It would seem like the secret that is hiding in plain sight, but actually yet again it’s nanotubes to the rescue. At the University of Wollongong students have managed to increase the effective capacity of lithium ion batteries 250%. This could mean actual competitive ranges for the entry-level vehicles like the Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus, Chevy Spark, and Smart ED. Currently these vehicles have an average range of 70 miles, but with this increase they could break 200 miles. Using a Germanium-based material for the production of batteries, which is apparently much more available versus lithium, the increase could be as much as 500%.
Although this is a great discovery and it puts the idea of electric cars back in the arena with gasoline and diesel, the release of it to production is still at least 5 years off. Still it offers hope and quells some concerns.
Those who say it cannot be done, should stand aside for those who are doing it.
Thanks to a David Metcalf and his son, the 400 mile barrier has been broken. Using some of hyper-miling techniques such as “cracking” the windows rather than using climate controls, higher pressure tires, consistent speeds, and less stopping on mostly flat surfaces, the pair managed a whopping 423.5 miles. The model used, 85kW, is the highest capacity battery pack available for the Tesla Model S, but the accomplishment sets a new MPG-equivalent precedent of (roughly twice the EPA rating; 89) 178 MPGe or 20kW/ 100-miles.
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It’s long been known (at least to some) that when a corporation wants to generate future potential, they will let fly with their hopes in leaks and upper-brass comments. Toyota is “talking” about work with Sodium-Ion batteries. This does not mean that in a few weeks they will be releasing vehicles that immediately have 30% increased range. It means that they may have made a break-through or have a partner that has and are in the process of developing with the hopes that it will improve range performance by 30%.
Speculation per AutoBlogGreen, the inspiration for this blog post, reported that the new battery type is very small and adds little weight but a great deal of capacity to the batteries. Presuming this is all true we may be seeing an increase of range over lithium-ion up to 600 miles. But the reality is that it will not likely see actual practical market use for upwards of 5 years (if the money shows up).
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