Renault's EV Breakthrough: Aluminium Air Battery

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Renault is in the forefront to adopt a new aluminium air battery for its electric cars that would increase their overall range seven-fold, including the Renault Zoe EV.

Aluminium-air batteries or al-air batteries produce electricity when oxygen from the air oxidises aluminium. About 4kWh of electricity and heat can be extracted from a single kilo of aluminium.

Each al-air battery cell has a positive cathode and an aluminium negative anode. The battery cell has water-based electrolyte in between them.

Battery developer Phinergy's breakthrough is a catalyst based on Silver, that only allows oxygen from the existing air surrounding the battery into the positive cathode.

These new aluminium-air batteries are lighter, much more compact and offer greater energy output and will cost less than half the price of traditional lithium-ion batteries.

Aluminium-air technology might just transform the EV's appeal in the modern world by offering much more range and easier recharges.

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Story first published: Tuesday, January 20, 2015, 20:59 [IST]
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