Advanced Thermo-Adsorptive Battery

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Project Term:
12/13/2011 - 09/30/2016

Critical Need:

The transportation sector is the dominant source of U.S. dependence on foreign oil and a major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions. Enabling more widespread use of electric vehicles (EVs) would reduce both our dependence on foreign oil and our harm to the environment. Inefficient heating and cooling systems can limit the driving range of EVs by acting as a drain on their batteries. Rechargeable, thermal energy storage-based hot-and-cold batteries can provide efficient heating and cooling to EVs without draining the on-board battery packs, in effect extending the driving range of EVs per electric charge. These will also enable thermal management of internal-combustion engine vehicles.

Project Innovation + Advantages:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is developing a low-cost, compact, high-capacity, advanced thermo-adsorptive battery (ATB) for effective climate control of EVs. The ATB provides both heating and cooling by taking advantage of the materials' ability to adsorb a significant amount of water. This efficient battery system design could offer up as much as a 30% increase in driving range compared to current EV climate control technology. The ATB provides high-capacity thermal storage with little-to-no electrical power consumption. MIT is also looking to explore the possibility of shifting peak electricity loads for cooling and heating in a variety of other applications, including commercial and residential buildings, data centers, and telecom facilities.

Potential Impact:

If successful, MIT's ATB technology has the potential to transform on-demand cooling and heating in EVs, while increasing their driving range up to 30% relative to today's best cabin climate control technology.


Increased use of EVs would decrease U.S. dependence on foreign oil—the transportation sector is the dominant source of this dependence.


Greater use of EVs would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, 28% of which come from the transportation sector.


This technology would increase the marketability of EVs—helping spur growth in the automobile industry.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Eric Rohlfing
Project Contact:
Dr. Evelyn N. Wang
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


Ford Motor Company
Northeastern University
University of California, Los Angeles
University of Texas, Austin

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