Step on the accelerator pedal in an electric car, and the sensation is like nothing else on the road. Your back is pressed deep into the seat upholstery. Power is on demand; forward motion at the slightest throttle tap.
There is fast, and then there is electric fast.
An electron-fed adrenaline rush does not happen by accident. Behind every smile on the face of an electric car driver are millions of calculations and calibrations. Managing that flow of energy--and emotion--falls to an elite core of technology manufacturers. They are keepers of the electric-vehicle (EV) revolution, a revolution that has only begun to gather momentum.
Indeed, despite soft crude-oil prices, EVs are impacting the passenger-car market in remarkable ways. Leading industry experts predict massive shifts to EV adoption by fleet operators, governments and regular consumers as battery costs continue to decline.
Electric Vehicles will account for 35 percent of the world's new-car sales by 2040.Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance
The environmental benefits of this shift cannot be overstated.
The world’s climatologists and industry analysts agree that EVs will play a role in stabilizing or reducing greenhouse gas production - the biggest contributor to global warming.
More people driving EVs will help ensure that the water we drink is cleaner, the air we breathe is purer, and the roads we travel are quieter.
The protagonist in this revolution is the lithium-ion battery. Lightweight, compact and recyclable, the lithium-ion battery pack is the building block of electric propulsion.
The lithium-ion battery pack is the building block of electric propulsion.
People know this technology because it powers their laptops and tablet computers, allowing battery-life times in excess of 10 hours. It also powers their smartphones, putting unparalleled range and versatility into billions of palms worldwide. For EVs, lithium-ion batteries store energy better than any other solution on the market, enabling some cars to travel as far as 300 miles between charges.
Many experts believe that lithium-ion batteries are just hitting their stride, and drivers of EVs will directly reap the benefits of longer battery life and greater travel range in the near term.
Energy storage capacity is crucial. So-called "range anxiety" has kept some motorists skeptical of EVs, but as battery chemistry and packaging improves, more miles--and more smiles--are being squeezed out of increasingly compact, efficient packs. And with more charging infrastructure being built every day, not only in urban cores but also along highways, EV drivers will rest assured that energy will be there when they need it.
For all the excitement around EVs, however, without the right internal components a lithium-ion battery is dead weight. Precisely built internal parts, engineered to the highest standard, allow a battery pack to feed power optimally to the car's motors and get a driver down the road smoothly, swiftly and safely.
Though many companies produce lithium-ion batteries for electric cars, only a few can make the separator--a critical technology developed by Asahi Kasei to ensure optimal performance and safety.
Lithium-ion battery separators are the unsung heroes of electric propulsion. Without them, batteries simply do not work. If not for the separators between the cathode and anode--the battery's two major components--ions would not flow properly, and the energy-storage miracle that is the modern battery, and the remarkable piece of technology that is the EV, would not be possible.
Together with its subsidiary Polypore International, Asahi Kasei produces the most popular and trusted lithium-ion battery separators in the world--and it's no mystery why. A researcher from Asahi Kasei developed the very first lithium-ion battery in 1985, revolutionizing not just the energy-storage industry, but how we live our lives every day.
Lithium-ion battery separators are just one example of Asahi Kasei's commitment to supporting the next generation of passenger cars--and to keeping us all moving down the road.