The battery is the heart of the electric car. Fraunhofer researchers have developed an energy storage device which is significantly more cost-effective over the entire life cycle in comparison with previous models. If one of the more than one hundred battery cells is defective, it can be replaced easily. Until now, the entire battery had to be replaced.
Researchers have developed the first battery using sodium ions in the usual '18650' format, an industry standard. The main advantage of the prototype is that it relies on sodium, an element far more abundant and less costly than lithium.
Three technologies - a computational tool to improve power grid planning, a process to create biofuel from kelp and a hybrid device that makes hydrogen and stores energy - are being developed under new projects just announced by ARPA-E.
The transportation sector has the capacity to nearly halve its CO2 emissions by 2050 and, hence, to contribute far more than previously thought to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Realizing this would require further efficiency improvement and, especially, promotion of public transport in cities, alongside with a large-scale shift to electric cars.
A key issue with lithium ion batteries is aging. It significantly reduces their potential storage capacity. To date, very little is known about the causes of the aging effects. Scientists have now come a step closer to identifying the causes in their latest experiments.