Prof. Tarascon is arguably one of the most respected scientists in the field of energy storage, a member of the French Académie des sciences and a professor at Collège de France. He was also instrumental in setting up major research and tech transfer networks on the topic, both at national (RS2E) and European (Alistore-ERI) levels.
Prof. Jean-Marie Tarascon, shared with our team is vision of the future of batteries, during a dense and electrifying second session of l’Academie Jolt.
Four major challenges for batteries :
1- energy density (for EV, it translates directly into max range) : to pack even more kWh per kg in the future, solid-state batteries will come to the rescue of current lithium-ion ones.
2- fast charging : there’s only so much you can pump into your car in a very short amount of time, even with superchargers, which means the current infrastructure of charging stations will continue to grow.
3- use of different raw materials : lithium is abundant but not bottomless, mining of cobalt is not exactly ethical and nickel needs could go through the roof. Tiamat’s sodium ion batteries could be a solution.
4- recycling : current methods are not really eco-friendly, we should find ways to collect the electrode without having to dissolve the battery, maybe by manufacturing modular, Lego-like, batteries.
Faster, greener, denser, safer, but also … smarter. By using optical fiber sensors stuffed into the unit, it’s possible to collect lots of temperature+pressure data points, feed an AI and optimise the battery use and lifetime. It could even be possible to use self-repairing polymers to fix some parts on the fly.
If Europe does build the different gigafactories announced in the past years, its share of the world’s production of batteries could jump from 1% in 2019 to 17% in 2029.