Electric vehicles have been in hot demand for nearly a decade, though consumers are still concerned about the existing battery technology in terms of the driving range and charging speed. Australia-based Graphene Manufacturing Group (GMG) has managed to develop a new graphene-conductive aluminum battery, and claims that the new battery is able to charge 60 times faster and possesses 3 times the driving range over the best automotive lithium battery in the current market.
The new battery is also safer as it has no upper ampere limit, which avoids overheating as seen from ordinary lithium batteries, and is more eco-friendly than lithium batteries by being easier in recycling. GMG hopes to launch the battery at the end of this year or early 2022, and is expected to release the automotive version in 2024.
The new battery technology embeds aluminum into graphene using the nano technology according to the research implemented by the University of Queensland’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN), and the test result of the synthetic material indicates a drastic improvement on the excessively low voltage seen from existing graphene-conductive aluminum batteries.
Graphene thin film under an electron microscope. Graphene is the most important conductive material in the existing battery technology. （Source：Дагесян Саркис Арменакович, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons）
Craig Nicol, General Manager of GMG, pointed out that although numerous businesses and research units are currently researching and developing aluminum batteries, he believes that the new battery technology of GMA is the safest, and has the fastest charging speed.
“The charging speed of our new battery is almost as fast as fuel nozzles,” commented Nicol, who also said that a battery unit can be fully charged within 10 seconds.
Despite not providing actual statistics on the density, GMG claims that the new battery contains a higher energy density compared to existing lithium batteries, though without the heat issue from lithium batteries, and that aluminum is much more affordable than lithium.
Nicol further explained that the company did not discover any heat issues in the new battery, which also functions properly in a sub-zero environment. “A lithium battery unit contains approximately 20% of space and weight for heat dissipation, so the heat dissipation modules for a 100kWh lithium battery already account for 80kg.”
What is more important is that the new battery technology of GMG is compatible with the outer shell of existing lithium batteries, such as the lithium battery designed by Volkswagen Group for the MEB platform, and is able to produce aluminum batteries of various specifications and shapes according to the requirements.
The new battery technology of GMG can be directly applied on existing electric vehicle platforms, such as the MEB Platform of Volkswagen. (Source: Volkswagen Group)
With an increasing demand for electric vehicles, the battery technology is only going to ascend from here on out like engines in the era of fuel vehicles, and it won’t be long before we stop worrying about the inability of ignition during cold weather, or that the vehicle is not yet fully charged when we get off work.