Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular as awareness of the need to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels grows. Although electric cars have mostly been out of the price range of the general population there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, thanks to an inventor whose innovative battery will change all that.
Inventor, Trevor Jackson, a former Royal Navy officer developed an electric car battery that lasts for 1,500 miles before recharging. That’s four times the current capability of the industry’s top model.
The British engineer has landed a multi-million-pound deal to start manufacturing the battery on a large scale in the UK, reports the Daily Mail.
Jackson’s battery can power an electric car on a scale not seen before and can also be used to power buses, trucks, aircraft and probably anything running off a battery.
Starting next year, Austin Electric, an engineering firm based in Essex, will start fitting thousands of these devices into their vehicles.
Austin Electric’s chief executive, Danny Corcoran, told Daily Mail: “It can help trigger the next industrial revolution. The advantages over traditional electric vehicle batteries are enormous.”
Although the future is looking bright for Jackson, he explained that it’s been tough ride getting to this point.
Jackson and his company Metalectrique Ltd first came up with the invention more than a decade ago, but faced unrelenting resistance from the traditional automobile industry.
According to Jackson, motor manufacturers even lobbied the Foreign Office to have him and his invention banned from official events aimed to discuss the potential for electric cars in the future.
Fortunately, their attempts were unsuccessful and Jackson not only landed the Austin deal but also a £108,000 ($140,237) grant from the Advanced Propulsion Centre, a partner of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
“It has been a tough battle but I’m finally making progress. From every logical standpoint, this is the way to go,” he added.
Jackson started looking into the capability of producing electricity by dipping aluminum into a chemical solution known as an electrolyte.
First discovered in the ’60s, the idea was abandoned as the electrolytes used then was extremely dangerous and poisonous.
Jackson didn’t give up and managed to create a safe and non-caustic solution. “I’ve drunk it when demonstrating it to investors, so I can attest to the fact that it’s harmless,” he said.
With a bright green future in partnership with Austin, the company has a number of projects to fulfill in the coming months, one being plans to manufacture electric tuk-tuks for the Asian market and long-lasting electric bikes.
Even more exciting and significant is the company’s plan to introduce conversion kits to convert petrol and diesel-run cars into hybrids. The kits will cost £3,500 (£4,544) and available from next year.
Corcoran concluded: “If you want to do something about the environment, you can. You can do it now, with this product.”