In cooperation with Phinergy and HEIG-VD University, Alcoa has created an aluminium-air battery that is powering zero-emissions electric boats. The battery will be commercialised for use in other applications, including electric cars and stationary energy.
The boat’s battery contains 15kg of aluminium, which provides around 25 hours of navigation time. The significance of this is clear when compared to navigation without the aluminium-air range extender: just 5 hours.
The aluminium-air battery uses air and water to unlock the energy stored in aluminium. Each kilogramme of aluminium provides approximately 4kWh electricity. The technology allows an energy density that surpasses conventional battery technologies and creates vehicles with travel distances, purchase prices and life-cycle costs that are comparable to fossil-fuel powered vehicles.