In a press release late last month energy tech innovator Envia Systems announced it has developed an electric car battery capable of lasting up to 300 miles. At 400 watt-hour/kilogram, the battery is claimed to be the highest capacity of its kind in the world. Up until now the average electric vehicle batteries lasted between 80-100 miles, at densities maxing out at only 180 Wh/kg.
The energy breakthrough is significant not only due to its greatly increased capacity, but also because of the drastically reduced cost production. At around $20,000, up until now state-of-the-art electric vehicle batteries have made up most of the price of the vehicles in which they’re housed. Envia’s lithium-ion battery is made with more cost-efficient materials and is said to be available at half the price of other batteries. The company claims the battery will also have a longer life-cycle over modern battery cells, providing a much reduced charge degradation over significantly more cycles.
Because of their intensely high density there’s a great deal of explosive or fire danger if the battery is penetrated in a car crash. Luckily, Envia’s battery additionally excels in the safety department. The battery contains very stable High Capacity Manganese Rich (HMCRâ„¢) cathodes and “novel nanocoatings” to protect against electrical fires resulting from structural damage.
Atul Kapadia, Envia’s Chairman and CEO, stressed the great technological leap the company has made in developing the new battery:
In an industry where energy density tends to increase five percent a year, our achievement of more than doubling state-of-art energy density and lowering cost by half is a giant step towards realizing Envia’s mission of mass market affordability of a 300-mile electric vehicle.
Envia’s battery directly addresses one of the biggest problems facing widespread use of electric vehicles today. Without a great deal of charging infrastructure in place for electric cars, having a battery that lasts longer will give drivers more freedom to take longer trips and keep from worrying about their proximity to whatever limited number of charging stations may be in the area. With a lower cost battery resulting in cheaper electric cars, along with the peace of mind that a longer lasting batteries provides, the electric car may become a more affordable green energy solution for the common motorist sooner than expected.
If you want to delve into the gooey sciencey details of it all, check out the tech explanation of what’s inside Envia’s new battery on the company website.
All images credit: EnviaSystems.com