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Breakthrough In EV Battery Tech Could Create Cheaper, Longer-Range EVs

Chevy Volt

Although we’ve seen sizeable growth in the electric vehicle (EV) market over the past few years, it has still yet to achieve widespread appeal with consumers. Most of this can be attributed to the high cost associated with EVs, and the relatively short distance EVs can go on a single charge.

But these challenges may soon become concerns of the past, as Silicon Valley-based company Envia has just created a world-record 400 watt-hour / kilogram battery.

Currently, the industry standard for current EV batteries is around 100 and 140 watt-hours/kilogram, which gives EVs a cost point of about $250 – $350 per kilowatt-hour. These costs are directly funnelled into the overall cost of an EV, which is often out of the price range for most consumers. For instance, the sleekly design Tesla Model S costs $50,000 while the lower priced Chevy Volt hovers around $31,000.

Envia’s new battery is far more efficient that today’s industry standard. Not only will it be far cheaper to manufacture, it could give EVs a range of around 300 miles, thus assuaging the fears of tentative EV supporters. Ultimately, the Envia battery could result in 40 – 50% drop in EV prices when released onto the commercial market.

However, it should be pointed out that one company in particular has interest in Envia’s new battery: General Motors. They invested $7 million into the company about a year ago, and plans on using Envia’s battery for future generations of the Volt.  However, commercial deployment of the new battery is still about 3 years away.

The days when EVs are finally cost-comparable with their petroleum- based counterparts are now on the horizon. Once consumers further realize EVs’ long-term savings in lower operating costs, we could see a much larger shift towards EVs for personal transportation.

What are your thoughts on the EV market? Do you think it will start to take-off over the next few years?

Image CC licensed by OcaNieba: Chevy Volt

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