This is Continental’s robot battery that could change the electric car market

This robotic battery can be installed in almost any electric vehicle and will facilitate and optimize charging.

The electric vehicle industry is advancing by leaps and bounds. Practically all car manufacturers are developing models that can be competitive in a market that is still dominated by Tesla. One factor that has limited the development of this technology is the batteries , their charging time and the autonomy they give the vehicle. In addition, there is the dependence on cables and outlets to be able to charge them.

Continental , the German firm known worldwide for making tires, is working on developing a wireless-charging robotic battery alongside Volterio , an Austria-based startup. The device has two parts: one that is fixed to the car (the one that receives the energy), and another that moves on the ground under the car (the one that sends the electrical charge). For an electric vehicle to charge correctly, the two parts must be aligned, which does not happen if the driver parks incorrectly. So there is power loss and the charging is not as efficient. Continental’s robot is capable of locating the precise place where it has to be positioned to achieve efficient loading, and it does so in an automated manner.

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3D Nanochains could increase battery capacity, cut charging time

Nanochains in a coin cell battery. Credit: Henry Hamann/ Purdue University.

How long the battery of your phone or computer lasts depends on how many lithium ions can be stored in the battery’s negative electrode material.

If the battery runs out of these ions, it can’t generate an electrical current to run a device and ultimately fails.

Materials with a higher lithium ion storage capacity are either too heavy or the wrong shape to replace graphite, the electrode material currently used in today’s batteries.

Purdue University scientists and engineers have introduced a potential way that these materials could be restructured into a new electrode design that would allow them to increase a battery’s lifespan, make it more stable and shorten its charging time.

The study, appearing as the cover of the September issue of Applied Nano Materials, created a net-like structure, called a “nanochain,” of antimony, a metalloid known to enhance lithium ion charge capacity in batteries.

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New Quantum Technology To Make Charging Electric Cars As Fast as Pumping Gas

Quantum charging will cut the charging time of electric vehicles from ten hours to three minutes.

By INSTITUTE FOR BASIC SCIENCE

Whether it’s photovoltaics or fusion, sooner or later, human civilization must turn to renewable energies. This is deemed inevitable considering the ever-growing energy demands of humanity and the finite nature of fossil fuels. As such, much research has been pursued in order to develop alternative sources of energy, most of which utilize electricity as the main energy carrier. The extensive R&D in renewables has been accompanied by gradual societal changes as the world adopted new products and devices running on renewables. The most striking change as of recently is the rapid adoption of electric vehicles. While they were hardly seen on the roads even 10 years ago, now millions of electric cars are being sold annually. The electric car market is one of the most rapidly growing sectors, and it helped propel Elon Musk to become the wealthiest man in the world.

Unlike traditional cars which derive energy from the combustion of hydrocarbon fuels, electric vehicles rely on batteries as the storage medium for their energy. For a long time, batteries had far lower energy density than those offered by hydrocarbons, which resulted in very low ranges of early electric vehicles. However, gradual improvement in battery technologies eventually allowed the drive ranges of electric cars to be within acceptable levels in comparison to gasoline-burning cars. It is no understatement that the improvement in battery storage technology was one of the main technical bottlenecks which had to be solved in order to kickstart the current electric vehicle revolution.

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GM WANTS FUTURE EVS TO BE HOME POWER BANKS—AND IT STARTS WITH A CALIFORNIA PILOT PROGRAM

By BENGT HALVORSON

Electric vehicles have the potential to be more than just transportation—by using their battery packs for supplemental home energy and grid stabilization. 

That’s what a collaboration between GM and Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), announced Tuesday morning, aims to explore—with the eventual hope of making every GM vehicle bidirectional-charging compatible in the future. 

Up to 85% of U.S. EV owners charge primarily at home, according to GM, and electric vehicles have large battery packs that are potentially available 24/7 but only typically used for a small portion of their capacity. 

The partners note that the average California home uses about 20 kwh per day. That’s less than a tenth of the GMC Hummer EV’s battery capacity. 

Within the pilot program, the companies will develop a software interface for the functionality, and decide on a core hardware set—to include a smart inverter and transfer switch. GM says that, depending on the required load, the solution it’s considering might be able to use both AC or DC. 

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World’s smallest battery has been designed to power a computer the size of a grain of dust, that could be used as discrete sensors, or to power miniaturised medical implants

By RYAN MORRISON

  • The miniature battery is made up of a series of coiled strips of film that recoils 
  • This produces enough electricity to power a small sensor for up to ten hours
  • These could be used in medical research and monitoring in the form of sensors
  • It could also allow for a fleet of microscopic dust-sized sensor to monitor the air 

The world’s smallest battery has been designed to power a computer the size of a grain of dust, that could be used as discrete sensors, or for medical implants. 

A team led by Chemnitz University of Technology in Germany say these microscopic batteries are needed to power the ongoing miniaturisation of electronics.  

Smart dust devices, including biocompatible sensor systems in the body, require computers to handle data at sizes smaller than a grain of dust, but while the devices are getting smaller, powering them has proved to be problematic.

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1,000-cycle lithium-sulfur battery could quintuple electric vehicle ranges

A diagram of the battery shows how lithium ions can return to the lithium electrode while the lithium polysulfides can’t get through the membrane separating the electrodes. In addition, spiky dendrites growing from the lithium electrode can’t short the battery by piercing the membrane and reaching the sulfur electrode.

by  University of Michigan

A new biologically inspired battery membrane has enabled a battery with five times the capacity of the industry-standard lithium ion design to run for the thousand-plus cycles needed to power an electric car.

