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Stanford Team Creates Stable Lithium Anode Using Honeycomb Film

timothy posted about 3 months ago | from the high-voltage dept.

Power 119

puddingebola (2036796) writes "A team at Stanford has created a stable Lithium anode battery using a carbon honeycomb film. The film is described as a nanosphere layer that allows for the expansion of Lithium during use, and is suitable as a barrier between anode and cathode. Use of a lithium anode improves the coulombic efficiency and could result in longer range batteries for cars." The linked article suggests that the 200-mile-range, $25,000 electric car is a more realistic concept with batteries made with this technology, though some people are more interested in super-capacity phone batteries.

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DOUBLE DUP !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47549803)

Does DEBBIE in Dallas !!

HONEYCOMB HONEYCOMB ME WANT HONEYCOMB (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47549973)

Double HONEYCOMB penetration? Do you know how many orifices are potentially possible in a box of HONEYCOMB (TM) cereal?
 
Better to spend a few hundred million and have Honeywell consult on this grave bit of information!

Re:HONEYCOMB HONEYCOMB ME WANT HONEYCOMB (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47551071)

Do you know how many orifices are potentially possible in a box of HONEYCOMB (TM) cereal?

How small are you that this even comes to mind?

Re:HONEYCOMB HONEYCOMB ME WANT HONEYCOMB (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47551279)

I am like the drone bee whose sole purpose in life it is to sit around and consume and mate with the queen and die. Small, yes, but larger than your average worker, oh BABY yes.

Splendid progess (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47549809)

Always good to read successful tests like this. Of course I am curious how well it scales, how long it survives under normal use, and how difficult the recycling/reclamation process is after the maximum capacity fades to useless levels.

(also, the story looks better here [slashdot.org] )

Is this more or less volatile than existing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47549841)

Does it affect Li batteries tendency to explode on impact at all?

Re:Is this more or less volatile than existing? (1)

ssam (2723487) | about 3 months ago | (#47551173)

better than petrol.

More Range Needed (1, Informative)

pubwvj (1045960) | about 3 months ago | (#47549875)

Nice but I need more range. 800 miles would be ideal. Alternatively I need a 10 minute charge time and 300 miles. This would be for a light delivery truck. There are a lot of light delivery vehicles out there. (How else did you think photos got from the sun to here...)

Re:More Range Needed (1, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 months ago | (#47549931)

yeah. and when it gets to 800, you'll say a 1000 and so on.

The worlds burning, but that doesn't mean you should take a whole 30 minutes to charge up.
When fuel is 10 dollars at the pump with a longer charge seem better? 20 dollars?

Re:More Range Needed (3, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 3 months ago | (#47549989)

Let's be reasonable here. Everyone takes long trips sometimes. Now there's definitely an 80/20 problem, where that long trip 20% of miles becomes an inordinate source of range anxiety, and taking a half hour break every 3-4 hours isn't too much to ask I think.

Unfortunately, we have to convince people that it's a net positive for them, not that it's "not too much to ask". And it's not, unless you count the benefits from every other driver also going electric.

Re:More Range Needed (3, Interesting)

Matheus (586080) | about 3 months ago | (#47550111)

I'd love to have an 800+ mile range but no car I've ever owned has ever even teased that (best tank ever 436miles). That being said there has been a certain standard set by the automotive industry that I *do expect electric cars to conform to or I have no problem complaining: 1 "fill" ~ 300 Miles. Your average gas tank is sized for that measure and that's a fairly reasonable amount of distance before demanding a break. I'll be a little more demanding and say I want my charge time to be roughly equivalent to my gas fill up time which is closer to 15-20 minutes. SO give me a ~300 mile range car that can charge in 20 minutes and I'll consider an electric car a viable option for the kind of long distance driving I do.

I always found it fairly disturbing that Doc Brown wasn't able to wire Mr. Fusion into an electric motor back in 1900 (or even when he installed it in 2015!). He had the know how and the means but that would've just effed up the plot now wouldn't it have!

Re:More Range Needed (1)

eam (192101) | about 3 months ago | (#47550387)

In the future, all cars are electric/fusion hybrids using garbage for fuel. It was cheaper for him to leave the gasoline engine because a gallon of gasoline costs less in the future than an old banana peel.

Plus, he liked hearing the sound of the engine.

Larger bladder needed (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 3 months ago | (#47551255)

I'd love to have an 800+ mile range but no car I've ever owned has ever even teased that (best tank ever 436miles).

Doesn't really matter since you don't have an 800 mile bladder. Unless you plan on wearing diapers while you drive you're going to pull over sometime for, umm... well, you know... and may as well refuel while you do.

Re:Larger bladder needed (1)

myth24601 (893486) | about 3 months ago | (#47551531)

I think the 800 mile requirement would be if the "fill up" were to take hours like it does now. Like he said, if he had a 300 mile range and the ability to fully recharge in 10 minutes, it would take the time that a gas car takes now.

Re:Larger bladder needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47553437)

so what you're saying is that we need fuel cells that run on urine?

