Lithium-Sulfur Batteries Could Offer a Cheaper, Greener & More Efficient Alternative

Jan 10, 2020
by Ed Spratt  
Giant Reign E

Scientists have engineered a new battery from Lithium-Sulfur cells which is claimed to offer five times the battery life when compared to a normal Lithium-Ion battery.

The international team of scientists working at Melbourne Monash University believe they have finally overcome the hurdle of a short lifespan with a new type of bonding architecture. The new progress means that they have created "unprecedented" battery charge/discharge efficiency in a Lithium-Sulfur battery that could keep a smartphone charged for days or drive an electric vehicle for more than 1000km without recharging.

Until recently, the team working on the project were having major issues with the storage chamber for the sulfur electrodes failing after a small number of cycles. This was leading to a fast deterioration of the battery, shortening its lifespan.

Monash University's Dr Mahdokht Shaibani, the study lead author, told New Atlas: ”Ironically, a main challenge to mass adoption of lithium-sulfur batteries until now, has been that the storage capacity of sulfur electrode is so large that it cannot manage the resultant stress. Instead, it breaks apart, in the same way we might when placed under stress."

Current experiments have now produced results which present efficiency of 99% over 200 cycles of the Lithium-Sulfur battery. “Which to the best of our knowledge is unprecedented for such high capacity electrodes," says Shaibani to New Atlas.

The next steps are further testing to ensure the longevity of the technology but in the near future, they hope to get the batteries installed in electric cars first. But this technology could eventually come to eMTB bikes which might offer a better solution for longer rides than the current crop of Lithium-Ion batteries. Especially if we see more companies offering the ability to fit two batteries to increase a bike useable range.

The Orbea Wild E-Bike already offers the ability to fit two batteries in order to increase the capacity.

They are currently filling a patent for the Lithium-Sulfur batteries, which alongside the performance claims, is also said to be cheaper and better for the environment. The claimed greener eco-credentials for the Lithium-sulfur batteries come from its different production methods, a water-based process. Study co-author Matthew Hill told New Atlas: "This approach not only favors high-performance metrics and long cycle life, but is also simple and extremely low-cost to manufacture, using water-based processes, and can lead to significant reductions in environmentally hazardous waste."

With a claimed cheaper cost, longer life and greener credentials than Lithium-Ion batteries, it seems like if this technology can make it into large-scale production, it will offer a great alternative to Lithium-Ion batteries for eMTB bikes with the potential to bring costs down while also increasing range. Unfortunately, it looks like we won’t be seeing these batteries in the real world for quite some time.


