Judging by the table shown above, lithium-air (Li/O2) batteries appear to be quite remarkable, on paper at least. But what can we really expect from this new advanced battery technology? Well Argonne National Laboratory has started researching and testing lithium-air batteries in earnest and presents a strong case that the future of electric vehicles may very well ride on this technology. If initial research turns out to be accurate, lithium-air batteries could hold up to ten times more energy than current li-ion technology. That's a lot of juice.

Don Hillebrand, director for the Center of Transportation at Argonne, had nothing but praise to dish out for lithium-air, so let's see what he says:
Lithium-air is where we're going. You can't foresee the future, but right now, that's the place where I think we see the endpoint, the end solution for ... the battery. The battery everybody's looking for. Nickel-metal hydride's an adult. Lithium-ion is a developing adolescent. And lithium-air, we're just looking at the ultrasounds.
Jeffrey Chamberlain, head of Argonne's Energy Storage Major Initiative had more good words, adding:
Let's say we want to electrify the entire fleet of vehicles in the world. Lithium-ion batteries will get us partway there. But in reality, they're not quite high enough in energy density or quite low enough in cost.
Chamberlain exclaimed that lithium-air is a "dream-type battery" that could solve all of the range problems currently associated with EVs. As he said, "You really imagine instead of 40 miles between charges you could go 200 or 400 miles."

Okay, so lithium-air has quite the potential, we get that. Trouble is, it could be decades before the technology becomes a reality and even longer before it can capably meet the goals that current theories suggest are possible. Worse, they may never make it to market and only exist as "dream batteries." Nobody really knows how it will play out yet, but we're keeping our eye on it.

[Source: Climate Wire – sub. req. via Green Car Advisor | Image: Wikipedia]

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