MAHLE Powertrain and Allotrope Energy have unveiled a breakthrough Lithium-carbon battery technology

Lithium Carbon battery tech that recharges in same time as it takes to refuel a conventional IC engine vehicle. MAHLE Powertrain and Allotrope Energy have unveiled a breakthrough Lithium carbon battery technology.

• Ultra-fast recharging is possible thanks to lithium-carbon battery technology.

• Supercapacitors and regular lithium-ion batteries are combined in this technology.

• Fully recyclable, devoid of rare-earth metals, and resistant to runaway.

• Mike Bassett of MAHLE Powertrain gave a paper at the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle exhibition on September 23rd.

MAHLE Powertrain and Allotrope Energy have introduced a novel battery technology that provides ultra-fast recharge and high power density. The novel lithium-carbon technology combines the advantages of supercapacitors with ordinary lithium-ion batteries to offer a complete charge in the same amount of time as refueling an internal combustion-powered vehicle. Furthermore, Li-C cells contain no rare-earth metals, are totally recyclable, and are immune to runaway events. Dr. Mike Bassett of MAHLE Powertrain will deliver the entire details at Cenex-LCV2021.

“Range anxiety is often quoted as the main barrier to electric vehicle adoption, but if the battery could be recharged in the same time it takes to refuel a conventional IC engine vehicle, much of that worry goes away,” suggests Dr Mike Bassett, MAHLE Powertrain’s Head of Research.

“With the rise of the on-demand economy, there’s been a rapid increase in the use of petrol-powered mopeds for urban deliveries such as take-away meals, and this has contributed to air quality issues in our cities,” continued Bassett. “Decarbonising these deliveries has so far proved difficult without maintaining a stock of expensive interchangeable batteries or switching to a larger, heavier electric vehicle with increased energy consumption.”

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MAHLE Powertrain and Allotrope Energy have unveiled a breakthrough Lithium-carbon battery technology
MAHLE Powertrain and Allotrope Energy have unveiled a breakthrough Lithium-carbon battery technology

MAHLE Powertrain, in collaboration with Allotrope Energy, has looked into how an electric moped could be used as an urban delivery vehicle, powered by a low-cost small-capacity lithium carbon battery tech that could be recharged in as little as 90 seconds between stops.

The lithium carbon battery technology developed by Allotrope Energy combines the advantages of supercapacitors with standard lithium-ion batteries to create a cell that can be recharged quickly while yet retaining a high energy density. An organic electrolyte separates a high-rate battery-type anode from a high-capacity electric double-layer capacitor (EDLC)-style cathode in this technology.

As a result, the battery cell has none of the heat deterioration issues that typical lithium-based batteries have. Its stability, even at high temperatures, allows for strong current supply and quick recharge without the use of sophisticated external cooling or complicated battery management systems.

Furthermore, its capacitor-style cathode enables a lifetime of over 100,000 cycles, significantly beyond that of ordinary batteries, while the absence of rare-earth metals and the design’s complete recyclability make it better for the environment both during and after production.

MAHLE Powertrain explored the scenario of a city-based e-moped fast-food delivery business with a 25-kilometer goal range as part of the project. A 500 Wh typical lithium-ion battery would require a mid-shift recharge that would take more than 30 minutes even with a fast charger. Furthermore, frequent fast charging diminishes battery life to the point where it will need to be replaced every year or two.

A lithium-carbon pack, on the other hand, might be charged at 20 kW in just 90 seconds, allowing for a complete charge in the time it takes to receive the next delivery.

“With ultra-fast charging, the size of the battery can be optimised to suit the scenarios the vehicle will be used in, and that leads not only to weight savings but also cost reductions that further lower the barriers to decarbonisation,” Bassett pointed out.

“The real challenge came in designing the electrical architecture capable of absorbing such high rates of charge,” said Bassett. “Additionally, with no suitable charging systems on the market that can deliver these charge rates from a domestic supply, we created our own bespoke design.”

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