Will we all embrace a fully electric, emissions-free future? If so, we’re going to need to invest money into a familiar piece of technology: batteries. The electric vehicle battery of the future could take many different forms as departments across the world are experimenting with various technologies to produce the cheapest, lightest, most energy-efficient, and longest-lasting battery packs.
The Future of EV Batteries
By 2030, electric vehicles could exceed 50% of total automotive sales in markets. If that number is to be proved correct then EV batteries have a time of transition to go through. Today, the majority of electric cars use lithium-ion batteries, similar to the ones we find in our smartphones. However, customers are demanding longer ranges, faster charging, and durable batteries to help them get from A to B more efficiently. So, what does the future of EV batteries look like?
In the future, the chemical makeup of electric car batteries will change. Most electric car batteries are made of a combination of metals like lithium, cobalt, and nickel. Researchers are also looking into lithium-sulphur batteries to eliminate those expensive metals. Lithium-Sulphur technology has the potential to offer cheaper, lighter batteries that also offer safety advantages.
Sodium-ion batteries are also fast-gaining interest due to their lesser cost. However, a major downside is that sodium is heavier and less appropriate for storing energy than lithium.
Solid-state batteries offer one of the most encouraging future replacements for current EV battery tech. Battery cells would use a ceramic electrolyte as an alternative to the organic liquids seen in today’s batteries. This greatly reduces the risk of fire and allows for more energy-dense battery packs with a longer life expectancy and even faster charging.
According to Toyota, we can expect solid-state batteries to be in production as soon as 2025.
When the first mass-market EVs launched over a decade ago, the average electric range was just 68 miles. Fast forward to 2020 and the average electric car range was 259 miles! As customers clamor for further range in their EV, we can expect to see a shift in priority with manufacturers to meet this need first.
Solid-state batteries may hold the key to unlocking more range. These batteries use solid electrolytes instead of the liquid electrolytes found in current EV batteries. However, it may be numerous years before this technology reaches the market, but when it does, experts predict it could double the range of current EVs.
All EV batteries are rated for a number of ‘cycles’. Nearly all manufacturers offer a five to an eight-year warranty on their battery, though it’s anticipated that the average electric car battery will last from 10 – 20 years before it needs to be replaced.
The average lifespan of an EV battery could be set to increase three-fold with the emergence of solid-state batteries.
Wireless charging could remove electric car charging cable theft, get rid of potential trip or collision hazards for other road or sidewalk users, and reduce unnecessary clutter on the roadside.
There’s a lot to be excited about when it comes to EV batteries. New technologies could mean it’s soon possible to travel increasingly far on just a single charge, and that our EV batteries could soon be charged in a matter of minutes.