219 Comments

  • 363 67
 If only there was a way to make ebikes greener?? I got nothing. Any of you guys have any ideas? I wonder what would happen if they eliminated the motor altogether? Just a crazy thought, don't mind me.
  • 172 57
 Yeah but how would Joey get to the top of the best flow trails in the area? His health issues ( tightening and soreness of the thighs and calves on steep ascents ) are preventing him from doing the sport he loves.
  • 86 28
 @Boosting: And he gets hot and sweaty and often gets out of breath .
  • 148 64
 @garrisond5: A month ago I would have agreed with you. I hired an ebike as a Christmas present. I covered twice the distance and in the same forest Ive gone to for years, I got to trails I’d never seen before. But get this, I was more shattered after - because I’d cycled for the same amount of time just further - and had more descents to make me grin. Sold.
  • 132 15
 I know you're joking, but seriously, if eBikes mean people are driving to the trailhead less, and riding to the trailhead more, then they're already off the charts in terms of benefit to the planet. It's kinda ridiculous to argue about environmental friendliness of batteries, or carbon vs. aluminum, if you're DRIVING A CAR to a trailhead, which has a much larger impact.
  • 29 6
 @MaN-oF-STeEL: I am with you, my friend!
  • 51 7
 @gumbytex: I don't know about you, but if a trail head were only a mile or two away, I would just ride my bike there anyway. Most trails that people have to drive to are not within reach of an existing e-bike, much less spending any of its existing power riding on those trails, and back home.
  • 28 5
 @streetfighter848: yeah, same here. And unfortunately, I don't see people in my area using eBikes as car replacements. If people shuttle a regular bike, they usually shuttle their eBike too. Sucks.
  • 57 50
 @MaN-oF-STeEL: Percent of people who hate ebikes before they try them: ~100. Percent of people who hate ebikes after they try them: ~0.
  • 10 17
flag Boosting (Jan 10, 2020 at 14:56) (Below Threshold)
 @MaN-oF-STeEL: so you're saying riding a bike faster than you are used to and 20 pounds heavier for the same amount of time got you more tired? I'm shocked!
  • 53 16
 @heyjohnp: I’ve used an ebike, still hate them
  • 7 2
 @streetfighter848: This has been my experience as well, the whole reason trails exist in a certain area is because that area hasn't been developed (yet). It would be awesome if ebikes took cars off the road but at least around here that is a bit of wishful thinking due to the relative locations of trails and housing.
  • 14 5
 @Boosting: Yes, I’m saying riding a heavier bike with motor assist for a longer distance, for the same amount of time I would have spent on a shorter trail got me a bit more tired than usual. In truth, I was determined not to return it with any juice left so I bled the battery dry and used my fairly fit legs for the last mile or so, which was also a climb. That’s probably what tipped me over to “more tired”. Have you ever been on an ebike? Give it a go and inform your argument. We all enjoy different elements of riding, you may find it’s just not for you but at least you’d be better informed. I suspect you’ll be surprised though.
  • 6 2
 @Boosting: As someone who's been called Joey since I was a 0-years-old, you also forgot about the shortness of breath, as well as redness and wettening of the skin.
  • 17 2
 @heyjohnp: I just sold my ebike. Different strokes for different folks.
  • 4 3
 Honestly there are alot of older riders, talking 65 plus looking at ebikes and I can see myself at that age trying one. As of now I an analog ripping till then or gas powered mayhem.
  • 12 9
 @MaN-oF-STeEL: Stop, these guys can't handle the truth!
  • 10 8
 @MaN-oF-STeEL: Same. I'm sold.
  • 19 23
flag jclnv (Jan 10, 2020 at 18:24) (Below Threshold)
 @MaN-oF-STeEL: Yeah but you had to ride a 50lb boat anchor down. Anyway glad to hear you’ll be doing extra trail maintenance to offset the motorcycles additional range.
  • 7 5
 @heyjohnp: Not in my case so 99/1.
  • 7 2
 @heyjohnp: Not true. Went back to human powered. They're both good and have merits.
  • 11 2
 @MaN-oF-STeEL: the reason i feel it wears me out even more is im now trying to climb stuff that on my pedal bike im 100% walking it
  • 1 2
 @Boosting: S works baby! Summers eve much?
  • 3 3
 Put a plow on it!! Bike with plows for fields to rut up and start a garden. Unhitch the plow and take to the woods. Be your own draft animal and never depend on old mcdonald again!
  • 1 2
 @pargolf8: one luv
  • 7 1
 @gumbytex: unfortunately, this is not the case, the average user commutes with the car, parks there, makes the extended loop more times, goes back. You dont see otherwise in the outskirts of Madrid, for example. Very very big ebike community.
  • 15 7
 This e-bike topic seems to be an endless discussion between European and American. I will never understood why so much hate against e-bikes is coming from US riders. Please stop seeing e-bikes as the e-trolley you have in your supermarkets for unhealthy people. I know so much good riders riding e-bike here, it's just a way to extend your trail freedom area. Nothing else
  • 7 7
 @jclnv: No additional maintenance required. Just the same as any other bicycle.
  • 7 4
 @heyjohnp: I imagine you'd get similar results with crack - it doesn't mean we should all start smoking rocks.
  • 2 1
 @streetfighter848: I guess this asks the question, from what distance onwards to the trailhead do you use the car and would this change if you had an ebike?
I have 10km to one area, right through town, so it takes almost 30min cycling from my door. I wonder whether I would worry loosing too much charge just commuting and then running out of battery on the actual trail.
  • 3 1
 @gumbytex: the first time I ever saw an ebike in the wild was some guy climbing up a super steep and rutted access road, I thought he was a total badass as I passed him in my honda civic
  • 18 3
 @Boosting: So far off the mark. Targeting Joey. Myself, I'm 55. I still ride with my 15-year son who's quite quick downhill. I'm in a great position to be able to ride with my son, although, after a couple of runs I'm knackered. I feel like I'm holding him back. I'm still reasonably quick downhill but after riding back to the top... there's only so many times I can do it and still enjoy myself and not feel like I'm holding him back. He is getting fitter, and I'm getting slower. Simple as that. Welcome to the world and life.

In a few years, he won't want to ride with me anymore. I want to maximise the time I spend with him. So, what would you like me to do, mate?? I don't know your age, your position in life, although, one thing I am sure. It will eventually change — no doubt.

I could shrivel up on the couch and die as an option.

As a fit, avid, aging bike rider, I'm so disappointed in your comment.

I currently don't own an E-bike. I'm seriously thinking about it though.
  • 3 2
 @Boosting: yeah flap your gums about ebike riders all being joeys then drop a one luv. Look deep inside your conflicted soul there, jah bottoms
  • 1 0
 @mitochris: I ride 19km to my trails and then 19km back.

Shortest ride I do is 48km.
  • 3 1
 @mitochris: I'm sorry not on an ebike.

