New batteries put lithium-ion to shame, make electric cars far more practical

Nanomaterial Introduces Zinc-Air Batteries to the EV Party:

It seems both the commercial markets and the research community are coming to terms with the idea that the energy density (the amount of energy stored per unit volume) of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries will keep them from ever becoming a completely satisfactory solution to powering all-electric vehicles (EVs).

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The hybrid nanomaterial was so good at this that in demonstrations the Stanford researchers were able to achieve an energy density of >700 Wh/kg with a prototype battery. To give you a sense of what that means, some have concluded that the Li-ion batteries—even with all the latest nanotech improvements—will be maxed out at around 400Wh/kg.

Zinc is also more plentiful than lithium in the earth’s crust (meaning zinc-air batteries should be cheaper) and unlike Li-ion, zinc-air cells doesn’t sometimes catch fire or explode.

Another win for electric vehicles.

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