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1000- to 1800-mile range with aluminum-air battery added

1000- to 1800-mile range with aluminum-air battery added

Gene Frenkle | 6 juin 2014

I finally found out much water this battery uses--about 1 liter per kg of aluminum, so that is not too great a weight or volume penalty...especially considering you don't typically have to drive around with all of the water for 1000 miles.

babstude | 6 juin 2014

that is am amazing technology if it works well and is viable ... will be interesting to watch how it goes ...

Timo | 6 juin 2014

One liter / one kg of Aluminum is doubling the weight. One liter of water weights almost exactly one kg.

Those are not rechargeable. They are suggesting using it as "range extender". As such it could actually be useful. If 100kg of Al-Air gives 3000km of range then 30 kg of it gives roughly 1000km. Make that three modules 10kg each and you could install those yourself when you suddenly need bigger range in place with SC nowhere close by.

GeekEV | 6 juin 2014

Water, water, every where,
And oh my range did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to charge.

(damn, charge doesn't rhyme)

Dramsey | 6 juin 2014

I see the article describes the range as "theoretical", and really, the mileage estimates are useless: we need to know how many kWh we can pull from the battery.

So it hasn't actually been demonstrated in the real world yet; the article notes they're still trying for a pilot project.

In other words, it's no different than any other miracle battery technology we've read about over the past few decades.

Yawn. Wake me when I can buy one.

lph | 7 juin 2014

If I recall correctly, Tesla already has patents for combining metal air batteries with their Li system... So they are ready when something like this actually does work.

Ion man | 7 juin 2014

Imagine if Tesla's could have an access panel to connect a small aluminum-air battery into the Powertrain as a 50 mile emergency range extender. The shelf life of aluminum-air is long enough to where the emergency pack can be connected and kept dormant for decades.

Iowa92x | 7 juin 2014

Ha ha ha. Nope.

Jolinar | 8 juin 2014

First of all, it is NOT a battery, it can't be recharged...
It's more like a fuel cell which consumes aluminium instead of hydrogen.

I like it... Could be interesting range extending technology for certain consumers, but I'm not sure I'd bought it. Maybe... Price and other specs (total energy AND power density) would be the key factors for me.

Jolinar | 8 juin 2014

Just to pin point it bit more...
According to the source energy density is great, but what about power density? how bit it needs to be to generate at least 60kW to be usable?

Jolinar | 8 juin 2014

*how big it needs to be...

Remnant | 8 juin 2014

Because the combo aluminum-plus-water is consumed in the process, at the end of the traveled 1000 miles, one would have to trade it in for a new or aluminum-replenished "battery."

In effect, this combo is just a power plant used to recharge your Lithium-ion battery on the go, during the longer trips. It has the merit of being clean (no emissions) and potentially inexpensive (1 kg of aluminum is said to cost only $1.1), but the actual cost of the Phinergy aluminum-air product does not seem to be available yet.

I imagine Tesla could supply a recharge connector inside the frunk for the owners who want to carry such a power plant along on longer trips.

Gene Frenkle | 8 juin 2014

I don't think it needs to generate 60 kW to be useful in a Tesla. I think one of the minor problems with the Volt and i3 is that in order to qualify for tax credits they had to make some compromises. So the Volt and i3 could get better mpg on long trips if one could trickle charge once the battery gets to 75%. Plus they could keep trickle charging at stops, this way the ICE could run at 10 kW instead of whatever it has to run to sustain the charge.

That said, I think I read that this battery should be able to produce enough power to sustain the lithium battery charge, although in Phinergy video they had to stop the car several times in order to give the lithium battery time to charge up.