Wednesday, December 4, 2013

No. 815: New material for lithium-ion battery capable of storing three times more electricity (December 3, 2013)

Sekisui Chemical developed a new material for lithium-ion battery that can store three times more electricity than the existing material. The new material will allow an electric vehicle to travel 600 km per charge. The company also developed a material that can simplify the production process of a lithium-ion battery, and the new material is expected to reduce the production cost of lithium-ion battery by 60%. Sekisui Chemical will start to ship samples to battery makers both at home and abroad in 2014. Mass production is scheduled for 2015.

The company used silicon in place of carbon-based material for the material to store electricity because silicon can store more electricity. It created an alloy by combining the new material with metal and successfully increased the durability that is the critical problem in practical application of silicon. It also developed a new material for electrolyte. Because what is required is to apply it to silicon, equipment to inject liquid into battery is not necessary. Furthermore, battery production per hour will increase 10 times. 

An EV is loaded with a battery that costs two million yen to build. The new material from Sekisui Chemical will reduce the cost by more than 60%. That is, the production cost of a lithium-ion battery will go down from 100,000 yen per kW to 30,000 yen per kW. The auto industry reckons that the price of an EV will become as low as a gasoline vehicle should the battery price per kW go down to 30,000 yen.   
 The performance of a lithium-ion battery improves fast

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