A network of aramid nanofibers, recycled from Kevlar, can enable lithium-sulfur batteries to overcome their Achilles heel of cycle life—the number of times it can be charged and discharged—a University of Michigan team has shown.

“There are a number of reports claiming several hundred cycles for lithium-sulfur batteries, but it is achieved at the expense of other parameters—capacity, charging rate, resilience and safety. The challenge nowadays is to make a battery that increases the cycling rate from the former 10 cycles to hundreds of cycles and satisfies multiple other requirements including cost,” said Nicholas Kotov, the Irving Langmuir Distinguished University Professor of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, who led the research.

“Biomimetic engineering of these batteries integrated two scales—molecular and nanoscale. For the first time, we integrated ionic selectivity of cell membranes and toughness of cartilage. Our integrated system approach enabled us to address the overarching challenges of lithium-sulfur batteries.”

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This lithium-sulfur battery could quintuple electric vehicle ranges

By University of Michigan

A new biologically inspired battery membrane has enabled a battery with five times the capacity of the industry-standard lithium-ion design to run for the thousand-plus cycles needed to power an electric car.

A network of aramid nanofibers, recycled from Kevlar, can enable lithium-sulfur batteries to overcome their Achilles heel of cycle life—the number of times it can be charged and discharged—a University of Michigan team has shown.

“There are a number of reports claiming several hundred cycles for lithium-sulfur batteries, but it is achieved at the expense of other parameters—capacity, charging rate, resilience and safety.

The challenge nowadays is to make a battery that increases the cycling rate from the former 10 cycles to hundreds of cycles and satisfies multiple other requirements including cost,” said Nicholas Kotov, the Irving Langmuir Distinguished University Professor of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, who led the research.

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No Mo’ ’Splosions? Nanotech Energy Unveils Fireproof Graphene Battery

Nonflammable OrganoLyte electrolyte promises to last longer and charge faster.

By Frank Markus

Wow, the claims Nanotech Energy makes for its new graphene battery, just presented at CES Unveiled, are impressive: It retains more than 80 percent of its rated capacity through 1,400 cycles, can charge “18 times faster than anything that is currently available on the market,” maintains performance at extreme temperatures (-40 to 140 degrees F), holds charge at temperatures as high as 350 degrees and won’t catch fire when penetrated with a nail or heated to more than 1,300 degrees, don’t require exotic materials, can be manufactured on existing equipment in various form factors (cylindrical, pouch, etc. ), and is going to be produced in a new plant in Nevada slated to open in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Given all that, we wouldn’t be surprised to learn that driving an EV powered by such batteries also promoted weight loss and prevented tax audits. Here’s what we know about the Nanotech Energy graphene battery.

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Fast Company Says Li-Cycle Is One Of The “Next Big Things In Tech”


By Johnna Crider

In its first-ever list of the “Next Big Things in Tech,” Fast Company listed several companies in the technology industry that are making an impact on various topics from sustainability, health, and AI to money and smart machines. Li-Cycle, which has North America’s largest battery recycling facility, is one of the companies mentioned on that long list.

Li-Cycle was noted for its goal of keeping batteries out of landfills. The company is on a mission to make lithium-ion batteries into circular and sustainable products. Next year, it plans to open its Commercial Spoke 3 facility in Arizona, which will have the capacity of recycling 10,000 tonnes of lithium-ion batteries per year.

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Tesla’s prototype battery with 5 times more energy storage comes to life at Panasonic

The Japanese company revealed the prototype in an effort to fulfill Tesla’s future battery dreams.

By Sean Szymkowski

Tesla long promised big changes for its future batteries, and Panasonic hopes its latest prototype battery will deliver for the electric carmaker. On Monday, Automotive News reported on the Japanese company’s new prototype battery created specifically for Tesla. It promises fives times more energy storage, which may increase ranges significantly.

In addition to more energy, the battery will cost 50% less to produce and help boost battery production at Panasonic “100-fold,” by 2030, according to the report. These three elements could produce a game-changing battery pack for Tesla with a lower cost and more range at the core of EV adoption hurdles. Panasonic did not immediately return a request for comment and more information on the prototype battery. Tesla does not operate a public relations department to field requests for comment.

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3D-printed solid-state batteries near production

Batteries that are lighter, cheaper and easier to produce could result from a convergence of modern approaches

By Freddie Holmes

A company that plans to produce 3D-printed solid-state batteries is readying to launch its first pilot line. California-based Sakuu is targeting not only electric vehicles (EVs) but also other sectors such as aerospace, consumer electronics and medical devices. The new battery line is expected to be operational by the end of 2021 and will have a capacity of up to 2.5 megawatt hours (MWh) per year.

Once up and running, the plan is to begin issuing batteries to strategic customers and ‘early access partners’ who can perform their own development and testing. One other solid-state battery start-up QuantumScape recently ran a similar initiative, where its pouch cells were issued to third parties. The results were presented in Decemberalongside its joint venture partner, Volkswagen Group.

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BMW Proposes to Use Old Batteries in Off-Grid Solar Charging Stations

by Gustavo Henrique Ruffo

The three “Rs” for a more sustainable life are Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. BMW created a project in Brazil that used the first two Rs to prevent the third one. After collecting used battery modules from some i3s it sold in that country, the company joined UFSC (Federal University of Santa Catarina), Grupo Solvi, and Energy Source to create an off-grid solar charging station. 9 photos

The solution comprises eight solar panels on the roof of the charging station. They feed a tower with six battery modules from the i3 which are no longer good enough for automotive use but are perfectly fine for storing the energy generated by these solar panels. An inverter manages these modules. It controls both the energy stored and charging electric vehicles that connect to the charging tower thanks to a BMW Wallbox charger.

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