Range anxiety. The performance angst and penis envy of the new millennium. So you want to be nice to the planet. You no longer want to desecrate dead dinosaurs. You want to plug in and tune out.
But you also want visit grandpa and grandma who live 150 miles away, and you don’t want to overstay your welcome with an orange cord dangling out of the window. What to do? It’s so simple, that we wonder why nobody has thought of it:
We need better batteries! The New Millennium Batteries so to speak. The Nikkei [sub] comes with the glad tidings that Japanese battery and materials manufacturers are working their tushes off to bolster the performance of lithium ion batteries for electric vehicles.
- Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings unit has developed technology for speeding up recharging. Holes in insulating materials and natural graphite, result in recharges that are 50 percent faster. Even with the standard household electricity of 110 volts, recharge time drops from 15 hours to a mere 10. A 30-minute recharge promises 100km (62miles) of sheer driving pleasure.
- Toda Kogyo teamed up with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory to develop technology for increasing battery capacity by 50 percent through the use of a newly developed composite material for cathodes. An electric vehicle with this technology can run 50 percent farther on a single charge.
- Zeon Corp. uses rubber as an anode material, something that will be very welcome in colder climes. Even at 14F, the capacity of a recharged battery is still 30 percent better than what you get today. (Don’t ask what it will be below zero.)
- GS Yuasa, has succeeded in making a high-performing battery that uses lithium iron phosphate as a cathode material. Lithium iron phosphate is cheaper than the rare metals used to date and gives the battery a longer life. The capacity of batteries using conventional manganese materials drops to 68 percent after 1,000 charges. The new GS Yuasa battery will deliver 90 percent. The battery may outlast the car! This battery also functions normally at minus 22F. (I wonder why they say that …)