Michigan Patent of the Month – February 2021
Lithium-ion batteries use high-energy density and electrochemical cells to power hybrid and electric vehicles. One limitation of battery powered vehicles that is regularly mentioned is the limited driving range before needing to recharge. GM Global Technology Operations LLC has been designing a lithium-ion battery that lasts longer and charges faster.
GM’s design focuses on the use of inexpensive metals such as iron, aluminum, magnesium, and manganese in the positive electrode. Typical higher powered batteries require expensive metals like cobalt. The negative electrode contains phosphorene which has a higher than average voltage. This increased voltage prevents lithium plating which is a buildup of solid lithium on the anode. Reducing lithium plating helps to maintain charge capacity over time and also increases charge rates. Positive and negative electrodes are separated by a separator and electrolyte material that allows the transfer of lithium. They incorporate a special electrolyte solvent which contributes to the increased charge rates. It also helps to maintain performance in lower temperatures so that vehicles in northern regions are still operable. With these designs, batteries could be cost effective, fast-charging, and provide exceptional drive time for a battery powered vehicle.
About GM Global Technology
GM designs, manufactures, markets, and distributes vehicles and vehicle parts, and sells financial services. Their vision is a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion. With a diverse team of 164,000 employees, GM brings their collective passion for engineering, technology and design to deliver on this ambitious future.
Are you redesigning existing technology? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.
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