Presented herein is a discussion of the forefront in research and development of advanced electrode materials and electrolyte solutions for the next generation of lithium ion batteries. The main challenge of the field today is in meeting the demands necessary to make the electric vehicle fully commercially viable. This requires high energy and power densities with no compromise in safety. Three families of advanced cathode materials (the limiting factor for energy density in the Li battery systems) are discussed in detail: LiMn1.5Ni0.5O4 high voltage spinel compounds, Li2MnO3–LiMO2 high capacity composite layered compounds, and LiMPO4, where M = Fe, Mn. Graphite, Si, LixTOy, and MO (conversion reactions) are discussed as anode materials. The electrolyte is a key component that determines the ability to use high voltage cathodes and low voltage anodes in the same system. Electrode–solution interactions and passivation phenomena on both electrodes in Li-ion batteries also play significant roles in determining stability, cycle life and safety features. This presentation is aimed at providing an overall picture of the road map necessary for the future development of advanced high energy density Li-ion batteries for EV applications.
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