Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pursuing a Battery So Electric Vehicles Can Go the Extra Miles

The New York Times: Published September 14, 2009

SAN JOSE, Calif. — A future generation lithium-air battery might be the much sought after power source for electric vehicles with ranges that match gasoline powered cars of today.

The interest in the as-yet-unproven technology was underscored this summer when I.B.M. said it had begun to pursue a tenfold improvement in battery storage, with hopes of reaching the goal before the end of the next decade.

I.B.M. executives said the company was unlikely to enter the battery business directly but was aiming toward a partnership that would marry its hardware and systems design expertise with ultralight battery technology.

Such a strategy would follow the lead of Tesla Motors, a new California company that produced a high-end electric roadster based on a computerized and sensor-based battery system. Tesla put 6,800 standard lithium-ion battery cells designed for consumer electronic products into a 992 pound package.

“I strongly believe that climbing this Mount Everest of 10 times better, given resources, time and patience, will happen,” said Winfried Wilcke, a physicist and I.B.M.’s senior manager for nanoscale science and technology here at the Almaden Research Center. “This is simply so overwhelming in its simplicity and its clarity and the socioeconomic consequences it would have, that it deserves a Manhattan-like effort.” Continue reading the Original Post Here

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