Innovation in Battery Technologies for Electric Vehicles
The heart of electric mobility is the rechargeable batteries technology. In the past years, rechargeable batteries technology has made significant progress with respect to charging time and efficiency. OEMs are still trying to identify different types of rechargeable batteries technologies to power electric vehicles and also identifying multiple source for power such as regenerative braking for powering a vehicle rechargeable battery. In particular, the crucial factor for electric vehicle adoption is the vehicle range. With enormous efforts by multiple OEMs, the range of the vehicle is optimized and it is expected to be further optimized based on the efforts currently placed by the OEMs in R&D of rechargeable batteries technology. The key developments by the OEMs and the innovations in battery technology are listed below.
Hyundai: The company is working towards solid state rechargeable batteries and has commenced pilot production at its Namyang R&D Center. The company has shifted its focus from fuel cell hydrogen to electric batteries to power plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and battery electric vehicle (BEV).
Bosch: Bosch has acquired a California-based solid state batteries company called Seeo Inc. The company is planning to enter the rechargeable battery manufacturing space and work on a 50kWh lithium-ion battery pack with a total weight of approximately 190Kg. In addition, the company has also acquired the licensing rights for lithium polymer battery cells from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Fisker Automotive: The company is working on three-dimensional electrode solid-state rechargeable batteries. The batteries are expected to achieve an energy density that is 2.5 times more than the conventional rechargeable batteries. In addition, the company is claiming to provide 500 miles of range on a single 1-minute charge.
BMW: BMW has collaborated with Colorado-based Solid Power to develop solid-state rechargeable batteries. The company has integrated lithium-ion batteries with high capacity lithium metal anode, which will further provide 2 to 3 times higher energy capacity as compared to the conventional batteries.
Dyson: Dyson, a vacuum cleaner manufacturing company, has entered the rechargeable battery manufacturing business by acquiring a company called Sakti3, which operates in the Solid State rechargeable batteries domain. Dyson is planning to start its own battery manufacturing facility soon. The company is also planning to launch its electric vehicles by 2020.
Toyota: The company is planning to launch its first electric vehicle based on solid-state rechargeable batteries by 2022. The company is expected to increase the range of the vehicle as compared to the ones currently moving on the road. The company is heavily betting on its solid state rechargeable batteries technology.
Ohio State University: Researchers from the university have designed a thin plastic membrane, which allows the battery to be rapidly charged, and in addition, stops the discharge when the battery is not is operation. According to the researchers, their smart membrane technology will enable powerful batteries called redox transistor batteries. The smart membrane was designed by combining polycarbonate filter with a conductive polymer.
The Battery500 consortium, which includes four DOE national Laboratories and five universities is focused on increasing the specific energy by three times as that of the current battery technology. This will further help achieve 1,000 electric vehicles cycles, and further lead to a lighter weight, smaller, and less expensive battery pack.
Storedot: The company is aiming at employing organic compounds used in the flash battery of mobiles to develop a new type of car battery. The company expects that the experience will be similar to fueling a car. The company also claims that the EV flash battery will completely charge the vehicle in approximately 5 minutes and enable the vehicle to cover a distance of 480km.
Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry: Researchers from the institute has launched the ‘’proof of concept’’ design to capture atmospheric nitrogen. The battery is operated in the ambient condition and takes into account atmospheric nitrogen. It reacts with lithium to charge.
Enevate Corporation: The company has developed a silicon-based lithium-ion battery. The battery is expected to safely charge and discharge down to below -40°C and capture more energy during regenerative braking, extending the range in cold climate. The company is expected to licenses its silicon-dominant technology to the battery and EV automotive manufacturers.