To power smartphone or Tesla Model 3, nothing is better than the lithium-ion battery. Since its launch in 90s, the rechargeable lithium battery has been usual for current technology devices and the power supply of electric vehicles. More than 3 million EVs around the globe use many lithium-ion batteries. But as the world progresses into an electric future, it needs something enhanced than just keeping up with the lithium-ion battery.
“Lithium is at present striking on the wall, if you really want to increase energy density, you have to adopt a completely different paradigm,” says a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Maryland, Yifei Mo. However, more energy density means lighter and cheaper batteries that last longer with a single charge.
Fortunately, some startups try to build cheaper, better, more energy-efficient batteries for consumer technology and industrial products with a supercharger, and electric vehicles that charge faster and travel long distances. Starting this year, several battery start-ups, which consider major improvements over current lithium technology, are expected to bring their cells into the commercial market.
Emerging variations of the current lithium-ion battery required approximately 10 Years of research. Only now the start-ups prepare for the commercial sector, a commitment that lasts at least a few years or even a decade.
The long development schedule of these new organizations shows the complexity of battery technology. And if improving the range of electric vehicles is surely one of the most significant consequences of a better battery, the heir of the current lithium-ion battery is likely to be in much smaller products.
However the long development tenure of battery can be a sign of how complex it could be for these startups to push the battery technology ahead.