It’s stacking up to be a great move that will increase efficiency, provide for greater range, and possibly make EVs more appealing to wider audiences, according to a story by battery-technology/” data-ylk=”slk:Popular Science;elm:context_link;itc:0″ class=”link “Popular Science.
The battery development is part of an expanded commitment in the EV sector from the German automaker. By 2033, the company plans to have phased out combustion engines altogether, Audi reports.
Increasing battery performance and affordability are key to achieving the lofty goal. Audi’s new EVs (Q8 e-tron, for example) use electrodes that are thin foils, shaped like a roll.
In most EV batteries, lithium ions travel back-and-forth between the positive and negative electrodes as they charge and discharge. This happens in the electrolyte, which can be a solid or a liquid. PopSci said Audi is focusing on solid-state batteries.
In this latest innovation, Audi’s batteries are doing away with the “jelly-roll” floor plan in the cells in favor of a “stacking technology.” In the new design, “the cells are stacked neatly, like a layer cake, to increase the overall capacity,” per the PopSci story.
An illustration from Chinese battery company Grepow shows the impact of this better use of space. The rolled technique leaves unused pockets in the corner of each rectangular battery cell. The stacked plan uses nearly all of the space.
PopSci reports that the result is about 20% more “active material.” This results in increased capacity.
“Cramming more electrons into the space equals overall improved range,” the tech news site’s Kristin Shaw reports.
Shaw explained that slower production and increased costs are “disadvantages” to stacking.
It also increases battery density, providing