The guys from the Electric Future YouTube channel said they waited for the Tesla Battery Day to release the video you can see above. The reason for that is that the video could have to include something presented there. In the end, the 4680 cells were just mentioned as a way to bring costs down. The technologies on which electrification will rely promise to be massive compared to these Tesla cells and Electric Future lists five of them.
Most of them are already known to our readers, such as lithium-air and lithium-sulfur. After all, their potential for energy density makes any production battery based on them exponentially better than the best lithium-ion cell available today. Lithium-air alone could achieve 3,460 Wh/kg, which is almost ten times the maximum theoretical lithium-ion energy density limit.
The video also mentions solid-state cells, which are the main bet from most legacy automakers. QuantumScape is the best example of how much these companies want solid-state batteries to reach production as soon as possible.
One of the battery technologies is not necessarily related to chemistry as the first two the video mentions. On the contrary: it is possibly what will make all the others eventually work. That’s nanotechnology, and we really hope it can accelerate the development of all the promising new chemistries that the video lists, including one I had not heard about before watching the video: dual carbon electrodes.
InsideEVs wrote about that back in 2014 and never again. That was when Power Japan Plus – not Japan Power Plus, as the video mentions – unveiled the dual carbon electrode battery to the world. Things have changed since then.
In 2017, PJPEye bought the technology from Power Japan Plus and became responsible for the technology. Using a single carbon electrode, the company now sells a battery it calls Cambrian. The dual carbon electrode is still in development and has to improve energy density.
As it currently is, the Cambrian battery can be completely discharged and loses only 10 percent of its capacity after 8,000 cycles. That implies it can last more than ten years without any significant capacity loss, something Nissan Leaf owners cannot say about their cars' battery packs.
The list of advantages keeps going on: the Cambrian uses renewable materials in its manufacturing, and PJPEye claims no rare metals are used at all. These batteries are not prone to thermal runaways and work from -20ºC to up to 60ºC. While charging Li-ion cells can take up to 4 hours, the Cambrian requires only 20 minutes. A drone equipped with the Cambrian battery managed to fly 40 percent more than one with Li-Po cells.
Can the Cambrian be used in automotive applications? We will ask the company about that, but the irony is that the dual carbon electrode is the only promise PJPEye makes. Its single carbon electrode solution is already for sale. All other stuff mentioned in the video – including the 4680 cells – may still take a while to get there.