The world’s third largest producer of aluminum has teamed up with Israel’s Phinergy to produce a new battery that would make electric vehicles as cost effective as gas- or diesel-fueled vehicles and significantly extends vehicle range.
A supplement to the regular lithium-ion batteries that most electric vehicles use, the battery uses air and water to unlock substantial quantities of energy embedded in aluminum plates. Each vehicle would use roughly 50 of these plates, and just one of them provides enough fuel to power the EV for nearly 22 miles.
This new technology is said to extend the range of a vehicle on a single charge by nearly 1,000 miles. This kind of range would bring EVs in direct competition with conventional cars, and Auto Net claims that costs will be competitive as well. In other words, this battery eliminates the most fundamental barrier to wider spread use of cleaner cars.
“Electric vehicle adoption has been slowed by the limited range of regular batteries,” says Phinergy CEO Aviv Tzidon. “With Phinergy’s technology and Alcoa’s industrial leadership … we see an exciting opportunity to help move electric vehicles into the mainstream.”
Alcoa and Phinergy’s battery reduces emissions, they are recyclable and fully rechargeable, and they offer a high degree of safety without creating a huge expense.
“Alco and Phinergy look forward to collaborating with the Quebec government to advance this technology,” said Martin Briere, president of Alcoa Canada. “Our production facility in Baie-Comeau is well positioned to provide the aluminum for the battery.”
The companies recently tested their new aluminum-air battery at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal and will make a presentation at today’s Canadian International Aluminum Conference in the same city.
While little is said about the amount of aluminum that will be required to scale up production of these new batteries, or what kind of environmental impact that would incur, this technology certainly seems very promising.