These safer batteries could lead to cheaper EVs that go 240 miles per charge
In all seriousness, the Illinois Institute of Technology and Argonne National Laboratory are working on a $37-million program dubbed RANGE (Robust, Affordable, Next-Generation Energy Storage systems) that, among other things, would have batteries serving double duty by being packed into door panels, load-bearing components and, yes, crumple zones. The program is laid out in a recent journal published by SAE International. You can find the article here.
And before anyone gets all negative and mentions a Tesla Car-B-Cue, there is a plan to move away from the lithium-ion batteries that are de rigueur for today's electric vehicles towards something potentially safer. General Electric and Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories are working on water-based polymer electrolytes that would essentially make batteries non-flammable. There's also work being done on solid electrolytes produced from ceramics, all in the name of safety. If it works, the program could eventually develop a battery that provides a 240-mile single-charge range while costing about 30 percent less than EV batteries do today. We can't wait to drive an EV with that pack through the unoccupied territories.
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