Re:More Range Needed (4, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 months ago | (#47550133)

Did you know there was a time in the use when gas powered cars could only go a couple of hundred miles on a tank and people managed to go on vacation just fine? That's why roads like the 66 and 80 are littered with ghost towns and closed gas stations.

In 1973, a Plymouth station age, a station wagon got 7-16 mpg and had a 16 gallon tank. The 256 miles, BEST case.

So I think people need to get over themselves a bit and relax about having to stop for a git during long road trips when the other 80%* is a hell of a lot cleaner. Yes, electric cars are even cleaner over all in state that use old coal plants.

OF course, you could rent or buy another vehicle for the road trip.
Or take a train.**

*I'd say 95%

**BWAHAHAHAHHAHAHahahaha.

Re:More Range Needed (3, Insightful)

sribe (304414) | about 3 months ago | (#47550371)

In 1973, a Plymouth station age, a station wagon got 7-16 mpg and had a 16 gallon tank. The 256 miles, BEST case.

Yeah, and you could refill it in 2 minutes.

Re:More Range Needed (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 months ago | (#47550491)

If you arrived when the gas station was opened.

Re:More Range Needed (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 3 months ago | (#47550565)

Of course I know that.

The problem, as I'm trying to make clear, isn't the absolute value of an electric car. It's an amazing thing. The problem is that people naturally will compare things to what they personally have at their disposal now. And when one attribute comes up short, it's human nature to reflect on that shortcoming, and how much it will cost you.

I mean, I personally would take the: simpler maintenance , quieter running, lack of gas station trips in "normal usage", lower running costs, and lower environmental externalities as more than enough to make up for it for me.

But others won't.

Re:More Range Needed (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 months ago | (#47550809)

I have no idea what you know. I don't even know you're age. A lot of people have no clue that less then 50 years ago the range was that limited.
Just pointing out a fact as it relates to people complaining about mileage.

Re:More Range Needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47551283)

Just pointing out a fact as it relates to people complaining about mileage.

No, you're not. You're making things up about what a person you've never met would say under circumstances that you've never seen, and then backpedaling when called out on your dishonesty.

Re:More Range Needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47551067)

If the battery takes an hour to recharge, or five, then yours is not such a strong argument. Batteries may well power most cars someday, but for the next decade at least, it's a niche market. Sad but true.

Re:More Range Needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47552575)

More recently than that.

A 1986 Chevrolet Caprice Classic station wagon could go from Denver to Glenwood Springs Colorado, about 160 miles over two 10,000 mountain passes on a single tank of gas. Barely. A Tesla Model S (the 85 kWh version) can do the same trip. The Chevy took 5 minutes to fill up the 24 gallon tank, the Tesla takes about an hour, but is free at the supercharger.

Re:More Range Needed (2)

brambus (3457531) | about 3 months ago | (#47550159)

What about the majority of people who live in dense cities in apartment buildings without private driveways and/or parking spaces that are simply not practical to electrify. You know, it's easy to solve the problem for relatively rich folks [blogspot.com] , but most people in the world live more like this [catholiclane.com] or this [staticflickr.com] (myself included). We park our cars out on the streets, drive around mostly in or near the city and fill up perhaps once a month. Are we supposed to go charge our cars once or twice a week for a few hours at some remote location?

Re:More Range Needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47550381)

some northern states would fair pretty well. even apartments often have electric plugs in the parking lot so you can plug your car in to run the block heater to make sure your car doesn't freeze up in the winter.

Re:More Range Needed (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 months ago | (#47550519)

Because they don't know how to make plugs in these cities?
Plug it in charge while you asleep, or at work. Never take time out of your day to fuel up again.
The environment you describe s perfect for electric cars right now.

Re:More Range Needed (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 3 months ago | (#47551357)

And exactly who pays for this electficity on the other end of this majic plug concept?

When you live in apartment complexes, you do not always get to park in the same spots and you likely cannot dig up the parking lot to instal outlets connected to your meter.

If only it was as simply as parking and lluging in where ever you might be.

Re:More Range Needed (1)

AaronW (33736) | about 3 months ago | (#47552819)

There are plenty of car chargers out there like Chargepoint which basically use a RFID credit card. You wave the card in front of the charger to activate it and it bills your account for charging. They've had this for years.

Re:More Range Needed (1)

DamonHD (794830) | about 3 months ago | (#47552963)

The solution is to have (almost) anyone use (almost) any socket and use a little thing called technology to bill the right person. Then sockets can be installed on public streets and in communal parking areas as well as in private driveways.

We do it with mobile phones, and we already do it with *some* plug-in EV points.

The tech isn't that hard.

Actually getting a suitably universal plug and socket seems *as* hard.

Rgds

Damon

PS. I have no driveway and would need a solution like this.

Re:More Range Needed (2)

Rei (128717) | about 3 months ago | (#47550555)

If everyone last person was going to be driving electric cars tomorrow, yes, that would be a problem.

Given that that's not the case, and for decades it's always going to be such that the people whose situation best suits an electric car are going to be the next ones in line to adopt them, then no, it's not a problem. You really think people can't build curbside/parking lot charging stations over the course of *decades* if there seems to be steadily growing interest in EVs?

As a side note, I don't know those exact neighborhoods in your pictures, but in my experience, most people who live in such places don't own *any* car.

