EV with 1,000 Mile Range unveiled by Alcoa and Phinergy

June 10, 2014 by Jeff Shepard

Alcoa, Inc. and Phinergy have debuted a zero-emissions electric demo car powered by a revolutionary aluminum-air battery at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal. Alcoa and Phinergy are collaborating on new materials, processes and components to commercialize the aluminum-air battery, which can extend the distance an electric car travels by approximately 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles). The aluminum-air battery uses air and water to unlock the energy stored in aluminum. According to Phinergy, just one of the 50 aluminum plates in the battery can power a car for approximately 20 miles, and when used to supplement a lithium-ion battery, can extend vehicle range by approximately 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles). The technology allows an energy density that surpasses conventional battery technologies and creates electric vehicles with travel distances, purchase prices and life-cycle costs that are comparable to fossil-fuel cars.

“Automakers want technologies that enable zero-emission electric cars to travel distances that compete with gasoline-powered cars. The aluminum-air battery has the potential to meet that challenge using fully recyclable material with no CO2 emissions,” said Martin Briere, President of Alcoa Canada. “Quebec’s focus on growing electric-powered transportation with the goal of being a leader in green technology, provides a strong backdrop for today’s debut. Alcoa and Phinergy look forward to collaborating with the Quebec government to advance this technology and the potential development of the aluminum-air battery in the province. Furthermore, our aluminum production facility in Baie-Comeau is well positioned to supply the aluminum for the battery.”

“Electric vehicle adoption has been slowed by the limited range of regular batteries, causing what is commonly known as ‘range anxiety’,” said Aviv Tzidon, CEO of Phinergy. “With Phinergy’s technology, and Alcoa’s industrial leadership across both the aluminum value chain and the automotive market, we see an exciting opportunity to help move electric vehicles into the mainstream.”

Dr. Raymond J. Kilmer, executive vice-president and chief technology officer at Alcoa, together with Aviv Tzidon, founder and CEO of Phinergy, presented the air-aluminum battery electric car project at the Canadian International Aluminium Conference (CIAC) in Montreal.

Phinergy is an innovative cleantech company and developer of breakthrough metal-air technologies. Drawing on a diverse range of talent and disciplines, the Phinergy team tackles traditional challenges with new and creative methods. The company’s aluminum-air energy system offers significant competitive advantages, including high energy density, zero polluting emissions, fully recyclable materials, high safety and low cost.

Phinergy is a leading developer of breakthrough zero-emissions, high energy-density systems based on metal-air energy technologies. The company’s primary focus is on aluminum-air and zinc-air batteries. Unlike conventional batteries that carry oxygen, metal-air batteries take in oxygen from the surrounding air to release the energy contained in metals.