Researchers are quickly getting disenchanted by the high price of lithium-ion batteries, paired with a growing number of high-profile incidents involving smoke and fire, Reuters says in an in-depth analysis. Some are looking way beyond Lithium-Ion. Some go back to technology that is older than the car: Lead-Acid.
Many experts believe it will take at least another decade for lithium-ion technology to be ready for widespread adoption in transportation.
Others don’t see different chemistry for decades.
Companies like Energy Power Systems, a team of former Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius engineers, became “disenchanted” with lithium-ion’s complexity and cost and are now seeking to improve lead-acid.
Companies like Toyota are looking into alternatives to lithium-ion, such as lithium-air, and a much less tempestuous solid state battery.
“We don’t think that lithium-ion batteries are going to help us get to a point where we can dramatically increase volume and really call it a mass market,” Toyota spokesman John Hanson said.
One thing is clear: The battery is no microchip with a dramatic shrinkage of size and gains in power, and the miracle battery to end all electric vehicle woes is a mirage.