A smart phone with a battery pack that can last up to a year will be cheaper to buy than one with a petrol engine, according to a new report.
The study by US firm iRobot and French firm Caraventure also found that the cost of batteries could fall significantly in the future, and that electric vehicles could be more affordable than gas cars in the long run.
“The key to a sustainable future is to develop more energy-efficient vehicles and to minimize the impact of fossil fuels,” said iRobots chief scientist Andrew Siemens.
Cellphone companies have been keen to expand their battery offerings in recent years, and in 2017 the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) awarded three new battery makers an NTIA Innovation Grant.
While the grant was focused on battery technology, iRobotic says it is now using its research to develop batteries that are both energy- and mobility-efficient.
Its research group is working on a battery that can store energy for up to two years and can be recharged to full power at up to 400 kW (680 hp).
“If we were able to develop a battery with an energy density of 10,000 kWh/kWh (kWh = one kilowatt-hour) or 1,000 Wh/km (1,000 miles/km = 1,500 miles/hour), that’s a significant step in battery storage,” iRobotics senior research manager Kevin Murphy told Al Jazeera.
At a price of $30,000 for a one-year battery, a range of 300 kilometres (186 miles) is achievable, while the batteries can last anywhere between 12 to 16 months.
If the battery can be safely recharged with just 1 kWh of energy, it can last for 12 to 24 months.
iRobos lithium-ion battery has a charge capacity of over one gigawatt of electricity, with an estimated lifetime of 30 years, according the company.
In 2018, iSuppli, the UK’s biggest battery maker, said it has begun selling battery packs in the US.
It will be able to deliver its batteries at the same rate as the US, but the battery technology is far less mature.
Despite its potential, iStore batteries will only be able make up a small proportion of the market in the next two years, with the company’s battery technology only expected to be available in 2019, iStock said.
More battery research is needed, and the cost could go down, Murphy said.
The report, which was published in the journal Energy Research Letters, said that the lithium- ion battery was the most promising for the electric vehicle market.
For the first time, the cost per kWh for lithium-iron batteries could be reduced by 20 per cent to $1,100, compared to the current $6,500 per kWh, the researchers said.
“The battery is expected to provide a substantial cost savings for both EVs and electric vehicles, and it is an attractive technology for EVs due to its long-term promise,” they said.