Insight |

Automotive batteries

Electrified vehicles represent a growing share of the automotive market, increasingly replacing internal combustion engine vehicles. This imposes great demands on energy storage technologies, currently dominated by lithium-ion batteries. Yet, despite tremendous progress in recent decades, lithium ion-powered vehicles still face huge challenges to meet the requirements needed to ease range anxiety and achieve mass market penetration.

This Insight offers a perspective on relevant practical issues for batteries in real automotive applications. It discusses state-of-the-art automobile battery materials and chemistry, production processes and their relationship to product performance, battery safety modelling and simulations, and the suitability of various energy technologies for different transportation markets.


  • Nature Energy | Editorial

    Electric motors are replacing combustion engines in vehicles thanks to the tremendous progress in battery development, but issues remain in navigating transportation with battery technologies.


  • Nature Energy | Q&A

    Professor M Stanley Whittingham is a pioneering researcher in the development of lithium-ion batteries at Binghamton University and Kent Snyder leads battery research and development at Ford Motor Company. Nature Energy caught up with both during the Nature Conference on Materials Electrochemistry: Fundamentals and Applications held in China in January 2018.

    • Changjun Zhang

Perspective and Reviews

  • Nature Energy | Perspective

    Battery safety is a key focus in the design of electrified vehicles. Here, the authors survey literature approaches for modelling and testing battery safety under abuse conditions, and propose a multi-physics modelling and testing framework for real applications.

    • Jie Deng
    • , Chulheung Bae
    • , James Marcicki
    • , Alvaro Masias
    •  &  Theodore Miller
  • Nature Energy | Review Article

    Electrification is seen as the future of automotive industry, and deployment of electric vehicles largely depends on the development of rechargeable batteries. Here, the authors survey the state-of-the-art advances in active materials, electrolytes and cell chemistries for automotive batteries.

    • Richard Schmuch
    • , Ralf Wagner
    • , Gerhard Hörpel
    • , Tobias Placke
    •  &  Martin Winter
  • Nature Energy | Review Article

    Recent years have seen significant growth of electric vehicles and extensive development of energy storage technologies. This Review evaluates the potential of a series of promising batteries and hydrogen fuel cells in their deployment in automotive electrification.

    • Zachary P. Cano
    • , Dustin Banham
    • , Siyu Ye
    • , Andreas Hintennach
    • , Jun Lu
    • , Michael Fowler
    •  &  Zhongwei Chen
  • Nature Energy | Review Article

    The battery manufacturing process significantly affects battery performance. This Review provides an introductory overview of production technologies for automotive batteries and discusses the importance of understanding relationships between the production process and battery performance.

    • Arno Kwade
    • , Wolfgang Haselrieder
    • , Ruben Leithoff
    • , Armin Modlinger
    • , Franz Dietrich
    •  &  Klaus Droeder

Further reading

  • Nature Energy | Article

    Large-scale adoption of electric vehicles will only occur if the needs of individual drivers are met. Here the authors present a model of the energy consumption of personal vehicles in the USA, allowing an evaluation of the adoption potential of electric vehicles.

    • Zachary A. Needell
    • , James McNerney
    • , Michael T. Chang
    •  &  Jessika E. Trancik
  • Nature Energy | Article

    Electrification of transport offers many benefits for the energy transition but introduces a number of complexities around the electric system. This study undertakes modelling of residential power demand and electric vehicle use to understand the impact of uncoordinated vehicle charging on the electricity load.

    • Matteo Muratori
  • Nature Energy | Analysis

    Electrical energy storage is expected to be important for decarbonizing personal transport and enabling highly renewable electricity systems. This study analyses data on 11 storage technologies, constructing experience curves to project future prices, and explores feasible timelines for their economic competitiveness.

    • O. Schmidt
    • , A. Hawkes
    • , A. Gambhir
    •  &  I. Staffell
  • Nature Energy | Article

    Electric vehicles are only as green as the electricity used to charge them, but owners tend to charge vehicles at times of peak use. This study shows that tailored emails increase engagement with information about time-of-use tariffs, with maximal effects within the first three months of ownership.

    • Moira Nicolson
    • , Gesche M. Huebner
    • , David Shipworth
    •  &  Simon Elam
  • Nature Energy | Analysis

    Alternative fuel technologies are crucial to decarbonize transport, but attention has shifted among options over time. This study presents an analysis of media, innovation and funding data for these different options and recommends actions to help move beyond hype to support technology adoption.

    • Noel Melton
    • , Jonn Axsen
    •  &  Daniel Sperling
  • Nature Energy | Article

    Safety issues have been a long-standing obstacle impeding the large-scale deployment of rechargeable batteries especially for those with organic electrolytes. Here the authors report fire-extinguishing organic electrolytes, which enable long-term cycling Li-ion and Na-ion batteries.

    • Jianhui Wang
    • , Yuki Yamada
    • , Keitaro Sodeyama
    • , Eriko Watanabe
    • , Koji Takada
    • , Yoshitaka Tateyama
    •  &  Atsuo Yamada