Mercedes plans 'compostable' electric-car battery

Super-ecological, graphene-based battery could be a reality in 15-20 years

Mercedes logo

Mercedes is developing a compostable battery that could be powering its electric cars within the next 15 to 20 years. Prof. Andreas Hinntenach, senior manager for battery research at the company, described how the battery “is a little similar to a fuel cell. It's graphene-based and has a water-based electrolyte. It’s very promising, and I’ve seen it work in labs, but it's at least 15 years down the road.”

The organic, metal-free battery also promises to be very fast charging. This new technology was discussed in context of Mercedes’ Ambition 2039 plan, which involves the company becoming carbon-neutral by 2039.

This includes key steps that'll eventually lead to what Hinntenach describes as a “cyclical battery production,” where the company – in combination with new technology developments – can re-use precious metals and other materials already available to sustain an entirely carbon-neutral battery and vehicle production process.

In more near-term news, Hinntenach speculated that improvements in current lithium-ion battery technology “could see the range on [Mercedes] electric vehicles improve by some 20-25%” but in some cases it would be preferable to use that improved efficiency to save weight and retain a similar range.

Daimler (Mercedes’ parent company) recently invested €20 billion in its network of nine battery plants. The facilities are located in Germany, Thailand, China, the US and Poland, and will help the company to achieve its more immediate aim of at least 50% of the vehicles it produces being plug-in hybrids or fully electric by 2030. Mercedes is also one of the founding members of the super-rapid IONITY charging network. Mercedes currently produces various electric vehicles, including the pure-electric Mercedes EQC and Smart ForTwo, with plug-in hybrids offered across many of its mainstream models, including the GLE, E-Class, C-Class and A-Class.

Recommended

New Mercedes-AMG One plug-in hybrid hypercar: specs, price and pictures
Mercedes-AMG One
Mercedes-Benz

New Mercedes-AMG One plug-in hybrid hypercar: specs, price and pictures

15 Sep 2021
Mercedes Concept EQG provides first look at electric G-Class SUV
Mercedes Concept EQG
Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes Concept EQG provides first look at electric G-Class SUV

5 Sep 2021
New 2022 Mercedes eCitan electric van unveiled
2022 Mercedes eCitan
Mercedes-Benz

New 2022 Mercedes eCitan electric van unveiled

26 Aug 2021
Mercedes hybrid and electric cars
Mercedes electric cars
Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes hybrid and electric cars

7 Aug 2021

Most Popular

Top 10 best seven-seater electric and hybrid cars 2021
Mercedes EQB
Best cars

Top 10 best seven-seater electric and hybrid cars 2021

If the regular crop of electrified SUVs and family cars don’t provide enough practicality for you, then take a closer look at the range of electric an…
5 Oct 2021
Top 10 best luxury electric cars 2021
BMW iX
Best cars

Top 10 best luxury electric cars 2021

From Audi to Tesla, here are our top picks of the most luxurious zero-emissions motoring options on the market right now
7 Oct 2021
2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge electric SUV: single-motor version on sale now
Volvo XC40 Recharge
Volvo XC40 Recharge electric

2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge electric SUV: single-motor version on sale now

Volvo has introduced a new single-motor version of its electric SUV, available in two trim levels and with prices starting from £48,300
20 Oct 2021