Re:More Range Needed (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 months ago | (#47550833)

To paraphrase Fry.
No one owns cars in those neighborhoods, the parking is too horrible!

Re:More Range Needed (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 3 months ago | (#47553155)

Google Car (Or similar) based Taxi Service coming to a big city near you, and using Tesla Electric cars (or similar) will provide most of the "local" transportation needs in the future. Imagine, being able to hail a cab, get in (and share??) and get to your destination quickly and efficiently.

Human Taxi drivers will go the way of buggy whip makers.

Re:More Range Needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47551499)

Those issues can be solved with infrastructure.

There's no technical reason why every municipal an dprivate parking space can't have a metered plug that cars can connect to, allowing them to recharge and generating income for the owner of the space.

Re:More Range Needed (2)

big_orange (1764406) | about 3 months ago | (#47550557)

Range extension of electric cars Has anyone not thought of maybe a trailer that contains a battery? Think of it as a first stage? Would be great for longer trips, still rechargeable.... You could rent them for longer trips, or swap them out at your destination "HERTZ" Batteries! Get to the next generation battery like this and it's almost feasible

you people think small (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about 3 months ago | (#47551471)

BAH!
With Google on the cusp of self-driving cars, we'll just have just-in-time in-transit recharging. They'll just line up like baby ducklings following mama and plug into each other.

Re:you people think small (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 3 months ago | (#47552921)

Have you seriously considered patenting this concept?

I mean, if you're an anti-patent revolutionary(or think it's obvious) then the reason to patent it would be to license freely to others instead of when someone else tries to patent it.

There is no reason to believe this concept is actually too difficult to implement on any level. You'd just need to devise a road safe linking system, and diagram it out, and that would take at most a matter of days for anyone who's done technical drawing before.

Re:More Range Needed (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 3 months ago | (#47551479)

I've thought about that too. Some people can bearly drive a car in the first place. Putting a trailer behind them might not be a good idea.

Re:More Range Needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47552715)

Range extension of electric cars Has anyone not thought of maybe a trailer that contains a battery? Think of it as a first stage? Would be great for longer trips, still rechargeable.... You could rent them for longer trips, or swap them out at your destination "HERTZ" Batteries! Get to the next generation battery like this and it's almost feasible

Towing a trailer is going to reduce your "mileage" so where you might get increased range, it's not going to be as much as you think. Batteries are heavy, trailers add rolling resistance and drag. Performance (acceleration and breaking) will all suffer greatly when you add a trailer hitch to your Leaf and I dare say this would be somewhat dangerous for electric cars. Adding 50% to the GVWR is easily going to overload the drive train.

That's not to say the idea doesn't have merit. I just think this will require a purpose engineered and built vehicle that supports this feature, which implies extra costs for the consumer. I doubt that the consumer would be willing to pay more for some range extending trailer hitch, hefty wiring and larger maximum GVWR limits. All of this would add weight, even when not being used, so it would add to operating costs too.

Re:More Range Needed (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 3 months ago | (#47551207)

In the EU a driver of a commercial vehicle must take a minimum 45 minute break every 4.5 hours of driving: http://www.rsa.ie/en/RSA/Profe... [www.rsa.ie]

You can drive for four hours in a Tesla Model S before you need to stop for 50 minutes, falling to 40 minutes as 150kW chargers are rolled out. Seems like the only real barrier to long distance travel is the availability of superchargers and people who think they can safely drive more than 4.5 hours without a break.

Re:More Range Needed (1)

Rei (128717) | about 3 months ago | (#47550501)

Actually, 800 is quite a sensible number. At an average speed of 60 miles per hour (aka, factoring in driving / bathroom / meal breaks), that's 13 1/2 hours of driving - a good day's drive. Throw in a few more hours driving time / a couple hundred miles more range if you charge while you're taking your breaks. Once you get that sort of range, charge speed becomes virtually irrelevant because it happens while you're sleeping (and getting ready for bed / getting up in the morning). A regular Tesla home charger could handle that sort of load.

I agree with you that a half hour charge isn't actually that onerous, but it definitely will scare off people who are used to filling up faster. And charge stations that can do half hour charges on 300 miles range (150kW+ for an efficient car, more like 250kW for a light truck) are exceedingly rare as it stands. A charger that powerful isn't some aren't some little wall box with a cord hanging off of it, it's the size of a couple soda machines put together (bigger if you add a battery buffer so that you don't need a huge power feed) that feeds so much power that its cable has to be liquid cooled and which costs around $100k installed. Ten minute charges are, of course, around three times that size. I've only ever come across mention of *one* charger in the ballpark of the required 750kW to charge a 300 mile light truck in 10 minutes - an 800kW device custom made a couple years back for the US Army Tank Command. I have no clue what it cost, but I'm guessing "Very Expensive".

I'm not saying that the problem is intractable, by any stretch, I totally believe that we're going to transition over to EVs. I just question the sort of time scales that a lot of people envision. The average car on US roads is 10 years old. Implying an average 20 year lifespan. And many cars don't get scrapped then, they just go to the third world. Even if you suddenly switch all new car manufacturing over to EVs, you're talking decades to replace them. But of course you can't just switch over like that - even if everyone was right now sold on the concept of EVs with current tech, you're talking at least a decade, possibly more, to tool up to that level of production. But of course, not everyone is right now sold on the concept of EVs with current tech.

