How we get to the next big battery breakthrough

5F4C5331-050D-4033-8F4A-8D4AEFDF8237

Electric planes could be the future of aviation. In theory, they will be much quieter, cheaper, and cleaner than the planes we have today. Electric planes with a 1,000 km (620 mile) range on a single charge could be used for half of all commercial aircraft flights today, cutting global aviation’s carbon emissions by about 15%.

It’s the same story with electric cars. An electric car isn’t simply a cleaner version of its pollution-spewing cousin. It is, fundamentally, a better car: Its electric motor makes little noise and provides lightning-fast response to the driver’s decisions. Charging an electric car costs much less than paying for an equivalent amount of gasoline. Electric cars can be built with a fraction of moving parts, which makes them cheaper to maintain.

So why aren’t electric cars everywhere already? It’s because batteries are expensive, making the upfront cost of an electric car much higher than a similar gas-powered model. And unless you drive a lot, the savings on gasoline don’t always offset the higher upfront cost. In short, electric cars still aren’t economical.

Similarly, current batteries don’t pack in enough energy by weight or volume to power passenger aircrafts. We still need fundamental breakthroughs in battery technology before that becomes a reality.

Continue reading… “How we get to the next big battery breakthrough”

0

Harley-Davidson’s newest electric concept is aimed at city dwellers — and could help the struggling brand reinvent itself

5c588e53a265164c7021fc16-1136-568

HD Electric Concept 2.1

Harley-Davidson has unveiled two electric-concept bikes as it tries to rebound from four years of declining sales. Harley-Davidson

  • Harley-Davidson has declared that the future is electric — and it’s quickly scaling up a pipeline of electric bikes.
  • Two new concepts unveiled last week at the X Games in Colorado wouldn’t require a motorcycle license and could be charged with a normal wall plug, the company says.
  • Courting new riders, including city dwellers and millennials, is key to the company’s turnaround plans.

Continue reading… “Harley-Davidson’s newest electric concept is aimed at city dwellers — and could help the struggling brand reinvent itself”

0

Tesla proposes microgrids with solar and batteries to power Greek islands

2120x1192-kiuc-powerpack-high-1

Tesla has met with the Greek government to propose ways to modernize the electric grid of the country’s many islands in the Mediterranean sea with microgrids and renewable energy to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.

Several Greek islands are relatively remote and rely heavily on fossil fuels to power their electric grid.

Over the years, Tesla has acquired some experience in building microgrids to power remote islands using solar panels and its energy storage systems, like the Powerpack.

Continue reading… “Tesla proposes microgrids with solar and batteries to power Greek islands”

0

A massive, ‘semi-infinite’ trove of rare-earth metals has been found in Japan

DE2FA787-4F69-4980-BCFA-4D11AE8DCFB6

  • Researchers have found hundreds of years’ worth of rare-earth materials underneath Japanese waters — enough to supply to the world on a “semi-infinite basis,” according to a study published in Nature Publishing Group’s Scientific Reports.
  • Rare-earth metals are crucial in the making of high-tech products such as electric vehicles and batteries, and most of the world has relied on China for almost all of its needs.

Continue reading… “A massive, ‘semi-infinite’ trove of rare-earth metals has been found in Japan”

0

Life-blood of Tesla batteries hits supply limits in Andean mine

 471759170-700x420

For the past nine months, a U.S. company that is the world’s largest producer of lithium—a key ingredient in electric-car batteries—has been locked in battle with the Chilean government over pricing issues, production quotas, and environmental compliance. With no resolution in sight, the fight is sending tremors all the way up the electric vehicle supply chain that provides batteries to Tesla Inc., Nissan Motor Co., Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, and other car makers.

The drama is playing out in the northern reaches of Chile’s Andes Mountains amid the arid and austere Atacama Desert, a vast, high-altitude bowl surrounded by snow-capped volcanic peaks named after ancient gods of the indigenous people. The U.S. company, Albemarle Corp., has taken over a massive salt-flats mine, pumping scarce briny water through dried-out salt marshes and lagoons to extract the prized mineral. A dozen or so miles away, thick flocks of Andean flamingos feed peacefully in a lagoon teaming with tiny shrimp, as they have for countless millennia. But as mining activity surges, water tables are falling amid growing environmental concerns.

