Electric vehicle manufacturers and battery makers have long been searching for the “Holy Grail” technology that could lower the cost of batteries while also extending their range. Government research labs, venture capital, startups, and large corporations have all toyed with different ways to get to the promise land.
But one material is emerging as the most promising innovation to date that could actually lead to cheap, long-range and fast-charging electric vehicles: graphite. Companies included today are: General Motors Company (NYSE: GM), FMC Corporation (NYSE: FMC), Magna International Inc. (NYSE: MGA), Pretium Resources Inc. (NYSE: PVG), Global X Lithium & Battery Tech ETF (NYSEARCA:LIT)
Graphite is a crystalline form of carbon. Within graphite is , the world’s thinnest material that has some superlative properties. Graphene is incredibly durable and tough – 200 times stronger than steel – yet ultra-light weight. It is described as the world’s strongest and lightest material. It is also transparent, and conducts electricity substantially better than copper. Electrons can travel using graphene with virtually zero resistance and no heat loss, nearly qualifying it as a superconductor.
These virtues have singled it out as one of candidates most likely to take lithium-ion batteries to the next level, potentially leading to a breakthrough for electric vehicles. The thinking is that graphene will allow EVs to recharge must faster and go longer distances.
The only problem is that production of graphene is still low. Graphite itself is still cheap, but the trick is rendering out the graphene. Scientists were only able to separate out graphene in 2004, and researchers and entrepreneurs are still looking for ways to mass produce the material at low cost.
There lots of ideas to render out graphene – synthetically, electro-chemically, ultra-sound and microwaves are just a few.
The full story is available below.
Source: PR Newswire
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