New Battery Technology Shows Promise
There is very exciting news on the battery cell chemistry front. New cell chemistry promises to deliver far superior performance to current lithium-ion technology. One of the main limiting factors for many automakers of electric cars has been battery capacity, discharge rate, and re-charging times. Lithium ion batteries are the current gold standard, and provide excellent performance for their age, compared to older battery cell chemistries, and usage is widely accepted. However, because of the cell chemistry, they are difficult to manufacture and provide performance that does not currently compare with other energy sources. A new company, called Lyten, that is producing battery cells consisting of three dimensional graphene uses lithium-sulfur as the cell chemistry. Lyten reportedly has the most patents related to the graphene cell technology out of any current company, and their testing shows great promise for new battery technology. Current initial tests show a massive performance improvement over lithium ion battery technology. Capacity is increased by 2.5 times, and recharge rate can be as fast as 20 minutes from fully depleted to 80 percent charged. Performance is also unaffected by temperature swings - a significant issue for lithium ion battery cells. Battery testing at -30 degrees Celsius versus 60 degrees Celsius shows that the cells perform equally well without any significant degradation. Furthermore, cell life is currently rated at 1000 discharge and recharge cycles. The goal is to reach a life of approximately 1800 discharge and recharge cycles, providing electric vehicles with a true 1 million mile life. The process in creating the graphene structure uses methane gas to capture carbon and form a nucleated material from the gas. Currently, Lyten is testing cell performance for use in electric vehicle markets, and the company is in discussion with multiple auto manufacturers for use in their products. The plan is to go into full scale production within the next four to five years.
-taken from www.sae.org