We’d all like to be able to charge our cars in a few hours and then go across the country on a single charge, but that’s not exactly possible right now, unfortunately. Still, this doesn’t mean that it won’t be possible in the future, as researchers and scientists are constantly working on perfecting battery designs. Recent reports suggest that a team of researchers from the University of Cambridge have created an incredible new Lithium-air battery design that could be used to improve the driving range of electric vehicles by up to 400 miles. Exciting, right?
It gets better too, as these batteries are apparently a fifth of the cost and weight of what is being installed in electric cars right now. They also pack ten times the energy density, all thanks to an ingenious design based on a highly porous carbon electrode made out of graphene. In order to make sure that the chemical reaction driving the cell remains stable, the researchers had to implement a series of additives. When compared to previous lithium-air batteries that were prone to failure after a number of recharges, these new ones have been recharged over 2000 times and they still work just fine. Professor Clare Grey from the University’s Department of Chemistry has stated the following:
“While there are still plenty of fundamental studies that remain to be done, to iron out some of the mechanistic details, the current results are extremely exciting. We are still very much at the development stage, but we’ve shown that there are solutions to some of the tough problems associated with this technology. What we really want is a [true] lithium-air battery – one that just takes in air, without having to remove CO2, nitrogen and water. And now we have a system that at least tolerates a lot of water.”