Last week, a consortium of some of the nation's leading scientists and engineers reportedly met in California to develop a new battery pack for electric cars. Sponsored by IBM and its Big Green Innovations program, the so-called Battery 500 team hopes to create a power pack capable of propelling a vehicle for up to 500 miles.

To reach this lofty goal, IBM's group is focusing on lithium-air technology, which uses lithium anodes electrochemically coupled to atmospheric oxygen through an air cathode. These batteries are thought to be ideal for EV applications due to their superior energy density – IBM's scientists say up to 10 times that of today's lithium ion batteries – and high specific energy.

Exciting technology to be sure, but IBM doesn't expect to know if these batteries will be commercially viable for another two years. By then, maybe some sort of fast charger will exist with a pipe big enough to transfer all that power into the battery in a reasonable amount of time.

[Source: Smarter Technology via GM-Volt.com]

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