According to China's Xinhua news agency (via Gas2 and Clean Technica), Tesla could soon achieve this 500-mile battery thanks to a development in graphene-based anodes, which can reportedly quadruple the density and output of lithium-ion batteries.
Graphene, for those who don't know, is a carbon-based "super material" that's roughly 200 times stronger than steel but nearly transparent when laid out in sheets. First isolated in 2003, graphene is as an excellent conductor of heat and energy, and certainly an ideal material for batteries.Researchers have been hard at work experimenting with graphene compounds for batteries that can be scalable, cost-efficient, but most of all, powerful. In 2011, Northwestern University engineers found graphene anodes are better at holding energy than anodes made of graphite ? with faster charging up to 10x. And just last May, Rice University researchers found that graphene mixed with vanadium oxide (a relatively inexpensive solution) can create battery cathodes that recharge in 20 seconds and retain more than 90% of their capacity, even after 1,000 cycles of use.