New Battery Tech Could Triple Electric Motorcycle Range


New Battery Tech Could Triple Electric Bike Range

A chemistry team at the University of Waterloo, Canada, has achieved what may be a major breakthrough in battery technology. Led by Chemistry Professor Linda Nazar, the team discovered that the performance of a lithium-sulfur battery can be boosted dramatically by using a nanosheet of manganese dioxide. The increase has the potential to propel an electric vehicle three times further than a lithium-ion battery of the same weight.

Tripling the range of electric motorcycles could provide a huge boost to the fledgling industry by removing the primary concern most potential buyers have with the technology. If battery life can be extended in kind, and costs kept in line by volume production, acceptance of electric motorcycles will likely improve significantly.

“This is a major step forward and brings the Li-S battery one step closer to reality,” said Nazar, who also holds the Canada Research Chair in Solid State Energy Materials.


Dr. Nazar

The study revealed that the surface of the manganese dioxide nanosheet essentially transforms the sulfur cathode of a Li-S battery into a high-performance cathode that can recharge more than 2,000 times. Cathodes and anodes are the two electrodes on a battery, separated by an electrolyte solution. Sulfur, which is an extremely abundant, relatively light, and very cheap battery material, historically hasn’t worked as a cathode material because it dissolves into the electrolyte solution as the battery discharges.

The university reported that previous research by Nazar found that metallic titanium oxide could work to stabilize the sulfur, but the research published this week shows that nanosheets of manganese dioxide work even better. The main goal of this paper is to explain the mechanism at work. The chemical reaction that stabilizes the sulfur is similar to a chemical process discovered in 1845 during the golden age of German sulfur chemistry.

“Very few researchers study or even teach sulfur chemistry anymore,” said Nazar. “It’s ironic we had to look so far back in the literature to understand something that may so radically change our future.”

Categories: Bikes


Leave a Reply

22 Comments on "New Battery Tech Could Triple Electric Motorcycle Range"

newest oldest most voted

Cars, too.


I was thinking Semi trucks. They are very weight restricted. Every pound in battery is a pound of paid cargo they can’t carry.


Sorry dude. That’s not even remotely how it works.

Batteries are way smaller then possible cargo. Their weight is only concern for semi engineers who will need to design semi frame to hold it.

Cheaper or at least smaller batteries would be boon. Weight is off no issue a can attest various companies planning EV semi’s.


Sorry dude, but John is right. For long distance BEV freight trucks, the weight of the very heavy batteries does cut into the amount of cargo they can carry.

This won’t be an issue in most cases because most tractor-trailer loads (like 90% or more) don’t push the weight limit; space in the trailer is usually the limit rather than weight.

But it will make the use of BEV tractor-trailer rigs more restricted than diesel tractor-trailer rigs for long-distance hauling, at least until the weight of batteries comes down. (Hopefully with solid state batteries?)

Fortunately, most of the tractor-trailer freight hauling market is comprised of short- and medium-distance routes, up to ~300 miles, where smaller and lighter battery packs will suffice for BEV freight trucks.

Captain Obvious

Having no clue about the topic, I bet there there is a max. weight for semis+cargo – because bridges and stuff 😉


Of course there’s one in most countries, except for some exotic islands without roads …


Or, at the other end of the weight range, bicycles.

Flip side:
Electric Airplanes!

Getting High Powered Flight up to 2 Hours Run Time, Minimum, instead of the 20-30 Minutes at present, gives them a shot!

Getting a 160 Mph Aircraft with 4-6 seats, up to 4-5 hours range, would move the needle on Training Aircraft, Rental Aircraft, Some Bush Planes (but not All), Sightseeing Flights, and more!

However, we already have Electric Aircraft with time to climb records for 0-3,000 Meter class, that have demonstrated glider towing!


Is this a joke? This article is a rephrasing of an announcement made by the U of Waterloo _3_ years ago (Jan. 2015), when Nazar’s team published an
article in Nature Communications.

J P DeCaen

Thank you for pointing this out. Perhaps the editor could explain how this got recycled.




churnalism anyone?


It’s plagiarism. No links to the article you unearthed, and it is pretty much a copy of the article. And its three years old, which just makes it stupid too. Time to fire an editor…


This was a regular occurrence on the (now defunct) TheEEStory forum. We saw breathless, wide-eyed announcements of a supposed breakthru in battery tech about once every two weeks. Many of those supposed “breakthrough” announcements turned out to be merely recycled old press releases.

If this is the first time this has ever happened on InsideEVs, then I think the editors deserve at least some credit for vigilance, even if they did drop the ball in this one case.


Odd article – why is it kept so motorcycle-specific? Motorcycles are a low volume low margin niche market compared to cars. If it works in a motorcycle there is no reason why it wouldnt work in cars.




“New Battery Tech Could Triple Electric Motorcycle Range”

Wow… a 30% improvement in energy density would be significant news and this is 10X that. Good to know a magical “motorcycle battery” is on the horizon… lol.

Terry Lee

Breakthrough for fools, these are just acedemics in their little labs making stuff up that never materialise to real substance. Unless they can show a battery that can be put into an ev, these are just book theories which they write up to justify their jobs and government or university fundings.

Someone out there

Where do you think our current batteries comes from? Were they not developed in a lab?


Since this was announced 3 years ago (word for word), it begs the question, What has happened since? Any progress? Has there been steps towards commercialization? Developed an automated manufacturing process? This should be a follow-up article.


“these are just acedemics in their little labs making stuff up that never materialise to real substance”

Like John Goodenough, he was also one of these acedemics (contraction of ace & academic? nice find) who also never came up with anything useful from his lab.


Sounds great, I have been ground support electrician USMC. and more for over 40ty years. has it been tested. how long before it is made available to general public. What’s cost 10,000 times is real cost? would it work as well in solar storage. Also attended DeVry. Bachelor degree program Engineering.