Realistically, you're looking at maybe a 40 year transition. I hate to say that, because I love EVs, but I'm not going to just pretend that the reality is other than it is.

I'll also add that while fast chargers are big and expensive, the size and cost actually are comparable to building a gas station on a per-pump basis, and the economic argument works out for making them even if there's only a reasonable (50% or less) surcharge on the electricity sold and if they're only selling electricity a couple percent of the time. But you need to get a couple percent of the time usage to economically justify them - one person stopping for 10 minutes every few days just isn't going to cut it. And not every EV is going to stop at every charger even if they're driving on the same route - if your chargers are that far apart, then that means you're pushing people's range so much that they're not going to be comfortable driving that route. All together, this means that if you want to have fast charging infrastructure economically justifiable in an area you need high EV penetration, where several dozen EVs driving long distances will be going by each charger every day - even out in the boonies. And when you're talking at prices on the order of $100k per unit, you're no longer talking about a range where peoples' goodwill toward EVs or interest in having a loss leader outside is going to pay for them.

Basically, while busy interstate routes on the coasts and the like can economically justify them with a small fraction of a percent of people driving EVs, out in the boonies, they're going to be stuck with smaller, cheaper, slower chargers for a good while. Unless people are willing to pay a big surcharge on the electricity sold, that is (500% surcharge instead of 50% = 1/10th as many vehicles needed).

Re:More Range Needed (1)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about 3 months ago | (#47551379)

The car companies themselves will be building the charger networks, perhaps with some minor subsidies from local governments. And it doesn't have to be all that fancy and probably not particularly expensive either if you build a network of bare minimum unassuming chargers. The car maker can indirectly offer their customers food and other services by placing the chargers next to shopping malls and restaurants with long opening hours.

Here is one of Teslas supercharge stations in Norway for example: http://infratekgroup.com/en/me... [infratekgroup.com] I'm sure it cost a good deal of money to wire it up to the grid, but apart from that it couldn't have been too expensive to build.

Don't be silly. (1)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about 3 months ago | (#47549983)

You know that light delivery trucks will soon be replaced by drones. That's why we really need the improved batteries.

At least, that's what Amazon seems to want us to think...

Re:Don't be silly. (1)

Rei (128717) | about 3 months ago | (#47550685)

I actually totally get Amazon's logic on this one. If there's only a $10 extra profit on each drone delivery (something I'm sure tons of people in range of the service would pay for in order to get their item in half an hour), and if we assume each drone operational cycle takes one hour (delivery, return, charging), then that's $240 a day. Doesn't take a lot of days to justify the cost of a drone with a return like that.

Re:Don't be silly. (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 months ago | (#47551019)

well, other then you have a free flying device with fast spinning blades near people, can only use it in good weather, and don't mine people screwing with them.

Re:More Range Needed (1)

kilodelta (843627) | about 3 months ago | (#47550675)

A friend has a Ford Fiesta with the 1.6L engine. Probably the same one on Ford's shelf since the early 80's. It gets about 340 miles to a tankful of gas. So 300 miles on a charge isn't a stretch. It's just recharge times have to approximate gas refuel times.

Re:More Range Needed (2)

AaronW (33736) | about 3 months ago | (#47552903)

Usually the recharge times don't matter. I own a Tesla model S and sold my gas powered car. For most of my driving I just plug in at night and have the equivalent of a full tank every morning. It's only on long trips where the superchargers come in to play. I rarely bother with public charging stations since I don't need them. Now on long trips the superchargers come into the picture. In my last trip to Reno I stopped in Folsom to charge up. It took about 40 minutes during which time I got a nice lunch, took a bathroom break, etc while spending not a dime on fuel. Granted, more range is always better for long trips, but having to take a 30-40 minute break after several hours of driving is often a good thing.

The extra time spent waiting to charge during long trips is more than offset by the time not spent going to gas stations when most of my driving is under the range limits of the car. I typically spend 5 seconds plugging in at night and 5 seconds unplugging in the morning rather than several minutes at a gas station waiting in line and filling up.

Re:More Range Needed (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about 3 months ago | (#47550859)

Nice but I need more range. 800 miles would be ideal.

800 miles in one day for a commercial vehicle? Unless your entire day is on a 75 MPH highway, that's probably well above what most states in the US allow for commercial drivers.

Re:More Range Needed (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 3 months ago | (#47551603)

You can drive 11 hours a day with a 1/2 hour break after 8 consecutive hours since going on duty. All this has to be done before 14hours since you came on duty

However, if you come on duty at midnight and take a 10 hour break after 12 hours, you can drive another 2 hour before the next day and meet that 800 miles. But you took 10 hours off that you could be charging so you ate corect.

*Yawn* (-1, Flamebait)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | about 3 months ago | (#47549923)

Wake me when it has a 500 mile range, can be fully charged in 5 minutes, and will last more than 5 years. Oh, and it has to work in a non-streamlined vehicle like a loaded F-150 pickup.