But I don't care emtb or not you are still riding.
Did a group ride last week and one older guy had a levo. One guy jokingly called it a robot bike but no one else said anything and ebike or not he wasn't skilled enough to stay with me.

After we both took the gravel road home and he slowly dropped me.

I wasn't mad don't care really. Just happy to see him out having fun and getting exercise.
  • 7 15
flag wobbem (Jan 11, 2020 at 9:50) (Below Threshold)
 Meanwhile I am witnessing my beloved trails being trashed by these heavy monster trucking abnormalities as they (the trails) are being currently overwhelmed by the very wet weather and sheer numbers of the f*cking stupid things.
  • 1 5
flag reverend27 (Jan 11, 2020 at 9:52) (Below Threshold)
 @wobbem: cool well your car or whatever you drive is polluting my beautiful planet.
  • 3 1
 @reverend27: that’s quite a commute just to get to the trail head. I don’t really mind eMTBs and there will be many situations where they make sense, whether it is the ageing/injured ripper that can’t anymore, or the dad that wants some quality time with his child. If I get offended that someone with an engine overtakes me then that’s more of a problem with me than with them. But I also understand the concerns regarding trail access etc. I guess it is really up to the trail builders to judge whether eMTB access is more damaging or not.
  • 4 2
 @Groscreux: I think the stigma comes from those of us who, in our areas at least, e-bikes and the fat guy scooters in the supermarket, are being operated by a similar looking cast of characters. I’m all for more people getting into MTB, and I suppose getting out for SOME physical activity is better than none, I just can’t help but feel that the folks riding them around here are taking the lazy way in.

For those saying try one, you’ll love it...again, in my area, rode one, hated it. A 50 lb pig versus my daily mid 20s FS rig just felt like driving a semi instead of a race car.
  • 1 4
 @mtallman2: yeah well fat slobs and meth are available in abundance in OH so that makes sense actually.
  • 3 0
 @gumbytex: I think they're a great thing as a car replacement, not so sure when they're a bike replacement!
  • 4 2
 "Ebikes are fun and will create more riders. Don't sweat it!" ~ the Future
  • 6 3
 @MaN-oF-STeEL: these hypocrites will all be on ebikes soon enough. I give it 10 years. Just like shitting on 29ers a few years back. Now everybody rides them
  • 3 2
 @stumphumper92: Nope. I’ve been riding 29” since 2012 but like many I can tell where a bicycle ends and a motorbike begins and couldn’t give two shits about the later or I’d have been riding dirt bikes from day one instead of MTB’s.
  • 3 3
 @gumbytex: dude, no one is riding to the trailhead. The f*ckwit who used to wear Lycra on his trail bike after pulling up in his MX5 is still doing it, just now he has a lithium battery on his bike and more 'stoke'.
  • 1 0
 Amen brother.
  • 2 0
 @streetfighter848: Almost every trail near me would be easily accessible by ebike, but is a difficult pavement ride on a standard bike. I'm not gonna ride 10miles+ of pavement and/or 3000ft+ of elevation to get to the trailhead with a standard bike, but that's easy on an ebike.
  • 3 2
 @MaN-oF-STeEL: please stop the "you can ride more in the same time" speech, it´s true but I´m sick of it. Enjoying your hard earned elevation and going home because you just can´t get any more that day is a great thing too, you can appreciate it more.
  • 5 0
 @mitochris: A pedal assist ebike only weighs 6 or 7 kgs more than an enduro bike, it's not going to damage trails anymore than any other bike. Otherwise we'd only let XC whippets ride on the trails.

You can't roost on an ebike, as the power assist will cut in long before you spray dirt. Enduro bro's roosting berms do way more damage than an emtb.
  • 3 1
 @jclnv: big difference between ebikes and dirt bikes. Why not let people ride what they want instead of complaining?
  • 4 4
 @stumphumper92: Because the type of instant gratification individual who rides an eBike never does and trail maintenance and now they’re doing more distance and damage per ride. Plus I don’t want chubby little Gavin on his mega watt shite bike to ask if he can get past on the climbs every ride. Not to mention the biggest issue of all is that eBikes will have throttles in 3-5 years. How to hack current bikes is already a constant thread topic on most eBike forums.

So yeah, there are clearly things to complain about if you love the sport and aren’t a lazy sack of shit.
  • 5 4
 @jclnv: you sound like such a crotchety little bitch. Behind the type of bros that got KT closed down. Your type of whiny, complaining, yet somehow also entitled personality is the 2nd worst character in our sport.
  • 3 2
 @pargolf8: No. The type of person who got those trails closed is a typical self entitled eBike rider who thinks they can do whatever the f*ck they want to the sport.
  • 2 3
 @jclnv: the funny part to me is i bet you’re the type to just blah blah all over the internet, but if someone rolls by on an ebike i bet you’re like a quiet little field mouse. All show no go
  • 1 1
 @jclnv: based on what evidence?
  • 1 1
 @jclnv: you are such a shitbag. By the way.
  • 1 0
 @pargolf8: no i bet he's the type that's angry about something 24/7.

