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The Man Who Saw TomorrowThe Life and Inventions of Stanford R. Ovshinsky$
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Lillian Hoddeson and Peter Garrett

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780262037532

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262037532.001.0001

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Hydrogen and Batteries: The Genie and the Bottle (1980–2007)

Hydrogen and Batteries: The Genie and the Bottle (1980–2007)

(p.187) 9 Hydrogen and Batteries: The Genie and the Bottle (1980–2007)
The Man Who Saw Tomorrow

Lillian Hoddeson

Peter Garrett

The MIT Press

With part of the ARCO funding, Ovshinsky established a sizeable research program to investigate hydrogen as an alternative energy source. The researchers collaboratively discovered that by forming hydrides the multi-element disordered materials used in researching hydrogen storage could be successfully used in a rechargeable battery, called the nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery. Produced by the Ovonic Battery Company, ECD’s new battery became one of its most successful commercial products. An automotive version powered General Motors’ electric car, the EV1, and it is still used in hybrids like the Toyota Prius. Ovshinsky also worked on the automotive use of hydrogen both in fuel cells and in an internal combustion engine, which was successfully tested in prototype hydrogen cars. Ultimately, however, ECD failed to attract the support needed to develop its hydrogen-fueled car commercially.

Keywords:   hydrogen, disordered materials, nickel metal hydride, Ovonic Battery Company, EV1, hydrogen cars

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