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Long-Life Rechargeable Alkaline Batteries for EVs

Princeton University
Fast, Aqueous Multiple Electron Ubiquitous Systems for Robust, Affordable Next Generation EV-Storage (FAMEUS RANGE)
Program: 
ARPA-E Award: 
$952,187
Location: 
Princeton, NJ
Project Term: 
12/11/2013 to 03/31/2015
Project Status: 
ALUMNI
Technical Categories: 
Critical Need: 
Driving range, safety, and cost remain the biggest hurdles in the way of mass electric vehicle (EV) adoption. Innovative approaches to EV battery manufacturing present the opportunity to maximize stored energy relative to the weight of EVs, allowing for up to three times the driving range. These new battery chemistries and designs prevent overheating, are immune to catastrophic failure, and can be incorporated into the structure of a vehicle to improve strength in some cases. Much of this can be accomplished at a 30% lower cost compared to conventional batteries, thus bolstering widespread adoption of EVs.
Project Innovation + Advantages: 
Alkaline batteries are used in a variety of electronic devices today because of their ability to hold considerable energy, for a long time, at a low cost. In order to create alkaline batteries suitable for EVs, Princeton University will use its expertise in alkaline battery systems examine a variety of suitable positive and negative electrode chemistries. Princeton will then select and experiment with those chemistries that show promise, using computational models to better understand their potential cycle life and storage capacities. Once a promising chemistry has been settled on, Princeton will build and test a prototype battery for an EV.
Potential Impact: 
If successful, Princeton's new alkaline chemistry could result in low-cost electric vehicle batteries that incorporate common materials and manufacturing techniques, require minimal shielding and packaging.
Security: 
This technology could booth the energy density of EV batteries to 200 Watt hours per kilogram, enabling the mass adoption of EVs and dramatically reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
Environment: 
Greater use of EVs would reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, 28% of which come from the transportation sector.
Economy: 
Technological advancements from the RANGE program could enable EVs to travel significantly further on a single charge at a much lower cost than that of current EVs and conventional vehicles.
Contacts
ARPA-E Program Director: 
Dr. John Lemmon
Project Contact: 
Prof. Daniel Steingart
Partners
University of California, San Diego
Georgia Tech Research Corporation
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Release Date: 
8/21/2013