Are Hyundai Researchers Closer to Solving Range Anxiety?
People are afraid to adopt the technology because they want to be able to drive hundreds of miles every day they own their car – when in reality most never will. They absolutely positively cannot live on only 85 miles roundtrip a day when the reality is most will only ever, on average, drive 40 miles a day.
Hyundai engineers are closer to solving that issue. According to GreenCarCongress.com,
"Researchers from Hyundai Motor have found that the use of a new sulfone-based electrolyte greatly improved the capacity and reversible capacity retention of a Li-sulfur battery compared to the performance of ether-based electrolytes. In a paper presented at the SAE 2014 World Congress in Detroit, they reported that use of the sulfone-based electrolyte increased capacity by 52.1% to 715 mAh/g and capacity retention by 63.1% to 72.6%."
Those are significant numbers. It means an EV that presently gets 85 mile range could be looking at 120-mile range. That distance should sway a lot more people to consider ownership. As the website reports, Lithium-sulfur systems are of great interest as a “beyond Li-ion” solution with increased energy densities that would enable much greater electric vehicle range."
No timetable is available on when this new technology could make its way into Hyundai products and the Korean automaker currently has no electric vehicle in its stable in the U.S. Hyundai has hinted they are not far down the road, though. In the near future there should be plug-in hybrid vehicles and zero-emission electric vehicles on sale in the United States.
It would be a logical evolution of Hyundai's Blue Drive technology. Currently it's best exemplified by Hyundai's hybrids, which buck the hybrid trend and get fuel economy that is as good on the highway as it is around town.