Currently, the total number of electronic vehicles stand to be in the lower 10% of the total vehicle quota that roam the streets around the world. Following a worldwide trend for lowering fuel usage, the total quotient for EV’s might be hitting high 30’s by the year 2025. At present, Norway is the only country in the world which has a surplus of EV’s surpassing the number of petrol and diesel-powered cars.
The main components that make an EV desirable are the driving unit and the battery that powers the driving unit. While the current generation of EV’s boasts a driving range of 200 miles on average, it takes charging times ranging in the deep 3-4 hours range depending on your location. However, that technology might quickly take a turn for the better as a group from the Korean Institute of Science and Technology have succeeded in developing a silicon anode to replace the currently used graphite anode which boosts the performance factor tenfold.
While this is not the first time that Silicone has been utilized for making a battery, it is, however, the first time that it has been actually stabilized for usage. Silicone usually packs ten times energy-storing capacity than graphite.
The KIST researchers claimed to have solved the issue by drying the material, literally. They mixed silicone and corn starch with water and then heated the mixture by means of a “simple thermal process” in order to seal the composite result. This resulted in composite stores four times the energy than graphite nodes. It also makes charging the anode to an astounding 80 % of its capacity in a mere 5 minutes. And in simple EV fashion, the process is completely eco-friendly.
“We were able to develop carbon-silicon composite materials using common, everyday materials and simple mixing and thermal processes with no reactors,” the lead researcher, Hun-Gi Jung said. “The simple processes we adopted and the composites with excellent properties that we developed are highly likely to be commercialized and mass-produced. The composites could be applied to lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage systems (ESSs).”
While the result is still to be tested and verified in the real world to see if it performs on the steps laid out by the authors, it could be a complete game-changer for the EV industry and even lead to spawning a new generation of electric vehicles. Tesla, we suggest you pay attention!