Among all the obstacles preventing the widespread use of electric vehicles, the main one is the low energy density of lithium-ion batteries compared to a full tank of petrol. Even though they are more efficient than combustion engines, electric motors can only store a small portion of all the energy available in a petrol tank.
This problem is taken very seriously by the young electric vehicle brand Rivian, which claims to be Tesla's main competitor. In fact, Rivian has just developed what would be batteries with the best energy density in the industry! And it seems that the brand has got around this problem by finding another way to cool the batteries.
Richard Farquhar, Rivian's VP of Propulsion, gave more details on how Rivian's electric vehicles are built. Farquhar explained that each battery module is composed of two layers with a cooling plate sandwiched between them. The cooling is then done axially instead of radially.
The heat from the cell is extracted in the centre, which allows the cells to be moved closer together and thus considerably frees up space. With this process, Rivian believes it has the densest electric battery modules in the world with an energy density approximately 20-25% higher than any other battery on the market. Nine standard modules would constitute a 135 kWh battery and twelve modules would constitute a 180 kWh battery! Enough to easily get 400 miles of range!
Photo credits Rivian