Re:*Yawn* (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 3 months ago | (#47549987)

like a loaded F-150 pickup.

Yeah, it will be loaded with batteries, and a diesel generator to keep them topped off.

Re:*Yawn* (3, Funny)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about 3 months ago | (#47550011)

Yep, real men would never be happy with today's battery technology. That's why I still use a two-cycle engine in my phone.

Re:*Yawn* (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about 3 months ago | (#47550051)

Right, because no technology is good or useful until it has been perfected and extended to all possible corner cases.

Re:*Yawn* (1)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | about 3 months ago | (#47551511)

15+ million trucks is hardly a corner case.

Re:*Yawn* (2)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 3 months ago | (#47553683)

Actually, of those millions of trucks, how many of them are hauling anything more than people around 95% of the time? Most trucks aren't used as trucks most of the time. Most are cars with empty beds in the back.

Re:*Yawn* (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 months ago | (#47550137)

So basically you couldn't have survived in 1972? I mean, you gas range would have been half of you current demands.

Wake me when people like you quite making excuses.

Re:*Yawn* (1)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | about 3 months ago | (#47551543)

Actually, I did. Point being that you could fill the tank very quickly (and still can) and that tank can be filled anywhere even in BFE with a spare gas can. Oh, and if you don't use it for a few months to a several years, the tank is still full. Try to remember that most people don't use their cars to commute 15 minutes to work and back home every day. Try to remember that most people don't live within 5 miles of everything they need to get to. Try to remember that most people don't want to live in a huge city packed in like cattle.

Re:*Yawn* (1)

onkelonkel (560274) | about 3 months ago | (#47552837)

"Most" - You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means.

"Try to remember that most people don't use their cars to commute 15 minutes to work and back home every day." That's right, most people commute about 25 minutes or less. Still not a problem for an electric car.

"Try to remember that most people don't live within 5 miles of everything they need to get to. " Most people live in cities, and have the things they need within 5 miles.

"Try to remember that most people don't want to live in a huge city packed in like cattle." I don't know if they "want" to live in cities (neither do you), but most people do live in cities. In the USA 80% of people live in urban areas.

Re:*Yawn* (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 3 months ago | (#47550241)

With a freakin' 26 gallon fuel tank to make up for the abyssal mileage 16/21. Yeah real nice.

Re:*Yawn* (1)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | about 3 months ago | (#47551569)

Well, yeah. With all the limitations of electric vehicles, you're going to have to make them insanely great to get people to buy them over traditional ones. Today's offerings are a joke.

Re:*Yawn* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47550561)

Charging in 5 minutes is as much a Power Delivery problem as it is a battery issue. Even if we had a battery or super capacitor that could charge that quickly the power and current levels need to charge that quickly would be problematic at best.

Start waking up (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 3 months ago | (#47550727)

Wake me when it has a 500 mile range, can be fully charged in 5 minutes, and will last more than 5 years. Oh, and it has to work in a non-streamlined vehicle like a loaded F-150 pickup.

The only bit of that specification that would be difficult right now in pure electric form would be the 5 minute recharge unless we are talking about battery pack swaps. Nobody has done it yet but it's not actually impossible judging by the range achieved with the Tesla and some others.

Furthermore those specs could easily be done today albeit in hybrid form with better fuel economy, more torque/hp, equal refueling time and it certainly would last more than 5 years baring unexpected malfunction. Might not be cheaper but it is certainly technologically feasible. Honestly I think trucks should be diesel-electric hybrids like trains. Electric motors drive the wheels and get charged by a diesel engine.

Re:*Yawn* (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about 3 months ago | (#47550889)

Wake me when it has a 500 mile range, can be fully charged in 5 minutes, and will last more than 5 years. Oh, and it has to work in a non-streamlined vehicle like a loaded F-150 pickup.

Does a loaded F-150 even get 500 miles on a single tank of gas?

Re:*Yawn* (1)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | about 3 months ago | (#47551705)

Perhaps not but all other factors far outweigh a supposedly green alternative. By being able to drive the entire day without recharging, you make up for the fact that it may take the entire night to recharge it. A 700 mile range would be better.

Bigger phone batteries would be nice. (1)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | about 3 months ago | (#47549967)

Modern phones do a lot more, and a lot faster, than older tech... but I admit I miss the battery life of the old Palms. One month on a couple of triple-As. Not having to charge my phone every single night would be pleasant.

Re:Bigger phone batteries would be nice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47550009)

Not having to charge every single night? I keep seeing this written, but never understood it. You have to recharge every night, why not charge your device while you are recharging?

Re:Bigger phone batteries would be nice. (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 months ago | (#47550143)

Because setting a phone down on a charging mat next to the bed is oh so hard.

Re:Bigger phone batteries would be nice. (1)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | about 3 months ago | (#47550691)

Because setting a phone down on a charging mat next to the bed is oh so hard.

In a tent - yeah, it is.

Re:Bigger phone batteries would be nice. (0)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 months ago | (#47551065)

Solar battery takes care of the problem. You can drape it over a tent, or if you move every day, drape it over your pack.
No, it' snot. Just take 5 seconds and some brain cells to solve.

