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Safer EV batteries could enter the crush zone

  • Magazine Feature Article
  • 13EVSD1218_02
Published December 18, 2013 by SAE International in United States
  • English

ARPA-e targets “robust” batteries that not only bear loads but also absorb crash-impact energy to save weight.

“There's been a lot of talk about the limited driving range and high costs of electric vehicles [EVs], but at the end of the day, range is really a cost problem,” said Ping Liu, Program Manager at the U.S. Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-e). “So if the metric is range per sticker price, it's clear that today's EV batteries are too expensive, store too little energy, and weigh too much.

“A while back, my ARPA-e colleagues and I asked ourselves: ‘What innovative approaches might drive down the costs while improving performance?’ And we thought: ‘Why not use the right chemistry for the purpose?’”