Researchers create a battery that will virtually never require a replacement

One of the main issues of electric cars is the price of their batteries, but not only that. The batteries also have a limited (and normally low) range, take long to recharge and their lifespan is relatively short. Tesla’s batteries capacity to recharge drop to 88% after around 3,000 cycles. A cycle is a recharge session. But what if batteries did not lose any recharging capacity? This is what researchers from the Department of Chemistry at the University of California have apparently managed to do.

Mya Le Thai, the leading researcher, was toying with nanowires. These elements, which are thinner than a human hair, as you can see in the image above, have ideal characteristics when it comes to electric transmission and storage. The fact that they are very thin makes them highly conductive and easily arrangeable to provide a larger area for electron transfer. The downside is that they break very easily.

In order to address that, Mya has covered gold nanowires in manganese dioxide and protected them yet again with a PMMA (poly methylmethacrylate) electrolyte gel. After doing that, she started recharging and depleting a battery made of this material. And she has done it more than 200,000 without breaking the nanowires or losing any of the battery’s properties. If this technology can be applied to mass-production batteries, at least one of the electric car’s problem will be solved for good. The batteries will live longer than all other car structures. It will be just a matter of having them store more energy and lowering its price, but one thing at a time.

Gustavo Henrique Ruffo

I have been an automotive journalist since 1998 and have worked for many important Brazilian newspapers and magazines, such as the local edition of Car and Driver and Quatro Rodas, Brazilian's biggest car magazine. I have also worked for foreign websites, such as World Car Fans and won a few journalism prizes, among them three SAE Journalism Awards and the 2017 IAM RoadSmart Safety Award. I am the author of "The Traffic Cholesterol", a book about bad drivers that you can buy at Hotmart, Google Play, Amazon and Kobo.