Sulfur crystal from Agrigento, Sicily, Italy

If a significant battery breakthrough surfaced today, electric vehicles might be able to duplicate internal combustion engine vehicle's cost and utility by tomorrow. Of course, that's a big if and, as we all know, not going to happen. But these breakthroughs are coming – the question is when. Opinions differ, with some automakers suggesting that meaningful battery advancements are right around the corner, while others believe that electric vehicles' ultimate potential won't be unlocked for decades. It's a contentious issue and the future of electric vehicles are at stake. So, what's the likelihood that a epochal battery breakthrough will surface within a few year's time?

Unfortunately, that's not a question that can be answered with any degree of certainty, but at least one auto exec, Bernd Bohr, chairman of Bosch Automotive Group, believes that breakthroughs in battery tech are a decade, or perhaps even further away. Speaking at the commercial vehicle show in Hannover, Germany recently, Bohr said he believes that certain chemistries, like lithium sulfur, display properties that could potentially increase battery efficiency, but "they are in the basic research stage." Bohr added:
Before serial production for consumer electronics, which we always see as the entry point for new battery technologies, it will be much more than five years, we think.
Battery technologies used in the consumer electronics market typically reach the automotive industry several years later. So, let's assume that 2020ish looks like an appropriate target date for the epochal breakthrough, Maybe.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

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