The trouble with EVs is that they need batteries. Batteries are expensive and heavy, they deplete quickly and are prone to early death. Japanese carmakers and universities are assaulting the problems head-on. They have batteries that go twice as far and live twice as long. But there is a new problem …
Toyota, in cooperation with the Tokyo Institute of Technology and the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization, developed a prototype battery that can be processed into sheet form. It makes for a lower cost battery that can store several times the amount of electricity in the same volume. Once in production, range of an EV using that battery doubles, says The Nikkei [sub]
Mazda and Hiroshima University developed a new electrode material based on molecular spheres of carbon. A battery using this material will either be half the weight, or “will make it possible to at least double an EV’s continuous driving distance,” says The Nikkei.
NEC has done something that prevent early aging of batteries. NEC came up with an electrolyte that allows 20,000 recharge cycles instead a few thousand cycles currently. This battery could last a lifetime of a car instead of giving up the ghost after currently seven or eight years.
The only problem: All these technologies exist in the lab only, and will not be available until at least five years from now.