Really, if you aren't going to pose something hard, then don't bother.
I manage to keep my phone charged when IO go camping for a couple of weeks, I suspect you can to and are just being obstinate.

Re:Bigger phone batteries would be nice. (1)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | about 3 months ago | (#47551529)

Solar battery takes care of the problem.

Not in Michigan woods. Not even in the middle of summer, with several days of clear skies, using this [thinkgeek.com] . And yes, I speak from experience. Especially when you're in areas with poor signal that drain the battery faster.

Leaving aside issues of unexpectedly not being near your chargers for too long even in day-to-day life, etc.

Clearly you're happy with your battery life. Congratulations, felicitations, mazel tov, and so forth. That doesn't mean that people who are not satisfied are wrong, however.

Re:Bigger phone batteries would be nice. (1)

turp182 (1020263) | about 3 months ago | (#47552657)

That's why I drag around a 35 amp hour 12 volt battery when camping (it gets used for fans, lights, laptop, bug zapper, electric blanket, and air pump among things). I admit that I'm not backpacking, but creature comforts became necessary when I started to take my 2.5 year old twins camping a couple of years ago (mostly by myself, wife has a small business and works most days). I set it up with 4 cigarette lighter ports (10 amps each, 30 amp on the main).

I've used it to jump start my car on a number of occasions (mostly while not camping), and in the house for lights and fans during a couple of long power outages.

It's nice have a portable, capable battery with an extensive set of 12 volt accessories.

Re:Bigger phone batteries would be nice. (1)

Matheus (586080) | about 3 months ago | (#47550533)

I don't recharge every night. I get a good night's sleep maybe twice a week my phone should be able to do at least as well.

Seeing as several phones I have owned have lasted on a full charge for days if not weeks that is not an unreasonable expectation for the average smart phone to live up to.

Re:Bigger phone batteries would be nice. (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 months ago | (#47551083)

Yes, it is unreasonable becasue they do a lot more.
IT's not a phone. It's a phone, wifi point, gps, game machine, music machine, video machine, just to name a few.

Re:Bigger phone batteries would be nice. (1)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about 3 months ago | (#47553123)

I don't recharge every night. I get a good night's sleep maybe twice a week my phone should be able to do at least as well.

Seeing as several phones I have owned have lasted on a full charge for days if not weeks that is not an unreasonable expectation for the average smart phone to live up to.

The average Android Phone actually does live up to this if you set the backlight to the lowest setting, turn off WiFi and uninstall any apps that launch background services. Turning off WiFi and removing apps that do stuff automatically pretty much renders it not a smartphone, but you do get good battery life.

Re:Bigger phone batteries would be nice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47550169)

Not having to charge my phone every single night would be pleasant.

I hear that having a device that is already fully charged, being kept on a charger for a few more hours, is one of the things that diminishes battery capacity. Better to charge it up to only 80-90% and let it drain again. That way, one could keep the battery closer to the as-new state, which required charging only every SECOND day ;-)

Re:Bigger phone batteries would be nice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47551547)

Not having to charge my phone every single night would be pleasant.

I hear that having a device that is already fully charged, being kept on a charger for a few more hours, is one of the things that diminishes battery capacity. Better to charge it up to only 80-90% and let it drain again. That way, one could keep the battery closer to the as-new state, which required charging only every SECOND day ;-)

As I recall that's only true of NiCad batteries. Newer batteries are usually Lithium polymer or lithium ion, and both those technologies fare better if you never fully discharge them, and shore them at 40% charge when not in use.

I'm worried about a hurdle nobody's mentioned. (1)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about 3 months ago | (#47550121)

It makes perfect sense to use lithium metal as an anode, as a way to minimize weight and maximize specific energy.

The problem is, it's an alkali metal, useful in a number of chemical processes -- including processes used to make meth. And so far, regulators in the US (and many other areas) have demonstrated that they'll do whatever they can to Fight the Meth Menace, no matter how much collateral damage they cause to industries, economies, and human well-being.

What kind of ridiculous regulations do you think they'll try to impose on devices that contain a multi-kilogram slab of Widely-Known Drug Precursor? Will we get cars that would have 500-mile range, but for the extra 500 pounds and two kilowatts of DEA/HSA-mandated security shielding and monitoring around the battery pack?

Re:I'm worried about a hurdle nobody's mentioned. (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 3 months ago | (#47550249)

What? Yeah because you can walk into your local pharmacy and get some lithium....think Potsy think.

Re:I'm worried about a hurdle nobody's mentioned. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47550273)

Nice try Walt.

Re:I'm worried about a hurdle nobody's mentioned. (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about 3 months ago | (#47550915)

Speaking of people that need to lay off the drugs...

Re:I'm worried about a hurdle nobody's mentioned. (1)

necro81 (917438) | about 3 months ago | (#47551167)

What kind of ridiculous regulations do you think they'll try to impose on devices that contain a multi-kilogram slab of Widely-Known Drug Precursor?

I would argue that none are really needed - it's a self-limiting problem. Any meth-head dumb enough to try to crack open an enormous battery pack and pull out a metallic lithium anode is likely to end up extra crispy.

