Batteries in electric cars have developed allot in the last six years.
The Lucid Air that is soon to be on sale has a 113 kWh battery, this offers more than 500 miles of range, a tesla model S can reach to over 400 miles.
An emerging battery technology is been developed and it could offer up more than double and possibly four times the driving range and enable fast charging to more than 80-percent in just five minutes.
The limited ability to store energy in current electric vehicles still keeps many people from giving up their fossil fuel burning cars.
Batteries incorporate two electrodes a positive anode and a negative cathode, which ions travel between through an electrolyte. The capacity of a battery is limited by the amount of electrons that are able to build up in the anode.
Anodes are mostly made of graphite. At the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), they have found that silicon offers 10 times the energy storage capacity of graphite, it has one major disadvantage as an anode material – it swells up during the charge/discharge cycle, causing its surface to crack and its capacity to thus drop drastically.
A stabilised silicon anodes has been heavily researched, however the cost and complexity of the techniques involved have generally made them unviable due to cost of production.
At KIST this new technology is claimed to resolve this problem.
Dr. Hun-Gi Jung et al made a discovery by dissolving sweet potato derived starch in water, dissolving silicon in corn-derived oil, and then mixing and heating the two solutions. What resulted was a carbon silicon composite material, in which tiny carbon spheres kept the silicon from swelling.
When tested, anodes made from the composite were found to have four times the storage capacity as similar graphite anodes, yet they also remained stable over five hundred charge/discharge cycles. Batteries using the new anodes can be charged to eighty percent their full capacity in just five minutes !
This process looks quite easy to be mass produced and applied to lithium ion batteries and other field using similar technology.