There’s a new gold rush today and it’s taking place in university research labs and startup companies all over the world. The race to make a better EV battery is moving at warp speed, and there’s a big pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
According to Dave Nichols, technology expert at Lithia Motors, current EV problems like “range anxiety” and “long charging times” will soon be a thing of the past.
Nichols says we are at the threshold of a battery revolution. EV makers know that limitations of lithium-ion batteries are preventing the market from growing . Here’s a glimpse of some amazing ideas that could change the EV industry in the future:
500 Miles on a Charge
A startup company called Graphenano in Spain is developing a “graphene battery” that will offer a range of 500 miles and can be recharged in just a few minutes. Graphene is a one-atom-thick layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. It’s the building-block of graphite. Graphenano says their batteries will charge 33 times faster than lithium-ion batteries.
Charge a Car in 5 Minutes
Another start-up called StoreDot from Israel is developing a charger that uses biological semiconductors. This charger can recharge your smartphone in just 60 seconds, and the organic compounds are non-flammable unlike lithium-ion. StoreDot is currently building EV batteries that will charge in five minutes and offer a range of 300 miles.
Twenty Times Faster Charging
Dual carbon technology allows batteries to last longer and charge faster than lithium-ion and they can make it in the same factories where lithium batteries produces. Power Japan Plus launched this new battery technology in 2021. It offers energy density comparable to a lithium-ion battery but has a longer lifetime and improved safety.
Batteries that Never Die
University of California scientists are working on nanowire batteries that will never die. The gold nanowires are 1,000 times thinner than a human hair and sit in a gel of electrolyte to keep them from breaking down during recharging. They test for over three months with no signs of degradation.
Powering EV’s over Wi-Fi while you drive is still a way off, but it is creating a lot of excitement. You will never have to recharge your battery by plugging it in. Researchers develops a radio wave harvesting antenna that is only several atoms thick, which can recharge EVs over electromagnetic waves in the not-to-distant future.
Another way to transmit rechargeable power over the air is through ultrasound. SonicEnergy, a company in California, turns power into sound waves that can be beamed to your EV and then turned back into power. Right now, they are experimenting with this technology by powering smartphones and laptops.
Research firm Auto Pacific says that electric vehicle sales will jump to about seven percent of the market share in 2025 from two percent today. The demand for better and cheaper EV batteries is creating exciting new technologies as we hurry to meet these goals.