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USA: IBM Claims a “Game Changing” 500-Mile Battery: So Where’s the Beef?

The holy grail for electric cars is a battery pack that can routinely deliver 300 miles of range. Tesla Motors is planning to offer such a long-range pack in the Model S sedan next year. But what if we could exceed 300 miles and deliver range beyond that of most of today’s gas cars, replacing the lithium-ion technology that’s standard today with something better?

That’s the tantalizing promise of IBM’s Battery 500 project, which as the name implies is aimed at getting 500 miles out of a charge. IBM says it has made recent breakthroughs with lithium-air batteries, but there are plenty of skeptics who say that lithium-air will never be ready for prime time.

We’ve been down this road before with game-changing battery technologies that look great on paper or in the lab, but then meet unmovable technical obstacles — including the tendency to explode, catch fire or expire after a short time. Air batteries will need on-the-road validation, and they haven’t had any of that yet.

Light batteries with big range


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