A Refuelable Zinc/Air Battery for Fleet Electric Vehicle Propulsion 951948

We report the development and on-vehicle testing of an engineering prototype zinc/air battery that is refueled by periodic exchange of spent electrolyte for zinc particles entrained in fresh electrolyte. The technology enables nearly continuous vehicle operation and uses the fleet's home base for 10 minute refuelings and zinc recycling instead of commercial infrastructure. A six-celled (7V) engineering prototype battery and a 6 V lead/acid battery formed a parallel hybrid unit, which was tested in series with the 216 V battery of a shuttle bus over a 75 mile circuit. Use of Zn/air is expected to reduce bus weight and road energy requirements by 30%; battery weight by a factor of 5; and battery volume by a factor of three.


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