The world's shift towards EVs is a great way to reduce the harmful carbon emissions that internal combustion engines throw off. However, as with all new technology, a few issues still need to be addressed. For example, on a full charge, most EVs can only travel 300 to 400 miles before finding a place to charge up. That charge can take up to 12 hours if a level II charging station is unavailable. When traveling around in the town lived in, this will not be much of a problem, but if long-distance traveling is in the near future, it may become a big issue to keep the schedule created. This is because the current technology is not good enough to offer longer distances. There, of course, are the exceptions, like the 2022 Lucid Air, which can travel up to 520 miles on a full charge, and the 2022 Tesla Model S, which can travel up to 405 miles before needing a charging station. These cars show that creating an EV with a decent range is possible.

However, it is still easier for most people to simply pull up to the nearest gas station, fill the tank, and get on the road again. The great thing about technology is that people will embrace it without question once it has been tested and improved. The engineers within the car industry have been looking at a few options that are on the horizon but much closer to being a reality than most people think. Let's break down the three power sources EVs can use as their primary power to better understand their differences.

Related: 5 Reasons Why Hydrogen Cars Are Better Than Electric Cars (And, 5 Reasons Why Electric Cars Are Better)

Lithium-Ion Batteries Are The Current Choice For Most EVs And Hybrids

2022 KIA EV6 Charging
A KIA EV6 at plugged in at a Electrify America charging station

The Lithium-Ion battery is arguably the most well-known battery on the planet. It has been around for several years, powering everything from cell phones to children's toys because they last much longer than the cheap batteries that can be picked up for a buck or two. The main difference that can be found when lithium batteries are used in a car to power the motors, such as in the BMW and Jaguar EVs, is that there are many more lithium cells needed. This is because the battery needs to power the entire vehicle for a decent amount of time.

That is why hybrids are so popular because when the power from the batteries goes out, there is an internal combustion engine to fall back on. When lifting the hood of an EV or Hybrid, it can be seen that there is usually more than one battery under the hood, with each of those batteries containing thousands of lithium-ion cells. These cells are responsible for storing and releasing the correct amount of energy through manipulating the cells. Within the battery, there will be positive electrodes containing lithium ions, negative electrodes with graphite, and a liquid electrode that fills the rest of the battery. They all work together to charge and release manipulated lithium ions to become power.

The main problem with lithium-ion batteries is that they have the possibility of overheating and blowing up, even igniting serious fires that can destroy the entire car. These batteries also have a shorter life than expected due to the constant recharging that must be done. This can be seen with cell phone batteries that overheat and bulge outward until they blow apart, or they just stop working after a couple of years because they have been charged so many times.

Related: 10 Hydrogen Cars To Look Out For

Hydrogen Fuel Cells Is Currently In Use But May Be Beyond Reach For Some

Hydrogen Refueling Stations
New Hydrogen Refueling Stations in Southern California

Hydrogen fuel cells are another form of power that is being explored. The Toyota Mirai is a prime example of this technology, offering a great car that can run for up to 402 miles on a tank of hydrogen. A tank that will only take an average of 5 minutes to refuel. It is similar to the common internal combustion cars that need to be filled with gasoline, but the result of using hydrogen is zero emissions.

How these fuel cells work is actually simple. The hydrogen fuel cell is filled with liquid hydrogen, which is fed into a cell with oxygen mixed in. The reaction within the cell between the liquid hydrogen and the oxygen converts the chemical energy into mechanical energy, which is pushed out to power the car in which the system is installed. Using hydrogen fuel cells in cars for mass production is a short way from being feasible because the technology is relatively new and still has numerous bugs to be worked out. One of those issues is the same as found with all other EVs and Hybrids; the nation's infrastructure is not set up for it. Every filling station would need to install and offer a way for hydrogen-powered cars to fill up, just like the scramble by the same people to provide electricity for an EV on its last few miles of use.

Liquid hydrogen also has a low boiling point, making it harder to store and transport. The final drawback of using hydrogen is that it is famous for finding the most minor crack or space in joints to pour out of. Thankfully, hydrogen is light and disappears fast, but the distances offered by hydrogen fuel cells may diminish dramatically due to a tiny leak in the lines. A leak that will be hard to find without the proper equipment, which of course, not very many mechanics will have unless the technology gets a better foothold in the market.

Related: BMW's Electric Cars Will Shift To Solid-State Batteries

Solid-State BEVs Is The Battery Of The Future

Solid State Batteries
Shot of an engineer holding Solid State Batteries

Solid-state batteries have been used in devices such as pacemakers and wearable devices for a while. Their main problem is that there is currently no way to charge them, so they are one-time use and tossed out. This can be rather expensive when considering the cost of these batteries. Once that little issue is figured out, solid-state batteries will be the primary power source found in EVs and hybrids because they will have a range of double any car on the market to date. The main difference within solid-state batteries is that the electrodes inside are all solid. There are no liquid ones to be found. This means that a solid-state battery can be much smaller than its lithium-ion relative, so in the place of one lithium battery, the manufacturer can place two, giving the EV or Hybrid car double the range.

To top it all off, the solid-state batteries will have a longer life than the lithium alternatives, being able to charge up to 5,000 times without ever having to be replaced. What that means for consumers is that they can drive over a million miles before ever having to replace the solid-state battery. The problem is that this technology is not quite ready to be mainstream on the market. Researchers are still working on finding the perfect combination of atomic and chemical compounds needed to make the ideal mix. A mix that can power any size of EV or hybrid. Most BEVs will be found with this type of battery system in the future, but the world needs to hold on and wait for the innovative technology to be perfected.