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IBM's Battery 500 Project research lab  (Source:
The two newcomers are Asahi Kasei and Central Glass

Two well-known manufacturers have jumped on board IBM's Battery 500 Project, which is expected to provide lithium-air batteries for electric vehicles (EVs).

The two newcomers are Asahi Kasei, a leading chemical manufacturer and global supplier of separator membrane for lithium-ion batteries in Japan, and Central Glass, which is a global electrolyte manufacturer for lithium-ion batteries.

“These new partners share our vision of electric cars being critical components of building a cleaner, better world, which is far less dependent on oil,” said Dr. Winfried Wilcke, IBM’s Principle Investigator who initiated the Battery 500 Project. “Their compatible experience, knowledge and commitment to bold innovation in electric vehicle battery technology can help us transfer this research from the lab onto the road.”

While both manufacturers typically work with lithium-ion batteries, they'll be working on critical parts of lithium-air batteries for IBM. Asahi Kasei is expected to create a vital component for the lithium-air batteries using its knowledge in membrane technology, and Central Glass is expected to make a new class of electrolytes and additives to improve lithium-air batteries using its chemical experience.

“New materials development is vitally important to ensuring the viability of lithium-air battery technology,” said Tatsuya Mori, Director, Executive Managing Officer, Central Glass. “As a long-standing partner of IBM and leader in developing high-performance electrolytes for batteries, we’re excited to share each other’s chemical and scientific expertise in a field as exciting as electric vehicles.” 

IBM's Battery 500 Project, which launched in 2009, aims to create lithium-air EV batteries that are capable of traveling 500 miles before needing to recharge. The idea is to make EV adoption more widespread by offering greener vehicles capable of matching the range of gasoline vehicles.

Today, most EVs can drive about 100 miles before needing to recharge their lithium-ion batteries. This is an issue, since gasoline vehicles are capable of going four to five times that range on a single tank. One option could be a larger battery, but that would weigh down the vehicle considerably.

Instead, IBM has been working on an alternative: lithium-air batteries. Lithium-air batteries have a higher energy density than lithium-ion batteries, mainly because of their primary fuel being oxygen from the atmosphere and the fact that they have lighter cathodes.

IBM eventually hopes to create a lithium-air battery that has an energy density 10 times greater than that of lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium-ion batteries for EVs have had a lot of problems over the last year, namely with fires and safety issues concerning vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt and Fisker Karma plug-in.

Source: IBM

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RE: Get over it, please!
By zephyrprime on 4/22/2012 4:59:01 PM , Rating: 2
Your math sucks. There is no way he saw that many car fires in that time unless he works as a fireman, cop, pit crew mechanic, etc. I've driven for 17 years in a large metro and seen a major car collision but during that time, I've never seen a single car fire.

RE: Get over it, please!
By Keeir on 4/23/2012 6:08:09 AM , Rating: 2
Reading comprehension is good.

I clearly stated that unless he worked for Fire Department, his numbers were very unlikely.

But given the sheer number of incidents, there is a relatively realsitic chance he is telling the truth (compared to gut reaction anyway)

I am thinking he is likely counting direct evidence of fire which raising the possibility significantly. But overall, its a relative long shot. But I've seen smoke pooring from cars on no less than 3 occasions and seen at least 2 accident scenes that sure as heck looks firey, though I have never once seen a car in actual flames. So, I'd say have seen a number between 2-6 car fires (I definately know from news sources that once accident scene had 2 cars on fire, which is a relatively rare occurance apparently since accidents is low on the list of reason for car fires)

RE: Get over it, please!
By zephyrprime on 4/23/2012 10:51:05 AM , Rating: 2
You're overthinking this. There's just no way he saw that many unless he had some job where he handles wrecks.

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