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All the latest news for auto recyclers

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500 mile range from an EV battery!

VIC review
IBM planning 500 miles on a charge from their lithium air battery
We don’t need to take the issue of electric vehicles too seriously until their volumes reach a much higher level but the one thing holding sales back is range. Until the EV can go as far on a charge as a tank of fuel (and be topped up as quickly), the mass sales are not going to happen - but IBM believe they have the answer!


So what’s happening? IBM started the Battery 500 project in 2009 to explore the science of lithium air batteries, which hold the possibility of powering an electric car for 500 miles on a single charge. Lithium air technology was chosen because the lithium ion batteries used in today’s electric vehicles do not have the energy density required to give the 500 mile range that is seen to be important. Batteries in electric cars have an energy density of roughly 15Whr/kg. The Battery 500 project is looking at ten times that – 150 to 200Whr/kg, which would provide the equivalent of a tank of fuel.

“We knew that, amongst all the different battery technologies, it was the only one that could guarantee the energy density that we need to solve the problem; namely, to be able to drive a car for several hundred miles with a single charge,” explained Dr Alessandro Curioni, manager of the computational sciences group at IBM Research in Zurich. Lithium air batteries ‘borrow’ oxygen from the air as the vehicle is being driven, creating an ‘air breathing’ battery. As the main component is air, the battery would also be lighter as it would eliminate the heavy metal oxides currently used. The technology could potentially create a battery 87% lighter than a lithium ion battery, with much greater energy density, thereby solving all range and even weight issues.

During discharge, or when driving, oxygen molecules from the air react with lithium ions, forming lithium oxide on a lightweight cathode. The electric energy from this reaction powers the car. When charging, the reverse reaction takes place, with the previously borrowed oxygen returned to the atmosphere and the lithium going back to the anode. Essentially, it ‘inhales’ while driving and ‘exhales’ while being charged.

Dr Curioni is confident that a laboratory prototype, with all the characteristics necessary for application in the real world, will be ready in 2013. By 2015, a scaled up prototype capable of powering a car should be ready. If these go well, he envisages the technology could be implemented in the next decade or so.

Developments such as this are happening all the time in alternative technologies which will create big changes in all of our businesses in the future. If you would like to know more, visit The Battery 500 Project.

Latest stories

Who’s buying our salvage vehicles in Europe?
It seems that there are some questions surrounding the purchasing of vehicles by other European countries, in particular Cat B vehicles. One of our readers asked us the following:
Diesel and petrol car sales to be banned from 2040
In recent news and following on from France’s commitment to take polluting vehicles off the road by 2040, Britain has also followed suit by banning the sales of all new diesel and petrol cars and vans by 2040. The final plan is due by the end of July.
Palladium cost has increased, hitting a 16 year high
Automakers may have to decrease the use of palladium and seek an alternative due to higher prices of the metal
There is a use for rusty old cars!
This years’ Glastonbury featured ‘Cineramageddon’ – an interesting use of old vehicles.
The pressure’s on for tyres!
The Tyre Recovery Association (TRA) and National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA) warn of rising costs on tyre recycling due to regulatory changes and market conditions, factors that will affect used tyre collectors and re-processors.
Volvo to go electric by 2019
Volvos plan is to launch five electric models between 2019 and 2012 and a number of hybrid models and they aim to sell one million electrified cars by 2025.
We’re not a scrap yard, we’re a vehicle dismantlers
Atf Pro met up with the guys at Skan 4x4 Ltd to take a look at their great setup.
Code of practice flawed, the opinion of the BVSF
One has to be concerned when the insurer’s new Code of Practice (CoP) that received its “soft launch” a week or so back isn’t supported by either the Motor Vehicle Dismantlers’ Association or the British Vehicle Salvage Federation, two of the main owners of the pre-existing code.