Eos, based in Easton, PA, is developing a game-changing low-cost, rechargeable zinc-air battery storage technology for utility and transportation applications.
Unlike other high-tech storage technologies (re. lithium ion batteries as produced by A123), zinc-air batteries are made from non-toxic, non-flammable materials. Moreover, zinc-air batteries demonstrate tremendous promise because they have a high energy storage capacity and are relatively inexpensive to produce. Can you imagine - a battery that just requires oxygen as a reactant, in other words, air from its surrounding, to generate current?
And zinc-air batteries already exist in many applications, most notably hearing-aids.
With all these advantages, why then, isn't every electric vehicle on the road running on zinc-air batteries?!?!
The major challenge with zinc-air batteries, one that other zinc-air companies like ReVolt has been facing for years, is making them rechargeable. Zinc-air batteries are cheaper and lighter than lithium ion batteries, but run down much more quickly.
Eos however, claims to have developed proprietary innovations to "overcome historical limitations to electric rechargeability of zinc-air batteries".
Eos' batteries have demonstrated the most cycles ever realized by metal-air batteries, >2000 battery cycles with no physical degradation.
Eos plans to start initial manufacturing for their Aurora systems in 2012, and delivery of MW scale system for grid storage applications in 2013, which will then be the point of departure for the automotive implementation.
Many people consider efficient and low-cost energy storage to be the key ingredient for both
- successful integration of renewables into the grid,
- large scale adoption of electric vehicles.
Will Eos' zinc-air battery technology be that special ingredient to make the perfect recipe of a renewable electric power ecosystem?