One of the major problems for electric vehicles today is that they come with limited range. Due to this, such vehicles couldn’t have been employed on a mass scale. However, IBM is working on a lithium air battery which may solve these problems by enabling a car to go 500 miles!
IBM has recently brought on board two partners for the project, namely Asahi Kasei and Central Glass. Scientists from these two partners will be joining IBM to further work on the Battery 500 project. The two institutes have expertise in membranes and electrolytes chemistries.
The Battery 500 project aims to procure a truly revolutionary project which will resolve the range concerns for electric cars. The design of the battery is aimed to be such that it will use oxygen from the air to result in a chemical reaction. This, in turn, will be able to achieve a huge bump in the range of electric vehicles.
Apparently, IBM is really hopeful with the project and seems to be on the right track to achieve the objectives. According to the principal investigator at IBM Research, Winfried Wilcke, ‘Unlike what we originally thought, we know we have a really good electrochemical reaction. The problems now are secondary. There are still tremendous engineering challenges ahead so there’s no hope of it happening this decade.’
With this project, IBM aims to creating a battery that could juice up an EV for up to 500 miles. This could really change things for the EV industry which hasn’t caught up much primarily because of the limitations on the range of such cars. IBM intends to change this by allowing for greater mileage in lesser energy density.
Although Wilcke is very hopeful about the project, he is also a little unsure, ‘What I’m not certain about is what the cost will be. It’s just too early and it depends on all kinds of different things. The overall trend is that I’m feeling more optimistic as time goes by, rather than less.’