Researchers from the University of Rome Sapienza (Italy), Argonne National Laboratory (United States), and Hanyang University (South Korea) have shown that the construction of lithium-air batteries without lithium metal is possible. A lithiated silicon-carbon anode can be used instead. As is the case with many new technologies, there are drawbacks to this one.
Two drawbacks are that such batteries have a lower capacity and a lower voltage than normal lithium-air batteries. However, the new battery is safer and has a greater energy density than lithium-ion batteries.
Lithium-air batteries are being sought by multiple organizations, including IBM, due to the fact that they have the potential to store a stunning 11,140 Wh/kg.
This means that a 24 kWh battery (same size as the Nissan Leaf battery) would weigh only 2.1 kg, or 4.7 pounds! A safe and affordable prototype of such a battery would certainly turn EV research upside down, because battery weight is one of the greatest issues facing EVs today. It would translate into longer driving range, higher performance, and higher efficiency.
Notably, the multiple hundreds of pounds that EV batteries usually weigh shorten vehicle range and slow them down, both very significantly. Smaller, more powerful batteries could really boost the EV revolution forward.
Source: Green Car Congress