As battery technology advances, we can expect to see more electric cars with a longer range and faster charging times.
Automakers and consumers share the same goal of improving battery efficiency.
Electric vehicle (EVs) manufacturers must use cutting-edge materials and technologies to achieve this goal. These may extend the range of their vehicles, reduce charging times, and lower costs.
Lithium Ferro Phosphate Batteries
The latest technology for electric vehicles is lithium ferrophosphate batteries, which eliminate nickel and cobalt as resources that are scarce or have a negative impact on the environment.
LFP cells are at least 30% cheaper per kilogram compared to nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) and nickel-cobalt-aluminum oxides (NCA), two popular battery chemistries found in most electric vehicles today. Their superior durability also allows them to be charged thousands of times without degradation.
In 2020, the price of a cell has dropped below $100/kWh, which is a significant milestone for EVs, as it reduces costs by over half.
LFP has become a popular technology in the automotive industry. Major carmakers like Ford and Rivian have announced plans to incorporate it into their cars. Several of these carmakers have also announced that they plan to build plants in America for the production of their new electric cars.
The biggest challenge for electric vehicle manufacturers is finding a balance that allows them to maximize energy density while using less expensive metals such as nickel, cobalt, and graphite. Our Next Energy, a Michigan-based battery startup, hopes to solve this problem with its dual-chemistry technology that features cells specifically designed for power delivery and cells tailored for storage of energy.
The new batteries can charge three times faster and have twice the energy density. The chemistry of the new batteries could also use more environmentally friendly and safer materials.
The use of materials more readily available and at a lower cost makes sodium-ion batteries a viable alternative. It is still unclear whether this technology can meet the EV demand for energy density and speed of charging.
The development of new technologies that can solve many of the problems with modern batteries is underway. These include faster charging times, more durable materials and eco-friendly materials.
Carbon Fiber Batteries
Researchers claim that carbon fiber composites can reduce battery mass by 50%, and lightweight materials are the latest trend in electric vehicle technology.
The negative electrode is carbon fiber, and the positive electrode is aluminum foil coated with lithium iron phosphate. Fiberglass fabric serves as an electrolyte matrix that transports lithium ions from one material to another while dispersing the mechanical load across the entire battery.
Batteries must have both rigidity and energy storage. They also need to be strong enough so that they can withstand the forces created by vehicles and their engines. Chalmers University of Technology engineers claim that their new prototype exceeds both requirements.
The test battery has an energy density of only 24 Wh/kg, which is 20 percent lower than the lithium-ion batteries used today. However, this should reduce vehicle mass and increase range.
Ultra Fast Carbon Electrode
NAWA Technologies has recently revealed an exciting nanotech invention that promises to transform the performance of batteries. The Ultra Fast Carbon Electrode, which uses vertically aligned nanotube carbon electrodes to increase power by an entire order of magnitude and improve energy storage by a three-fold while also improving battery lifecycle.
The battery charging time is also expected to be significantly reduced from hours to minutes, which will allow for rapid and scaled-up introduction of this technology by 2023. This could potentially reduce CO2 footprints by 60%!
The design and material of electrodes is a major barrier to improving battery performance, energy and lifespan. Most designs and materials are currently used have poor electrical, thermal and ionic conductivity, as well as poor mechanical behavior when charged and discharged, as well as delamination and degradation. Ultra Fast Carbon Electrodes address these shortcomings by combining maximum ionic and thermal conductivity through their three-dimensional nanostructure with 100 billion aligned nanotubes vertically per square cent.