Alcoa to develop aluminum air battery

by Ernie Hernandez on June 2, 2014

Alcoa aluminum air battery

Potential for use as range extender for lithium ion battery vehicles

Alcoa has announced a partnership with Phinergy to develop and commercialize aluminum air batteries. Phinergy has been developing aluminum air battery technology since 2008, and is looking to take that development to the next level by partnering with Alcoa. The aluminum air battery offers energy density improvements over lithium ion also. So why use it as a range extender in conjunction with a lithium ion battery? When discharged, the lithium ion battery can be recharged. The aluminum air battery cannot. When depleted, the aluminum air battery must be replaced. For those of us than can routinely live within the range of existing lithium ion powered vehicles, such as the Nissan LEAF, but would wish to occasionally take a longer trip, there could be some appeal to the aluminum air battery as a range extender. What do you think?

Alcoa’s aluminum air battery YouTube video

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Carl Fiorica June 9, 2014 at 2:33 pm

I’m not sure about this. The idea of aluminum-air batteries (even zinc-air) has been around for a few years. Though in what capacity would you ever implement this? You would not want an extra battery pack (that you never use) sitting in your car for all your daily driving…that would just hurt your range. You could put it into a pull-behind for when you know you will need it. Then what is the cost to replace it? Will it cost the equivalent of a tank of gas? Probably not. I would much rather have a bigger battery pack ready to recharge.

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