Sunday, May 18, 2014

New Battery Technology May Lead to Less Expensive, Safer Electric Cars

Power Japan Plus - Dual-Carbon Battery vs Lithium-Ion Battery (Credit: Click to enlarge.
A large portion of the high cost of electric cars comes from their batteries, and the biggest problem for electric car owners is the time it takes to recharge those batteries.  A new battery technology from Power Japan Plus promises to alleviate both of those issues, and add improved thermal safety into the bargain.

Power Japan Plus announced what it calls the Ryden, or Dual Carbon, battery, with carbon anode and cathode that allows for charging at 20 times the rate of current lithium ion batteries.  Further, Power Japan Plus claims the new batteries experience no thermal change while discharging, so electric cars using the new technology would not need a battery cooling system to prevent thermal overrun.

One of the cost factors for current lithium ion batteries are the metals, cobalt, nickel, and manganese, that go into the cathode.  Power Japan Plus has found a way to use cathodes and anodes in lithium-ion batteries constructed of carbon, a much more common and less expensive material.  In addition, the company developed what it calls Carbon Complex, an organic carbon derived from cotton suitable for its Dual Carbon battery.

The Ryden battery offers the same energy density of current lithium-ion batteries, so would not allow extended vehicle range based on that factor.  However, the ability to charge faster might lead to shorter stops at recharging stations.  For example, the Nissan Leaf can be charged from empty to full in four hours. The Ryden battery would cut that time down to 12 minutes.

Power Japan Plus claims its new battery technology can also discharge completely without damage to the battery, potentially letting vehicle makers get more use from the electricity in the batteries.  With current electric cars, the power electronics do not allow full charging or complete discharge of the battery in order to preserve the battery life.

New Battery Technology May Lead to Less Expensive, Safer Electric Cars

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