Challenges in electrification

The world climate is changing very rapidly due toincrease in emissions of greenhouse gases (such as CO2)...

The world's climate is changing very rapidly due to increase in emissions of greenhouse gases (such as CO2). Transportation sector alone is responsible for about one quarter of all CO2 emissions. Due to the increasing concern over climate change causing ability of fossil fuel driven cars, e-mobility transportation is considered to be a far cleaner and environment friendly alternative. However, there are many challenges the mobility sector faces .The most important one is related to the Electric Vehicles (EV) battery.

The wider acceptance of e-mobility as compared to fuel driven vehicles is restricted by its lower range. The range of the EV vehicles is mostly determined by the capacity of the battery. The Li-ion batteries that are used now a days in EV vehicles are large and heavy and therefore limits the capacity of installation.

Another challenge faced by the EV vehicle batteries is its long charging times. This is partially because our power networks are using AC. The AC current must first be converted to DC to charge the battery whether the car's electricity is supplied from a standard outlet or a three-phase socket. This is done with an onboard charger. But it will heat up even with the finest technology and efficiency. Since the vehicle is limited in space and cooling capabilities, as much power cannot be drawn as required. This leads to multiple hour charging periods to charge the battery completely.

In order to tackle these challenges, many researchers are working around the world to improve the efficiency and life of EV vehicles batteries. Last year, Innolith AG, a German firm, revealed to be working on anew sort of EV battery, which would let an automobile to have a maximum range of 1000 kilometers. The non-flammable inorganic electrolyte used in the technology, which may be commercialised as early as 2022, minimizes the chance of the vehicle catching fire when compared to the combustible organic electrolyte present in standard electric car batteries.

Because Lithium is rare element on earth, and as demand for lithium will increase, the price of lithium will also increase in the future. That is why, potential alternatives to lithium are also utilised in the batteries. For instance, EV makers are interested in sodium ion batteries because of their less cost. They function in the same way as lithium-ion batteries, but the problem is that sodium is heavier and save less energy thanlithium. Similarly, multivalent batteries, which have a higher charge than lithium and so supply more than one electron to the circuit, are a step farther in the future. However, scientists face significant challenges in developing these batteries, but they have the potential to provide even more energy storage.

Despite these challenges, the future of the electric vehicles is unstoppable. At the core of battery research, scientists are working tirelessly to improve and made advancements in battery technologies because they know that electric vehicles are the answer to the one of the greatest challenge of modern times – Climate change and batteries are the key to the sustainable and affordable e-mobility of the future.