New EV batteries will half costs and double mileage range

German electronics group Bosch has announced it will have a solid-state battery market ready by 2020 that will half the costs of current batteries while doubling the mileage range.

Bosch believe that its new batteries, which switch out graphite anodes for more practical lithium anodes without the need for any liquid electrolytes, will need no cooling time and be significantly lighter and cheaper to manufacture.

Bosch’s chairman of the board of management Dr. Volkmar Denner said: “Bosch is using its knowledge and considerable financial resources to achieve a breakthrough for electromobility.”

The announcement coincides with Bosch’s purchase of Silicon Valley-based start-up Seeo, which already has samples of this type of battery, which will allow electric vehicles (EVs) to drive double the standard range of current EVs without the use of charging points.

Bosch believes that in Europe, more than a third of all new cars will be electrically powered – the majority as plug-in hybrids – by 2025. Currently, a battery in a Tesla Model S weighs 1,200 pounds and costs $12,000, with a range of 275 miles.

Revving up

Earlier this month, Nissan added a new 30Kwh battery to its flagship Leaf electric vehicle, improving its driving range by 25%. The Leaf, which previously ran on 24Kwh batteries, now has a driving range of 155 miles on a single charge thanks to the improved battery, a world first according to the company.

Audi has also moved into the EV market, unveiling concept designs for its first all-electric SUV. The company claim the concept car – the Audi e-tron Quattro – would have a battery range of more than 310 miles.

The automotive industry is currently reeling after this week’s revelation that Volkswagen has been rigging the emission tests of its cars by fitting technology designed to reduce emissions during testing. Almost a million tonnes of extra pollution has reportedly been released by VW cars, with the scandal culminating in the resignation of chief executive Martin Winterkorn

Research centre

In other EV battery news this week, UK-based waste management firm Axion Consulting has joined a £14m vehicle battery research project. The project, led by the University of Warwick, aims to create new automotive battery pack manufacturing research centre which will develop innovative batteries for the next generation of electric and hybrid vehicles.

Axion’s role in the project is to manage the recycling and reuse of discarded batteries as well as researching methods to extract valuable metals from any unwanted batteries. The project will supply and collaborate with the likes of Jaguar Land Rover, JCB and Delta Motorsport.

Axion senior engineer Sam Haig said: “There could be potential in the future to extend this type of work to other lithium ion batteries, such as those in laptops and mobile phones.”

Matt Mace

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