UK manufacturer Axeon has successfully led a consortium to develop a new battery pack that could extend the range of electric vehicles by 35 percent. That would be enough to make your Chevy Volt go 50 miles instead of 37 (our real-world range), without ever engaging the engine generator. Thirty-five percent more EV power may sound like modest gains until you consider that electric cars with range extenders like the Volt are already on the cusp of being useful to people who live in the country outside of urban centers. With just 35% more power, folks living as much as 20 miles from towns could enjoy the full benefits of electric cars and range-extended EVs. It could even make fully electric cars viable for people who live deep in the countryside – which is a lot of people in the U.S.
The new Axeon battery uses Nickel Cobalt Manganese (NCM), which requires 50 percent less volume and 30 percent less mass at cell level than lithium ion phosphate chemistry. That means the new technology will also allow increased ground clearance, better weight distribution, and more power, all things that will help take electric vehicle technology to more mainstream vehicles people everywhere find practical for daily use. Axeon CEO Lawrence Berns said, “This project has been a remarkable success and reinforces Axeon’s position as a leading provider of advanced battery technology. This new battery represents a real step forward in the development of electric vehicles and is highly versatile, being suitable for applications for many vehicle manufacturers and across a wide range of platforms.” Axeon is in talks with its partners Ricardo plc and Allied Vehicles to bring the new battery to market.