Cant take a 10 minute drive to the store without cursing under his breath about someones driving.
  • 2 1
 @pargolf8: Luckily they’re banned on our trails so I don’t see many. That said, I’ve seen a couple and I usually just give them a long, loud, “Boooooooo”. No doubt they’ll be more this year as there are a lot of lazy types around these days. I look forward to give them shit by riding on their ass to make them see how fast a non motorized bike can go if you’re not a lazy twat who’s scared of a little suffering/effort.
  • 2 4
 @jclnv: try me homie. Ill re arrange your grille Smile
  • 2 2
 @jclnv: wow you've got issues.

I'm the type to leave other people alone and try to treat everyone with respect until its no longer possible.

That being said if did to me what you say you do to others on the trail you'd have a pissed off autistic ready to thump your ass into the ground.
  • 2 0
 @pargolf8: Spoken like a true yank.
  • 1 3
 @jclnv: i have one rule. Doesn’t matter where you come from. If you’re gonna run your mouth be prepared to back it up. I don’t think you can
  • 1 2
 @reverend27: truth. Im the nicest guy you’ll meet. If you’re having fun, im happy for you. No matter. But come at me wrong, i dare you. Peace be with you reverend Smile
  • 1 1
 @jclnv: no bro its like road rage.

You can scream and curse and ride alot of peoples ass and they will just ignore you.
The problem is when you assume everyone is like that.

Then you find out that some people will react very differently and thats when you have a problem on your hands.
  • 1 0
 @pargolf8: exactly. Its respect.
  • 2 2
 @reverend27: I have the upmost respect for anyone on the trails who isn’t on an eBike. What you don’t seem to realize is riding an eBike, for the reasons I listed above, is disrespectful for people like me who have ridden MTB’s for decades, love it, want my daughter to enjoy it, and want the sport to remain what it is. A pure, human powered activity that isn’t mired in a sea of battery shit.
  • 3 2
 @jclnv: annnd thats the problem right there.
You want to project your wants and needs on other people.
Basically trying to control and dominate others because they are doing something that you dont agree with.
And if you do what you say you do at some point you are going to run into the wrong person in the wrong mood.
Someone who lost a lived one or a friend or whos girlfriend broke up or cheated on them.
Or like me doesnt take kindly to your behaviors.
I would hope that you understand this and for the sake of your daughter dont put her in danger with your behaviors.

Peace.
  • 1 2
 @jclnv: something as simple as a face full of bear mace would give a you whole different outlook on life.
  • 2 1
 @reverend27: You yanks are really nailing the violent, reactionary, stereotype.

Look if you’re too blind to see that eBikes won’t lead to more land access issues, you’re lost. Bikes have never been better, just f*ck off and go dirt biking if you want a motor so bad.
  • 3 0
 @reverend27: Just an observation here, why are the pro-ebikers the ones making physical threats? This is insanity, in one sentence pargolf says "I'm the nicest guy you'll meet" but two sentences later you are issuing a threat on top of the other threats of physical violence you made earlier.

So some people want ebikes and some want to protect the integrity of the sport of mountain biking. Can't we have both? What about trying to separate the two from each other. That way the purist mountain bikers maintain the spirit of the sport, ebikers can do their thing without being harassed, and threats to the sport from ebikes are negated because they are separated. What moto riders do doesn't affect mountain bikers for the most part because they are separate activities with separate rules.

If as many of you claim that ebikers are just the same as everyone else then I am sure they will have no problem building trails, advocating for land access, dealing with user conflicts, getting people to volunteer for trail maintenance days, etc.
  • 2 1
 @highfivenwhiteguy: ok so me just minding my own business and dude starts riding my ass and being a dick?

And then when i react im the one who started it?

Mind your own business and leave me alone there wont be a problem.

Do you have reading comprehension problems or something?
  • 2 0
 @highfivenwhiteguy: and second i dont own a ebike and commute 24 miles to my trail heads and back.

Im pro freedom and choice. If someone chooses to do something within the rules and is minding their own business and then a jackass starts yelling at them and riding their ass then f*ck that dude.
  • 2 1
 @jclnv: yep start shit and then play the victim when you get your ass whipped.
  • 2 1
 @reverend27:

Rise above, people start shit online all the time. I get mad too and often have to leave PB for a bit to calm down. I learned to do this after going back and reading some of the stuff I posted when angry. Real cringeworthy stuff.

Why are you telling people to mind their own business when you are posting on a public forum? That's like a chick with big cans wearing a tight, low-cut shirt and getting mad because guys are staring.

