the lights. It can automatically turn itself off when critically low and switch back on when the driver starts the car.
How it works: There is a "burst of energy" for starting the engine which comes from a bank of supercapacitors. When the engine is not running, the supercapacitors are kept charged by a small array of batteries.
As for materials the company said its supercapacitors are mostly carbon. The batteries are LiFePO4 (lithium iron phosphate.)
As for dimensions, Ohm's are 9.0"x6.8"x6.8", and will fit Group 35 batteries. "It will also fit in most cars above Group 35, but may require some extra fixturing, " according to the site.
When will you see Ohm in the marketplace? Not yet. Greg Kumparak, an editor at TechCrunch, reported that Ohm is in private beta testing and they plan to roll out a crowdfunding campaign in the next month or so. The website, meanwhile, said they plan to ship Ohm early to mid-2016.
Kumparak of TechCrunch addressed the question of price. He said he was told by the company that they aim for a price point of around $200. Kumparak said that would put it "on the high end of what you'd normally pay for a battery ($120-$180) if you wandered into your local auto parts store."
Nonetheless, viewers might find the pricing amenable considering how long it lasts and some other benefits."Conventional car batteries contain dangerous acid and are responsible for over 24 million pounds of environmental lead contamination each year. Ohm has no lead, no acid, and is safe for the environment." Another promotion point being highlighted by Ohm is its light weight. "It's the easiest, most affordable way to instantly drop 30 pounds or more from your curb weight by switching from a lead-acid battery."
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