Holy Grail of Battery Breakthroughs

Researchers at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have discovered what is being referred to as the “holy grail” of battery breakthroughs, solving a 40-year quest for a fast-charging, long-lasting electric vehicle battery.

The newly developed lithium-metal batteries are capable of holding substantially more energy and charging in a fraction of the time compared to traditional lithium-ion batteries. The new battery can be charged and used at least 10,000 times while also increasing range and charging speed.

The technology takes advantage of assembly to boost performance, using a multi-layer approach to put them together to slow degradation.

Xin Li, an associate professor at SEAS who worked on the project says: “This proof-of-concept design shows that lithium-metal solid-state batteries could be competitive with commercial lithium-ion batteries. And the flexibility and versatility of our multilayer design make it potentially compatible with mass production procedures in the battery industry.”

“A lithium-metal battery is considered the holy grail for battery chemistry because of its high capacity and energy density,” Xin Li added.

This research is critical in expanding the reach of EV technology while reducing battery waste. It provides an additional resource to help facilitate the anticipated growth of EVs that will make fossil-fuel-free models more affordable than combustion-powered engines within five or six years.