NEC says it may have found a way to provide much higher density in lithium-ion batteries, which could, for example, substantially increase the range of electric cars.
According to the company, it has developed a prototype of a manganese lithium-ion battery that use cathodes to support higher voltages as well as a fluorinated electrolyte solution that is much more resistant to oxidation than the common carbonate-based solvents. It also acts as a stabilizer for those higher voltage operations.
NEC said that it was able to increase the operating voltage from 3.8 V to 4.5 V and achieved a 30 percent greater charge capacity at any given weight of the battery as a result. The prototype charge density was 200 Wh/kg, which is up from 150 Wh/kg in current batteries.
There is still some research required before such batteries could see commercial production. NEC noted that the technology only maintains about 80 percent of original capacity with 500 full charge and discharge cycles in conditions below room temperature (68 degrees F), while maintaining roughly 60% when above room temperature (113 degrees F).