GE, Berkeley Lab explore possible key to energy storage for EVs

  • 16-Sep-2013 02:12 EDT

Conceptual design of a water-based flow battery GE scientists are researching as part of ARPA-E's RANGE program. This battery could be one-fourth the cost of current car batteries, and could nearly triple the distance electric vehicles could travel on a single charge.

The GE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory team is developing a water-based, flow battery capable of more than just traditional, stationary energy storage. The battery derives its power from a novel electrochemical reaction that all resides safely in a bath of water. It uses water-based solutions of inorganic chemicals that are capable of transferring more than one electron, providing high-energy density. Project leader Grigorii Soloveichik said about the project: “We’re excited about the impact this new technology could have on electric vehicles, especially as it relates to cost and the need to recharge. Our flow battery could be just one-fourth the price of car batteries on the market today, while enabling roughly three times the current driving range. The U.S. Department of Energy wants a battery that can power a car for 240 mi; we think we can exceed that.” Besides savings in cost and range, the flow battery could offer safety improvements over current car batteries and could integrate into current cars. The GE/Berkeley Lab team will demonstrate feasibility and develop a working prototype over the next year.

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