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Texas A&M professor launches lithium-based battery startup to improve electric vehicles

The primary product Choongho Yu's startup called Flexodes is developing are cheaper electric...
The primary product Choongho Yu's startup called Flexodes is developing are cheaper electric car batteries capable of storing more energy.(KBTX)
Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 8:50 AM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Texas A&M University professor Choongho Yu and his business partner have successfully launched a new startup focused on improved lithium-based battery technology.

The primary focus of their startup, called Flexodes, is developing batteries for electric cars. They say their technology will make the vehicles cheaper and capable of much larger storage capacity.

“What we are working on is called a lithium-sulfur battery as opposed to the lithium-ion batteries that are commercially now available,” Yu said. “The beauty of this technology is that we can actually improve the energy density from two to up to five times.”

They hope their battery helps the environment by making electric cars more affordable, efficient, and practical, and therefore, a more attractive purchase to consumers.

“In cases where we can improve the energy density by a factor of two, then theoretically, we can actually improve the driving distance by a factor of two, which is really important,” Yu said.

Yu says his company is keeping the size of the battery the same while essentially doubling its output.

“With the same sized battery, the price will be much lower,” Yu said. “If you just think about a Tesla becoming much cheaper, then a lot more people can afford one. That would be exciting news. In that sense, we can probably play some role in lowering the cost.”

Yu hopes his startup’s battery can hit the market at some point next year, but he says that solely depends on investments. He says they need to focus on moving to the next level from laboratory research to the commercial market.

“I think battery technology is now really demanding in order to reduce greenhouse gases and things like that,” Yu said. “I hope there will be a lot of great startups and battery companies in the U.S. because there’s not many here right now. I hope this initiates battery research in the U.S. so that we can have really good companies here, and that we are one of them.”

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