The Global View

Is air the key to electric cars?

batteryAnyone who has worked in consumer electronics will tell you that power is a key issue for device manufacturers. Their customers want amazing quality at a rock bottom price with unlimited memory and they want the devices to last forever and a day before recharging them.

The chips could usually keep up with the demand but the battery technology has really struggled when trying to keep pace. And, unfortunately, the same is true for cars.

It seems Toyota’s research labs are looking at this problem and have come up with a potential solution – air.

Yes, seriously, Tech Radar has reported that the company is investing heavily in air batteries for an alternative to the current generation.

According to Tech Radar:

“Air batteries, which create electricity from a reaction between oxygen in the air and a zinc negative electrode, can store five times as much electricity as a similarly sized li-ion battery, although there are problems before they can be commercialised.”

The batteries are already being used in hearing aids but nothing larger and scaling them up to a car’s size will prove a huge challenge.

If Toyota does pull this one off, however, then the major limiting factor for electric cars could finally be removed.