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Fast charging lithium battery could allay range anxiety and last two million miles

Wed, 01/20/2021 - 12:55 -- Paul Crompton

Engineers from Pennsylvania State University in the US are developing a lithium iron phosphate battery that has the potential range of 250 miles and the ability to charge in 10 minutes.

The team says its battery can produce 40kWh and 300kW of power during cycling and fast charge electric vehicles by heating it up to 1400Fahrenheit.

The self-heating batteries use a thin nickel foil with one end attached to the negative terminal and the other extending outside the cell to create a third terminal. 

The cathode is thermally stable, lithium iron phosphate; the anode is made of very large particle graphite.

The researchers say the battery should have a cycle lifetime of two million miles.

The project was reported in Nature Energy

The team, led by professor Chao-Yang Wang (pictured) from Penn State, suggest that using the self-heating method, they can use low-cost materials for the battery's cathode and anode and a safe, low-voltage electrolyte.

Because of the self-heating, the researchers said they do not have to worry about uneven deposition of lithium on the anode, which can cause lithium spikes that are dangerous.

Wang said: “This battery has reduced weight, volume and cost. I am very happy that we finally found a battery that will benefit the mainstream consumer mass market.

"This is how we are going to change the environment and not contribute to just the luxury cars. Let everyone afford electric vehicles."

Other Penn State researchers working on this project were Xiao-Guang Yang, assistant research professor of mechanical engineering, and Teng Liu, doctoral student in mechanical engineering.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the William E Diefenderfer Endowment supported this research.

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