How is Traction Battery Shaping the Future of Driving?

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What if we say there’s a revolutionary innovation that is changing the way we drive? Imagine a world where traditional fuels are a thing of the past, and we use pure electric power to go on thrilling adventures. This electrifying world’s imagination has come true with the traction battery, the driving force behind the electric vehicle revolution.

So buckle up as we take you on a journey through the electrifying world of traction batteries and discover how it’s reshaping the future of transportation. Are you ready to be amazed? Let’s dive in!

The Traction Battery’s Electric Evolution

The batteries specifically used in EVs are commonly referred to as traction batteries and these are the primary source of power for EVs and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). These batteries, also known as electric vehicle batteries (EVBs), are essential in electric vehicles (EVs) because they store the energy that is used to power the vehicle’s electric motor.

An important aspect of traction battery configurations is the need for high capacity in proportion to weight and volume, as the vehicle must also define its capacity source. Traction batteries are occasionally deep-cycled and require a quick charging rate to be usable, for the most part, within 24 hours.

Forklifts and electric trucks are two main applications of traction batteries. These batteries are often seen in a rounded plate shape, which works particularly well during deep cycle operation. These batteries differ from starting, lighting, and ignition (SLI) batteries in that they are designed to maintain power for an extended period. For these applications, deep-cycle batteries are employed rather than SLI batteries.

Traction batteries for electric vehicles should have a high ampere-hour limit and have a moderate energy density and capacity ratio to weight and energy. Lighter-weight batteries reduce vehicle weight and improve appearance.

Top 5 Traction Battery Innovations that are Driving Electric Mobility

As many industries are leveraging the power of traction batteries, companies and researchers are investing in technological advancement to stay ahead of the curve. Here are the top five innovations in traction battery technology that are positively impacting the EV industry:

1.  Solid-State Batteries

The development of solid-state batteries is one of the most promising advancements in traction battery technology. These batteries use solid electrolytes rather than liquid or gel-based electrolytes, making them safer, more efficient, and longer lasting. Solid-state batteries also have a higher energy density than traditional batteries, which means they can store more energy in the same space.

Toyota and BMW are investing extensively in solid-state battery technology, and a few firms, such as QuantumScape and Solid Power, are already making strides in this field.

2.  Silicon Anodes

Anodes are simply one of two electrodes in a main battery and play an important role in how much energy a battery can store. Silicon anodes are being developed to replace the typical graphite anodes, which are currently used in most batteries.

Since silicon has a greater energy density than graphite, a battery with a silicon anode can store more energy in the same area. However, silicon anodes expand and contract when charged and discharged, which can lead the anode to fail over time. Researchers at the U.S. National Laboratory of Medicine are working on solutions to this problem to make silicon anodes a feasible choice for traction batteries.

3.  Lithium-Sulfur Batteries

The development of lithium-sulfur batteries is another significant innovation in traction battery technology. As they have a higher energy density than lithium-ion batteries, they can store more energy in the same space. They are also less expensive to make and use more environment-friendly materials.

The University of Texas researchers have invented a lithium-sulfur battery that can store up to four times the energy of a lithium-ion battery of the same weight. These batteries have longer use and are suitable for both electric vehicles and cell phones.

4.  Dry Electrode

Dry electrode coating and anode pre-lithiation in battery manufacturing are other key advancements that offer substantial cost reduction. The dry electrode approach not only eliminates the use of the hazardous solvent NMP in manufacturing but also lowers battery costs by up to 50%. In the United States, Freyr, Fujifilm, Volkswagen, and Lucas TVS have previously licensed this method from 24M Technologies.

Auto giant Tesla is developing a dry electrode concept using Maxwell’s proprietary technique. Despite pledges to commercialize the process by 2025, scaling it would be a key impediment to successful commercialization.

5.  Recycling and Second-Life Batteries

As the number of electric vehicles on the road rises, so will the amount of batteries that must be recycled or repurposed. Recycling traction batteries is critical to lowering waste and mitigating the environmental effects of electric vehicles. Several companies are focused on developing more efficient and cost-effective recycling techniques, including Tesla and Redwood Materials.

Another interesting approach to repurpose spent traction batteries is to utilize second-life batteries. Even when they are no longer fit for use in a car, these batteries can still deliver a large quantity of energy and can be employed in applications such as home energy storage.

Traction Battery: From Fumes to the Future

We’ve explored the remarkable potential of traction batteries in reshaping the landscape of transportation. From its smart and small design to its impressive endurance, this technology has proven that electric mobility is more than just a trend – it’s a powerful solution for building a sustainable future. As we continue to witness advancements in technology and a shift toward electric vehicles, the traction battery stands as a testament to our collective commitment toward a greener tomorrow.

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