As the electric vehicle technology continues to advance, batteries are becoming more crucial than ever. In the past decade, advances in battery technology have already enabled electric vehicles to travel further, charge faster, and become more affordable for consumers. Battery technology is rapidly evolving, with new and exciting developments around the corner. Current battery technologies which were breakthrough at the beginning are beginning to offer limited performance and require frequent charging. Today's lithium-ion batteries, which is the most common type used, can only hold up to a few hundred watt-hours per kilogram, and this makes it difficult to engineer devices that can last long enough without having to recharge. With these other battery technology advancements, scientists are looking to come up with results for more efficient, lighter, and safer batteries that can hold more charge and last longer. With newer battery alternatives, car manufacturers are looking into making battery packs lighter in weight, have higher energy densities to store more charges and provide longer ranges, charge faster without causing battery degradation, and be recyclable to improve sustainability. Battery technology is the most critical section of electric vehicles today, and the continuous evolution of batteries will continue to transform the industry.

Related: This Electric Car Is Proof That Batteries Are Old Technology

1 Silicon Anode Lithium-Ion Batteries

Nissan Battery concept
Shot of a Nissan Solid State Battery

This is a lithium-silicon battery where the charge carriers are a lithium-ion and a silicon-based anode. Due to the silicon materials, the specific capacity is much larger. Silicon has a 400-percent volume change and is highly reactive when it is in a charged state, so commercial batteries use it to make up approximately 10 percent of the anode instead. Sila Nanotechnologies is a startup company pursuing a target of replacing graphite in lithium-ion anodes with high-performance silicon anodes. Daimler AG is heavily invested and is partnering with them to make it a reality with corporate and venture funding of $170 million in 2019. Also, Elon Musk claimed in 2015 that the silicon in the batteries of the Model S has helped improve its range by six percent.

2 Solid-State Batteries

Solid State Batteries
Shot of an engineer holding Solid State Batteries

Solid-state battery replaces the liquid or polymer gel electrolytes found in lithium-ion and lithium polymer batteries with solid electrodes and a solid electrolyte. They provide solutions for lithium-ion battery problems like flammability, poor strength, limited voltage, poor cycling performance, and unstable solid-electrolyte interphase formation, and bring about faster charging, higher voltage, and longer cycle life. Toyota aims to adopt the solid-state battery technology first in their hybrid electric vehicles while Honda is working on making its production capacity viable come spring of 2024. A few challenges have impeded the technology over the years like its very high cost of production, its sensitivity to temperatures and pressures, and the presence of dendrites (metal crystals on the surface of the lithium that end up penetrating the solid electrolyte, criss-crossing the electrodes and shorting the battery cell).

Related: 10 Ways Solid State Batteries Will Change EVs Forever

3 NanoBolt Lithium Tungsten Batteries

Solid-State Battery Concept
JLStock | Shutterstock
Graphic of what a solid-state battery pack in a future car could look like

NanoBolt Lithium Tungsten Batteries improve on the existing lithium battery technology. The overall energy storage of these batteries as well as their rate of recharge is improved by the addition of carbon multilayered nanotubes as well as tungsten. These layers of the nanotubes increase the storage area for the ions and bring about high efficiency through the web structure they create. These batteries can store more power than traditional lithium-ion batteries. This is essential to improve the driving range of electric vehicles. A large NanoBolt Lithium Tungsten battery can be charged rapidly using solar energy. LG Energy Solution, which produces the batteries used in the Chevy Volt, Bolt EV, and Chrysler Pacifica is one of the forefront competitors working on this battery technology. BAK Group, Nyobolt, and CALT are also working on the technology.

4 Lithium-Sulfur Battery

3D illustration of EV charging
3D Illustration of an EV charging

Lithium-sulfur battery has a high specific energy. These batteries are light in density like water primarily due to the combination of the moderate atomic weight of sulfur and the low atomic weight of lithium. Unlike conventional lithium-ion batteries, lithium-sulfur batteries replace cobalt with sulfur which has a higher energy density. This makes it able to hold more energy. Compared to cobalt, sulfur is more abundant and cost-effective. The development of dendrites has been a major drawback to lithium-sulfur battery technology. Despite the increase in popularity of the technology, it is still seen to be a long way from fruition. Lithium-Sulfur battery has the potential to double the current battery range average of about 250 to 300 miles. LG Energy Solutions, which produces batteries for Tesla is working on a lithium-sulfur battery.

Related: ​​​​​​​Will Solid-State Batteries Make Tesla's EV Batteries Redundant?

