The Democratization of the EV Has Arrived

A new battery coating for EVs will decrease prices and increase longevity

A research laboratory sponsored by the US Department of Energy has developed a new polymer coating which will almost certainly change the EV manufacturing industry. Rather than merely protect the battery, the coating is conductive for both electrons and ions, giving the battery stability during its fluctuating high charge and discharge periods.

The polymer also allows for electrodes to be made from silicon and aluminum, much less expensive than the standard graphite electrodes.

This Is the Road Ahead for EVs

It’s called HOS-PFM and the benefits to the EV industry and the drive for greater sustainability are incalculable. To replace an EV battery at the moment costs around $10,000. Simply put, battery life will be extended to 15 years instead of ten, the batteries will be cheaper to build whilst promising equable performance, and the footprint created by lithium mining will disappear.

The manufacturing process itself is extremely complicated but I was reminded of something that puts it all into simple perspective. Last April in London and Belfast, I must have used Uber nine or ten times. And as I always do, I engaged with the driver each time. Well, those nine or ten times, the conversation always went as follows.

“So, how’s it going?”

“Yeah, it’s going good, thanks. Busy now, after Covid.”

I give a sympathetic little chuckle.

“And we’re coming up to summer now, so I expect you’ll be busy.”

“Yeah, I’ll be busy.”

He doesn’t sound so enthusiastic about being busy, so I challenge him. “You don’t like being busy?”

“No, no,” he reassures me. “It’s not that. It’s just that we have to be all electric by January.”

“Really?” I ask, quite impressed by this requirement.

“Yes,” he answers, “but who can afford it? I’m just a Uber driver.”

This is how the conversation played out, every single ride. Taxis and app-based transport services in the UK must be electric by 2024. And the drivers/owners at the lower end of the economic scale won’t be able to ply their trade.

Where There’s a Will…

Not anymore. The world has long had the will to be more sustainability-minded. With EVs at least, it now may have the way.

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