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Lithium-ion

One of the stars of the Chinese automotive industry is Shenzen-based BYD, which although only sixth largest of the Chinese manufacturers, had the country's top selling individual vehicle last year in the form of the BYD F3 (a Toyota Corolla E120 clone). Now, after substantive testing of its e6 all-electric model in taxi and company fleets, the five-seater 75 kW, 87 mph crossover has gone on sale to the Chinese public, with a (claimed) range of 300 km (186 miles), which would give it the longest range of any EV in the world at present. It also has a smartphone-based information system which seems at least as advanced as anything currently available anywhere. Read More
Lithium-ion batteries have certainly been a boon to electronic devices, offering much longer run times than their alkaline counterparts. There is still room for improvement, however. Existing lithium batteries can short circuit, they don't stand up to damage, and they can only be made in a limited variety of shapes. Now, scientists from the University of Leeds have developed a polymer gel that could be used to make lithium batteries with none of those shortcomings - plus, they should be cheaper. Read More
Last year MIT researchers reported improving the efficiency of lithium-air batteries through the use of electrodes with gold or platinum catalysts. MIT News is now reporting that in a continuation of that work, researchers have been able to further increase the energy storage capacity of lithium-air batteries for a given weight by creating carbon-fiber-based electrodes. Read More
There have been numerous attempts at designing partially transparent gadgets over the years, with the LG GD900 cell phone being a notable example. Fully translucent mobile devices are difficult to produce, however, as they would require a fully see-through battery, which hasn't been available yet. Stanford University researchers now claim to have developed such a device - a see-through, flexible, lithium-ion battery, suitable for powering mobile gadgets like cell phones, tablets or e-readers. Read More
Range anxiety, the fear that such vehicles will leave the vehicle's occupants stranded well short of their destination, remains one of, if not the main barrier to the widespread adoption of EVs. A new material developed by Japanese company Sumitomo Electric could help allay such fears by potentially improving the capacity of lithium-ion batteries by 1.5 to three times, and therefore extending the range of EVs by by an extra 50 to 200 percent. That would give a Nissan LEAF a range of up to 109 to 219 miles (175 to 352 km) or a Tesla Roadster a range of up to 366 to 732 miles (589 to 1,178 km) - enough to assuage the range anxiety of the most fretful drivers. Read More
Outdoor types who need power for mobile devices away from the grid may find themselves carrying solar chargers or battery packs but, as we reported last year, hydrogen fuel cells offer instant juice benefits and zero degradation. Now, Stockholm's myFC and SiGNa Chemistry have teamed up to launch the PowerTrekk, a pocket-sized, portable charging solution that combines the convenience of a battery pack with the instant power of a hydrogen fuel cell. Read More
The Automotive X PRIZE’s aim of inspiring a new generation of viable, super-efficient vehicles may be realized this year with one of the winning vehicles set to go into production. At the 2011 Detroit Auto Show, North Carolina’s Li-ion Motors, which took out the prize in the Alternative Side-by-Side sub-class of the competition with the Wave II, announced its intention to bring that electric car to the public this year alongside the Inizio, the world’s first all-American all-electric supercar. Read More
Because battery technology hasn’t developed as quickly as the electronic devices they power, a greater and greater percentage of the volume of these devices is taken up by the batteries needed to keep them running. Now a team of researchers working at the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (CINT) is claiming to have created the world’s smallest battery, and although the tiny battery won’t be powering next year’s mobile phones, it has already provided insights into how batteries work and should enable the development of smaller and more efficient batteries in the future. Read More
The first virus to be discovered was the Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) back in 1898. It is a rigid, rod-shaped virus that, under an electron microscope, looks like uncooked spaghetti. This widespread virus devastates tobacco, tomatoes, peppers and other plants, but engineers have managed to harness and exploit the self-replicating and self-renewing characteristics of TMV to build tiny components for more efficient lithium-ion batteries. Read More
We've covered a number of iPhone portable chargers in the past, ranging from the well-known Mophie Juice Pack to the environmentally friendly iCharge Dx. There are countless solutions that will ensure that your green battery indicator icon stays fully green, the difference with this iPhone charger is that it's been designed to resemble that very same indicator graphic. Appropriately, it's called the Icon. Read More
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