As part of its plan to become carbon neutral by 2039, Mercedes reckons it will have a compostable battery ready to power its electric cars, possibly by the middle of the next decade.
Head of battery research, Professor Andreas Hinntenach, said that the battery under development is akin to a fuel cell, using graphene and a water-based
electrolyte. The battery pack is not only metal-free but also extremely fast charging.
He said he has seen it working in the laboratory setting, but believes it is at least 15 years away from implementation in an actual vehicle. By then,
Mercedes expects to be operating cyclical battery production, making full use of recyclable materials.
Meantime, improvements in existing lithium-ion battery technology should see a 20-25 per cent extension in Mercedes EV touring range. However, that won’t
apply to all EVs; some will run smaller battery packs to save weight and maintain a similar range to that offered by existing battery technology.
Daimler is investing 20billion euros in setting up nine battery plants across the globe. By 2030 Mercedes envisages half of its new vehicles will be electrified.