March 03, 2013
Forget Lithium Ion Batteries And Wait For Lithium Air Instead?

The Economist Babbage column has a good write-up on the better prospects for lithium air batteries to eventually replace gasoline. The energy density is much higher but lithium air has longevity problems. IBM, Toyota and PolyPlus are among the companies competing to make a workable lithium air battery.

On the other hand, a group of researchers who have spent a lot of time working on lithium ion have shifted their focus to sodium ion since they see it as an easier problem to solve.

Big advances in battery chemistries are rare.

The big advances in battery technology happen rarely. Its been more than 200 years and we have maybe five different successful rechargeable batteries, said George Blomgren, a former senior technology researcher at Eveready and now a private battery consultant. Its frustrating.

Will we see much in the way of EV battery price declines in the next few years? in 1Q 2012 EV battery prices went down, but to a still very high price. I can't find any reports of further EV battery price declines since then. Has any reader come across a more recent report on recent EV battery prices?

Share |      Randall Parker, 2013 March 03 07:56 PM 

philw1776 said at March 4, 2013 10:25 AM:

I'm hopeful and glad that the research is being done but there is no guarantee that this universe's laws allows electrical energy storage in the densities we want.

Engineer-Poet said at March 4, 2013 12:19 PM:

I'll take the densities we have; if we can get the price down by half, the plug-in hybrid will eliminate 70% of liquid fuel demand.

Kelsey said at March 5, 2013 12:39 PM:

Dear blogger/readers,
Can you please take a moment to fill out this online survey on your blogging experience with green/environmental blogs. I'm a student at FIU, and this is a research study for a class. I appreciate your help and sharing your ideas and experiences with me and my classmates. Thank you!

Brett Bellmore said at March 7, 2013 6:20 PM:

Aluminum-air is about as energetic, and aluminum is a heck of a lot more common than lithium.

Engineer-Poet said at March 8, 2013 8:34 AM:

Unfortunately, Al-air cells are primary cells.

Brett Bellmore said at March 9, 2013 5:01 AM:

So are internal combustion engines, and they drive most of the cars on the market. How's that a problem, as long as you're getting 500-1000 miles between anode swaps?

Engineer-Poet said at March 10, 2013 10:11 AM:

It requires a new infrastructure of anode-swap stations, instead of being able to leverage the existing electrical grid.  This limits the utility of the vehicles and the pace at which they can be rolled out.

CNG vehicles have the same issue; there are vast areas of the country where there is no CNG fueling station within the range of a Honda Civic GX, and large stretches even on Interstate highways where stations are more than a tank-full apart.

Ronald Brak said at March 27, 2013 10:35 PM:

Citroen have put 25 kilorams of aluminium air batteries in an electric car as a test and given it a 1,000 mile range. The idea is the car uses lithium-ion batteries for normal driving, but in an emergency or when it needs to take a long trip it uses the aluminium air batteries for extended range. This method may end up much cheaper than using a plug in hybrid for many people.

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