Every month a new battery breakthrough, but.. (2, Insightful)

parabyte (61793) | about 3 months ago | (#47550211)

...why can't I buy all these wonder batteries?

In the last five years I must have read about at least fifty breakthroughs in battery technology, but nothing of it has reached the consumer (me) yet.

I believe that this is because researchers seem to exaggerate their research results for obvious reasons and seem to underestimate what it takes to make a successful product.

Regarding battery technology I completely stopped to believe anything that comes out of the research community.

Unless I can buy it, it does not exist.

p.

Re:Every month a new battery breakthrough, but.. (2)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 3 months ago | (#47550291)

Another brain dead moron. RTFA. The Stanford team developed a technique that could allow you to "design a pure lithium anode." It's a huge accomplishment. Nowhere did they say they had a battery ready for market. Moron.

Re:Every month a new battery breakthrough, but.. (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 3 months ago | (#47550581)

Nowhere did they say they had a battery ready for market. Moron.

No, but the GPs point remains valid -- we keep hearing about all of these breakthroughs in batteries, but they don't ever actually ever seem to materialize.

It certainly seems like all of this research never actually turns into anything you can actually buy.

So either these advances aren't trickling down to consumer stuff, or companies are doing a lousy job of telling us about it. If they're not trickling down to consumers, why?

Re:Every month a new battery breakthrough, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47551589)

Are you actually sure that non eof the advances have made it into batteries you use?

Have you actually looked at the specific tech in every battery you use, and checked it against patent numbers?

Batteries have been getting better (that's how consumer electronics keep getting thiner, more computationally powerful, and longer endurance at the same time), but battery tech gets marketed to the people who manufacture the device not the consumer directly.

Re:Every month a new battery breakthrough, but.. (2)

DamonHD (794830) | about 3 months ago | (#47553025)

Yes, they do materialise, just not in your/GGP's attention span it seems, nor all at once, nor at your convenience. Read an electronics catalogue rather than /. if all you want to know about is things ready *now*.

I have the benefit of a nice big LiPO4 pack at home, enough to run my server for a couple of days, which would absolutely not even have been a twinkle in my eye when I started in electronics and computing for example. Oh and a couple of months' worth of lead-acid behind it, essentially a century-old technology with a little bit of gel and MPPT cleverness folded in much more recently.

Retail tech is full of tiny incremental improvements, which sometimes started as R&D tech breakthroughs many many years before.

Rgds

Damon

Re:Every month a new battery breakthrough, but.. (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 months ago | (#47550549)

A) This story isn't about batteries.
B) This is a big breakthrough
C) Batteries have improved, and some og those things do make t to market. You just don't hear of them becasue they market it's impact, not the technology or science.
"20% longer! " Not "20% longer do to the tech Dr. So N So invented 5 years ago."

Nice to know aircraft carriers, 777s, and mount Rushmore dodn't exist in your wold.

Re:Every month a new battery breakthrough, but.. (5, Insightful)

Rei (128717) | about 3 months ago | (#47550589)

Except that you have bought them; you just haven't realized it. Energy density of li-ion batteries has grown by about 50% in the past five years. Have you seriously not noticed how cell phone and laptop battery mah ratings keep growing while they keep making the volume available for the batteries smaller?

It's big news when a new tech happens in the lab. It's not big news when the cells first roll off a production line.

Most new lab techs don't make it to commercialization. But a lucky fraction of them do, and that's the reason that you're not walking around today with a cell phone with a battery the size of a small brick.

Re:Every month a new battery breakthrough, but.. (4, Insightful)

Radical Moderate (563286) | about 3 months ago | (#47551103)

This. Compare today's cordless tools to those of the late 90s. Night and day. The battery revolution has been going on for years, but because it didn't happen overnight nobody's noticing.

I expect Slashdot to trumpet every potential battery break-through because it's new for nerds. I don't expect to find those new batteries on the shelf tomorrow because I'm not an idiot. It's a long road from the lab to the market, most brilliant ideas don't make it.

Re:Every month a new battery breakthrough, but.. (1)

Synon (847155) | about 3 months ago | (#47552199)

uhh... what? 50%? Is that how many numbers are made up on the spot? I build electric bike battery packs out of laptop batteries so I have paid close attention to cell capacity, and working in IT gives me an unlimited supply of old used batteries (nearly all laptop batteries use individual 18650 sized cells in series and parallel). 10 year old laptop battery packs with 6 cells are typically 56Wh, a battery from a brand new machine which still uses 6 cells has 64Wh. 14-15% over twice the time period is a far cry from 50%, so yeah, I seriously have not noticed.

Re:Every month a new battery breakthrough, but.. (1)

Twinbee (767046) | about 3 months ago | (#47552563)

mAh only tells half the story. You need the voltage in combination to determine the true energy capacity of the battery. Ideally we're looking at the 'watt-hour'. Only in a world where the voltage stays the same in all devices and conditions does it make sense to talk about amp hours as if that was the total energy.

