New Lithium-Ion Battery Could Reduce Cost of EVs, Increase Range

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A U.S.-based company says it has developed a new lithium-ion battery with an energy density of 400 watt-hours per kilogram — roughly twice the density of existing rechargeable batteries — an innovation the company claims could significantly increase the range of electric cars and ultimately cut the price of battery packs by 50 percent.

Using a $4 million federal grant from the Advanced Research Projects Agency — Energy (ARPA-E), scientists at Envia Systems were able to increase the battery’s energy density by including manganese in the materials of its cathode, the positive electrode to which the lithium ions are transferred.

By blending carbon with silicon in the anode (the electrode from which the ions flow to create an electric current), they were able to bypass the tendency of silicon anodes to fail after a few cycles. While the denser, more-compact batteries developed at an Envia center in China could eventually cut the cost of electric vehicles, the company will first have to subject the technology to testing by automakers and independent analysts.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

  • Ralph Perez

    China may not be the best place for the test. Hundreds of thousands of rooftop solar PV units are being installed over the several years. The problem of “range anxiety” will diminish a great deal. They already own more electric vehicles than any country, riding along on the free energy of the sun has never been easier.

    Standardizing these batteries should be a call for worldwide engineers, so that cars, bikes or wheelchairs can simply swap them out at at the nearby solar station.

    Better hurry though, the coal, oil and other dirty fuel pollution sources are blocking out the sun faster than previously thought.

  • http://www.sustainableenergy.co YJ Draiman for Mayor of LA

    Electric cars are they conserving energy? Rev2

    Note: Electricity is a secondary form of energy derived by utilizing another form of energy to produce electric current.

    Let us look at the facts:

    In order to produce electricity, we need some form of energy to generate electricity, whereby you lose a substantial amount of your original source of energy.

    In the process we are losing the efficiency of the initial energy source, since it is not a direct use of the energy.

    Let us take it a step further. To generate electricity we utilize; coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, hydro electric – water, photovoltaic-solar, wind, geothermal, etc. Many electricity generating plants utilize fossil fuel, which creates pollution.

    How much of the initial source of energy do you lose to get the electricity you need for your electric automobile; you also lose electricity in the transmission lines.

    Why are we jumping to a new technology, without analyzing the economic cost, the effective return and efficiency of such technology; while computing and measuring its affect on the environment?

    Natural gas vehicles are a direct source of energy, where you get the most for your energy source – in efficiency and monetary value.

    In these hard economic times – I would think, you would want to get the most for your dollar – and not waste resources.

    Another economic impact would be the loss road tax on fuel, these funds are used to build and maintain the highway infrastructure

    YJ Draiman, Director of Utilities & Sustainability

    “It is Cheaper to Save Energy than Make Energy”

    Will High Electricity

    Rates Drive

    Innovation?