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Published on April 18th, 2013 | by Yellow Magpie

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Future Electric Batteries: The Battery Of Tomorrow

Future Electric Batteries: Current Lithium Battery Photo By Claus Ableiter

Future electric batteries promise to be less expensive, far more powerful and much lighter. With the ability to charge in mere minutes, if not seconds, electric batteries of tomorrow will change human lives.

Future Electric Batteries: Today’s Limitations

Currently, we are just on the cusp of exploring the potential of rechargeable lithium batteries. For comparative purposes today’s batteries are 52 times less energy dense than petrol. Given the 20 per cent average efficiency of the internal combustion engine and the high efficiency of electric motors the real-world practical difference is roughly 12-fold.

Future Electric Batteries Powering The Electric Vehicles Of The Future

Future Electric Batteries: Lithium-Air

Right now, scientists are working on batteries that will give much better performances. Leading the way is the experimental research on lithium-air batteries. Still in its infancy, if this technology reaches maturity it promises to give up to a 15-fold improvement on current battery energy storage. With a theoretical energy density of 12 kilowatt-hours per kilogram lithium-air may eventually narrow the gap that petrol currently enjoys.

Future Electric Batteries: Fluoride

Future electric batteries may not be even made of lithium. There are plans afoot to replace lithium entirely with fluoride. A future fluoride battery is thought is thought to be able to give six times the current energy storage of the best lithium battery available today.

For electric cars like Tesla Motors’ Model S using a fluoride battery could give a range of just under 3,000 km (1,800 miles) giving you the capability to undertake a journey as far as Paris to Moscow on a single charge.

Or you could have a fluoride battery that is three times as light but with twice the range. Using the same Model S example, that would mean a car with nearly 1,000 kilometres of range (600 miles) without factoring better efficiency due to less battery weight.

Future Electric Batteries And Graphene

One thing that certainly has a bright future is graphene. Currently scientists are exploring its application as a supercapacitor.

A capacitor stores a small amount of energy that can be charged and discharged within seconds. Whereas a normal battery stores a large amount of energy but discharges and charges slowly in comparison.

A supercapacitor combines the characteristics of both offering large storage of energy with very quick discharge and charging times. The newly discovered graphene is proving to be an early potential candidate for material of the 21st century. (Check out Yellow Magpie’s Graphene: The Vanguard For A Technological Revolution for more information.)

Tomorrow’s World

Whatever tomorrow’s technology brings, future electric batteries will undoubtedly be much improved over current offerings. We will have electric cars with huge range, phone and display devices that will not need to be charged for weeks, perhaps months on end.

Nevertheless, the greatest change may be in producing battery versions of today’s plugged devices. In tomorrow’s world wireless may be a word used to describe more than just broadband wireless internet.

Recommended Reading

Visit Endless Sphere for more information on electric bikes and suitable battery chemistries from one of the best internet forums on the subject.

You may also wish to check out more in our battery series Lithium Batteries: The Ideal Choice For Electric Bicycles and Electric Battery Terms Made Simple

Electric Bicycles: The Electric Revolution For Everyone and Electric Cars: Welcome To The 21st Century.


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