Battery innovations just keep going and going and going…

Happy Tuesday, readers! Tesla isn’t the only entity making headlines with battery news over the past week. Battery technological advances are occurring right here in the Midwest. That’s where we start today’s cleantech headlines.

Today’s headlines:


  • University of Chicago chemists discovered a method to customize MXenes, surface compounds that are only a few atoms thick. The customizations change the materials’ properties and could lead to building better batteries, supercapacitors, and superconductors.

    MXenes are used for making batteries, supercapacitors, and superconductors. Photo courtesy: Kamysbayev et al.
  • Medina, Minnesota-based Polaris entered a 10-year, exclusive agreement with Zero Motorcycles to develop battery electric-powered options for its key powersports sectors — specifically, snowmobiles and off-road vehicles — by 2025. The first vehicle under this partnership should hit the market by the end of next year.
  • Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory are using new lithium-rich materials to develop batteries that could be used in transportation and grid storage applications. The next-gen batteries could be more sustainable and cost-effective than current versions.

Image credit: Juan Garcia and Hakim Iddir/Argonne National Laboratory.

🚗 TRANSPORTATION: Minneapolis, St. Paul, Xcel Energy, and car-sharing nonprofit Hourcar are collaborating on an electric vehicle car-sharing project that aims to bring car technology to a new audience and reduce transportation emissions, reports MinnPost. The new Twin Cities Electric Vehicle Mobility Network will also fund charging hubs and expects the EV-sharing program to go live next summer.

🔌 UTILITIES: Missouri utilities Ameren and Evergy are investing in smart meter technologies that allow them to offer optional time-of-use rate programs to help consumers save energy and money, reports the Energy News Network.

🌡️ CLIMATE: A University of Minnesota professor aims to build a climate change hub that will combine climate research with community engagement, especially with policymakers and the farming industry, reports the Star Tribune.

🌞 RENEWABLES: Wind and solar projects in grid operator MISO’s territory are being canceled because of grid congestion, and technological upgrades are needed to relieve the problems, according to the Energy News Network.

🏆 HONORS: Purdue University’s School of Mechanical Engineering presented its annual Outstanding Mechanical Engineering Award to James E. McCarthy, Jr., a chief engineer with Eaton’s Vehicle Group, for his work on technologies that reduce vehicle emissions and conserve fossil fuels.


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