Electric vehicles are poised to transform nearly every aspect of transportation, including fuel, carbon emissions, costs, repairs, and driving habits. The primary impetus now is decarbonization to address the climate change emergency, but it soon may shift to economics because electric vehicles are anticipated to be cheaper and higher-performing than gasoline cars. The questions are not if, but how far, electrification will go. What will its impact be on the energy system and on geoeconomics? What are the challenges of developing better batteries and securing the materials supply chain to support new battery technology?
One of the most promising and disruptive battery innovations is the combination of lithium metal anodes and solid-state electrolytes. Every atom of a lithium metal anode can store and release energy during the charge-discharge cycle, whereas in graphite anodes now used in lithium-ion batteries, only 14% of the atoms (one lithium for every six carbons) can store or release energy. The greater capacity of the lithium metal anode could approximately double the energy density of the lithium-ion battery, extending the driving range of electric vehicles to compete with gasoline cars.
Ilika plc (LON:IKA) is a pioneer in materials innovation and has been inventing new materials for energy and electronics applications for over a decade. Global brands such as Rolls Royce and Toyota have long term collaborations with Ilika’s development teams.