Scientists tackle high battery costs to make electric vehicles more affordable

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As we try to use less oil and gas to help the environment, electric cars are becoming more popular.

But there’s a big problem: they can be too expensive for many people.

A lot of this comes down to the batteries that power these cars.

Batteries need metals and minerals to work, and sometimes these can get really expensive. This makes the batteries, and therefore the cars, more costly.

Scientists and engineers are working hard to find ways to make batteries cheaper. They’re exploring new technologies that use less expensive or more common materials.

For example, a team from UCLA has come up with a stretchy, thin device that goes on the throat to help people with voice problems speak.

This device, detailed in Nature Communications, shows how tech can evolve in amazing ways to improve lives.

Back to batteries, Tesla and other car makers are switching to a type of battery called LFP, which doesn’t use some of the more expensive materials like cobalt.

This change is making batteries up to 30% cheaper. Plus, researchers are creating batteries without cobalt at all, which could bring costs down even more.

But why does this matter so much? Because to fight climate change, we need to switch from cars that burn gas to electric cars.

And for this switch to happen faster, electric cars need to be as cheap as the ones that use gas. This is especially true in places where people don’t have a lot of money to spend on cars.

In Norway, lots of people are buying electric cars because the government helps make them more affordable. But in many parts of the world, these cars are still too expensive. Making batteries cheaper is a big step towards changing this.

From 2010 to 2019, the cost of making batteries dropped by 85%, which is great news. It means electric cars are getting closer to being as cheap as gas cars.

Already, there are over 18 million electric cars driving around the world. And in 2022, electric car sales jumped by 55% from the year before, which is a huge increase.

But electric cars still make up a tiny part of all the cars out there. To really make a difference in fighting climate change, these cars need to be an option for everyone, everywhere.

That means they have to be affordable right when you buy them, not just cheaper to run in the long run.

Researchers and car companies are working on it. They’re trying to find new ways to make batteries from materials that are cheaper and easier to get.

This is important work because it’s not just about making cool gadgets; it’s about making sure everyone can afford to make choices that are better for the planet.