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Battery researcher Jie Xiao. Photo: Andrea Starr/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

A new battery material design relying on more nickel could lead to electric vehicle power systems that are cheaper and offer greater range.

Why it matters: Today's batteries are often bulky and expensive, provide limited range and rely on rare materials that are often sourced from conflict-torn regions.

Details:

  • The new design, developed by researchers at the Energy Department's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington, improves on current lithium-ion batteries through the use of a single crystal, nickel-rich cathode.
  • The researchers estimate that the single-crystal, nickel-rich cathode packs at least 25% more energy than the lithium-ion batteries used in today’s electric vehicles.
  • The findings were published on Friday in the journal Science.

What's next: Battery researcher Jie Xiao said it’ll likely take around five years for the tech to come to market.

Go deeper

Robbie Diamond: U.S. should not depend on China for rare earth minerals

Axios' Joann Mueller (right) and SAFE's Robbie Diamond. Photo: Axios

The United States should wean itself from dependence on China for its rare earth minerals and metals supply, Robbie Diamond, CEO of Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE), said on Friday in an Axios virtual event.

Why it matter: Rare earths are crucial in the manufacturing of commercial electronics, military technologies and the batteries and magnets used in electrical vehicles — and China is the world's leading processor and exporter of those materials.

Ina Fried, author of Login
17 mins ago - Technology
Column / Signal Boost

Huawei sanctions snarled chip supply chains

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The largely successful U.S. effort to hobble China's Huawei has benefitted a host of other tech companies — from smartphone makers such as Apple and Xiaomi to chipmakers like Qualcomm to network vendors including Nokia and Ericsson.

Yes, but: The massive disruption to the industry furthered an industry wide mismatch between supply and demand, exacerbating the global chip shortage.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
37 mins ago - Health

Overturning Roe could strain abortion access even in blue states

The Supreme Court is reflected in a woman's sunglasses during a march Oct. 2. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, abortions could be harder to access even in states where they remain legal, because those clinics could be flooded with patients from states that have cracked down.

The big picture: This has happened before, and clinics fear the crush of demand would be a major problem in the immediate wake of a decision that would allow states to ban abortion.

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