A123 makes a pretty good lithium battery that has a high-cycle life and can put out loads of power. What it's not so good at, however, is holding a lot of energy. At least, not when compared to the Panasonic cells that Tesla Motors uses in the Model S. Sure, it's great for hybrids and city-car applications like the Chevy Spark EV, but if it's going to find a place in the longer-range EVs of the future, it will need to up its game. It looks like that could happen.
Engineering challenges are like a siren's call to Neal Saiki. Since leaving Zero Motorcycles in early 2011, the company he co-founded with his wife Lisa, he's spent lots of time and effort wrestling with the human-powered helicopter conumdrum. As engaging as that might be, however, he still hasn't been able to keep himself from considering how to build a better electric motorcycle; work that has, it seems, proved slightly less Sisyphean as he has just announced a pretty cool battery pack breakth
Looking for signs that the automotive landscape may be changing sooner than most people realize? Here's one. Envia Systems, a start-up battery company that counts General Motors as a significant investor, has announced it has produced a cell with an energy density of 400 watt-hours per kilogram (Wh/kg). It also claims they will be priced somewhere in the $125 per kilowatt-hour neighborhood. Put another way, a $20,000 car using these cells could travel 300 miles on a charge. Even if that scenario
Remember the Mindset E-Motion? When last we had news of this Murat Günak creation, the folks behind it (Spirt Avert AG, now known as Mindset Holding AG) were seeking 152 million development dollars at a time when many of the world's major economies were sitting on their posteriors, looking up at the cliff from which they'd fallen. Well, the effort survived that turmoil and recently re-emerged boasting a battery tech that claims an energy density that's twice that used in other electric vehi
What is perceived as the main barrier to seeing an electric vehicle (EV) in every driveway? Simple: a range that's too short and charging times that are too long. Now, what if a battery technology was developed that would allow you could drive for 500 miles straight and then recharge the battery in 10 minutes? Exactly. There would be a lot wailing and gnashing of teeth by those who just sank billions into tar sand projects and pipelines.
In the coming decades, hybrids, and maybe even all-electric vehicles, may cruise without batteries. Instead, the energy in these vehicles of the future will be stored in a supercapacitor which could be recharged in minutes, possibly seconds. We've heard of the potential of supercaps (and ultracapacitors) before, but researchers have just announced they've overcome an obstacle to this device development. In the lab, they have developed supercaps with an energy density equivalent to that found in
Last week, John Doerr (pictured right) was giving a briefing to a Senate committee discussing the current economic, climate and energy security crises and possible solutions. Doerr is a partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) and as such has the inside scoop on a lot of the cool new green tech innovation going on beneath the public radar. During his speech, he dropped some news of interest to those hoping for a better battery breakthrough for plug-in cars.