When it comes to electric cars, the biggest advantage a company can have, comes down to the batteries. Obviously, Tesla is on the right track with its enormous lithium-ion battery production facility, known as the Gigafactory. Without the Gigafactory in full operation, the company is already producing vehicles with stronger battery capacity, and longer range, than anything on the road today.
Other companies continue to hint at new forms of technology that will make even better batteries. Recently, Henrik Fisker, creator of the Fisker Karma EV, told the press that his new company, Fisker Inc., will release a longer range electric car in the coming years, that utilizes “never before seen” battery technology. He went so far as to say that the batteries, while containing some lithium-ion, are nothing like the batteries used in current electric cars.
We reported a while back that Apple was in talks with a South Korean battery company that is making “hollow core” batteries. Apple has since signed an official agreement with the mysterious battery company. The batteries being referred to are cylindrical, lithium-ion battery cells that are hollow through the middle.
As we reported yesterday, Apple is once again expanding in China, to establish closer ties with its tech partners there, and in hopes to develop new ties. In Beijing and in the Shenzhen Industrial Park, there are a myriad of companies that are broadening and diversifying vastly, and tackling new, unseen technologies. With Apple’s investment in the area, and partnership with Didi Chuxing, linking them to many other highly successful tech companies, the search for the right components to make the best electric, autonomous car, may be a walk in the park. Not to mention the company’s own unparalleled resources.
While other companies, like GM, with the upcoming Chevrolet Bolt, are showing that it is possible to reach Tesla’s range, thus far, everyone is doing it the same. Despite the fact that the battery capacity is growing, and manufacturing methods have been revamped, the type of technology has not changed. Moving to a hollow core, to reduce heat and unnecessary related hardware, could be the answer to upping range even further. But beyond this, advanced battery technology that surpasses what we use today, is the end goal.
Analysts believe that Apple intends to come forward with technology in its vehicle, that will be significantly different than that of the competition. Fisker revealed that he is in talks with other companies, to share his newfound battery technology. It is impossible to keep up with who Apple is officially or unofficially talking to, as the project has remained so tight-lipped. However, we also know that Apple has investigated charging stations. There is no other use for an electric car battery or electric car charging station, aside from powering and charging an electric car. Also, Apple’s connection to such companies can provide substantial insight into battery technology, capacity, limitations, etc.