FIU Professor Invents New Electric Car Battery

Photo from FIU News.

By: Nicole Heller / Contributing Writer

An FIU professor is pushing the boundaries of technology with a new electric vehicle battery.

The model consists of a lithium-sulfur type of battery which is estimated to power three times more. He also revealed they are working on a second model with a lithium air-type of battery capable of powering up twelve times but is nowhere near being ready for the market as it is not very rechargeable at this point. 

Dr. Bilal El-Zahab, Research Associate Professor in the Electrical & Computer Engineering department encouraged students to “step out of their comfort zones” during an interview with PantherNOW. 

“A boom is coming very soon and demands for electrical vehicles, in doing so, there is going to be a huge demand for batteries,” he said. 

The main reason why he and his team came up with the idea of developing this model in the first place is that the bottleneck of almost every technology that exists today is the battery. 

He mentioned the Apple Watch as an example.

 “If you needed to charge it every two hours, that will make it unlikely for it to be bought by anyone,” he said. “Now imagine the smartwatches in a few years if I was able to tell you I am able to give three times for energy, you either will charge it once every three days, or you can choose to add more things to it like sensors, capabilities, and features as energy storage in anything which is a vehicle, a portable or a wearable device is immediately impacting what you could do with it”. 

The professor and researcher said that everything started six years ago, when he and his team came together to develop the model. Lion Battery Technologies Inc. gave them funding for three years as they are hoping to commercialize the product once it is ready. 

Dr. El-Zahab mentioned that to every student who walks into his lab or his office he tells them “if you are in any field closely related to electrical vehicles, go and study that right now, because it is going to drive the next two, even three decades of the economy”. 

He urges FIU students to take advantage of the labs which allow students to do research, and to come in to assess what is wrong with the batteries in order to be prepared and educated for the future. 

“I want to encourage students to explore the innovation which is right now growing at FIU in various corners,” he said. “In this building, there are a few projects which are very exciting and in these things, students can make money, obtain experience, and more importantly, students can learn the trade of the next job that they will get.”

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