Also, what better way to give ebikers the freedom and choice than to separate ebikes from mountain bikes? No more dealing with all the elite a-holes who say ebikes are a threat to the sport and are for weaklings. They would be free to choose to make the activity whatever ebikers want instead of insisting others change to meet their wants. Respect the freedom and choices of mountain bikers to engage in the sport without dealing with ebikes.
  • 1 0
 @jclnv @reverend27 ladies, ladies, let's calm down. If you don't like ebikes, that's cool, ride your human powered bike. If you do like ebkes, then feel free to whip around on your pedal assisted bike. Theres no need to argue. If you don't like ebikes, then let others ride them. Simple as that!

I am neither for or against ebikes. I would love to own one one day but am in no rush to get one. And Idk if I share the trail with ebikers, as long as they are being respectful.
  • 2 4
 @highfivenwhiteguy: I appreciate you assessment, dad. I mean if you want it simplified its as easy as dont be a dick, cause ill bet i can be a bigger one. Is that so hard to understand? I give respect first and foremost. If its not returned then yes, i will be the biggest douche you’ve probably ever met. I consider it a gift really.
  • 2 5
 @reverend27: typical canadian hipster beta cock soy boy
  • 2 1
 @pargolf8: You are coming off as a complete POS. Is that what you are going for? Pretty tough talk from a guy with the gayest sport ever as his user name.
  • 1 0
 @garrisond5: you must be from the deep woods still throwing around the word gay as an insult. Its 2020 bud. Get a grip and educate yourself
  • 1 0
 @pargolf8: I call 'em as I see 'em bro.
  • 1 1
 @garrisond5: he is saying font mess with him he wont mess with you.
He dont start shit but if yiu want to start shit then is gonna end it.

Its pretty straight forward.

Same goes with me.

And how i end it depends just how big of a dick you are being.

Done.
  • 4 0
 When are you guys getting married?
  • 1 1
 @jorgeposada: lets do platty. Are you available for maid of honor? Id be honored
  • 3 1
 @reverend27: No one asked you, schmuck.
  • 2 0
 @garrisond5: i dont need to be asked.
Schmuck and gay?
How f*cking old are you?
  • 2 1
 @pargolf8: Platty please fool, dust you in a NYC minute. Was building trails there before you were born son. You might actually be my kid, rampaged all upstate. The truth hurts you.
  • 2 0
 @reverend27: your and your pal the golfer are a real joy. What a couple of maroons....sheesh. Throwing all your internet weight around, threatening people. Good Lord you guys must get all the hot chicks with your internet bravado. I would say your childish, but that's an insult to children everywhere.
  • 2 2
 @garrisond5: maroons sheesh? Lol you want some pork chops and apple sauce? Im so sorry i didn’t realize i was arguing with an aarp.
  • 2 1
 @jorgeposada: yeah you will pimpin. Yo you’re the man, just ask you
  • 1 2
 @pargolf8: now that's funny.
  • 1 0
 @pargolf8: Cards pulled , that's how it works boy.
  • 1 2
 @jorgeposada: cards pulled? Dont go back to your normal posting illiterate, doesnt make any sense bullshit. what douche says nyc minute? Thats just a 60 second minute, like anywhere george. And if you’ll dust me then be the maid of honor and drop me down everything platty has to offer. Wanna bet, tough guy?
  • 4 2
 @pargolf8: would you a*sholes please shut the f*ck up so your dumbass comments stop clogging up my reply alerts for some post from a week ago. Go ride your bikes you douchenozzles.
  • 2 2
 @dthomp325: For real shut the f*ck up all you little crybabies living at your parents house for life.
  • 51 1
 For those who don't track developments in batteries:

Some new miraculous battery technology that's X times better than Lithium Ion batteries gets announced, on average, once a year, for the past three decades. There are always just a few more glitches to iron out before they become mass market items.

We still use Lithium Ion batteries for pretty much everything rechargeable. Make of that what you will.
  • 11 0
 Are you saying the Lipo batteries (the cutting edge of any kind of battery that also tend to catch fire) I've been using in my RC cars for the past 15 years haven't improved in capacity????

Because you'd be right.
  • 21 3
 Battery scientist chiming in here.

This is so true. We will not see any lithium sulfur battery come to the mass market for 10 plus years, and when it does, the e bike market will not be first. My question is of all battery buzz press releases how did pinkbike jump on this one?

