New EV Battery Sparks New Possibilities

20 Jan 2021 by Lisa Simm

US scientists reveal a new electric car battery capable of charging in 10 minutes and with a range of 250 miles.

More Power Less Space

US scientists have built lithium iron phosphate batteries which open up new possibilities for electric vehicle (EV) motoring. The new EV battery has a range of around 150 miles and a charging time of just 10 minutes. So could offer a viable answer to anxieties which still exist around EV motoring.

The use of lithium iron phosphate reduces battery size without reducing power. In fact, the scientists claim that vehicles powered by a lithium iron phosphate battery could be capable of powerful performance, with 0-60mph achievable in just three seconds.

Furthermore, the scientists also say the battery has a lifespan of two million miles, meaning it could offer greater longevity than many of the batteries currently utilised in EVs. Therefore, this new battery could provide a well-rounded powertrain for the mass-market EVs if commercialised.

A Little More About How EV Batteries Work

The batteries used in EVs consist of three main components; an anode, a cathode and electrolyte. The electrolyte is typically a chemical known as a separator, and it moves the flow of electrical charge from the anode to the cathode. This movement results in the discharge of electrical current.

The Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery

The pioneering lithium iron phosphate battery can quickly heat up and cool down. It uses nickel foil with one end attached to the negative terminal and the other extending outside the terminal, creating a third terminal. Once the electrons flow, they rapidly heat up the nickel foil through resistance heating and this, in turn, warms the inside of the battery.

When the battery’s internal temperature reaches 60 degree Celsius a switch opens, and the battery is ready for rapid charge or discharge. The ability to do so is key to both rapid charging and longevity of battery life.

Researchers also say the new EV battery is safer. That is because there is less uneven deposition on the anode which can cause dangerous lithium spikes.

An Affordable New EV Battery

The new battery utilises low-cost materials to make it more commercially viable. So researchers have already voiced their hopes about it reducing the cost of EVs.

The cathode in the battery is thermally stable lithium iron phosphate, while the anode is a large particle graphite. The result is a less expensive but more efficient battery capable of going further than many currently available EVs.

The full details of this innovative new battery were recently published in Nature Energy. Such a breakthrough marks an exciting time as manufacturers continue to push the boundaries of EV motoring.

new ev battery image shows green car and plug

The Future of Electric Motoring

In the UK, the Government bans to plan the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2030, to meet its target of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. So news of the lithium iron phosphate battery is a step in the right direction towards cleaner motoring.

The pace of EV sales has continued to grow throughout 2020, despite challenges faced. Research suggests that by September 2020, around 164,100 cars were EVs and 373,600 were plug-in hybrids.

Further progress was made in December when Britain’s first EV only forecourt open in Braintree Essex. The dedicated EV charging site has 36 charging points, shops and a wellness centre, allowing people to take a break while waiting for their car to charge. It is the first of a nationwide network of 100 electric forecourts planned in the next five years.

Meanwhile, in Coventry, a pioneering project is underway exploring the possibility of using a Scalextrix-style system of wireless charging. The idea is to enable charging while EVs are in motion through a technology, known as Dynamic Wireless Charging (DWC).

Find Your EV

If you’re itching to find out more about current EVs and a plug-in hybrid available, then why not check out our page dedicated to hybrid and electric vehicles? You will find a wealth of information about life with an electric or plug-in vehicle as well as what alternative fuel vehicles are currently available from our leading manufacturers.

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