Continue reading… “Life-blood of Tesla batteries hits supply limits in Andean mine”

0

Chinese company says it will soon cross $100 battery threshold, slaying the gasoline car

 

91DAB88F-F35D-4846-9450-122CF8F2E09A

 

Envision Group analysts discovered the price curve after purchasing Nissan’s battery division, Envision CEO Lei Zhang said. Getty photoGETTY

Envision Energy will produce batteries for $100 per kilowatt hour by 2020, the Shanghai company’s founder and CEO said at Stanford University, predicting the price will drop to $50 only five years later and end the reign of the internal-combustion engine.

Envision’s analysts realized they could achieve these goals after the company purchased Nissan’s battery division earlier this year, CEO Lei Zhang said at Stanford University’s Global Energy Forum. Stanford just released video of Lei’s remarks, which came in response to a slightly more conservative prediction by Stanford’s Arun Majumdar.

“I have something to add on to Arun’s comment,” Lei said. “He mentioned by 2022 we are able to reach $100 per kilowatt hour, but I say we are able to arrive much earlier. By 2020 we are able to deliver the cost of $100 U.S. Just recently we bought a Japanese battery company, so we have very detailed analyzed this trend of cost, so we are able, probably by 2025, to achieve $50 U.S. dollar per kilowatt hour.”

Continue reading… “Chinese company says it will soon cross $100 battery threshold, slaying the gasoline car”

0

Large “Tesla ships” all-electric container barges are launching this autum

E352F4D1-2E56-48D2-AA2E-23EE8F2B0739

The Dutch company Port-Liner is building two giant all-electric barges dubbed the ‘Tesla ships‘. The company announced that the vessels will be ready by this autumn and will be inaugurated by sailing the Wilhelmina canal in the Netherlands.

The 100 million-euro project supported by a €7m subsidy from the European Union is expected to have a significant impact on local transport between the ports of Amsterdam, Antwerp, and Rotterdam.

Continue reading… “Large “Tesla ships” all-electric container barges are launching this autum”

0

Scientists turn nuclear waste into diamond batteries

2FCEDED0-4CA1-4DB8-BFCF-688A28A9227C

They’ll reportedly last for thousands of years. This technology may someday power spacecraft, satellites, high-flying drones, and pacemakers.

Nuclear energy is carbon free, which makes it an attractive and practical alternative to fossil fuels, as it doesn’t contribute to global warming. We also have the infrastructure for it already in place. It’s nuclear waste that makes fission bad for the environment. And it lasts for so long, some isotopes for thousands of years. Nuclear fuel is comprised of ceramic pellets of uranium-235 placed within metal rods. After fission takes place, two radioactive isotopes are left over: cesium-137 and strontium-90.

These each have half-lives of 30 years, meaning the radiation will be half gone by that time. Transuranic wastes, such as Plutonium-239, are also created in the process. This has a half-life of 24,000 years. These materials are highly radioactive, making them extremely dangerous to handle, even with short-term exposure.

Continue reading… “Scientists turn nuclear waste into diamond batteries”

0

This new Lithium battery tech can simply suck up CO2 to power itself

IMG_9285

We need this right now!

Everybody knows the world’s got a serious carbon dioxide problem, but an ingenious and potentially cost-effective way of dealing with our surplus CO2 could provide the means of tomorrow’s battery technology.

For years scientists have looked at ways of capturing carbon and storing it underground or even potentially in the ocean. But a new system might offer a powerful advantage over these efforts.

Continue reading… “This new Lithium battery tech can simply suck up CO2 to power itself”

0

Tenfold improvement in liquid batteries mean electric car refuelling could take minutes

IMG_8984

Tenfold improvement in liquid batteries mean electric car refuelling could take minutes.

Big companies from around the world have already shown interest in Prof. Lee Cronin’s energy-dense liquid battery.

One of the biggest drawbacks of electric vehicles – that they require hours and hours to charge – could be obliterated by new type of liquid battery that is roughly ten times more energy-dense than existing models, according to Professor Lee Cronin, the Regius Chair of Chemistry at the University of Glasgow, UK.

Continue reading… “Tenfold improvement in liquid batteries mean electric car refuelling could take minutes”

0

A new flow battery prototype aims to store vast amounts of renewable power for the grid

IMG_8022

This ‘flow battery’ could power green homes when the sun goes down and the wind stops blowing.

With solar and wind electricity prices plunging, the hunt is on for cheap batteries to store all this power for use around the clock. Now, researchers have made an advance with a flow battery, the type of battery being developed to soak up enough excess wind and solar power to fuel whole cities. They report the discovery of a potentially cheap, organic molecule that can power a flow battery for years instead of days.

Continue reading… “A new flow battery prototype aims to store vast amounts of renewable power for the grid”

0