Also, 99% efficiency is actually not that great for batteries, if you lose 1% of you battery every charge/discharge, well that is only 100 cycles, assuming no excess material.
  • 8 0
 Correct. If someone actually developed a battery with 5x energy density as lithium ion, we would not be talking about it in accompaniment with ebikes on pinkbike. This would be world changing technology, and the company that held the patent/produced the batteries (if they kwh/$ was better than lithium ion) would be a multi trillion dollar company. This "discovery" probably isn't even notable enough to warrant a thunderf00t video. www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RbwOhM6PUk
  • 2 0
 @GorgeousBeauGaston: exactly. Battery companies do not really talk about the real advances being made, they are just introduced incrementally to the point you generally do not notice them, things will just progressively get better.
  • 11 0
 @thelibatteryguy: I think the article stated 99% over 200 cycles meaning 1% loss for every 200 cycles no?
  • 4 0
 @jordanaustino: That's how I read it- also, and putting my researcher/tinfoil hat on here, they don't say if that was linear loss of capacity with use over those 200 times or if that 1% in efficiency isn't related something else- like an initial breakdown of something that will settle in and stay at 99% or worse like if that 1% loss was the start of a materials break down that will eventually lead to catastrophic failure, explosion, corruption of genetic composition of the person riding the e-bike or whatever the application is, some strange but omnipresent superpowers from a secret ingredient in the batteries be imbued on the person, a short lived crime fighting career trying to adapt the superpowers to public good, a social and emotional breakdown from not handling the social responsibilities of the super powers, and eventually a self destructive pattern of self loathing and methamphetamine use that ends in a mass causality situation with a subway car being thrown. Either way without more info it's hard to take much from that finding.
  • 6 0
 @snl1200: Lucky for everyone the actual Science article is open access, you can read it for yourself.

advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/1/eaay2757

In the lab you test this chemistry with an unlimited Lithium reservoir, AKA a big lithium chip. In real life you use a very finite amount of lithium in order to achieve the true energy density advertised. This is why the efficiency is important. In their test no problem, they are not draining the lithium. but really it wouldn't work too welll.

All that said. the work done here was very good. not dissing the scientist, If I was still in grad school and my work got posted to pinkbike i think i would put it at the top of my resume
  • 1 0
 @thelibatteryguy: Interesting stuff though very outside of my area of expertise. You say above you think things like this are 10 year out- Do you think that is due to how long it takes to fully explore and test these products before they are safe to go to market or is it more an artifact of other factors like politics or market cycles?
  • 1 0
 @thelibatteryguy: I don’t think that is what they meant. In the abstract they say that the coulombic efficiency is above 99%. Is this not the input vrs output efficiency, i.e. only 1% is lost to heat/other reactions, so not loss of capacity per charging cycle? A combustion engine is around 30% efficient, relative to the thermal energy of fossile fuel. So if these batteries do have a stable charging capacity over multiple cycles together with a more dense charge, this would be a significant breakthrough, no? But from your expertise, why do you think it will take a long way to implement practically?
  • 1 0
 @snl1200: yes, it is the tail end that can be pretty challenging. At this point there are still a number of fundamental issues with this chemistry which i believe several small companies and universities are addressing and will sort out in a few years. The difficult part is dialing in the details to pass safety requirements and finally scale up. Jumping from small scale to large scale is the hardest part, this is where you see many battery chemistries get stalled
  • 2 0
 @mitochris: Coulombic efficiency in relation to batteries measures the ratio of the discharge vs the charge capacity. It is kind of a niche term in the battery world. It is a good way to look at parasitic side reactions or active material loss. It does not take into accounts thermal losses, strictly electronic. The impressive part about the paper is how they produced a carbon host for the sulfur, this detail will indeed be useful in the future, it is just not the end all be all of Li-S battery work. Ultimately i think we do see this implemented in the future, but not likely in E-bikes. There are better battery chemistry for this sort of thing.
  • 1 0
 @thelibatteryguy: thanks for the info. Sounds cool. Increased charge and longevity will be good.
  • 1 0
 @thelibatteryguy: BOOM. Went the battery.
  • 26 3
 your fucking legs are the greenest choice.
  • 8 1
 Pasty white, to be honest. If my legs are green, that can't be a good sign...
  • 15 0
 "The human powered bicycle is the most efficient machine on the planet. It can travel 100km on a bowl of porridge." James May, Top Gear.
  • 20 3
 I've never heard of sulfer, is it a mix of sulphur and suffer?
  • 8 5
 except in british english the correct spelling is sulfur, sulphur is the british form.
  • 14 0
 @deeeight: brimstone is my preferred spelling Smile
  • 3 0
 @deeeight: So... English?

