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Electric Car Range Set to Improve Drastically with Lithium-Ion Battery Breakthrough

JackSawyer MA, United States 0 Ratings 23 Discussions 0 Group posts

Posted by: JackSawyer // Student

SolidEnergy Systems, a company started by MIT alumni in 2012, has developed a lithium-ion battery that lasts twice as long as the batteries we use today. The MIT spinout has made significant material advances in lithium-ion battery technology and subsequently, managed to create a lithium battery with twice the energy density - which means twice the energy capacity.

The battery is able to create more energy capacity because of a changeup in materials, these new materials allows the battery to hold more ions. Instead of using graphite, SolidEnergy Systems uses very thin, high-energy lithium metal-foil. The company is now looking to commercialize the battery. They plan to introduce the battery technology into smartphones and wearables in early 2017, and then follow this up by bringing it to electric cars in 2018.

This is a big win for all battery products, but specifically, it could be a huge boost for electric vehicles. Provided SolidEnergy Systems business plan falls through, the battery technology could allow electric vehicles to easily break the industry standard of at least 200 miles. Quchao Hu, the founder of SolidEnergy, says from there, we “can make the battery half the size and half the weight, and it will travel the same distance, or we can make it the same size and same weight, and now it will go 400 miles on a single charge” (Matheson). If EV’s were to implement SolidEnergy Systems technology, the main drawback of battery limitations would no longer exist, or at least not be as big of a problem as it once was when deciding to purchase an electric car. Consumer’s fear of ‘range anxiety’ would be a thing of the past.

What do you think about SolidEnergy Systems breakthrough? Will it help increase the adoption rate of electric vehicles?

Matheson, Rob. "Doubling Battery Power of Consumer Electronics." MIT News. N.p., 16 Aug. 2016. Web. 28 Aug. 2016. <http://news.mit.edu/2016/lithium-metal-batteries-double-power-consumer-electronics-0817>.

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