Over the last few years much of the talk with regards to the electric vehicle sector has focused upon battery restrictions, with many people calling for greater investment in the sector. There was a general consensus emerging that lithium ion batteries had perhaps been pushed to their technological limit and we may need to strip back the battery sector and go back to square one. However, researchers at the University of Limerick have announced a ground breaking breakthrough which could effectively double the life of an electric vehicle battery.
This new development incorporates the latest nanotechnology which is something that will impact every area of everyday life. It is a technology which has been around for a few years but is still in its infancy with regards to its potential to change areas such as battery storage capacity.
What does this new development mean?
Researchers at the University of Limerick found that their new technology allowed for a doubling of battery capacity which was still intact even after the batteries in question had been discharged and charged more than 1000 times. This new technology could revolutionise the market which is expected to be worth in excess of $50 billion by 2020.
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "In a perfect world they would be no need to add range extenders to the modern day electric vehicle but the reality is that journey capacity is not quite there as yet."
In simple terms this new technology is a nanowire-based anode which has the ability to greatly increase storage capacity with lithium ion batteries. The technology is environmentally friendly, energy friendly, and perhaps more remarkably, relatively low cost. There are now high hopes that the new type of battery, which will also be relevant for laptops and mobile phones, can be rolled out in the medium term.
Will this change the electric vehicle market?
If you ask a selection of people about their concerns for future electric vehicles the vast majority will highlight battery capacity and journey capacity. These two elements are intrinsically linked and therefore if this new technology, which has been proven, is able to double the capacity of an electric vehicle battery then it will literally revolutionise the market. Interestingly, this new type of battery system would be much lighter than the lithium ion batteries in place today which will also have an impact upon the efficiency of electric vehicles.
In many ways this is the technology that the electric vehicle market has been waiting for, it is something which could revolutionise the industry and should eliminate the final hurdle in the minds of many people. We now await further information or the commercial development of this new technology, when we can expect it to hit the mass market, and road testing of the obvious efficiencies the new technology brings.
While some companies have been looking at alternatives to lithium ion batteries, they are by far and away the most popular electric vehicle battery in use today. The fact that the University of Limerick has managed to create a new technology within the lithium ion battery of today is enormous. We await further reports, further testing and hopefully commercialisation of this new ground breaking technology should not be too far away.