In order to meet President Obama’s ambitious goal of one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015, today’s electric vehicles will need to be improved substantially. Batteries, many experts agree, are the component of electric cars that are holding most consumers back. Despite more than two centuries of battery innovation, today’s car batteries remain costly and inefficient compared to other consumer options.
That’s why researchers at Argonne National Laboratory are experimenting with various changes to battery designs. Replacing lithium cathodes with mixes of cobalt, manganese or nickel could boost the energy capacity of car batteries by 100%. Argonne is also working with silicone anodes (as opposed to conventional carbon anodes) in an effort to increase the charge a battery can hold.A row of plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) battery cells. Photo: Argonne National Laboratory
The partnership between Argonne and EcoCAR is helping to make electric and other alternative-fuel vehicles a reality. Argonne even installed several charging stations on its campus recently to encourage the use of electric vehicles. As Argonne experiments with new technologies like redesigned batteries and charging stations, the EcoCAR teams have implemented cutting-edge technologies into their vehicles!
Click here to read a recent article from The New York Times about Argonne’s battery research.