Campus News

Designing the clean-tech cars of the future

Ditching petrol for a clean-tech electric car sounds like an earth-saving move in theory. But if your charge is going to run out half way through your journey, it’s not very practical to make the switch.

Researchers at UOW's Institute for Superconducting & Electronic Materials (ISEM) are working on improving lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries for use in electric vehicles, as well as portable devices like mobile phones, and they have just had a breakthrough.

They have developed a new Germanium (Ge)-based material with 5 times more energy storage and the potential to go at least 2 times farther on a charge than current electric vehicles.

Nano-engineer, Professor Zaiping Guo, who is an ARC QEII Fellow at ISEM, said the development of this inexpensive manufacturing technique is a breakthrough that will provide a significant improvement in battery technology, which can be used to power the next generation of clean-tech electric cars.

“The novel anode materials are very simple to synthesize and cost-effective.”

“They can be fabricated in large-scale by industry, therefore have great commercial potential, Professor Guo said, noting that while the price of Ge is still high compared to other candidate materials at the moment, mass production may bring the price down.

Professor Guo said independent tests also showed significant reduction in charging time for the Ge-based batteries, which she noted could also be used for consumer electronics, like mobile phones and laptops, as well as grid-scale energy storage.

“We’re truly excited about this breakthrough and are looking forward to transitioning this technology to the commercial marketplace,” she said.

The research was recently published in, Nano Letters and Angewandte Chemie.

Professor Guo will talk about this breakthrough at the UOW Big Ideas Festival on Wednesday 8 May. To register for this free, public event, visit www.uow.edu.au/research/news/bigideas

Last reviewed: 26 April, 2013

Contact us

+61 2 4221 4227 | media@uow.edu.au 

Share

UOW IN THE NEWS

Photographer Tom Williams to open...
Sydney Morning Herald | 30 August
The way we work is insane
Sydney Morning Herald | 29 August
Discovering the Hobbit of Flores...
Australian Geographic | 28 August
$10m seed fund for start-ups in ...

BRW | 27 August
Australia’s transport is falling beh...
The Conversation | 27 August
What is the meaning and what is...
The Conversation | 26 August
From camp to gay to queer: David ...
The Conversation | 26 August
‘Sense of belonging’ enhances the ...
The Conversation | 26 August
25 ideas to change the world, part...
Courier Mail | 26 August
UOW research centre inspiring ins...
ABC Illawarra | 25 August
Opinion: How unions drive up power...

Courier Mail | 23 August 
Six women whose research will ch...
The Age | 23 August
Civic assault prompts push for one...
C
anberra Times | 22 August
Universities join forces with $3.8m...
Herald Sun | 22 August
International scientists discuss...
US Army | 21 August
The Island Nation that bought a...
The Atlantic | 21 August More media coverage