Friday, April 20, 2012

IBM speeds push for 500-mile EV battery

IBM speeds push for 500-mile EV battery:
An air-breathing battery: the basic chemistry of a lithium air battery is to combine oxygen from the air with lithium ions to create lithium peroxide and the reverse reaction during charge and discharge. (Credit: IBM) Ten years from now, range anxiety for electric cars could be a thing of the past. IBM today announced two partners for a project aimed at building a lithium air battery able to propel an electric car 500 miles. Scientists from Asahi Kasei and Central Glass with expertise in membranes and electrolyte chemistries will join IBM researchers on the initiative. Called the Battery 500 Project, the goal is to design an "air-breathing" battery that will use oxygen from the air to drive a new type of battery chemical reaction and, in the process, deliver a big jump in EV range potential. The company hopes to have a working demonstration by the end of next year. The fact that IBM Research has expanded the research team with these two companies and other unnamed ones is a sign that the ambitious effort is on the right track, said Winfried Wilcke, principal investigator at IBM Research who started the project in 2009. Materials scientists for years have been pursuing lithium air batteries, which use oxygen from the air to react with lithium ions to discharge and charge electric energy. It still remains in the realm of research but Wilcke said that IBM has made progre... [Read more]

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