An MIT spinout company, 24M, has developed a groundbreaking electric vehicle (EV) battery capable of delivering an impressive 1,000-mile range on a single charge. This innovation has the potential to significantly reduce range anxiety, a major concern among potential EV buyers.

Range anxiety, the fear of running out of battery power before reaching a charging station, has been a significant barrier to the widespread adoption of EVs. While many EVs on the market today offer a range of 300 to 400 miles, 24M’s new battery could extend that range to 1,000 miles, potentially making EVs more appealing to a broader audience.

“We think that to get to full competitiveness, or full acceptance for those who are used to an internal combustion engine, something in the 1,000-mile range is going to be needed,” says Rich Chleboski, 24M’s chief financial officer.

The extended range also contributes to the battery’s longevity. Rapid charging can degrade battery life, but with a 1,000-mile range, full rapid charges will be less frequent. Instead, drivers can quickly top off a small percentage of the battery and slowly charge the rest later, reducing wear and tear. This durability could help electric cars retain their value longer, addressing another concern among potential EV buyers.

The new battery system is expected to last for up to 500,000 miles of driving, and potentially as long as one million miles. This longevity makes the prospect of buying a high-mileage used EV more attractive and ensures a better resale value.

24M’s battery technology employs lithium metal instead of lithium-ion, providing greater energy density. Although lithium metal batteries have historically faced safety issues, 24M has developed a unique separator to prevent dendrite formation, which can cause shorts and fires. This design also includes a monitoring system that can automatically shut down cells to prevent shorts.

The battery cells use semisolid electrolytes mixed with other battery materials, simplifying the manufacturing process and reducing costs by using fewer materials like copper, aluminum, and plastic.

Current EV batteries often use binders made from “forever chemicals,” making them difficult to recycle. 24M’s system avoids these binders, allowing for easier recycling and reuse of materials. This advancement not only benefits the environment but also reduces the cost and complexity of recycling battery components.

24M is licensing its technologies to battery manufacturers and automakers. The “Impervio” separator designed for safety is expected to be mass-manufactured by 2025 or 2026, with the complete 1,000-mile-range battery technology potentially ready for testing by automakers as early as next year. However, due to the long development timelines for new vehicles, it may be five years before cars equipped with this advanced battery hit the roads.

In the meantime, other long-range EV options are emerging globally. For example, a new plug-in hybrid in China reportedly offers a range of 1,300 miles on a single charge, showcasing the rapid advancements in EV technology worldwide.

By Impact Lab