Toyota Claims Magnesium-Ion Battery Success
Light and powerful lithium-ion batteries have allowed automakers to make electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles with ample acceleration and reasonable range and life. But lithium is expensive—the battery pack of the Nissan Leaf costs about $12,000—and the range of electric vehicles is still limited—about 138 miles per charge in ideal conditions for the Leaf—making the technology a tough sell for many drivers.
Toyota researchers are making steady progress in developing a battery that uses magnesium instead of lithium, and which could someday offer a cheaper and more energy-dense alternative.
Earlier this month, researchers at the Toyota Research Institute of North America (TRINA) in Michigan published a paper in the journal Chemical Communications that describes experiments involving a magnesium-ion battery with a new kind of anode, made of tin, and the same type of electrolytes used in lithium-ion batteries.
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