The typical hybrid car of 2014 switches between a lithium-ion battery and traditional gasoline combustion to maximize efficiency. But what if there was a way to swap out the gas part of the equation for something better? And what if that something was aluminum?
Well, not straight aluminum, but an aluminum-air battery. Isreali start-up Phinergy is currently road testing a hybrid that uses the standard lithium-ion system and a new aluminum-air system. The result is a drive range of a whopping 1,100 miles. From The Algemeiner:
Founded by CEO Aviv Tzidon, Phinergy‘s battery solution offers greater capacity than Tesla Motors Inc.’s Model S electric car, which can go for 300 miles between charges, and less expensive alternatives, with ranges of about 160 miles.
Phinergy’s prototype uses the lithium-ion battery for short trips and the aluminum-air battery for longer hauls.
Globes said: “The aluminum-air technology uses oxygen naturally occurring in the air to fill its cathode. Aluminum-air batteries discharge turns the metal into aluminum hydroxide, which can then be recycled to make new batteries. This makes it far lighter than liquid filled lithium-ion batteries to give the car a far greater range.”
The aluminum battery has to be replaced every few months, but its components are recyclable. Alcoa Canada partnered with Phinergy to produce the batteries, which were manufactured in Canada.
While Ford and other truck makers may be turning to aluminum to increase gas mileage due to mass properties, it’s good to see that our favorite metal is involved in other green initiatives. Perhaps even in a few years, aluminum-manufactured trucks will be powered by aluminum-air batteries!