FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Monday, January 29, 2007

New Battery Technology Could Revolutionize Electric Vehicles

EEStor, a Texas-based startup, claims to have developed a battery that's 10 times more powerful than conventional electrochemical batteries, as well as less costly, safer, faster to charge and more environmentally friendly. The battery has the potential to be used in everything from electronic devices to electric cars to weapons systems to massive utility storage.

The battery, called an Electrical Energy Storage Unit (EESU), uses barium-titanate powders instead of lithium-ion, as well as ultracapacitor technology that permits large bursts of energy, up to 3,500 volts. This combination, say observers, could be the key to making electric vehicles truly practical. An EESU-powered vehicle could theoretically travel 500 miles on $9 worth of electricity, as opposed to an equivalent combistion-engine vehicle requiring $60 in gas to go the same distance.

EEStor has reportedly started production of EESUs. Although the technology has skeptics, the startup has some big-name backers, including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a venture capital firm that has invested in Google, Amazon.com and other highly successful tech firms.

Source: MIT Technology Review