In Japan, a report states that NEC has developed technology that improves the storage capacity of lithium-ion batteries by at least 30%, which paves the way for EVs to achieve long-distance travel.
With the technology, a typical EV will be able to get around 260 km on a single charge, up from 200 km now. Commercialisation is targeted within two years, the Nikkei reports.
The challenge has been to increase the voltage to improve the battery’s capacity while minimising the formation of life-shortening gases inside the unit. The company says it has developed electrodes and electrolytes that cut down on the formation of gases at high voltage, thus improving capacity without needing the likes of cobalt in the electrodes.
The company currently manufactures lithium-ion batteries in Kanagawa Prefecture for its own power storage systems, but also supplies electrode materials to its battery joint venture with Nissan, which uses Li-ion batteries in the Leaf.
Batteries using the new tech will have a comparable life and production costs to those in the Leaf, but would offer a 30% improved operating range. NEC is looking to sell the newly-developed electrode materials to other firms as well. It’s not the only cutting-edge tech to have surfaced – a quartet of companies recently announced that they were banding up to build new lithium-ion battery material.