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Research News: Asahi Kasei and Central Glass join IBM's Battery 500 Project Team to enhance electric vehicle lithium-air battery innovation

Currently the vast majority of the world's oil is used for transportation. The switch from gasoline to electricity as the primary power source for vehicles stands to be one of the most important technology shifts of the first half of the 21st century. E-mobility would be a solution, if it were not for the battery. Today most electric vehicles can only travel about 100 miles before needing to recharge using today's lithium-ion batteries. This is a significant barrier to electric car adoption unless a new battery technology can be developed that is affordable, lightweight, compact and has the capacity to power a typical family car several hundred miles or more on a single charge

Recognizing this need scientists at IBM Research-Almaden started the Battery 500 Project in 2009 to develop a Lithium-Air battery capable of powering a family-sized electric car for approximately 500 miles (800 km) on a single charge.

In April 2012, IBM has announced that two industry leaders -- Asahi Kasei and Central Glass -- will join its Battery 500 Project team and collaborate on far-reaching research with the potential to accelerate the switch from gasoline to electricity as the primary power source for vehicles. Asahi Kasei is one of Japan's leading chemical manufactures and a leading global supplier of separator membrane for lithium-ion batteries. Central Glass is a leading global electrolyte manufacturer for lithium-ion batteries. As partners in the Battery 500 Project, Asahi Kasei and Central Glass bring decades of materials innovation for the automotive industry to the team.