In the future, electric cars may have fluoride batteries instead of lithium ones. This would be a major change for the electric vehicle industry, which has previously focused only on creating more advanced lithium-ion batteries. Fluoride electric batteries have multiple advantages for both consumers and car manufacturers.
The search for better batteries
Although lithium-ion batteries are the most popular option for electric cars currently on the market, manufacturers are searching for better options. Their goal is to find a long-lasting battery that is cheaper and eco-friendly. One of the main problems with using lithium-ion batteries is that they create a lot of waste and require heavy metals during the production process. Other issues include the degradation of the battery over time, potential fire hazards, and long charging requirements.
What is fluoride?
You’ve probably seen fluoride on the label of your favorite toothpaste brand. It’s an inorganic mineral that naturally occurs in the environment. Many cities add fluoride to the water supply because it can reduce the risk of tooth decay. This is the same reason why you have fluoride in your toothpaste. The American Dental Association shares that fluoride in water can prevent tooth decay in 25% of people. Now, researchers are looking at other uses for fluoride, such as car batteries.
Switching from lithium
The Honda Research Institute Inc. has joined forces with the California Institute of Technology and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to create a better battery for electric vehicles. They believe that fluoride-ion batteries are a promising alternative. In the past, others have considered using fluoride batteries, but they didn’t pursue them because they require 300°F temperatures to work. However, Honda and the other researchers have found a way to use the battery at room temperature.
They used tetraalkylammonium fluoride salts, which are a type of fluoride, and dissolved them in a solvent to create an electrolyte. The result was a battery that could power electric vehicles and other devices in the future.
Why fluoride is better
There are many benefits to using fluoride batteries in cars. First, initial research shows that fluoride can store more energy and has the potential to be more powerful than lithium batteries. In addition, there’s no risk of the fluoride overheating, so there are no fire hazards.
Consumers would benefit because fluoride batteries are expected to last longer and have a longer range. This means electric car owners would spend less time recharging their vehicles. They could also travel farther without worrying about their battery running low. The new batteries may also be lighter and cheaper than the current lithium ones.
There’s also an environmental advantage. The current electric car batteries require lithium and cobalt metals, which are expensive and hard on the environment. However, fluoride is a better and cheaper alternative. The new batteries could help start a green revolution for car manufacturers and other companies that rely on lithium batteries.
Scientists believe that once fluoride-battery technology is fully advanced, consumers would be able to reduce charging times. You could get away with recharging an electric car once a week, or a smartphone every other week.
The future for electric cars
Although fluoride batteries are promising, car manufacturers are not ready to replace the lithium ones tomorrow. Researchers have to overcome several hurdles before fluoride batteries can be mass-produced on a large scale, and you can buy a car with one.