Battery Breakthrough May Triple the Range on a Single Charge

New research at the University of Waterloo in Canada may triple the range of current batteries.

A battery breakthrough may be on the horizon if Canadian research pans out.

Quanan Pang, who led the research while a PhD candidate at Waterloo, and his fellow researchers made a breakthrough involving the use of negative electrodes made of lithium metal. The material has the potential to dramatically increase battery storage technology.
With increased energy density and therefore energy capacity, electric vehicles could see as much as three times the range on a single charge.
“This will mean cheap, safe, long-lasting batteries that give people much more range in their electric vehicles,” said Pang.
In developing the technology, two challenges arose for researchers. The first involved a risk of fires and explosions caused by microscopic structural changes to the lithium metal during repeated charge-discharge cycles. The second involved a reaction that creates corrosion and limits both how well the electrodes work and how long they last.
Researchers were able to solve both problems by adding a compound of phosphorus and sulfur to the electrolyte liquid carrying a charge within batteries.

Technical Details

Those interested in the technical details can find them on Joule: An In Vivo Formed Solid Electrolyte Surface Layer Enables Stable Plating of Li Metal.


I have always been in the group who believed electric would win out. However, theoretical research is one thing and actual development that works without a hitch is another. Anyone recall exploding phones?

At triple the range, electric becomes a viable option for a huge percentage of people.

The question now is not if such technology will eventually work, but when. I suspect such technology will be in widespread use within a few years.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

No. 1-9

If the technology ever becomes viable, Tesla will buy them out and bury the technology.


To respond to an earlier comment about the loss of tax revenue because of reduced fossil fuel consumption: They are already seeing this with increased fuel economy and are struggling with it. This reduction has made them well aware of the problems that EV will bring.
What's their solution? Only time will tell. I suspect they will start much heavier taxation on power and apply some taxation on those who generate their own power lest they become a source of tax evasion. Or they will move back to the method of vehicle weight.
Whatever they do, they will make things more expensive and will do it in such a way as to warp the economies.


Wow. Lithium is too reactive and may cause a fire so they add phosphorous? The same stuff they make incendiary bombs out of? Every night will be like the 4th of July...


Over the last 10 years we have seen small, incremental improvements in battery technology. I have followed this area with great interest, looking for a significant breakthrough that would make electric vehicles, wind and solar power (etc.) more viable. I thought that a US company, EESTOR, was close to a breakthrough around 10 years ago, only to be disappointed. Since then, every "breakthrough" I have looked into, has not yet proven practical. I hope that this turns out to be the breakthrough, however, battery improvement is an area of constant disappointment. It is the main reason that I continue to believe that most vehicles will be hybrids, not full electric in the future. I am still a big believer in autonomous vehicles being the big breakthrough over the next ten years. But most of them will be hybrids until we get better batteries.


Question is -- what about the economics? Not just the impact of subsidies, but the impact on greedy governments if they start to lose the vast cash flow they get from taxing fossil fuels. And of course there is the perpetual question with electric anything -- what fuel will be used to create the power to charge the batteries?