Elon Musk Responds To Alleged “Battery Breakthroughs”
Likely in response to this article “Ultra-fast charging aluminum battery offers safe alternative to conventional batteries” posted at PhysOrg, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk posted this on his Twitter account:
The “breakthrough” battery discussed in the PhysOrg article is of the aluminum-ion variety. Problem is the article does not list complete specs for the battery. It does state that the “battery was able to withstand more than 7,500 cycles without any loss of capacity” and that the “battery produces about half the voltage of a typical lithium battery,” but specific numbers are not present. So, this battery would fail the Musk “breakthrough” test.
However, even a quick read of the PhysOrg article would convince just about anyone that the battery being discussed is nowhere near ready for commercialization:
“Millions of consumers use 1.5-volt AA and AAA batteries,” Hongjie Dai, a professor of chemistry at Stanford siad. “Our rechargeable aluminum battery generates about two volts of electricity. That’s higher than anyone has achieved with aluminum.
“Our battery produces about half the voltage of a typical lithium battery. But improving the cathode material could eventually increase the voltage and energy density. Otherwise, our battery has everything else you’d dream that a battery should have: inexpensive electrodes, good safety, high-speed charging, flexibility and long cycle life. I see this as a new battery in its early days. It’s quite exciting.”
And there is this counter claim/justification against lithium that makes us wonder, at least about an automotive application for this new technology:
“Lithium-ion batteries can be a fire hazard”, Stanford grad student Ming Gong, co-lead author of the Nature study, “…lithium batteries can go off in an unpredictable manner – in the air, the car or in your pocket.”