Part II: Active materials
In Part 1 of this article series, we learned that there is huge potential for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) to take over a significant part of the passenger car industry soon. However, this revolution hinges on batteries becoming safer, more energy dense, more environmentally friendly and—also very important—less expensive. Here, we’ll highlight a number of revolutionary active materials which, in the near future, can replace the conventional materials currently used in lithium-ion batteries.
So-called ‘active materials’ are responsible for the actual charge storage, and are situated at the battery’s electrodes. Anode and cathode each use a different chemical compound as active material. In state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries, for instance, graphite and nickel-cobalt-manganese-oxide (NMC) are the two most popular materials of choice for the anode and cathode, respectively.
Now, let’s take a look at the new materials in the pipeline.