Battery hype
Oct 30, 2015
Bishop Hill in Energy: electric cars

UK readers might recall the episode of Top Gear, when Jeremy Clarkson drove from London to Edinburgh on a single tank of fuel. Today there are claims floating round that electric cars will soon be able to achieve the same feat.

A breakthrough in electrochemistry at Cambridge university could lead the way to rechargeable super-batteries that pack five times more energy into a given space than today’s best batteries, greatly extending the range of electric vehicles and potentially transforming the economics of electricity storage.

This sounds like great stuff, although if you read further, Clare Grey, the researcher whose breakthrough this is, says that there are a lot of caveats:

We haven’t solved all the problems inherent to this chemistry. least another decade of work is likely to be required to turn it into a commercial battery

She also claims that the battery can be recharged 2000 times, which, if it can also take a car the 400 miles from London to Edinburgh on a single charge, would give it a theoretical lifetime range of 800,000 miles.

I'm not sure I'm going to hold my breath here.

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