This where the emphasis should be on, I am afraid: "Although a lot more research is needed, the cycle life of the battery is what we were looking for." There have been so many promising developments in battery tech that somehow never made it to the market.
Mr. Hensley Garlington
Lets hope they nail it. We badly need new battery advancements. 5x the storage capacity of current tech!? Can you imagine a Tesla jumping from 320 miles on a charge to about 1600 miles on a charge with batteries about the same weight and size?! And electric motors and other equipment are always getting more efficient. This is so exciting.
Stephen N Russell
Once proven, mass produce, needed for PCs, phones, tablets, etc alone.
Peter Kelly
May be, could be, should be...
Perhaps a report on what they have actually done, rather than supposed, would make us a little more optimistic.
What I don't understand is we can have these batteries today if they would get over trying to recharge them. Ones that can be swapped at 50lbs gives about 1,000 mile EV range or power a home for a week to month. Just make them so they can be recycled cheaply using excess grid or dedicated clean power would easily be cheaper than gasoline..
@jerryd One problem with non-rechargeables is that there is no way to store the electricity from regenerative breaking and other energy reclamation technologies. This tech can boost range beyond what the current best energy storage is capable of alone.
Another problem, regardless of recharge-ability, is energy density. Storing that much energy in a small volume, increases the chance of an internal failure that can be catastrophic. Even if the technology exists to safely contain the potential, there will always be someone making cheap batteries that are unsafe. Think if the Swagway, but with 5x the potential energy.
I believe that better storage technology is necessary to create an infrastructure that make renewables a viable alternative. But it needs to be safe too.
Spacing of iridium nanoparticles: a previously unknown way of making Superoxide... and it frees the battery from carrying 'clunky internal oxidizers' just like using Hydroxide does. Sounds like better and better. I wonder if the other challenges are as yielding as this one.
I don't understand why developers aim for more mileage. Its recharging time they should take upon on. Tesla does 320 miles on one charge. How many miles can you do with a full tank of fuel?. If they mange to recharge batteries at about the same time a fuel tank takes to fill, its bye bye fossil fuels. Im not saying more mileage isn't good but the major problem is recharge time.
JerryD is on the right track, but needs to think a little further. Recharging time for batteries is a problem - too long and people can't get back on the road, too short and the electrical infrastructure demands are too high at the charging station. The solution is the ability to replace your batteries at the charging station, not recharge them in place. Having a standardized battery with usage metrics built in would allow for trade-in valuations. This would also allow for different battery types for different consumer needs (long life disposable, short life rechargable, ect.) and create a much more flexible market for battery advances.
Iridium is the second rarest naturally occurring element on Earth, so I'd be a little skeptical about this tech making it to mass production.
Pedro is correct: charging time is a big issue. Thing is, nothing reasonable can be done about that. To charge a Tesla-sized battery in a few minutes, the charging power needs to be in the several MW range. Even for very efficient batteries (98%), a 5MW charging power would cause 100kW of heat dissipation, which would melt any battery (and the car seats), without a large integrated cooling system.