Tesla currently uses lithium to make batteries that power their vehicles. While lithium is fairly inexpensive to manufacture, it has its drawbacks. Catching fire when exposed to air in a fatal accident, the inability to charge quickly compared to the fueling time of a combustion engine, and a limited life cycle, are but a few of the difficulties that have to be taken into account when using lithium as a power source for electric vehicles. But, what if there were a simplistic, cheap material that equally performs as lithium but is so environmentally friendly that it can be re-used as garden fertilizer? What unimaginable, absurdly fictional material could possibly exist with these properties?
What is graphene? It is essentially composed of the same graphite material found in millions of yellow pencils used by children around the world. The only difference with the writing material is the arrangement of the carbon into single atom-thick sheets rather than a random jumble of atoms. This material does not look like much on the surface but when it is arranged in this fashion, the carbon takes on some strange and amazing properties – such as the ability to hold and disperse large amounts of electrons.
Until recently, graphene was difficult to manufacture on a large scale. Thanks to some ingenious researchers at UCLA, making graphene is as simple as painting a liquid carbon solution on a DVD and running it through a Lightscribe DVD burner. The result is a material that has the same energy density of lithium, but can be charged in a fraction of the time along with the added benefit of being manufactured at pennies on the dollar.
What does this mean for Tesla? Since they would no longer have to base the price of their vehicle on the cost of batteries, Tesla will be able to manufacture cost-effective electric cars for the masses that are equally as powerful as any car that uses lithium batteries.
Please watch and read below for more information:
Breakthrough Announcement In 2012:
The Reality As Of 2013:
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