Before the advent of smartphones, embarking on a long road trip across Midwestern states without the certainty of finding gas stations was a daunting experience. Fears of the car running out of gas and being stranded on the side of the road plagued travelers.

This fear, known as “range anxiety,” has persisted for electric vehicle (EV) owners. It’s endured despite the increasing availability of electric chargers across the country.

However, three South Korean scientists have developed a new EV battery that may kill range anxiety once and for all.

Professors Soojin Park and Youn Soo Kim from POSTECH, along with Professor Jaegeon Ryu from Songang University, have extended the battery lives of EV batteries through a groundbreaking innovation.

Currently, lithium-ion batteries primarily use graphite as the material for their anodes. The anode is the part of the battery that stores and discharges power.

However, scientists have long know that there are alternative materials with superior energy storage capacity. One such material is silicon.

Silicon has an issue, though: it tends to expand as it stores energy. This problem has caused silicon batteries to die out after less than 100 charges. As a result, silicon batteries haven’t been commercially feasible.

The Korean researchers have devised an innovative solution to address the expansion issue associated with silicon. They’ve developed a binding material that prevents silicon from expanding while still allowing it to store a significant amount of charge.

According to The Manual, Professor Park is confident that his team’s research can greatly enhance the energy density of lithium-ion batteries. Park told reporters that using silicon-based anode materials could increase EVs’ driving range tenfold.

Whereas current Tesla batteries give out after just over 300 miles, the Korean silicon batteries will enable drivers to travel for 3,000 miles without recharging.

This means that taking an EV on a cross-country journey will soon become much more enticing. Earlier this year, Mercedes-Benz became the first major automaker to announce plans to use silicon batteries in its EVs.

Image Source: Viola Seda,