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.