better battery

All electric vehicles are powered by batteries. With rising sales of electric vehicles around the world the race to build a better battery that can improve range and performance is gaining pace.

However, electric vehicle are not the only use for this next generation of batteries. With the rise in renewable energy production from wind turbines and solar panels the applications of these next generation batteries is far reaching. Everything including your car, your home, a residential block or even a town could potentially be powered by battery in a not too distant future.

Companies such as Tesla Motors, the makers of our Tesla Model S cars, are developing a better battery at their Gigafactory in the USA. The Model S already has a range of 300 miles on a full charge and one industrious person has managed to retrofit his home to run from a single car battery.

One of the main challenges of course is the cost of the batteries. At present it’s estimated that a new top of the range electric car battery would set you back approximately $400. Many manufacturers are working on this and it’s estimated this cost could drop to roughly $100 in 3-5 years time.

Weight is also another critical challenge. The first generation electric vehicles using a Lead-acid battery needed most of the power output to move the heavy battery, a very uneconomical way to work. Advances in lightweight Lithium-ion and Lithium-Sulphur have brought the design of electric vehicles forward in leaps and bounds.

New prototypes are using Sodium-ion and a mixture of molten metals to provide an even greater power storage capacity, the latter being used to help with capacity from large electrical grids.

The hope is that developments in battery technology could lead to a much cleaner low carbon economy and provide one piece of the answer to a fully renewable energy supply.

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