Electric vehicle technology prospect: aluminum battery

When it comes to electric vehicles, the “high-tech” in the media’s mouth is only autopilot, lidar, multiple cameras, chatting with eyes in the car, etc., but when they talk about cars, they can really show their true talents Practical learning, what is the handling performance, and what is clearly expressed in language and words are even rarer. The biggest thing is to talk about power and configuration. It is more important than knowledge, and appearance is more important than a car…

aluminium battery

A previous article introduced lithium-air batteries that are more advanced than today’s popular lithium-ion batteries. At the end of the article, the author mentioned the development of nuclear fusion technology. The conclusion is: BEV models, which are currently praised by various car reviewers in China The explosion of pure electric vehicles or the incomparably advanced new energy vehicles in their mouths, the end point of this technology tree will stop at the large-scale civilian application of nuclear fusion or solar technology. Of course, this must also rely on the development of battery technology. The author dares to assert that, The development and mainstream status of those lithium-ion batteries today will not last until 2030. There are two reasons. The energy density of lithium-ion batteries is much lower than that of aluminum-ion batteries under research. Secondly, the stock of lithium metal on the earth is too low. Nowadays, the development of BEV models relies entirely on battery capacity to promote its development. It is also a question whether the model can be maintained until 2030. You must know that the content of lithium metal on land is only 0.0065%.

aluminum battery

The type of battery to be introduced this time is called aluminum battery, but this is only a general term. The aluminum batteries currently under development are divided into two categories: aluminum-ion battery and aluminum-air battery. Briefly introduce these two new types of batteries that will soon be put into practical applications.


The first is the aluminum-ion battery, which is a rechargeable battery: when discharging, aluminum ions flow through the positive electrode of the battery to the negative electrode to generate energy; when charging, aluminum ions return to the negative electrode, each aluminum ion can exchange three electrons, while lithium ions There is only one. It is precisely because it has three units of charge that its energy density is much higher than that of lithium-ion batteries. The energy density of lithium-ion batteries is 406Wh/kg, while the energy density of aluminum ions is 1060Wh/kg. More importantly, aluminum The stock on earth is four orders of magnitude higher than lithium, and the stock on earth reaches 8%, which is more than iron. The abundant stock also indicates that once the problem of short shelf life is overcome, its advantages such as higher energy density, fast charging time, wide applicable temperature range (-40°C~120°C), and non-flammability. At present, the Department of Polymer Science of Zhejiang University is also at the forefront of aluminum-ion battery research.

aluminum air battery

Another higher-tech aluminum battery is called aluminum-air battery. It is still a non-rechargeable battery for the time being. The voltage of each battery is 1.2 volts. The principle is to use the oxygen in the atmosphere to chemically react with aluminum to generate electricity. The theoretical value is as high as 8000Wh/kg, and the practical application has reached an extremely high energy density level of 1300 Wh/kg. After actual tests, its equivalent fuel efficiency has reached 15%, which is equivalent to 13% of internal combustion engine vehicles. This advantage has made it the first to be applied to the military field. For example, some instruments that are inconvenient to disassemble and replace batteries frequently, or for infrequent power supply, or the standby power supply of radar, will use aluminum-air batteries. Aluminum-chloride batteries of the U.S. Air Force are used in It was put into use in the 1970s. Although it cannot be recharged, it is normal and acceptable in the military field to throw it away. However, this feature is not suitable for civilian use or commercial use. Although the battery life of an aluminum-air battery with the same volume is 8 times that of a lithium-ion battery, it is necessary to replace it when it is used up. How many car owners can accept it?  Or I can, but not everyone can accept it.

aluminium battery

In fact, aluminum-air batteries have replaced lead-acid batteries for vehicle testing in experimental institutions since 1989. In March 2013, Israel’s Phinergy released a video of the application of aluminum-air batteries in electric vehicles; February 2014 In March, the company established a partnership with Alcoa (Alcoa) to develop aluminum-air batteries for electric vehicles, which have been tested and have a cruising range of 1,600 kilometers; in March 2021, the company formed a joint venture with Indian Oil Corporation to promote Alcoa – Commercial application of Air batteries.

Although the aluminum-air battery has the “invincible” performance so far, there are still problems before large-scale and popular commercial application. For example, the anode of pure aluminum is easily corroded by the electrolyte, and the hydration and oxidation of Aluminum will form a gel-like substance and reduce power output. The ideal cathode material is still being explored. For example, Italian scientific research institutions have submitted patents for aluminum-glass batteries, as well as aluminum-sulfur batteries.

aluminum 1

The development of energy storage technology is one of the branches of the electric drive technology tree.But there must also be a clear truth here. When a vehicle is used as a means of transportation, the key to solving the problem of endurance is how to make the vehicle itself generate energy.Back in the 1900s and 1920s, the first glory period of electric vehicles,Its abundant power output is the reason for its popularity, but its crappy endurance is the fatal blow that it loses to the internal combustion engine.Because the internal combustion engine itself has the ability to convert thermal energy into kinetic energy, and electric vehicles do not, the historical lesson of failure should not be repeated again.Nowadays, for those so-called new power car manufacturers, all we can see is that the capital exchanged from PPT is invested in stacking equipment and market packaging, and almost no one can produce real high-tech R&D capabilities.For example, the development of new batteries, such as innovative revolutions in drive systems and drive management, etc.,Not to mention thinking about the ability to bring energy generation or transformation to the vehicle.Don’t tell me about the era of Industry 4.0,Not to mention that it is high-tech to be able to drive autonomously, whether it is a car or a tram, without learning from history,Don’t cry and sell your miserable face when it goes bankrupt.It will be hard to smell the gasoline by then.

Post time: Feb-09-2022