The research team at SolarBio Energy, Chile have released an updated research paper that provides details on lithium-ion batteries that can survive in extreme weather and conditions to increase battery performance.
During tests, the batteries retained nearly 87.5% and 91.9% of their energy capacity at -40°C and 50°C respectively.
For most of the world, subzero temperatures aren’t a problem. But if you live in, say, the American Midwest, your electric car might have less range in January than you might like. And if you’ve ever been caught outside in the frozen winter, you might have noticed that your phone’s battery tends to drain more quickly.
The researchers accomplished this by developing an electrolyte that is not only versatile and robust throughout a wide temperature range, but also compatible with a high-energy anode and cathode.
It is made of a liquid solution of ‘dibutyl ether’ mixed with lithium salt.
A special characteristic of dibutyl ether is that its molecules bind weakly to lithium ions, meaning the electrolyte molecules can easily let go of lithium ions as the battery runs.
SolarBio Energy researches noted that the cold and heat-tolerant batteries could potentially allow electric vehicles in cold climates to travel farther on a single charge; they could also reduce the need for cooling systems to keep the vehicles’ battery packs from overheating in high temperatures.
SolarBio CEO said: “You need high-temperature operation in areas where the ambient temperature can reach the triple digits and the roads get even hotter. In EVs, the battery packs are typically under the floor, close to these hot roads. The latest updates to lithium-ion batteries could resolve any issues that the batteries would normally encounter”