If you ran an electric car company and wanted to make your electric vehicles more competitive, what would you do? Elon Musk is in that position, and one of the things he’s doing is increasing the driving range of Tesla cars.
Musk has unveiled an EV battery that will significantly boost the performance of his EVs! What is the new wonder material, and what are its properties? Batteries have become an integral part of modern technology, with Elon Musk testing the new borophene battery just revealed.
As simple as they are, batteries power many things around you and let you operate them without always having to be connected to an electrical outlet! Think of a world where your smartphone always has to be connected to a socket before it can be used.
This is no fun! Batteries have other more important uses, such as in heart pacers. Due to the important role that batteries play in modern technology, scientists and engineers are always on the lookout for the best materials to use in batteries.
Which enhance their properties like driving range, charging speed, thermal conduction, safety, etc. Cost so that electronic gadgets can be more affordable! Elon Musk has reasons to be interested in batteries.
His dream is to help preserve the environment by replacing internal combustion engine cars that produce greenhouse gases with zero-emissions cars. This dream, while plausible, hangs over the battery, which stores the electrical energy that is used to drive the electric motor.
The better the EV battery, the more people will turn to them. Musk has also indicated that he would like to develop an electric plane, which he would like to use to replace his current private jet. However, doing so requires a lighter battery that is also higher in energy density.
This would allow the aircraft to be as light as possible and fly for as long as possible. With the current crop of batteries, it is difficult to find a battery that meets the unique demands of aircraft. Tesla has become a powerhouse in the battery industry as it designs its own batteries and sometimes produces them in collaboration with other companies.
However, the search for the best battery material is always on! Basically, all modern electric cars use lithium-ion batteries, which Tesla actually made popular with its first EV, the Roadster. Batteries have several advantages over lead-acid, which was a favorite for many decades.
It’s lighter, has higher energy density, doesn’t require much maintenance, charges faster, lasts longer, etc. However, lithium-ion batteries still have some disadvantages when used in electric cars. It’s still very heavy, making EVs weigh significantly more than their internal combustion engine car counterparts.
The battery also doesn’t charge fast, or gas up as easily as ICEs. In addition, they are very expensive to produce and even to dispose of properly.
You’ve probably heard of a surprising material called graphene, which has many promising applications that will transform many fields, including electronics, energy, health, and construction! In the first few years of its existence or discovery, scientists wrote more than 8,000 papers on the new material, showing just how much interest it was generating.
Graphene is extracted from graphite, a material used in pencils. Like graphite, graphene is composed entirely of carbon atoms, and 1 mm of graphite contains about 3 million layers of graphene.
Whereas graphite is a three-dimensional crystalline arrangement, graphene is a two-dimensional crystal that is only one atom thick. The carbons are fully distributed in a hexagonal honeycomb formation only 0.3 nanometers thick, with only 0.1 nanometers between each atom. Graphene is expected to increase the electrical conductivity of battery electrodes, improving their performance and mechanical stability. .
It will also help reduce battery cost and improve environmental footprint. However, there’s a new miracle material in town that beats graphene. It is known as borophene and is getting enthusiastic reception from material scientists and battery developers.
This exciting material is a two-dimensional atom-thin-sheet of boron, a chemical element traditionally found in fiberglass insulation.
The interesting thing about boron is that when in 3-D form, it is a non-metallic semiconductor. But in 2-D form it becomes a metallic conductor! Borophene is extremely flexible, strong and lightweight.