Korean researchers have developed that can power an electric car (EV) for up to 300 kilometers on a single charge.
The Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) announced on January 10 that the lithium-ion battery was jointly developed by Eom Gwang-sup, a professor of materials science and engineering at the GIST, and Lee Jung-tae, a postdoctoral associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Research Laboratory of Electronics. The new battery has four times the storage capacity and two times the lifespan of existing products.
The conventional lithium-ion battery uses graphite and lithium metal oxide for battery cathodes and anodes. Since both materials have a relatively low storage capacity and are near the maximum theoretical capacity with current technology, they have limits to increase an electricity storage capacity of an EV.
The research team used new materials for battery cathodes and anodes with silicon and sulfur. It developed the battery consisting of “lithium and silicon cathodes” by adding selenium to protect the silicon cathodes and “sulfur and selenium anodes.”
The new lithium-ion battery can store roughly 500 mAh of electricity per gram, which is four times larger than 100 to 150 mAh in batteries currently in the market and has two times higher energy density compared to operating voltage. This means EVs can drive twice the distance (300 kilometers) on one charge with the new battery compared to an existing battery of the same weight.
In terms of the battery’s lifespan, the team said the new battery’s performance declines only by 19 percent after 1,500 cycles of charging and discharging. This translates to stable battery usage for four years, based on the assumption that the battery is charged once a day. Stable battery usage means the battery’s performance is maintained at over 80 percent the full capacity so users will not have to change the battery. If the batteries are used in smartphones, the weight of smartphones can be down by half.
The research findings was recently published online through Nature Communications, an international science journal affiliated with Nature.