With a total driving range of less than 100 miles, today’s electric cars do not represent a complete alternative to a traditional gas or diesel-powered car. General Motors is reportedly developing new technology that would boost an electric car’s range up to 200 miles on a single charge. GM CEO Dan Akerson recently stated that the GM-backed Envia Systems has made a huge breakthrough in the amount of energy a lithium-ion battery can hold.
The Newark, CA-based company and GM estimate that the new battery can power an electric car up to 100 miles, but their goal is to reach 200 miles between charges. “I think we’ve got better than a 50-50 chance to develop a car that will go to 200 miles on a charge,” Akerson said. “That would be a game changer.”
Currently, GM’s Chevy Volt can only travel up to 35 miles on a single charge, before its range-extender engine kicks in. Tesla has managed to get more than 100 miles out of its electric models, but its battery packs are larger and much more expensive than the unit that powers the Volt. Envia Systems also stated earlier this year that the new battery technology will be much cheaper than the current lithium-ion units, which would dramatically drop the prices of future electric vehicles.
General Motors hopes that the new battery technology will be ready in the next two to four years.