First up, Planar Energy received a $4 million grant to work on solid-state lithium batteries that draw from technology developed by the semiconductor industry. The company claims that the solid-state design will offer three times better performance at half the cost of lithium-ion technology.
Next is Porous Power Technologies, which got a bit short changed receiving only $1.4 million to develop a film-like battery material that is claimed to speed up the production side of things, allowing companies to produce li-ion batteries ten times quicker than they can now. Faster battery charging is a side benefit of the film material.
Finally, Sion Power received $5 million to develop lithium-sulfur (Li-S) battery technology. This new type of battery is claimed to provide a range of up to 300 miles in a package the size of a traditional li-ion unit. Sion states that it should be able to produce a cell that outputs 600 watts per kilogram.
All of the technologies above are in developmental stages and it will likely take years in the lab before any come to fruition. Sion Power's target date is 2016, and the others are at least a few years away, too. Provided all of these potential breakthrough technologies play out, the battery as we now know it may only be around for a little bit longer. A decade from now, we could have electric vehicles with a 300-mile range, weighing no more than a traditional car and costing thousands less than one. Or so we'd like to think.
[Source: Green Car Advisor]