Is a LiFe battery going to power your electric car?

Battery technology is a complicated and frustrating field, I’m sure. There are only a few sectors of technology where you’re limited by the actual physical characteristics of the elements you work with. But NiMH and Lithium Cobalt are not meeting power demands, to say nothing of the toxic and environmental effects of something like Cobalt being in all our electronics. An alternative is Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4, but LiFe is catchier), but as usual there’s something fundamental limiting its applications. In this case, the process to create LiFe batteries is complex and expensive.

Fortunately, the compound is promising enough as a battery that research is going into it, and a materials engineer by the name of Manthiram says that a new process may reduce the cost and duration of the battery-making process. It’s not a major breakthrough but it’s a big step towards making these safer and better batteries more easily adoptable by tech and car companies.