IBM battery breathes air -IBM photoIBM and partners are working on solving one of the biggest barriers to widespread electric vehicle adoption: limited battery range.

Under its Battery 500 project — an effort to build a battery capable of powering a car for 500 miles — Big Blue has designed a battery that produces power by taking in oxygen and then recharges itself by expelling that oxygen.

Because its driven by the outside air, such a battery can be significantly smaller and lighter than traditional lithium ion batteries, providing a much longer life per square inch.

Most people consider switching to electric vehicles to save money on gas and contribute to a healthier environment. But “range anxiety,” the fear of being stranded with no power, was cited by 64 percent of consumers as a main detractor to buying an electric vehicle.

Electric cars today typically can travel only about 100 miles on previous battery technology. Recognizing this, IBM started the Battery 500 project in 2009 to develop a new type of lithium-air battery technology that they thought would improve energy density tenfold, dramatically increasing the amount of energy these batteries can generate and store. Today, IBM researchers have successfully demonstrated the fundamental chemistry of the charge-and-recharge process for lithium-air batteries.

In 2012, industry leaders with a history of electric vehicle innovation, Central Glass and Asahi Kasei, joined the project to help IBM put research on the road.

(READ the story from Wired – See how it works in the video below…)

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