At this point, the reason why batteries are stalling the production of electric vehicles isn’t so much their expense as the amount of electricity they can hold. The most recent advance in battery technolocy came in December 2007, when Stanford University engineering and materials scientist Yi Cui increased tenfold the amount of energy a lithium-ion (also known as Li-ion) battery can store. By making the anode from silicon nanowires, Cui upped the capacity and durability of the electrode. It would be a major breakthrough if the discovery could be applied to electric car batteries.
Renault-Nissan is working on an idea to produce low-cost EVs by selling them without batteries and then leasing the batteries at a cost comparable to the cost of fuel. The cars would use swappable batteries, which would help the adoption of electric vehicles with their low cost.
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