Leyden Energy constructed a new type of lithium-ion battery that it claims has an energy density of 225 Wh/kg, nearly twice that of typical lithium-ion batteries, which is usually less than 120 Wh/kg.
It said that it was able to manufacture them like this safely due to the fact that they can be operated at high temperatures without breaking down or exploding. More energy-dense lithium-ion batteries tend to explode more violently and are hence more dangerous than traditional ones, but they provide electric vehicles with a longer driving distance per charge.
Lithium-ion battery explosions are not common, but the fact that they can is a concern to many people… and it would have a pretty bad effect on the public perception of EVs if people saw them exploding when they shouldn’t.
This type of battery is constructed with a graphite current collector and the sodium imide in the electrolyte. The current collector is made of graphite because a traditional aluminium one would be corroded by the sodium imide.
Energy density is actually a financial problem for electric vehicles due to the fact that a better energy density translates into a reduced number of batteries required, hence reducing the cost of the vehicles significantly (since the batteries account for an enormous fraction of their cost). A breakthrough in energy density like this, if true and without drawbacks, could mean great news for EV companies and EV lovers.
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Image: screenshot of Leyden Energy website
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