Benjamin Franklin, as part of his well-known exploration of electricity in 1747, was the first to group together a number of jars into what he described as a “battery”, using the analogy of military weapons coordinated for a powerful offensive. These jars, developed in 1745-47 by scientist Pieter van Musschenbroeck of the University of Leyden, Netherlands, could collect an electrical charge between two metal plates.
John B. Goodenough, father of the lithium cell
The first “real” battery, in the modern electrochemical sense of the term, was invented by Alessandro Volta in 1791; the volt, the unit of electrical potential, is so named in his honor.
In 1859, Gaston Planté invented the first rechargeable battery, the familiar lead-acid chemistry still in use to start an internal combustion engine.
Rechargeable technology progressed slowly over the next 150 years, until John B. Goodenough's 1996 breakthrough concerning lithium iron phosphate materials. This seminal discovery, together with Chiang's chemical doping research, made modern lithium cells possible.
LITHIUM BATTERY DEVELOPMENT TIMELINE
The iconic Porsche Speedster proved to be an excellent EV conversion candidate due to its low weight, relatively simple design, and ample front/rear compartments for mounting pristmatic lithium battery cells. Weight distribution was improved over the original rear engine configuration with better acceleration and overall performance.
The unusual fiberglass Sonett, originally powered by a Ford V4 engine, combines a low center of gravity and front wheel drive, optimal for our high performance EV conversion. Without the need to accomodate a long drive train, the space behind the two seats was used for additional batteries. The original four-speed transmission remains intact along with the braking system.