Electric Car Batteries Prove Bigger Isn’t Always Better

EV battery makers are experimenting with new, faster-charging materials. Will their innovations help make electric cars more affordable?
Written by Andrew Koole
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Aug 19, 2022
For a while now,
electric vehicle
makers have been focused on improving one aspect of the new technology with a little more vigor—the range of their EV batteries. For the last decade, the goal has been to raise the range to be at least on par with the gas tanks of regular cars. 
But many are beginning to change gears. With the rising cost of components like lithium and graphite,
battery-makers
are bypassing increased range in favor of new, cheaper materials that charge more quickly and can be accessed in a more environmentally friendly way.
Jerry
, your car insurance
super app
, took a closer look at this new trend within the electric car industry and what it could mean for drivers hoping to trade in their gas cars for EVs.

EV battery tech heading in a new, smaller direction

Like most new technologies, electric vehicles were first marketed toward the wealthy. That deep-pocketed audience drove automakers to produce bigger EV batteries with more and more range. But to successfully transition the whole culture to EVs, they also needed to get cheaper.
That’s been the driving force behind the new trend in electric car batteries—using cheaper, more effective materials.
Reuters
says these experimental components can charge faster, allowing automakers to keep battery sizes smaller and more cost-effective.
The goal of these new EV battery materials is to make electric cars cheaper to produce and charging more similar to
fueling up
a gas engine. 
Rather than the 20-50 minute charging times of 300-mile-range batteries, these batteries will last around 150 miles and be able to recharge in five to 10 minutes.

Automakers already plan to use smaller electric car batteries

While the focus on marketing EVs still seems to be on extended battery ranges, many prominent automakers are shifting their focus toward these new, smaller, cheaper options. 
Ford’s CEO Jim Farley says it’s the target for the company’s next generation of EVs is coming in 2026. "Re-engineering the vehicle to minimize the size of the batteries is going to be a game changer," he said at a conference in June.
Battery producers Toshiba and Volkswagen are already testing the use of niobium, a metal found primarily in Brazil and Canada, to build
super-fast charging EVs
At the same time, Mercedes-backed battery startup StoreDot and others are using silicon-carbon anodes to speed up charging times.

Smaller electric car batteries mean cheaper electric cars

Batteries are by far the most expensive part of any electric vehicle. Replacing a Tesla’s battery, for example, costs upwards of $10,000. Dropping that cost will go a long way toward helping automakers lower the sticker prices of their EVs. 
It will also likely help lower the average cost of car insurance for electric vehicles. But you don’t have to wait for this new tech to save on coverage. The easiest and fastest way to lower your premiums is to shop for quotes with Jerry. 
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National General
Allstate
AAA
Aig
Chubb
ClearCover
CSE
Dairyland
DirectAuto
Elephant Auto Insurance
Kemper
Libertymutual
Gainsco
Mapfre
Mercury Auto
Metromile
Nationwide
Plymouth Rock
Progressive
State Auto
Safeco
Travelers
Metlife
Bristol West

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