Electric vehicles are gaining popularity and attention, thanks to companies like Tesla.
But one major obstacle that’s keeping these vehicles from becoming mainstream is the high cost of batteries that are built with expensive materials.
Huolin Xin, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at UC Irvine, is one of the leading scientists tackling this problem.
His team is developing next-generation lithium-ion batteries that rely less on cobalt, a costly material. The technology could make electric vehicles more affordable and change the ways millions of people get around.
Recently, the federal government took notice of Xin’s research and awarded a $2.5 million grant that will help keep UCI at the forefront of electric vehicle innovation.
The grant is part of an $80 million fund by the U.S. Department of Energy for promising vehicle technologies that enable more affordable mobility, domestic energy security, reduce the U.S. dependence on foreign sources of critical materials and promote economic growth.
“As the world is facing a critical need for better materials and technologies, the purpose of this DOE-funded project is to meet that demand through innovation,” Xin said.