Batteries Beyond Lithium?

Donald Sadoway of MIT’s Department of Materials Science Engineering is investigating other potential approaches to batteries.

Published: 05-Feb-2009

By Jim Motavalli

Could it be that the “killer app” automotive battery carmakers are frantically trying to find will not use lithium technology? One of the country’s most respected battery researchers, Donald Sadoway of MIT’s Department of Materials Science Engineering, is beginning to think so.

The holy grail is a battery that can carry a car 200 miles on a single charge, and do it reliably over eight to 10 years. And it has to do it affordably. “Sure, we can build a lithium-ion battery with 200-mile range,” Sadoway said, “but to be able to manufacture it at the General Motors or Chrysler price point is the problem. The whole system has to be crashworthy, which adds enormous costs to the enterprise.”


The new batteries will make the GM Hybrid System nearly three times more powerful than the system it replaces. Pictured is 2009 Saturn Vue Green Line with Two-mode hybrid drive.

Dramatic developments in stored-power technology make electric cars more viable than ever. Pictures is Th!nk Global's new Ox crossover vehicle.

Chrysler is looking to develop their next generation of plug-ins to compete directly with GM's upcoming 2010 Volt using GE's 'dual-battery' energy storage system.


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