Electric car with aluminum-air battery can go the distance

by | Nov 28, 2014

Alcoa and Phinergy build a demo car powered by a aluminum-air battery that can greatly extend travel range.

Electric car with aluminum-air battery rides 1,600 kmAlcoa and Phinergy have debuted a zero-emissions electric demo car powered by a aluminum-air battery at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal. The companies are collaborating on new materials, processes and components to commercialize the aluminum-air battery, which they claim can extend the distance an electric car travels by approximately 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles).

“Automakers want technologies that enable zero-emission electric cars to travel distances that compete with gasoline-powered cars. The aluminum-air battery has the potential to meet that challenge using fully recyclable material with no CO2 emissions,” said Martin Briere, President of Alcoa Canada. “Quebec’s focus on growing electric-powered transportation with the goal of being a leader in green technology, provides a strong backdrop. Alcoa and Phinergy look forward to collaborating with the Quebec government to advance this technology and the potential development of the aluminum-air battery in the province.”

“Electric vehicle adoption has been slowed by the limited range of regular batteries, causing what is commonly known as ‘range anxiety’,” said Aviv Tzidon, CEO of Phinergy. “With Phinergy’s technology, and Alcoa’s industrial leadership across both the aluminum value chain and the automotive market, we see an exciting opportunity to help move electric vehicles into the mainstream.”

Aluminium–air batteries produce electricity from the reaction of oxygen in the air with aluminium. They have one of the highest energy densities of all batteries. The technology allows to create electric vehicles with travel distances, purchase prices and life-cycle costs that are comparable to fossil-fuel cars.

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