The future is in electric aviation, and to achieve this sustainable target, the tech companies are going the extra mile to do more than expected in a small period of time. Awe-inspiring news just hit the headlines a few days ago when researchers from Japan’s National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), revealed that they have finally evolved a lithium-air battery that can not only be used in electric passenger planes but also in drones, electric cars, and even in mobile phones. This unparalleled discovery has set all eyes on the researchers as to when these batteries will be available commercially. The project is in collaboration with “Japanese conglomerate SoftBank” with a similar endeavor to achieve energy efficiency and sustainability in the upcoming era of electronics.
The most exciting part is that this lithium-air battery will conquer the Tesla Model 3 and Panasonic batteries as well due to its highest-ever energy density. The energy density of the lithium-air battery is more than 500 watt-hours per kilogram (Wh/kg), as compared to the Tesla Model 3’s 260 Wh/kg lithium-ion. Patrick Wheeler, Global Director of the Institute of Aerospace Technology and a professor in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Nottingham explained that “What this does is give us a battery that is significantly better in energy storage than we have today.” Range anxiety is still an issue for electric vehicles, so if you can replace the battery pack of an electric car today with something that takes you twice or three times as far, that’s going to be a good place to be.”
When researchers saw the statistical results and performance characteristics related to the life cycle of this battery, they were amazed to know that the results show the longest ever achieved period, and its performance touched the optimum scale. Moreover, there is not a single problem with charging and discharging this battery as the process happens at normal room temperature. The battery is so lightweight and rechargeable, which makes it efficient to be used in electric planes, which promotes sustainability and measures to mitigate pollution.
However, Wheeler further added that “If you want all-electric flight over a large distance, the current lithium-ion batteries aren’t going to do it, because they become too big and too heavy.” Isn’t it an energy package with a lot of potential benefits in the real sense? Well, definitely, it is.