It’s no secret that electric vehicles are the future of transportation. With gas prices climbing and stricter emissions standards coming into effect, demand for electric cars will only continue to rise. But while the demand is there, there are still a few key challenges preventing electric vehicles from becoming more accessible to consumers. Chief among them: battery life and range. That’s why automakers everywhere are investing in companies that specialize in creating new technologies for EV batteries. From graphene to sealant, these 4 technologies will make your next EV even better!
One of the major blows to electric vehicles in the past was the discovery that regenerative braking on hybrid vehicles actually reduced range. This is a crucial concept to understand: it’s the idea that a vehicle’s battery will become less efficient if it’s used as a source of power too frequently. To recharge a battery and make it last longer, you’d have to drive less — but what’s the point of owning an electric car if you can’t drive it like a regular car? That’s exactly why regenerative braking is a crucial technology for EVs: it allows the car to use its own momentum to slow itself and recharge the battery at the same time. Automakers are now exploring ways to use this technology in a more efficient way. Instead of just slowing the car down, they’re looking into a system that can send that energy back into the battery so you don’t lose range.
With the average American owning 17 different kinds of charging cables, it’s clear that we’re still far from having a streamlined electric car charging experience. There are just too many options, and the ways in which they differ are not always made clear. It’s one of the greatest barriers to a widespread electric car adoption — when charging takes hours at a time, it’s nearly impossible to use an electric car as a primary source of transportation. That’s why automakers are investing in new, ultra-fast chargers. The first generation of these superchargers hit the road about a decade ago, with a typical charge time of 8 to 12 hours. But now, companies like Tesla are bringing in chargers that can fully charge an electric car in just 30 minutes. This kind of ultra-fast charging isn’t without its challenges, though. It requires a massive amount of power, and delivers that energy over a high voltage circuit. That’s why it’s crucial to invest in new technologies that will make these ultra-fast chargers safe and reliable.
Graphene is an incredibly powerful material. It’s a single layer of carbon atoms that’s incredibly thin and extremely conductive. That makes it a great option for creating better batteries — but it’s also incredibly expensive to manufacture graphene on a large scale. That’s why many companies are turning to carbon nanotubes: they’re just as conductive and can be manufactured at a fraction of the cost. But there are still major advancements to be made in battery technology before EVs become a truly viable form of transportation. One of the biggest limitations facing electric car batteries today is their inability to store large quantities of energy. Tesla has been working on solving this issue with its latest battery design — which it claims is the largest, most advanced battery ever produced. It features a single, continuous piece of silicon (instead of the typical multiple cells) and is housed inside a new type of lithium-ion pouch that’s made from organic materials.
Solid State Batteries
There are a few key differences between traditional lithium-ion batteries and solid state batteries (also known as lithium-glass batteries). The first is the electrolyte used in the battery. In traditional lithium-ion batteries, an electrolyte is used to separate the positive and negative electrodes so the battery doesn’t short out. But this electrolyte also acts as a barrier for electrons, which slows down the charging process. In solid state batteries, there’s no electrolyte — which means electrons can move freely and charge up the battery much more quickly. Another main difference is the electrodes used in the battery. Traditional batteries use liquid electrodes, but in a solid state battery, the electrodes are made from glass instead. This change allows the electrodes to be completely surrounded by electrolyte, which increases the battery’s capacity and lifespan.
In order for electric vehicles to become the go-to form of transportation, they’ll need to overcome a few key challenges. One of the most important is battery life: if they don’t last long enough or recharge quickly enough, they’re not a viable solution for most drivers. Thankfully, there are plenty of companies out there working to create better batteries — and these 4 technologies will make your next electric car better than ever!