Accelerating Battery Development for Electric Vehicles (And Lightsabers)

15 Oct 2019

Batteries that power personal and household gadgets have historically been limited to 100's of charge/discharge cycles, or in the low 1000's in some cases. However, this limit of cycle life is not sufficient for modern electric vehicles (EVs) and grid storage applications, nor is it sufficient for the iconic lightsaber from a galaxy far, far away. Over the past decade tremendous advancements have been made with lithium-ion and other battery chemistries. Researchers are aiming for batteries with cycle life in the 10,000's and 100,000's range, which would begin to match the performance seen from lightsabers in the Star Wars universe.

Qui-Gon hands Obi-Wan his lightsaber with dead battery

Qui-Gon hands Obi-Wan his lightsaber with dead battery

Learn more about how Arbin's high-precision battery test equipment has accelerated EV battery research, and our detailed analysis of the lightsaber battery in Star Wars canon. Read the full blog post at: https://

One of the biggest challenges to battery researchers is how long it can take to test a battery that is expected to last 10,000+ cycles. When a battery was only expected to last <1000 cycles, traditionally it would be tested for a few hundred charge/discharge cycles to give an accurate prediction of life. However, now that batteries need to last 10,000+ cycles, using conventional charge/discharge cycles to estimate cell degradation becomes too time consuming and bottlenecks the development process. Advancements in battery technology have been relatively slow over the past decade in part due to how long it takes to perform research on new materials and predict battery degradation over a lifetime of 10,000+ cycles.

However, there is hope! Not only have researchers been working on new battery materials, they have also been working on new methods to test batteries to speed up the development processFord Motors partnered with battery test equipment manufacturer, Arbin Instruments, and Sandia National Lab to develop and utilize new high-precision battery test equipment that would be capable of seeing the smallest changes happening in a battery.

This breakthrough in test equipment technology has made new test methods and data analysis possible. Seeing the smallest changes happening in a battery allows both researchers and AI to create new and improved metrics for battery prediction very early in its life and accelerate the process of bring new battery materials to market. Faster development of battery materials and advancements in the testing methodologies has led to the creation of modern EV batteries, as well as batteries that are suited for a lightsaber.

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