Metal-Air Electric Vehicle Battery

Default ARPA-E Project Image

OPEN 2009
Tempe, Arizona
Project Term:
12/21/2009 - 06/30/2012

Technology Description:

Arizona State University (ASU) is developing a new class of metal-air batteries. Metal-air batteries are promising for future generations of EVs because they use oxygen from the air as one of the battery's main reactants, reducing the weight of the battery and freeing up more space to devote to energy storage than Li-Ion batteries. ASU technology uses Zinc as the active metal in the battery because it is more abundant and affordable than imported lithium. Metal-air batteries have long been considered impractical for EV applications because the water-based electrolytes inside would decompose the battery interior after just a few uses. Overcoming this traditional limitation, ASU's new battery system could be both cheaper and safer than today's Li-Ion batteries, store from 4-5 times more energy, and be recharged over 2,500 times.

Potential Impact:

If successful, ASU's project would improve the safety and driving range of EVs while reducing their sticker price.


Widespread use of EVs would help reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. The U.S. transportation sector is the dominant source of this dependence.


Use of EVs would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, 28% of which come from the U.S. transportation sector.


This project would enable EVs that could travel from Chicago to St. Louis (300 miles) on a single battery charge, costing drivers less than $10.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Mark Johnson
Project Contact:
Prof. Cody Friesen
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


Fluidic, Inc.

Related Projects

Release Date: