Editorial Feature

Ultra-Fast Carbon Electrodes for Revolutionary EV Battery Performance

Image Credit: Sergii Chernov/Shutterstock.com

France-based Nawa Technologies (NAWA) has introduced a ground-breaking ultra-fast carbon battery with unique electrode materials, combining the best nano and clean technologies to store more electricity than current batteries and improve performance.

The transportation sector contributes approximately 23% of greenhouse gases worldwide. In 2015, to address this problem, "Paris declaration on ElectroMobility and Climate Change and Call to Action" announced plans to reduce global warming by more than 2 degrees Celsius. This goal is only achievable if 20% of all vehicles by 2030 are electric vehicles (EV). 

EV Battery Performance

With the battery being the most expensive EV component, many different types of batteries have been researched to meet essential characteristics, such as efficient energy storage, lower cost, safety, and longer life.

A battery’s state of health (SOH) is understood to deteriorate over time, affecting the maximum usable range directly over time.

Canadian company, Geotab, has developed a fleet management tool based on the analysis of 6,300 fleet and consumer electric vehicles. The study confirms that EV battery lifespan is around eight years or 100,000 miles on average. This analysis depends upon the manufacturer, country, and several other factors, including charge level, topography, temperature, driving habits, and vehicle load.

Although the EV battery possesses an incredibly prosperous future, the current limitation of lower power energy, life cycle and safety demonstrates enhancement areas. Current electrodes are believed to have low electrical, thermal and ionic conductivity, and poor mechanical behavior when discharged and recharged. This leads to early delamination and degradation.

Ultra-Fast Carbon Electrodes

The availability of freely moving electrons makes carbon a highly conductive material. Another incredible advantage of carbon is its stability at high temperatures, making it a tough and durable material.

Oxford-based ZapGo has previously exploited the first carbon-ion battery that combines the super-fast charging capabilities of a supercapacitor with a Lithium-ion battery's performance.

In 2014, Power Japan Plus revealed a new battery technology, Ryden dual carbon, focusing on medical devices and satellite applications, using carbon materials that last longer and charges 20 times faster than lithium.

NAWA’s new Vertically Aligned Carbon nanotube (VACNT) electrode for batteries is expected to increase battery capacity by a factor of up to three while reducing charging time down to minutes instead of hours.

“NAWA’s Ultra Fast Carbon Electrode will allow us to charge batteries faster, go further and for longer – and all with a product based on one of the world’s most abundant and green materials: carbon.”

Ulrik Grape, CEO, NAWA Technologies

Carbon Nanotubes

Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) are covalently bonded carbon atoms that consist of rolled-up sheets of single-layer graphene. Their sp2 molecular orbitals with the fourth free valence electron is believed to be highly mobile, giving them their desirable properties of high conductivity and strength.

CNTs have 400 times the mechanical tensile strength of steel and a superior thermal conductivity to diamonds. Due to its VACNTs with the arrangement of 100 billion nanotubes per cm2, NAWA’s newly discovered Ultra-Fast Carbon Electrode is associated with the highest ionic conductivity with the highest electrical and thermal conductivity.

Electric Vehicle Battery Developments

Despite the challenges of high price and manufacturing techniques, popular EV manufacturers, such as Tesla, Honda, BMW, Ford, and Porsche, have utilized lithium-ion battery technology in their EV in an attempt to replace combustion engine vehicles.

With the electrodes accounting for almost 25% of the total battery cost, today’s global lithium-ion battery market is worth more than $35 billion.

The blooming opportunities in EV batteries to complement the existing technology has been an exciting challenge for many scientists. Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have explored cobalt-free Lithium iron phosphate cathodes to reduce the cost, increase lifecycles, discharge, and recharge rates.

Another invention, a glass battery, adds sodium or lithium to the glass to form an electrode in the battery. This is more affordable, stable and can handle higher temperatures better.

A startup in Cambridge, UK, Echion Technologies, has reportedly developed a mixed niobium anode for high-capacity lithium batteries to reduce the charging time to as little as six minutes.

Alternatively, sulfur as a common element has been designed with lithium to produce a lithium-sulfur battery at Monash University. It has been tested to give a longer battery life of five days on a cell phone.

NAWA’s Ultra-Fast Carbon Electrode is a considerable step towards designing effective electrodes that are safe and affordable.

Since it eliminates powder-based systems and relies less on rare-earth materials, the technology reduces battery systems' negative environmental impact.

NAWA also believes that its new design can offer significant cost savings while providing several desirable characteristics in one package, such as a considerable increase in power, energy storage, and lifecycle, as well as being clean. Due to its high durability, the ultra-fast carbon electrodes are applicable in many different applications, such as telephones, cars, renewable energies and buildings.

References and Further Reading

Anderson, M. (2017). Will a New Glass Battery Accelerate the End of Oil? [Online] IEEE Spectrum: https://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/energy/renewables/does-new-glass-battery-accelerate-the-end-of-oil (Accessed on 26 October, 2020)

Billington, J. (2020). Nanotechnology breakthrough delivers ‘game-changing’ EV battery performance. [Online] electric & hybrid: https://www.electrichybridvehicletechnology.com/news/materials-research/nanotechnology-breakthrough-delivers-game-changing-ev-battery-performance.html (Accessed on 26 October, 2020)

BusinessWire. (2014). Power Japan Plus Reveals New Ryden Dual Carbon Battery. [Online] businesswire: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20140513005472/en/Power-Japan-Plus-Reveals-New-Ryden-Dual-Carbon-Battery (Accessed on 26 October, 2020)

Chhantyal, P. (2020). How Carbon Nanotubes Could Lead the Way in Next-Generation Smart Fabrics. [Online] AZoNano: https://www.azonano.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=5549 (Accessed on 26 October, 2020)

Echion Technologies. (2020). Superfast Charging Battery Materials. [Online] Echion Technologies: https://echiontech.com/ (Accessed on 26 October, 2020)

GEOTAB. (n.d.). Electric Vehicle Battery Degradation Tool. [Online] GEOTAB: https://www.geotab.com/fleet-management-solutions/ev-battery-degradation-tool/ (Accessed on 26 October, 2020)

Iclodean, C., Varga, B., Burnete, N., Cimerdean, D., & Jurchiș, B. (2017). Comparison of Different Battery Types for Electric Vehicles. IOP conference series: materials science and engineering, 252(1). doi:10.1088/1757-899X/252/1/012058

Li, W., Lee, S., & Manthiram, A. (2020). High‐Nickel NMA: A Cobalt‐Free Alternative to NMC and NCA Cathodes for Lithium‐Ion Batteries. Advanced Materials. doi:10.1002/adma.202002718

MBI. (n.d.). Why Are Carbon Electrodes Used In Electrolysis. [Online] MBI: https://www.mbrashem.com/why-are-carbon-electrodes-used-in-electrolysis/ (Accessed on 26 October, 2020)

Monash University. (2020). Supercharging tomorrow: Australia first to test new lithium batteries. [Online] Monash University: https://www.monash.edu/news/articles/supercharging-tomorrow-australia-first-to-test-new-lithium-batteries (Accessed on 26 October, 2020)

NAWA TECHNOLOGIES. (n.d.). NAWA TECHNOLOGIES INVENTS ENERGY TRANSITION EQUIPMENT AND SYSTEMS. [Online] NAWA TECHNOLOGIES: https://www.nawatechnologies.com/ (Accessed on 26 October, 2020)

Raczek, T. (2015). The Paris Declaration on Electro-Mobility and Climate Change and Call to Action. [Online] United Nations Climate Change: https://unfccc.int/news/the-paris-declaration-on-electro-mobility-and-climate-change-and-call-to-action (Accessed on 26 October, 2020)

Wendt, Z. (2020). Current State of Electric Vehicle Battery Technology. [Online] Arrow: https://www.arrow.com/en/research-and-events/articles/current-state-of-electric-vehicle-battery-technology (Accessed on 26 October, 2020)

ZapGo. (n.d.). The Ultra Fast Charge Age is here. [Online] ZapGo: (Accessed on 26 October, 2020)

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Dr. Parva Chhantyal

Written by

Dr. Parva Chhantyal

After graduating from The University of Manchester with a Master's degree in Chemical Engineering with Energy and Environment in 2013, Parva carried out a PhD in Nanotechnology at the Leibniz University Hannover in Germany. Her work experience and PhD specialized in understanding the optical properties of Nano-materials. Since completing her PhD in 2017, she is working at Steinbeis R-Tech as a Project Manager.


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