I kid I kid. The IUPAC accepted Sulfur before a lot of us were born (depending on who you ask).
  • 2 0
 @boozed: oh look they are dueling, or is it duelling
  • 2 0
 @jgainey: I think it's dualling
  • 1 0
 @deadflat: that ain’t no brimstone
  • 15 1
 “Could”

Journalism at its finest.
  • 15 0
 watt a breakthrough
  • 7 0
 I think that this is a bit off point really. It seems as though the original article is based purely on science and technology with a few lines from PB about how this could be applied to ebikes. Thats fine and dandy, without a doubt. The real story as I see it is the progression of battery tech which would impact all of our lives out as ide of the bike industry.
  • 2 0
 true but its nice to see it on pb. If anything id rather see it on AXS/Di2/Fox Live tech for batteries that can go way longer between charges
  • 1 0
 The only Ebike article that I’ve accidentally clicked on that has any meaning to my life.
  • 8 0
 I got 1/2 of this covered already. After a couple egg salad sandwiches, on a grueling climb, sulfur just jettisons my body at a high rate of speed. Adding boost and reducing mass. The fog also keeps the mosquitoes away.
  • 8 2
 Didn't even read the article just scrolled to the comments to see the haters hate. I've ridden plwnty of e bikes and neither love or hate them, I sell plenty too in my shop too. To those saying ebikes don't take cars off the streets they 100% do, I'd say at least 20% of people I sell them to are using them to commute over using cars, busses or trains. I have to say if I were to buy one there are a few trails that I almost always drive to but could ride to that on an ebike would stop me driving. The one bike that's made me stop and think is the lapierre ezesty. The full motor and battery are removable in about 20 seconds leaving you with a 15kilo 150mm travel normal MTB then when you want that extra boost click the motor unit in and away you go.
  • 1 0
 Upvote. Cause some shitbag downvoted you.
  • 5 0
 Personally, I can say that a non ebike commute and mtn bike route will contribute to a fit body and good sleeps. That's pretty good for me. I know humans want everything easy, but there's something intrinsically rewarding about HPV (human powered vehicleWink
  • 7 0
 Actually, now that I've read the article... I love the three (!) ways they spell S.
  • 4 0
 Incredible to think this is news when there is currently an existing bicycle design with the battery integrated into the central processing and control module, that detaches easily from the bike in the event of a crash, or for ease of storage for the bike. This battery runs on organic biomatter and h2o and the more you use the battery, the better its output and storage life gets.... hell you can even run the battery on beer or whiskey - totally eco friendly!
  • 4 0
 Here in Dallas, my closest urban trail is flat with tight twisting single track. The fun is trying to go fast and not clip your handle bars. Met a guy named Gary on a YT e-bike. He was a little lost because he hadn't ridden the trail in 4-5yrs, so we rode together, I led. He was on my ass the whole way, I figured it was because I am slow and out of shape. Then we switched and he was gone. E-assist aside, the man had great handling skills to ride a 50lb bike (his claim) that fast through such tight twisting flat turns. Gary was 66. Replaced his 20yr old mtb and had a very nice blinged out YT. You could tell Gary had a new appreciation for getting out to ride. Although he was frustrated that Dallas' best trail system is managed by the Army Corps of Engineers and prohibited e-bikes. My thought is if ebikes get more people on trails, especially baby boomers, then you have more trail advocates. Sure, most probably aren't trying to "shred the gnar" but a larger "mtb tent" supports trail access, development and maintenance. I don't wear lycra and get my doors blown off by the typical XC 50+yr old rider that has been riding for 15-20yrs, but I happily welcome them at the trailhead and I'd do the same for the ebike types.
  • 4 1
 Living in ireland with no chairlifts and 45 minute climbs for 3 to 5 minutes of descending i have to say e bikes are lookin v attractive. Plus add in having kids under 5 and a limited time window to the mix and e bikes are a no brainer if you just want to do as much descending as possible. I get why in canada and the U.S why you would be against them , and probably the European alps with there being chairlifts and bike parks. But with my limited time etc e bikes will have to become part of riding . P.s i will be keepin my spartan too !
  • 5 0
 I have a suffer battery in my legs. When my legs have run out of suffer then they feel flat.
  • 4 2
 This comment section is surprisingly pro e-bike and Im guessing that's because the ebike filter is working! But it means this comment section is probably no longer representative of all Pinkbike users, and so negative comments are more likely to be down voted because of the more limited audience reading them As great as it is that batteries are improving, the fact remains that bicycles without motors are cleaner.. So people conscious of the environmental implications of their purchases should consider whether the motor is really a necessity Yes, good point of youre riding your bike to the trail instead of using a car.. There's a weighing up to be done.. But not many people do that Also, Fairplay if you're old or legs are nsckeree.. The motor could be considered a necessity to maintain your enjoyable hobbie But if you can ride perfectly fine and this is just a nice toy.. Then maybe consider whether you really need it
  • 2 2
 Well I don't drive at all. A few times a year I fly to bike parks or trail systems I want to ride. I'm anybody that drives a icv and complains about ebikes just needs to stfu.
  • 1 1
 @reverend27: pat yourself on the back because you rule...

