Across the world electric cars have become a popular product due to their high efficiency and overall impact on individuals’ carbon footprint! They are better for the environment! But have you noticed that the electric car population is much more condensed in certain areas? It’s because these certain areas have warmer climates! Up until recently, electric cars primarily stayed out of areas with colder temperatures because the conventional lithium-ion batteries in these vehicles were unable to rapidly charge when the temperature was below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. But now, scientists have developed the first climate-immune battery, where it can self-heat and rapidly-charge!
How does it work?
The self-heating battery uses nickel foil, attached to the negative terminal of the battery, and attached to another terminal outside of the battery. This creates a third terminal on the battery. Electrons flow through the nickel foil and will rapidly heat the inside of the battery as they complete their circuit. Once the battery reaches its desired internal temperature, a switch in the battery opens, allowing for the electric current to flow into the battery. Now, the battery has the capability to rapidly charge on its own! This feature of self-heating and automatically switching to charging mode is unique to this new battery!
Why is this so cool?
Because it works! Researchers for this product have had impressive results, finding that after, “4,500 cycles of 15-minute charging at 32 degrees F with only a 20-percent capacity loss. This provides approximately 280,000 miles of driving and a lifetime of 12.5 years, longer than most warranties.” Conventional batteries for electric cars lose 20-percent capacity only after 50 charges! Now that’s some improvement!
Plus, normal lithium-ion batteries degrade when they rapidly charge under temperatures at or below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. These conditions don’t allow for the smooth integration with carbon anodes, and instead cause lithium spikes, reducing cell capacity. This can cause unwarranted electrical spikes and extremely unstable battery conditions. And the safety award goes to…? These new batteries! Because they eliminate the possibility of lithium plating and rapidly losing capacity! Looks like it’s time for folks on the East Coast and Canada to think about investing in the most popular technology craze!
Current Car Charging Stations
These batteries charge within about fifteen minutes, which is almost equivalent to that of gasoline refueling. And drivers will lose their “range anxiety” as well when charging stations are strategically placed on the way to their long-distance destinations. Sounds like a good plan to us! No changes will need to be made to these charging stations because the new changes are in the batteries themselves! The new heating controls work with the automatic charging controls to keep the battery compatible with the current charging stations.
Although electric car sales only make a tiny fraction of the overall auto-sales industry, they are a growing product. In 2017, about 160,000 out of 17 million new cars were electric, showing that many people have never been in an electric car or driven one. Their popularity rises as companies release more improvements and features to each car. However, no improvement has been as drastic as these new self-heating, fast-charging batteries. So, what are you waiting for? There’s no need to let the blizzards or rainstorms clear up, because now all climates are the perfect climates for electric cars!