Happyworker Sulfur Battery Technology Could Make Electric Cars Go Three Times Further By 2024
Limited range is one of the most frequent criticisms of EVs. Although a 300-mile rating is becoming increasingly common for current electric cars, some fossil fuel models can go twice as far on a tank. But what if your BEV could do 900 miles on a single charge? German battery startup Theion is promising technology that could deliver this possibility as soon as 2024.
The key to Theion’s technology is sulfur, and in fact the company’s name is derived from the Greek for this yellow mineral. According to CEO Dr Ulrich Ehmes, it has the properties required to deliver a revolution in battery chemistry, with knock-on benefits in all the key areas for EVs. Co-founder and CTO Marek Slavik had been working on the technology for the best part of a decade, and Ehmes has recently arrived to make it a production reality.
Theion's key technology is its use of sulfur to replace a variety of expensive rare earth minerals. ... [+]
DECKBAR.DEAs many EV haters on social media will tell you, EV batteries are full of rare earth minerals, which makes them expensive and ethically problematic to manufacture, particularly when sourcing cobalt from the Congo. Theion’s strategy is to base its battery technology on minerals that are far more abundant than those used in current Lithium-Ion cells, but that have similar potential for energy density.
Sulfur is the tenth most abundant element on Earth, and local sources are usually available in any chosen location in the world. “Existing battery technology uses nickel, manganese, and cobalt for the cathode,” says Ehmes. “It's called NMC 811, because it has 80% nickel, 10% cobalt, 10% manganese. In our case, we replace this NMC 811 with sulfur. So we have no nickel, no manganese, no cobalt, and we replace the current collective folds of copper and aluminum withy graphene so we have also no aluminum and no copper in our cells either. The only things we have in our cells are lithium metal foil, sulfur, and carbon.” To make this technology work, the sulfur must be melted to form crystals.