Lithium ion batteries may be the battery of choice for electric vehicles such as the Prius, but they’e still severely limited, with some batteries needing a recharge after 100 miles. As such, Contour Energy Systems, a self-described portable power company, has stated that it is trying to produce batteries that last 10x longer than the best batteries on the market at the moment. According to the company’s recent press statement, it has reportedly acquired carbon nanotube li-ion battery technology from MIT that can create a “tenfold increase in power.”
Contour explains the new technology on its website:
Carbon nanotubes–sheets of pure carbon atoms rolled up into tiny tubes–”self assemble” into a tightly bound structure that is porous at the nanometer scale (billionths of a meter). “These carbon nanotubes contain numerous functional groups on their surfaces that can store a large number of lithium ions per unit mass,” says Professor Shao-Horn of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering at MIT.
It is hoped that these batteries will not only be able to greatly extend the range of electric vehicles, but produce “high power outputs in short bursts as well as low power outputs over longer periods of time. The batteries also don’t degrade over time, even after 1,000 charge cycles. According to Contour’s studies, its new battery has still not seen any change in recent performance.
These new batteries could transform the next generation of electrical vehicles making them more appealing to consumers with greater charge cycles. However, it is unlikely we will see them in the near future due to the fact that carbon nanotubes aren’t produced in large enough quantities. However if Contour Energy Systems are able to get the new batteries produced on a mass scale, that could soon change.
Via Fast Company
Lead image from Flickr Argonne National Laboratory