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Japanese company develops new battery that will double electric car range

Battery life has always been a concern for electric car makers. The big challenge is to increase it by as much as possible while maintaining costs to a minimum. And it seems that we are one step closer to that moment, as apparently we have a car battery breakthrough in Japan.

According to a recent report from Nikkei Business Daily, it seems that Mitsubishi and GS Yuasa have developed a lithium-ion battery that will give electric cars twice the range for the same cost. The battery is expected to go into mass production in 2020.

A range-doubling battery technology is a promise that’s been coming from GS Yuasa for several years. The actual battery cells will be developed by Lithium Energy Japan, a joint venture with trading house Mitsubishi Corp. and carmaker Mitsubishi Motors. These will be produced at the Shiga Prefecture plant and supplied to automakers in Japan and Europe.

The i-MiEV compact car made by Mitsubishi Motors currently has a battery a scope of around 170km per charge. If this technology would become something tangible, this means it could double the range to some 340km.

GS Yuasa is the world’s fourth largest supplier of automotive lithium-ion batteries, but its shares have went up as much as 15 percent in early trade after this report went live, according to Reuters.

Besides the huge advance in battery capacity, there’s a possibility that manufacturers could even shrink the battery, thus reducing the car’s weight, energy usage, and subsequently even the acquisition price.

It seems that bringing advanced lithium-ion battery technology to electric cars is something that’s on the mind of many in the automotive industry. Recently, a consortium of German companies announced they aim to build a gigafactory to rival Telsa by 2019. Toyota also expressed its interest by exploring the technological advance of a new lithium-ion battery design using a solid electrolyte.

A recent Bloomberg report also claims that electric cars will reach cost-parity with fossil-fuel. The global demand for electric vehicles is constantly increasing and governments are trying to keep up the pace. The U.K. and France plan to ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2040.

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