Panasonic claims new battery tech will increase range by 20%

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Major supplier says improved batteries will also allow electric vehicles to be roomier and lighter

Major battery supplier Panasonic has claimed its new technology could increase range by 20%, allowing for roomier and lighter EVs.

The Japanese company is working to make its batteries more energy-dense. This would mean the same size pack could deliver a longer range and give manufacturers the chance to use smaller batteries without forfeiting any distance.

To do this, Panasonic plans to use a new mix of additives to allow individual cells to run at a higher voltage without damaging the battery’s performance, chief technology officer Shoichiro Watanabe told Reuters.

He said the firm plans to roll out this new technology in stages over several years, then advance it enough to hit its 20% target by 2030. However, he didn’t confirm how far away the first implementation of this chemistry into batteries would be.

When its goal is achieved, the Long Range variant of the Tesla Model Y could increase its range by 62 miles from 331 to 393. Panasonic is a long-standing supplier of battery parts to Tesla.

“The race among battery makers has been to come up with more potent and effective additives,” Watanabe said.

He added that, as the battery system is the most expensive element of an EV, anything that can improve performance, as well as lower costs, will help to draw more investment.

The new battery chemistry would also be combined with another new technology that Panasonic is working on, which it says can slow a battery’s degradation at a higher voltage.

This is important to its goal, because higher voltages allow for an increased ability to store energy but subsequently reduce battery performance in the long term.

Speaking to Reuters, Shirley Meng, a professor at the University of Chicago, said that “improving energy density by 20% is entirely possible” but only if Panasonic can deliver on the improvements described.

Source: Autocar

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