EV Battery Technology of the Future


Lithium-Air Battery

Lithium-air batteries are consider a solid-state battery. Solid-state batteries are batteries that have both solid electrodes and solid electrolytes. They are easy to miniaturize (for example, they can be constructed into a thin film), and they run no risk of electrolyte leakage. They tend to have a very long shelf life, and are not as easily affected by high temperatures, compared to the current lithium-ion battery. The battery uses air similar to how we breath. They use carbon electrodes in which the ions react with oxygen, but without depleting the electrolyte medium. By doing away with flammable liquid electrolytes, the lithium-air battery will be a safer battery alternative.




Lithium Silicon Battery

Applied Science at Northwestern University are researching a way to use silicon electrodes as opposed to carbon ones, with hopes to make a battery with more capacity to allow for a longer range. As the battery absorbs and discharges ions, the silicon electrodes would expand and contract as needed. Such a battery would a lithium battery could hold many more ions and be able to move the ions faster, resulting in a reduction of EV charging times.




Lithium Sulfur Carbon Nanofiber Battery

Building off the lithium silicon battery, the lithium sulfur carbon nanofiber technology addresses the main drawbacks of using silicon: The constant inflow and outflow of ions will overtime break the integrity of the battery. Carbon nanofiber technology reduces this effect, leading to a more stable battery performance, and a significant increases in a battery’s lifetime.




Aluminum-Ion Battery

The main advantage to aluminum-ion technology is it’s incredibly fast charging and discharging times. It has potential to charge a cell phone, or even an EV, in one minute. The aluminum-ion battery works using simple aluminum metal in its negative side and a specialized three-dimensional graphite foam on its positive. The positive and negative sides are separated by a liquid electrolyte that contains mobile AlCl4- ions, which are exchanged between the two sides of the battery as it charges and discharges. It’s main issue is that it is heavy, which is a huge drawback for EV usage. But before we even see it in EVs, it will most likely be developed for small portable devices.