Low-cost battery triples driving range of electric cars

Low-cost battery triples driving range of electric cars

A game-changing "killer app" may arrive and change the global car market soon as a new lithium-ion battery promises to significantly cut cost and triple the driving range of electric cars, Financial Times reported.

The new batteries, which are expected to be commercialised in a year's time, can also double the running life of laptops, smartphones and tablets, according Dr Qichao Hu, lead developer of the device. He collaborated with Donald Sadoway, a battery expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Sadoway said that Li-ion batteries are expensive and run down too fast. They account for as much as 30 per cent of the cost in electric vehicles. In addition, there have to be temperature control systems in place to prevent them from overheating or catching fire.

The new component, Hu said, can safely operate at a wide range of temperatures, does not need the costly cooling systems and is about 20 per cent less expensive than current generation batteries. With this innovation, EVs can become more affordable in the near future, helping them to become widely adopted by consumers.

The report added that U.S. experts confirmed that prototype cells of the new battery are capable of storing energy more than twice as much as conventional ones do. The secret is an ultra-thin metal anode with higher energy density than the graphite and silicon anodes used in current Li-ion batteries. The novel component also utilises safer electrolyte materials.

Hu plans to have his company, SolidEnergy, commercialise the new battery and bring it into production for consumer electronics in the first half of 2016 and in electric cars by the second half of the same year.

Source: EET India

SMART GRID Bulletin March 2018

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