Potentially Game-Changing Zinc-Air Battery Tech Gets ARPA-E Financing


Image: ReVolt

Your Tax Dollars at Work

ReVolt Technology is working on a very promising zinc-air rechargeable battery that could be used in electric cars and hold 3x more energy than lithium-ion batteries. You can find out more about it by checking out our previous post: Very Promising! Zinc-Air Battery Could Hold 300% More Energy Than Lithium-Ion. But the news today isn't about a technological breakthrough, but rather a financing one. The Department of Energy's (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) just opened its wallet and dropped $5 million to help move the zinc-air battery forward.This will help the company advance toward its ultimate goal of commercialization: "Factoring-in the ARPA-E award's additional capital, ReVolt plans to finalize new Portland facilities in the coming months and have its U.S. team and operations in place in Oregon by October 2010."

ReVolt's ARPA-E award is under the agency's "Batteries for Electrical Energy Storage in Transportation," or "BEEST" program, charged with improving U.S. energy security, spurring economic growth and dramatically cutting greenhouse gas emissions by developing a new generation of ultra-high energy density, low-cost battery technologies for long range electric vehicles.

If the theoretical potential of the ReVolt zinc-air battery can be reached at a competitive cost, electric cars could finally have an all-electric range that is competitive with gasoline & diesel vehicles, eliminating one of the big reasons why some people are hesitant to make the switch.

Lithium-Air Could be Even Better

Another potential game changer is the lithium-air battery: Lithium-Air Battery Could Have Up to 10x Storage Capacity of Current Lithium-Ion Tech. It also benefits from using air from the atmosphere, making it lighter than batteries that must carry around their whole chemistries in the sealed battery pack.

Via BusinessWire

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Tags: Alternative Energy