Potential for twice the current driving range
A team from the Australian University of Wollongong’s Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials (kind of sounds like where the X-Men came from) is developing an improved lithium-ion battery chemistry.
Professor Zaiping Guo and her team, using nano engineering along with Germanium based materials, have developed a battery that can store five times the energy of current lithium-ion battery technology, with the possibility of doubling the current lithium-ion battery range.
“The novel anode materials are very simple to synthesize and cost-effective. They can be fabricated in large-scale by industry, therefore have great commercial potential” Professor Guo said. The current cost of Germanium is high compared with alternatives, but the price can be scaled down with mass production.
As more universities, research centers and manufacturers tinker with electric vehicle (EV) battery development, the odds of developing second generation EV battery technology improve every day. We periodically write about these developments to try to keep pace with the improvements in the industry, and we stick by our idea that the second generation Nissan LEAF (which we likely won’t see until the 2016 model year) will offer a driving range of 150 miles without a significant increase in battery cost.