Even with generous government and privately funded incentives and subsidies, drivers in United States have been slow to adopt the electric car. For one, gas is relatively cheap in the United States, so for car buyers, new and old, fuel efficiency is pretty low on the priority list and that has made trucks, vehicles with the worst fuel efficiency to be the biggest seller in the country. But for those that do worry about the environment or have thought of adopting an electric vehicle, the biggest concern that has buyers turning towards back to a fossil fuel engine vehicle is range anxiety. The worry that the vehicle may not be able to reach home or to a charging station before running out of power during a daily commute or while running errands.
According to AAA, the average American drives roughly 30 miles a day. Most of the newer mass produced models of electric cars on the market have roughly a travel range of roughly 250-300 miles, yet range anxiety still persists and the adoption rate is low. Mareike Wolter, project manager of Mobile Energy Storage Systems at Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in Dresden, Germany, has a team working on a new type of battery that would revolutionize the electric car market, capable of producing a range of about 620 miles on a single charge, almost double what is available on the market today. Currently, Tesla's latest model, the Model S 100D has a 100 kWh battery pack which allows it travel roughly 335 miles on a single charge.
The team's goal is to create a battery that would take up the same space as Tesla's battery but be able to store more power efficiently. "We thought if we could use the same space as the battery in the Tesla, but improve the energy desntiy and finally drive 1000 km, this would be nice," said Wolter. Instead of tweaking the current design and swapping out materials and components, they reinvented the whole battery itself. While the current Tesla battery is made up of individual lithium-ion battery cells, Wolter's project battery will contain a sheet-like design which utilizes the same space more efficiently. "It's a lot of wasted space, you have a lot of inactive components in the system, and that's a problem from our point of view," Wolter. The team aims to have the system ready to trials by 2020.