Re:Every month a new battery breakthrough, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47553547)

Except that you have bought them; you just haven't realized it. Energy density of li-ion batteries has grown by about 50% in the past five years. Have you seriously not noticed how cell phone and laptop battery mah ratings keep growing while they keep making the volume available for the batteries smaller?

I've noticed, but I tend to attribute most of that to improvements in chip technology than improvements in battery technology.

Re:Every month a new battery breakthrough, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47550901)

Because the oil companies buy the patents and put it in a vault.

Re:Every month a new battery breakthrough, but.. (1)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 3 months ago | (#47551027)

parabyte,

When was the last time you weighed your L-ion battery and compared it's weight to it's energy storage rating? And have you been doing this every year? Battery technology has doubled capacity in the last 5 years and continues to accelerate. This lab breakthrough will likely be seen as quickly as they can engineer it and this is true of all the previous breakthroughs you've read about that have already made it into the batteries you use every day. You are ignorant and choose to display that ignorance for everyone to see. Congratz.

This particular breakthrough is a research breakthrough, these take the longest to engineer into the production methods used today. It will take some time to work down into the supply chain, but rest assured if the research can be duplicated and the process is reasonable it will work it's way into production once they can figure out the engineering of it.

Re:Every month a new battery breakthrough, but.. (1)

romanval (556418) | about 3 months ago | (#47551533)

Here's a suggestion: Don't ever listen to research announcements. Just buy the best of whatever exists right now.

Meanwhile the true nerds (like myself) will be excited about it because they give us a glimpse of what may become....

200 miles is enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47550363)

Frankly 200 miles would meet 99.99999% of all car travel. Heck most cars a few years ago that only got 15mpg could not go much further on a tank of gas anyway.

But 200 miles certainly covers any and all local in-town and in-area travel possibilities, and nearly everything but very long distance travel. That is roughly 4 hours away in time distance.

Re:200 miles is enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47552917)

Frankly 200 miles would meet 99.99999% of all car travel. Heck most cars a few years ago that only got 15mpg could not go much further on a tank of gas anyway.

But 200 miles certainly covers any and all local in-town and in-area travel possibilities, and nearly everything but very long distance travel. That is roughly 4 hours away in time distance.

Problem with your comparison here is that if you EV gets 200 miles out of a full charge, you are likely going to need 4+ hours to fully charge, even with a quick charger. They can do 80% charge in about an hour in a Tesla, topping off takes a few more hours due to temperature and longevity issues with the batteries. So if you go with the quick charge option, you are going to stop for an hour ever 160 miles or less, but only on a battery that's capable of doing 200 miles worth of capacity. This means 3 hours of driving, 1 hour of charging at a fast charger.

In addition, there is the problem that as a battery ages it's capacity decreases. If you figure that when capacity reaches 50% the battery is replaced, this means that your original 200 miles is now 100, and you are going to stop every 80 miles for an hour for a quick charge (1.4 hour driving, 1 hour charging). This means you really need to double the initial range. Good luck with that. ($$$)

Range anxiety is real, the problem is not going to be simple or cheap to fix. Right now the only thing you can do is add more capacity to the batteries and put in charging stations every 100 miles. You also need to realize that ACTUAL EV range and charge times can vary based on environmental conditions. So your 300 mile Tesla, may only really be reliable out to 150 miles on really cold or hot days and may take 6 hours to charge to 80%. The first time some EV owner find themselves begging for a 110V outlet in Timbuktu backwater USA where they have to stay for 8-10 hours just to make it to the next fast charger, you can bet they are going to seriously think about buying something else.

Stable? (0)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 3 months ago | (#47550605)

Stable is a relative term. Stable compared to what? It is the same thing I think of when someone says "soon". Are we talking "soon" compared to a fruit fly's life or "soon" compared to galactic time?
From the article;

According to Stanford, the results so far look promising. In tests the new lithium anode reached 99 percent efficiency over the course of 150 charge/discharge cycles.

150 charge/discharge cycles is not very much. That is only 5 months use. Who is to say that the battery does not degrade to 50% at 200 cycles? What about 3,000 cycles? I bet they have done that test a few times. They seem to be hiding something. Sure it may be stable compared to current lithium anode technology but is it stable compared to other lithium ion battery technology?

Show me the complete data or I will assume you are hiding something to make your technology look better and garner investment even though you know the technology has a fatal flaw.

Re:Stable? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 months ago | (#47551327)

Considering previous lithium anode had 50% efficiency at 100 cycles, this is quite an improvement.

IF you don't like reading about stuff that's in the load, then why the hell are you on /.? OR even reading this story?

Fucking ignorant haters are ruining everything haters.

Re:Stable? (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 3 months ago | (#47551439)

There is a huge difference between a "hater" and a "skeptic". Doubling from a absolutely useless number of cycles to a completely useless number if cycles is significant but not useful. I like reading stuff in the load but touting this kind of improvement as something that will revolutionizes electric vehicle pricing is much too soon. It appears to be a marketing ploy to gain investment in a sham. The sooner shams are expose the sooner investment goes into areas of real possibility.

53rd battery breakthrough of the year! (1)

peter303 (12292) | about 3 months ago | (#47550787)

I wonder if any are commercially viable.
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