March 31, 2009
New Lithium Batteries Seen As Longer Lasting

A Lawrence Berkeley Lab spin-off claims their solid polymer electrolyte lithium batteries last longer and store more electric power.

A new incarnation of lithium-ion batteries based on solid polymers is in the works. Berkeley, CA-based startup Seeo, Inc. says its lithium-ion cells will be safer, longer-lasting, lighter, and cheaper than current batteries. Seeo's batteries use thin films of polymer as the electrolyte and high-energy-density, light-weight electrodes. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is now making and testing cells designed by the University of California, Berkeley spinoff.

They claim 50% higher energy density and substantially longer service life.

"Lifetime data suggests that conventional lithium-ion systems lose about 40 percent capacity in 500 cycles," says Mohit Singh, the cofounder of Seeo. "We get a much better cycle life. We can go through 1,000 cycles with less than 5 percent capacity loss."

With many companies chasing the battery problem and reporting promising technology I'm expecting much better batteries over the next 10 years. Batteries are the key technology needed for cutting fossil fuels use in transportation. We have a few clean ways to generate electricity. We need one clean affordable way to power cars from that clean electricity.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2009 March 31 11:41 PM  Energy Batteries


Comments
Wolf-Dog said at April 1, 2009 5:19 AM:

Here is the latest pure electric car Tesla Motors Model S Sedan for 5 passengers,
which will have three battery options:

A) 160 miles ($50,000)
B) 230 miles,
C) 300 miles. (much more expensive)

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/uptospeed/2009/03/tesla-model-s.html

And it will be built in Los Angeles:

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-tesla27-2009mar27,0,472402.story

This 300 mile range car is astounding, given that it is still using relatively old lithium-ion batteries, and these batteries are still developed with limited private money. Just imagine how much better the progress would have been, if Bush and the Oil Companies had not sabotaged the funding of battery research after September 11, 2001. Note that this car will also have its battery swappable from the bottom of the car, just as the Project Better Place wanted:

Here is the latest video of Project Better Place cars:
http://www.betterplace.com/press-room/videos-detail/cbs-sunday-news-video-making-the-world-a-better-place/

What is nice about the Project Better Place cars with battery swappable, is that people will not have to worry about getting stuck with an obsolete and expensive battery bolted into the vehicle. The battery will be owned by the electric company, and it will be upgraded without having to get rid of the car.

One more thing: Electric cars are FAR more durable than gasoline cars, because electric cars have a lot less moving parts, no radiator, transmission, gear boxes, exhaust, etc. No engine oil. The electric motors are cheap and small and can be easily replaced. This means that the hidden operating costs of gasoline cars do not exist for electric cars. The car repair shops, etc, are part of the existing gasoline automobile industry. An electric car can probably last 50 years, with minimal maintenance and repairs. Within 5 years, these electric cars with 250 mile range, will probably sell for less than $15,000. By then a few countries will already have installed the charging pods in every parking space in every street.

Nick G said at April 2, 2009 3:37 PM:

"Bush and the Oil Companies had not sabotaged the funding of battery research after September 11, 2001"

Wasn't the PNGV program killed before then? I would have looked more to the car companies - do you have info pointing at the oil companies?

"An electric car can probably last 50 years"

Jay Leno has a 1907 Detroit Electric - still running on the original battery!

Wolf-Dog said at April 3, 2009 3:35 AM:

Bush and the Oil Companies had not sabotaged the funding of battery research after September 11, 2001"

Wasn't the PNGV program killed before then? I would have looked more to the car companies - do you have info pointing at the oil companies?

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The "sabotage" I was talking about, was the intentional negligence. For instance, the "hydrogen" car funding that Bush started, was almost certainly a diversion to divert attention that he had no intention of helping the battery research. Hydrogen cars were a total impossibility, since these require a very complicated infrastructure. The electric cars do not require much infrastructure because the electric grid is already in every street, the only small step that is required, is to put charging pods in every street to make it possible for cars to plug into the existing electric grid that is already in the street. Bush was almost certainly influenced by oil companies. It costs less than one year of imported oil to put charging pods in every street, but Bush spent almost nothing.

Engineer-Poet said at April 3, 2009 12:44 PM:

Wolf-dog is on the same page as I am.

Unfortunately, it's after the Bush administration.  I'm not very good at promoting the good stuff against the interests of the elites.

Nick G said at April 3, 2009 1:04 PM:

Wolf-dog, E-P,

I'm not disagreeing in principle. Heck, you only have to look at the 28 year presence of the Bush family and Cheney/Rumsfeld to see oil influence. I was just curious if you had seen a smoking gun.

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