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The future of electric vehicle batteries: What’s on the horizon

As you have learned from previous articles, the electric vehicle battery is arguably the most expensive part of an EV. Although the price of the EV battery has dropped significantly with the use of the ever-popular lithium-ion batteries and steadily increasing production volumes, you can look forward to further drops in prices as EV battery design has improved and cheaper materials are used in their manufacture.

In this article, we shall take a look at future EV battery technology. 

EV battery trends to look forward to

A key challenge with EV battery cells lies in it containing certain materials that are not only expensive, but also non-sustainable. A good example would be cobalt, which can only be mined from the Democratic Republic of Congo. While we can see relatively little change in the EV battery pack design in the future, the main concern of EV battery manufacturing is the use of materials that are not only cheaper, but are also sustainable for the long term. 

Batteries with Reduced Cobalt Content

There are currently two types of lithium-ion batteries with greatly reduced cobalt content in the market. 

General Motors’ Ultium NMCA utilizes 70% less cobalt, compensating with a greater proportion of nickel and aluminum. 

Lithium-iron phosphate (LiFP) batteries, meanwhile, are being used in the low-end Tesla Model 3. These batteries have lithium-iron phosphate cathodes, a cheaper and mineral-abundant alternative. They are also less prone to fires compared to lithium-ion types.

Cobalt-Free Batteries

Researchers at Chinese company SVOLT want to do away with cobalt entirely, advancing future EV battery technology.

The result is the NMX battery, available in 115 Ah and 226 Ah. Its cathodes contain no cobalt, but 89 percent nickel, with aluminum and manganese. It boasts of a higher energy density with a range of 500 miles on a single charge.

Solid-state Cells

These battery cells have a solid, instead of liquid, electrolyte, resulting in a more stable battery with larger storage capacity and faster charging time. 

A good example of a solid-state battery is being developed from Toyota, which utilizes sulfide superionic conductors that operate at super capacitor levels with a charging time of just 7 minutes.

Carbon Nanotube Electrodes

Available since 2023, the carbon nanotube battery boasts vertically aligned carbon nanotubes that can boost battery power 10 times, compared to other battery packs.

It also has three times more energy storage and five times increase in the battery lifecycle. This battery can be charged to up to 80% in just 5 minutes.

Batteries made from Sand

Future EV battery technology includes the development of batteries which utilize pure silicon obtained from sand, one of the most plentiful substances available. This battery has three times improved performance in comparison with current graphite-containing lithium-ion batteries.

Silicon Anode Batteries

The University of Eastern Finland is working on a silicon anode battery. This is a hybrid anode, consisting of mesoporous silicon microparticles and carbon nanotubes.

Similar to sand batteries, researchers plan on replacing graphite with silicon in the anode. It has 10 times greater capacity with more improved battery performance. It is also more sustainable as silicon is sourced from barley husk ash.

Ryden Dual Carbon Tech Batteries

Being developed by Power Japan Plus, the Ryden Dual Carbon Tech Batteries are built for durability and faster charging compared with lithium-ion batteries.

These can already be manufactured by factories that are already making lithium-ion batteries. Additionally, the Ryden Dual Carbon Tech battery promises greater sustainability, is environment-friendly, and boasts a faster charging time by up to 20 times that of conventional batteries.

Zinc-Air Batteries

Zinc-Air batteries are presently under development at Sydney University. Their appeal is that they are temperature-stable and not as fire-prone compared to lithium-ion batteries. However, their components are expensive, so researchers are looking into cheaper alternatives.

Aluminum-Air Batteries

Yet another trend in future EV battery technology are aluminum-air batteries.

These utilize oxygen obtained from air to fill the cathode, producing a battery that is much lighter because it doesn’t contain a liquid electrolyte like lithium-ion batteries. It also promises a much greater driving range. A recent test conducted on an experimental car resulted in a driving range of 1,000 miles on a single charge.

Graphene Batteries

Developed by the company Graphenano, graphene batteries have 33 times faster charging and depletion time than lithium-ion batteries. It has a driving range of 500 miles and faster recharging time lasting just a few minutes.

Nanowire Batteries

If you are looking for a battery that will never die, then you should look forward to nanowire batteries. These batteries contain gold nanowires that are a thousand times thinner than a human hair. These nanowires are laid on an electrolyte gel to prevent degradation during recharging. Still in the experimental stage, a recent test demonstrated the battery being recharged 200,000 times in a three-month period but showed no signs of degradation.

Promoting sustainability in EV batteries

As can be seen in the mobility trends for electric vehicles, sustainability in an EV battery is being promoted with the use of sustainable and environmentally friendly materials. A future advantage is the elimination of cobalt, which is a toxic mineral, while manufacturing EV batteries. 

Researchers exploring sand and oxygen as sustainable battery materials have predicted that future EV battery technology will come sooner than expected between the years 2023 to 2030. 

How ENNOVI is reshaping the future of EV batteries

ENNOVI, a top provider of customized interconnect solutions, integrated modules, and high-precision systems for next-generation electric mobility. 

One such interconnect technology is the ENNOVI CellConnect cell contacting system, which promises higher energy densities and current flow stability and greater energy storage. At present, the ENNOVI CellConnect contacting system is being utilized with battery modules containing cylindrical and prismatic cells.


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