Phinergy, an Israeli developer of metal-air energy systems, has demonstrated a new type of aluminum-air battery that is capable of providing enough energy to power an electric vehicle (EV) for up to 1000 miles at a time—with occasional stops to take on more water. The company claims they have developed new technology that prevents carbon dioxide from entering the system, which in the past, has led to breakdowns of the materials used in such batteries.
Metal-air batteries get their energy via interaction between oxygen and metals. In this new battery system, the aluminum serves as the anode and the oxygen in the air as a cathode. The system is made up of aluminum plates that give up their energy and must eventually be replaced (via recycling, the company says). Water is used as an electrolyte, and thus it too must be replenished on a regular basis. The company claims that each plate holds enough energy to carry an EV for approximately 20 miles and that their system currently holds 50 of the plates at one time, which together add up to a charge capacity of 1000 miles (the system needs a water fill-up every 200 miles). Once the plates are depleted they must be replaced.