A futuristic ‘super battery’ could soon power electric cars, according to recent reports.
Researches at the University of Cambridge have created a new battery that has ten times the energy of the current lithium-ion system. The new battery could replace current ones that are used to power electric vehicles.
The new lithium-oxygen battery is said to be able to overcome many of the barriers that currently limit the widespread use of electric cars. As the new battery has so much more energy than the lithium-ion, it could compete with gasoline and the technology would allow electric vehicles to approach the same amount of mileage as traditionally fuelled cars.
One of the barriers that electric cars and vans face is that the current lithium-ion batteries are expensive to replace, as well as increasing the weight of the car. On a normal electric car, the cost to replace a battery can be over £3,000. Lithium-oxygen batteries, on the other hand, are both five times lighter and five times cheaper than their predecessors. The University researchers have stated that the high density energy will help to achieve 93% efficiency.
Unfortunately, though, super battery technology is not ready to hit the production floor, and according to Clare Grey, the Cambridge professor who is leading the research, it will not be available for another ten years. Clare informs us that though the system is successful in the laboratory, it is not currently charging and discharging at high enough levels for use.