Published on March 18th, 2014 | by James Ayre


Lithium-Air Battery Technology Continuing To Move Forward — Big Improvements To Design Made By Researchers

March 18th, 2014 by  

Editor’s Note: Lithium-air batteries aren’t around the corner just yet, but they are one of the battery technologies that major auto corporations and researchers seem to have a lot of faith in. News regarding another step forward is below, via EV Obsession.

Lithium-Air Batteries Take Step Forward (via EV Obsession)

The technology of lithium-air batteries continues to move forward — with recent work by researchers from Mie University in Japan showing that one of the primary issues with the technology can be effectively addressed — improving the design, to limit…

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's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • Wayne Williamson

    Why am I still buying lead acid or NiCad or NiMh or even alkaline batteries cheaper than Li. It makes no sense. Most of the factories are automated so its not a “human” factor. The actual chemical element costs should also be trivial……

  • Omega Centauri

    They will have to get well beyond a hundred charge/discharge cycles before becoming useful. Several thousand cycles (several years of daily use) is more like it.

    • Bob_Wallace

      1,000 cycles should be more than enough with 200 mile range EVs.

      200 * 1,000 = 200,000.

      If EVs could hold range for 150k miles then that would be acceptable. A higher mileage car would be pretty well worn out and more than 50% of the initial range would remain. That would make for a cheap commuter vehicle for those with limited budgets.

      • Omega Centauri

        I’m not sure what lots of short trips (is that lots of partial charge/discharge cycles?) would do to the battery. The actual damage functions are not usually easily described.

        • Bob_Wallace

          My understanding is that with some battery technologies shallow cycling is no more degrading than deep cycling. Four 20% discharge cycles = one 80% cycle.

          • Actually, it’s even better than that. Shallow cycling is less damaging. So it could be like: “Ten 20% discharge cycles = one 80% cycle”.

  • Jouni Valkonen

    It is rather silly that other car companies still refuses to admit that Tesla already has high enough energy density of batteries (around 250 Wh / kg) and Tesla batteries are already affordable enough for electric vehicles. Tesla gigafactory will bring battery cost futher 30–50 % down due to scale benefits.

    Therefore focusing on these kinds of revolutionary battery technologies are more an excuse for not selling and manufacturing electric vehicles.

    There should be 100 % penalty tax for ICE cars that are more expensive than $42 000 before taxes (i.e. more expensive than BMW i3). This would enforce car companies to invest on electric car technology and also the rich would pay the development cost of EV technology.

    But naturally as the middle class envies the rich, the middle class voters get furious, if the rich few percent faces extra tax penalties.

    • Banned by Bob

      You had a good argument going for the first two paragraphs. And then you slipped into a class warfare rant.

      • Jouni Valkonen

        yup, naturally it is a class warfare, if you are advocating pollution taxes for the rich 2 %. Better let the middle class pay taxes as they are doing the productive work in the first place.

        The rich can also buy an electric luxury car in order to avoid this tax.

        • Banned by Bob

          Is there any other behavior modification for the rich that you suggest, or is that it for today?

          You’re suggesting that the rich aren’t productive? Why don’t you pass that message along to Musk, Jobs, Zuckerberg, Ellison, Dorsey, Hamm and other enterprising entrepreneurs who help improve our lives daily.

          • Jouni Valkonen

            Of course Musk is productive. He has two full time jobs, so he deserves at least twice as high salary as your average highly skilled engineer.

            The point is that in winner-take-all economy, payroll does not reflect actual productivity of person. E.g. JB Straubel could well take the job of Musk and almost nothing would change in Tesla. Often flashy entrepreneurs are credited for the company success, but actually it is the engineers who are doing the dirty work. If Musk had not filled the niche of electric car company someone else had done that.

            Especially this is the case with Zuckerberg, who was a just lucky nerd. It is next to zero value what Zuckerberg has produced, but Zuckerberg happened to be the first in the Winner-take-all markets. Facebook could and should function as open Wikipedia like nonprofitable foundation, but instead current market regulations creates artificial markets for IT companies that can exploit natural monopolies that are emerging in the Internet and social networking business.

          • Banned by Bob

            Total cop out on those arguments. If Musk had not filled… But he did and no one else had. Neither you nor I did and he deserves the credit. Like saying someone else would have invented the IPhone. Maybe, but they didn’t.

            You can say what should have happened, or that you don’t like a product because it’s a for profit model. So what’s stopping you from creating that?

          • Jouni Valkonen

            First, you need to have hundreds of millions capital to create companies such as Tesla or SpaceX.

            If we give every promising and “visionary” enterpreneur 100 million capital it is is pretty much sure that there will pop out quite many Tesla’s and SpaceX’s.

          • Banned by Bob

            No one GAVE him hundreds of millions of $. He had to convince people that his ideas were a good investment. That is very difficult to do with any startup. Have you ever tried to do that? If you did, you might start to appreciate entrepreneurs just a bit more.

          • Jouni Valkonen

            No, Musk put all his own money into SpaceX and Tesla. He was near personal bankruptcy in 2008 when both SpaceX and Tesla had hard time and Elon already had spent all his Paypal fortune. Daimler saved Tesla just few hours before Tesla’s bankruptcy.

    • The Dutch tax on new cars is dependent on CO2 emissions. That is better than just based on price. In your proposal the XL1 would be taxed to death.

      • Jouni Valkonen

        XL1 is in general very bad car compared to e.g. 48 kWh Nissan Leaf.

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