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2012 Mitsubishi i electric car battery packEnlarge PhotoWe'd be the first to point out that many of the electric car owners currently out on the roads have had absolutely no trouble with the 100 or so miles they get from a full charge. However, it'd be foolish to assume that some people really don't need more than that, and as a result there's always room for an EV with greater range. Improvements to battery technology could be the best way to find this range, and according to New Scientist (via Autoblog), developments in Lithium-Air batteries from IBM could give us electric cars with a 500-mile range. Lithium-air batteries have significantly greater energy density than regular lithium-ion batteries - close to that of gasoline, in fact.
Several companies are working to improve Lithium-air technology, by testing moisture-proof battery membranes, and graphene cathodes. IBM is seeking to improve the electrolyte, the solvent that carries lithium ions between anode and cathode. However, an IBM-led coalition called Battery 500, hopes to have a full-scale prototype running by 2013, and commercial batteries ready by 2020. You might have to wait a few more years for an electric car that truly goes further than the gasoline equivalent, but it's on its way.
Lithium-ion battery pack for 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV electric carEnlarge PhotoIf it wasn't so important for the future of electric cars, it could almost get tiresome: Just how do you improve batteries for longer life, quicker charging and a greater range?
It's a question being investigated by great minds all around the world, and has turned up some surprising and exciting results over the last few years. Inspired by Popular Mechanics' look at potential electric vehicle and hybrid battery breakthroughs, we've compiled many of our previous battery tech articles into one handy guide. The aluminum plates used have high energy density, and companies testing it such as Phinergy say you'd need to refill the car with water every few hundred miles. Existing lithium-ion technology is among the best battery technology we have for electric cars and hybrids. Compared to other battery types it's relatively energy-dense, charges relatively quickly, is lighter than many other battery types, and it's tried-and-tested. Others have researched into the existing problems with lithium-ion tech--such as reducing the tendency for lithium to gather around the battery electrodes. Then there's lithium-air tech--an offshoot of lithium-ion batteries, and one that could significantly increase energy density. It sounds unlikely, but simple herbs could be employed to make batteries greener in future. In a rare look at improving the environmental aspects of batteries rather than increasing their range, researchers at Rice University and the City College of New York have looked at using the herb madder, or purpurin, as a natural cathode for lithium-ion batteries. You might not gain hundreds of miles, but any eco-minded electric car driver would be glad to know their batteries had just a little less impact on the environment, right?
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The project will examine the potential of reusing spent lithium-ion battery packs from GM’s electric car, the Chevrolet Volt, as a means of providing cost-effective energy storage capacity, which will improve the efficiency of electrical systems as they evolve into smart grids. According to GM, the Volt’s battery will still have significant capacity to store electrical energy, even after its automotive life. ABB is currently at work on more than 20 projects around the world examining all aspects of the smart grid, from energy storage to network management, metering and communication, distribution automation and home automation systems. Over the last 100 years there have been a number of attempts from electric vehicle enthusiasts to push them into the mass market.
There have been enormous leaps in electric vehicle technology over the last 10 years which not only offer greater efficiency but also give the driving public greater confidence. While the electric vehicle market has made numerous attempts to crack the mass market, the majority of which failed, today is very different.
One of the major problems of the last decade has been the relatively slow development of battery technology in relation to electric vehicles. In tandem with new electric vehicle technology and battery technology we now have a greater emphasis upon extended journey capacity. In the early years the electric vehicles we saw on the roads were, how can we put it, very different in look and style and often embarrassing. Information and main article image contained on this page are sourced by an independent third-party content provider. We are THE .ECO an Initiative to help Save Our Planet by building a communication platform providing environmental awareness and showcasing stewardship.
Building a central community connecting those who want to help advance the care and sustainability of the planet. A new theory presented by Japanese automaker, Nissan, is about the possibility for an electric car owner for powering their homes using discarded electric car batteries. This is a new model of energy theory is working by Nissan in order to anticipate the near future trend of electric vehicles and the used batteries as additional household power storage after midnight hours, which normally cost half the price of electricity generated during day time.
Hopefully, this way, could help EV owners to minimize electrical expenses as well as reducing the carbon footprint.
That's enough to beat many internal combustion cars on sale today, and would certainly eliminate range anxiety.
That means batteries could be down-scaled - and therefore vehicle weight reduced - while still increasing range.
Current electrolytes react with air and become depleted over time, so IBM is testing various materials. Aluminum is used as the anode in a battery, ambient air (and the oxygen in it) as a cathode, and water molecules. But it isn't perfect, and several research groups are looking for a way to improve on its existing strengths.

21, 2010 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, and General Motors have signed a non-exclusive memorandum of understanding to cooperate on a research and development project that will investigate uses for electric vehicle batteries once their useful life in the vehicle is over. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 117,000 people. Unfortunately the vast majority of these attempts have failed for a variety of reasons, often out of the control of the market itself, but today we stand in a very different place and electric vehicles will eventually go mass-market. This technology continues to advance at breathtaking speed not only in the area of electric vehicles themselves but also battery technology.
The industry itself and governments around the world have literally invested billions upon billions of dollars and gone beyond the point of no return.
This was in many ways overlooked by the industry as more focus and more investment was placed upon actual car technology as opposed to battery technology. The introduction of various electric vehicle recharging networks across the world has also added to this more positive picture with journey capacity in excess of 100 miles now commonplace among some of the more popular vehicles. This created something of a stigma which hovered over the electric vehicle industry for many years although thankfully this stigma has now gone. So if you can put ex-car batteries in your house and charge up your batteries during the night at half the price, then run your house off the battery during the day, you save an awful amount of cost and you do your carbon footprint a fairly big favour,” Palmer said. Combined in the battery, they produce hydrated aluminum oxide and energy--and that energy can be used to power a car. Egg-line nanoparticles of sulfur are one option, improving energy transfer and hugely increasing capacity, while silicon nanoparticles to replace graphite anodes is another.
In many ways the development of new technologies is putting gasoline vehicles in the shadows and grabbing the headlines.
In previous attempts there was a definite lack of incentives from governments around the world and indeed many governments paid lip service to the industry without cold hard cash.
It was only when the general public began to have major concerns about battery power and efficiency that both governments and the industry switched part of their investment towards battery technology. There is still some way to go, more investment is required but there is no doubt that journey capacity concerns are certainly reducing.
The simple fact is that too much money has been spent for the EV industry to fail this time round! This in itself is probably the most compelling reason why electric vehicles will eventually crack the mass market, the fact they fit the hopes and aspirations of the motoring public and there is no embarrassment in driving one today!

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