An Overview of the Battery Technologies for E-vehicles

E-mobility is the use of electric motors for transportation. When you use e-mobility for vehicles, it does not emit toxic gases and it improves the quality of life. Also, because e-mobility does not use combustion engines, it helps fight against climate change. This article discusses an overview of the battery technologies for e-vehicles.

Lithium-ion Batteries

They are used currently in the majority of e-vehicles and these batteries might remain dominant for a while. The lithium-ion batteries contain lithium ions, the electrolytes carry these positively charged ions between the cathode and anode. These batteries hold a high cyclability while still maintaining their efficiency. The lithium-ion batteries for e-vehicles have garnered a reputation for overheating, but the manufacturers have worked not only to make them more stable to avoid the overheating but also to develop the safety mechanisms to prevent from being harmed if overheating catches fire.

Solid State Batteries

These batteries hold solid components. The unique construction of solid-state batteries offers several great advantages. There is no worry of the electrolyte leaks or overheating to catch fires due to a flame-resistant electrolyte used. Also, the solid construction provides an extended lifetime of the batteries, less need for bulky and costly cooling mechanisms, and the capability to work in an extended range of temperatures. More importantly,

the solid-state batteries could build off of all the improvements that have been made in the other types of batteries, such as the lithium-ion batteries.

Metal-air Batteries

These batteries hold a pure-metal anode with an ambient air cathode. Because the cathode usually makes up the most weight in a battery, an ambient air cathode could provide a major advantage. While metal holds many possibilities, lithium, aluminum, sodium, and zinc are the forerunners. Since capturing enough oxygen from the air is among the major challenges, most experiments have used oxygen as cathodes to avoid the metal to react with the CO­2 in the air. Besides, most metal-oxygen or metal-air prototypes remain the problems with cyclability as well as lifetime.

Aluminum-ion Batteries

They are quite similar to lithium-ion batteries but hold an aluminum anode. The aluminum-ion batteries provide more safety at a less cost than the lithium-ion batteries. However, the research remains in its infancy. Recently, scientists at Stanford University have solved the cyclability of aluminum-ion batteries, which is one of the greatest drawbacks of aluminum-ion batteries, by utilizing an aluminum metal anode with a graphite cathode. This invention significantly reduced the batteries’ charging time and their capability to bend.

Lithium-sulfur Batteries

These batteries typically hold a lithium anode with a sulfur-carbon cathode. Theoretically, lithium-sulfur batteries provide a higher energy density, and they usually cost less than lithium-ion batteries. The low cyclability of the batteries due to the expansion as well as harmful reactions with electrolytes is one of the drawbacks. However, their cyclability has been improved recently. NASA has invested in the solid-state Lithium-sulfur batteries to power its space exploration. In addition, Oxis Energy has been working to commercialize Lithium-sulfur batteries.

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