Plug In America recently asked the question, “Which electric vehicles have the longest range?” It then dove in to answer that question. I’m going diving with them.
So far, there are around 50 models of EVs available on the US market. This includes both battery-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Plug In America provided a list of the vehicles with the longest range. I think you know which vehicles top the list in the all-electric category — or which brand, I should say.
Tesla leads the range game, with its 2020 Model S reaching 402 miles of range.
- 2020 Model S Long Range — 402 miles
- 2021 Model X Long Range — 371 miles
- Tesla Model 3 Long Range — 322 miles
- Tesla Model Y AWD — 316 miles
- Tesla Model 3 Performance — 299 miles
- Tesla Model Y Performance — 291 miles
- Chevy Bolt — 259 miles
- Hyundai Kona Electric — 258 miles
- Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus — 250 miles
- Kia Niro EV — 239 miles
- Nissan LEAF PLUS — 229 miles
The Future Of Battery Range Is Long
It has been happening quietly unless you’re well tied into the EV world, but it should be noted that battery technology has been advancing tremendously in recent years. Take a look at how Nissan LEAF range changed from 2011 to 2020 while its price remained approximately the same.
Battery range is a very important factor in electric vehicles. In 2019, IndustryWeek published an article highlighting range anxiety as the largest challenge to large-scale adoption of EVs. We have long pointed out here on CleanTechnica — longer than I’ve been writing — that it’s not really range anxiety as much as it is “range anxiety anxiety” — the anxiety people who don’t have EVs have about potentially having range anxiety if they get an EV.
In that same article, the author noted that global tech market advisory firm ABI Research forecasted that improvements in battery technology will create a path for an installed EV base of 100 million by 2028. We expect a much higher number than that.
“The only way to significantly advance energy density is to add silicon to the Li-ion battery. The current approach of adding silicon in small incremental percentages (<10%) will enable energy density increases to 300 Wh/kg over the next 3–5 years,” Hodgson explained to IndustryWeek — a year ago.
During Tesla’s Battery Day event last month, Tesla’s SVP of Powertrain and Energy Engineering, Drew Baglino, spoke about silicon: “It’s awesome because it’s the most abundant element in the Earth’s crust after oxygen, which means it’s everywhere. It’s sand,” he said. Elon Musk pointed out that sand is silicon dioxide, which is also quartz. In fact, many mineral varieties have some form of quartz in them. Sand, to be precise, forms when rocks break down from weathering and eroding over thousands to millions of years. Sand gets its silica from quartz.
Years ago, I first came across quartz from my mentor, who studied metaphysics and learned that quartz stored energy. Even though that’s another topic for another blog, this is especially true in the realm of science. In 2016, Futurism published an article about a quartz coin that can store 360 terabytes of data for 14 billion years. The data is stored in slivers of quartz glass (glass is made from sand). In a previous article, Futurism noted that the data on those slivers can be stored for 300 million years.
Researchers at Southamton University were able to do this by developing a technique of storing data digitally using a laser light. If you can store the entire whole of human history in quartz crystals, surely you can store a lot of energy for EV batteries to use as well. “And it happens to store nine times more lithium than graphite, which is the typical anode material in lithium-ion batteries today,” Baglino said at Tesla’s Battery Day event last month.
IndustryWeek also pointed out that between 2023 and 2025, we should expect continually increasing use of silicon in batteries, to the point where developments will enable silicon-dominant anodes. ABI Research believes that this is the next logical step. Batteries that are primarily silicon-dominant would most likely enable energy densities of up to 400 Wh/kg by 2025, the article stated.
It’s pretty amazing. I have quite a few quartz crystals just scattered around my home. Some for decor, some to make jewelry and art with, and some my cat and kitten both enjoy batting around the house despite the pretty toys I buy them. It’s amazing to think that all these quartz crystals, and the varieties I have in my collection, could be used not only in battery technology, but could hold a lot of data.
Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.