Is EV Range Anxiety Soon To Be A Thing Of The Past? | MHH International

Lithium Ion Batteries
No matter where in the world you are, it cannot have escaped your attention that the future of motoring could well electric.

Electric cars are today readily available, but there's a problem and that lies with battery power. The juice runs out. As anyone who has used a torch in fading light will tell you, this always happens at the least convenient time.

Range anxiety is forever at the back of the mind of an EV driver. The unwanted thrill of wondering if there is enough power to make it home. Sure, electric cars are fine for urban dwellers who do low mileages and can catch public transport or grab a cab in emergencies.

Not so for those who live in remote or inaccessible areas, or even just in the countryside. EV's do not provide the answer to rural motoring. Or so we thought.

The futuristic electric car brand Tesla is continuing to move forward developing what looks very much like at least part of our driving future. The company has its own factory to build batteries and research on increasing capacity is always on-going.

New technology is expensive. All that R&D has to be paid for but what if it takes place at a centre of learning? A team at the University of Texas led by John Goodenough believes it can, by way of a Glass battery. Goodenough is the man who played a key role in creating the lithium-ion battery all those years ago, so he must surely know his stuff.

The Glass battery is a type of solid state battery that is currently under development. It uses a glass electrolyte and lithium or sodium metal electrodes. This technology is apparently a solid-state battery that has at least three times the energy storage of a similarly sized li-ion power pack, can handle more charging cycles, will recharge much more quickly than conventional batteries and won't burst into flames if damaged.

It is early days and this new science has received a somewhat sceptical reception. After all, the world has seen so-called 'game-changing' battery breakthroughs before. Goodenough himself has said that when he first co-invented the lithium-ion battery back in the 1980s, almost no one in the battery or consumer electronics industries took the innovation seriously. He was right; they were wrong. Thus it is only because the name of Goodenough carries so much weight that anyone is taking this new development seriously at all.

Cost, safety, energy density, rates of charge and discharge and cycle life are critical for battery-driven cars to be more widely adopted. A discovery like this could solve many of the problems that are inherent in today's car battery powerpacks. This could be it. Is the end of range anxiety in sight?

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