5 New-Generation Lithium-Ion Battery

A picture of the battery cell coating process inside a BMW plant
BMW battery cell coating process

The “next-generation lithium-ion battery” (NGLB), is a new battery technology that will offer significantly improved performance in terms of charge time and overall lifespan. NGLB cells are predicted to be able to keep double or even triple the quantity of charge compared to traditional lithium-ion batteries. This means machine batteries could last up to three times longer than before without needing a substantial increase in size or weight. NGLB technology is being created by several large companies, comprising Samsung, LG Energy Solutions, and Panasonic. The unique batteries are designed mainly for electric vehicles and different large applications, but they could be utilized in anything from smartphones and laptop computers to wearable devices. The commitment to improved energy and longevity makes NGLBs a tempting option for any number of applications going forward.

6 Metal Hydrogen Battery

Battery research lab
Researchers working on developing new battery technology 

Metal hydrogen battery is a rechargeable electrochemical power source based on nickel and hydrogen that boasts superior performance due to their capacity and efficiency. They offer several times more energy than current lithium-ion batteries and can achieve 85 percent efficiency, and a long life of about 20,000 charge cycles. This innovative battery technology can also charge faster than before, and the cells can withstand overcharging if the heat that is being generated can be dispersed. However, the greatest bonus this breakthrough battery tech offers is its environmental friendliness. These batteries don't comprise toxic solvents, which means fewer concerns about what happens if they get damaged or exposed to high temperatures. They are entirely recyclable and can even be used to generate electricity even after their lifespan expires.

Related: ​​​​​​​What Nobody Is Telling You About Solid-State Batteries

7 Zinc-Manganese Oxide Batteries

Toyota battery research center
Inspection of a battery research center

Zinc-Manganese Oxide batteries (ZMO), a promising solution for the development of sustainable energy storage systems are composed of two electrodes: an anode made of zinc and a cathode made of manganese oxide. This hybrid mix gives ZMO batteries outstanding stability, but its lower energy density is a major drawback as it is unable to store enough charge in its cells to make it a worthy competitor to the lithium-ion batteries. They are also normally less expensive than lithium-based batteries because the zinc component is much easier to attain and less expensive than lithium components. Although this means that due to zinc's low energy density, a higher capacity cell would need to be produced to measure up with the lithium-ion batteries. They are safe and non-flammable and suitable for use in virtually any device or application.

8 Cobalt-Free Lithium-ion Battery

CATL Battery Production Plant street view
Giorno2 via Wikimedia
Front street view of the CATL battery production plant which makes batteries for electric vehicles worldwide.

CATL, the Chinese EV battery manufacturer, intends to be the first producer of cobalt-free lithium-ion batteries. They started selling them in 2021. Tesla also equipped nearly half of the vehicles they sold in the first quarter of 2022 with cobalt-free lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries. These cobalt-free lithium-ion batteries use nanoparticles, such as silicon or carbon, as the anode material. They have increased energy density, charge and discharge rates and safety. Their reduced resource consumption and decreased toxicity levels is a major environmental benefit. They have higher energy densities, longer cycle life and faster charging times of up to five times the capacity, 1,500 charge cycles, and three times the speed respectively of some conventional Li-ion batteries, as well as lower production costs due to reduced resource consumption, and improved safety with less heat dissipation during charging/discharging processes.

Related: ​​​​​​​How Water-based Batteries Could Reshape The Electric Car Industry

9 Organosilicon Electrolyte Batteries

An illustration of BYD's Blade Battery
BYD has pioneered its own battery design called Blade Battery.

Organosilicon batteries are much more fire-resistant than lithium-ion batteries and have improved electrochemical performances. They also have superior safety and stability characteristics. When the organosilicon electrolyte is used as a co-solvent, it can boost cell life, capacity and invariably, battery range. To facilitate this technology, researchers are working on some types of organosilicon such as silane, polysiloxane, siloxane, as well as polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxanes to check their molecular designs, chemical, thermal, and electrochemical stability, ionic conductivity, and safety. These batteries will be safer than standard lithium-ion chemistries due to the absence of flammable liquid electrolytes. They also have fewer hazardous materials in their composition. This will make sure organosilicon electrolyte batteries are a great choice for applications where safety is paramount like in electric vehicles, medical equipment, drones, and more!

10 Sodium-Ion (Saltwater) Battery

EV Design Charging
Side profile graphic of a battery design EV

​​​​​​​A saltwater battery is basically a container of salt water and two electrodes that generate electricity when connected to an external power source. The two electrodes, typically made of carbon, react with the sodium sulfate electrolyte contained in the salt water and store energy in the form of ions. They have a long lifespan. They don't need as much maintenance as their lithium-ion counterparts. This is why it can store energy for long periods without losing it. The biggest benefit of saltwater batteries is they can be produced at a fraction of the cost of lithium-ion batteries. Also, they are non-toxic. The disadvantage is that they cannot store as much charge as lithium-ion batteries due to their low energy density and can't be charged as many times as lithium-ion batteries.