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Honda announces promising new battery tech

by Drew Johnson

The new batteries offer 10 times the energy storage of today's lithium-ion tech.

A team of Honda scientists has developed a new battery technology that could one day displace lithium-ion chemistry as the go-to battery of choice for electric vehicles.

Scientists from Honda Research, along with researchers from the California Institute of Technology and NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, announced on Thursday that they've developed a more temperature-stable fluoride-ion battery technology. The breakthrough could net batteries that are not only 10 times more energy dense than today's lithium-ion batteries, but also better for the environment.

Fluoride-based battery (or FIB for short) technology itself is nothing new, but Honda and its partners were able to develop a more stable version of the promising battery tech. Previous FIBs required an operating temperature in excess of 300 degrees; the batteries Honda showed today are able to operate efficiently at room temperature. And, as a bonus, the materials required for an FIB can be extracted from the earth with little environmental impact.

"Fluoride-ion batteries offer a promising new battery chemistry with up to ten times more energy density than currently available Lithium batteries," said Dr. Christopher Brooks, Chief Scientist, Honda Research Institute. "Unlike Li-ion batteries, FIBs do not pose a safety risk due to overheating, and obtaining the source materials for FIBs creates considerably less environmental impact than the extraction process for lithium and cobalt."

There's still a lot of work to be done, but Honda believes that FIBs could be the future of electric vehicles, as well as smaller power products.