As we become aware of the need to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel, electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular.
Yet, they have been out of the price range of the general population so far, until an inventor created an innovative battery that can change that.
Trevor Jackson, a former Royal Navy officer invented an electric car battery that lasts for 1,500 miles before recharging, which is four times the current capability of the industry’s top model.
Jackson has landed a multi-million-pound deal to start manufacturing the battery on a large scale in the UK. His battery can power an electric car on a scale not seen before and can also be used to power buses, trucks, aircraft and probably anything running off a battery.
From next year, Austin Electric, an engineering firm based in Essex, will start fitting thousands of them into their vehicles.
The aluminium-air fuel cell of these devices stores far more energy than a conventional battery
Austin Electric’s chief executive, Danny Corcoran, said that this can help trigger the next industrial revolution, as the advantages over traditional electric vehicle batteries are enormous.
Yet, Jackson admitted that it’s been tough ride getting to this point. He and his company Metalectrique Ltd first came up with the invention over ten years ago but faced unrelenting resistance from the traditional automobile industry.
He said that motor manufacturers even lobbied the Foreign Office to have him and his invention banned from official events aimed to discuss the potential for electric cars in the future.
The automobile industry establishment has every reason not to give ground to a competitor that may eventually render its own technology obsolete.
Car industry skeptics claim that Jackson’s technology is unproven, and its benefits exaggerated.
Yet, an independent evaluation by the Government agency UK Trade and Investment in 2017 reported that it was a ‘very attractive battery’ based on ‘well established’ technology and that it produced much more energy per kilogram than standard electric vehicle types.
Fortunately, the opposing attempts failed, and Jackson even got a £108,000 ($140,237) grant from the Advanced Propulsion Centre, a partner of the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills. His technology has been validated by two French universities.
“It has been a tough battle but I’m finally making progress. From every logical standpoint, this is the way to go.”
Jackson started looking into new ways of powering electric vehicles after a distinguished engineering career. He worked for Rolls-Royce in Derby, helping to design nuclear reactors. Afterward, he took a commission in the Royal Navy, where he served as a lieutenant onboard nuclear submarine, managing and maintaining their reactors.
He was working for BAE when he first started looking at alternative, green ways to power vehicles, and in 1999, he founded his own firm.
Two years later, he started investigating the capability of producing electricity by dipping aluminum into a chemical solution known as an electrolyte. Even though it was discovered in the ’60s, the idea was abandoned since the electrolytes used then were extremely dangerous and poisonous.
The father-of-eight battery inventor engineer, Trevor Jackson, 58 from Tavistock, Devon
Jackson didn’t give up and after years of experimentation at his workshop in the Cornish village of Callington, Jackson’s eureka moment came when he developed a new formula for a safe and non-caustic solution.
“I’ve drunk it when demonstrating it to investors, so I can attest to the fact that it’s harmless.”
On top of that, the aluminum used in Jackson’s fuel cell could be from recycled beverage cans!
The company has numerous plans for the future, including the manufacturing of electric tuk-tuks for the Asian market and long-lasting electric bikes.
What’s more, the company plans to introduce conversion kits to convert petrol and diesel-run cars into hybrids. These kits will cost £3,500 (£4,544) and will be available from next year.
The transportation industry is responsible for about 14 percent of global, and 29 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions each year, according to the EPA via the IPCC.
Therefore, if this invention can take fossil fuel-powered cars, trucks, buses, and airplanes off the road, and replace them with battery-powered alternatives, it would make a game-changing strategy in the fight against the climate crisis.
“If you want to do something about the environment, you can. You can do it now, with this product.”