How far can you get on a tank of gas? 200 miles? 300? Maybe even as much as 500 miles in a single tank (and if so, you either have a very light right foot, or a very big gas tank!) 500 miles seems to be the “golden ticket,” as it were, when it comes to electric vehicles and their batteries. There is even a government-sponsored contest that will award a large sum of money to the first individual or company to make a battery that can propel a car 500 miles. That is a long time coming though… right?
Not according to Martin Eberhard, a former Tesla employee who is now developing a battery system Volkswagen. In an interview with AutoCar, Eberhard says that within 10 years, electric vehicles will have a range of 500 miles or more. Do you believe him?
You may have heard of Eberhard before. He was one of the co-founders of Tesla, before being given the boot in a somewhat messy divorce. He has obviously landed on his feet though, and has a ton of resources at his fingertips. Volkswagen has made it clear they are aiming for global domination… of the car market (ze Germans are coming!). They believe that electric cars are the future, and Eberhard has brought a lot of good ideas and talent with him.
Under Eberhard’s guidance, VW is using 18,650 lithium-ion cells, the same kinds found in most laptops. The reason, Eberhard says, is that these laptop batteries develop at a much more rapid rate than bigger batteries… because there is already massive demand for them. Five years ago the batteries used in the Tesla Roadster had about 1.4 amps-hours, while today’s batteries have doubled, delivering 2.9 amp-hours of power. And VW is about to take delivery of cells that have 3.4 amp-hours of power. Put into the Audi e-Tron, they would extend the driving range from 150 miles to 300 miles, and boost power from 60 kWh to 100 kWh.
Eberhard says within 10 years, we will have a battery electric car capable of going 500 miles. That would alleviate range anxiety, he says, because how often does one drive 500 miles in a day? Not often, I’d wager. Mark it on your calenders, people. 2020 will be the year the electric car out performs a combustion car… we hope.
Source: AutoCar | Image: Audi