Most ebikers are driving them to the trailhead like everyone else (never seen any of them pedaling (motoring) down the road, so don’t act like they’re some green messiah, because they’re not.
  • 1 1
 @TypicalCanadian: I don't have an ebike.
I'm just not against them.
  • 2 0
 I started riding mountainbikes before most of you were thought of, no indexed shifting, no clipless pedals, no suspension. I've heard the same arguments for years about every new technology. Open your minds and accept that everyone is different and has different needs. I often ride with my 27 year old son, both trail riding or downhill. Sometimes on my e-bike sometimes not. It's always fun. I love all my bikes, I just like to ride, enjoy the ride while you can and if the ride starts with e, who cares.
  • 1 0
 I thought there was a new type of more compact battery they were working on that was based on aluminium. So that they would no longer need lithium (which can still be a conflict mineral) and it also didn't need the kind of isolation between different elements (not sure which) which would be necessary in Li-Po and Li-Ion batteries. See, I know little about electronics and it shows. But yeah, I heard someday that they were working on an alumium based battery and that one seemed to me like a better idea.

As for cellphones, of course they can last or weeks on a single charge. Adapt your lifestyle, not your phone.
  • 1 0
 arstechnica.com/science/2020/01/will-lithium-sulfur-batteries-be-in-our-future

This article is about the same research and discusses what is actually happening in terms of roadblocks. New methods of energy storage is what we need whether it is bikes, cars, the grid etc.
  • 1 0
 They didn't write how a wide range temperature affects these miniature web-like bonds, nor how they'd respond to crushing damage. Seems like it's further than 5 years out... Also, these commends remind me of how a lot of developments, from 29ers to Enduro bikes, got hate when they were introduced.
  • 1 0
 The cycle number is key. Producing batteries which can do hundreds not thousands of cycles is irresponsible. So yeah still far away, but could be more green if they nail it.
www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fenrg.2019.00123/full
  • 1 0
 I'm all for leg power as well but ebikes are not all evil for when a person may have a disadvantage. I know a guy that use to be an avid xc rider but was diagnosed with MS over the last four years. His MS is progressing rather quickly and he just could not give up the sport so his eBike has served him well. Eventually he will be paralyzed and he wants to enjoy the sport while he can.
  • 1 0
 Hopefully if this technology becomes mature it will reduce the amount of lithium required to manufacture batteries. The green lobby completely ignore the environmental damage and civil war that mining lithium is causing round the world. The move to electric power is a positive one, but the materials used in the technology also need to be sourced ethically and sustainably.
  • 1 0
 I look forward to the Lithium Sulphur tech to make EV's more applicable to more people and to help solve our Greenhouse gas problem, not to help people get more laps in on their bikes. I'm sure they are fun, after-all I've always ridden and enjoyed motorycles. But it's not a route I want to go down. Did ride for the first time with an E-biker the other day and honestly I think this particular rider is faster on his bicycle than his e-bike. He wasn't have a great ride on the e-bike compared to his usual pace.
  • 5 1
 I don’t know what it is and I don’t care
  • 2 1
 theres a bigger picture here everyone, basically means we use less and less fossil fuels. makes everything better, not just ebikes. imagine shuttling for a whole day on a legit, electric truck?
  • 4 1
 Guess what these batteries don't magically appear. You have mine to get the minerals to make the battery. Google that if you think it's green. And how are we going to dispose of them after there junk? How many people are going to pay to get rid of them? Most will end up in a landfill.
  • 2 0
 My local recycling centre takes all battery types, for free. Used lithium batteries have some value to recyclers, so it's unlikely you'll have to pay to dispose of them. If the recycling methods improve we could possibly get paid for them in the future, like we do now for lead acid batteries
  • 1 0
 @andrew9: And how are we going to change how we mine and produce these "green" batteries?
  • 1 1
 @andrew9: We get paid for lead acid batteries because they have a environmental fee when you buy them.
Just like a deposit on a pop can.
  • 1 1
 @stumpy1741: And the fossil fuels are without any risk?
  • 1 0
 @RLEnglish: I get paid for lead acid car batteries by their weight, as scrap. It's not a refund or a deposit. Google says used lead acid batteries are worth about $1 per kg, and that's about what I remember getting paid.
It's worth mentioning that in the aluminium can example, the can has scrap value even without the deposit, just much less. It would still be slightly profitable to recycle them without the deposit scheme.
Lithium ion batteries have a value, it's not as high as lead acid, but its unlikely you'll ever need to pay to recycle them
  • 4 0
 A greener alternative: no motor...
  • 1 1
 Do you drive?
  • 4 2
 Didn’t the manufacturers argued that the are making them for old, handicapped people so they can enjoy the outdoors while old and handicapped?
  • 2 2
 If any of you out here think that getting an ebike will reduce your carbon footprint, you'd surprised how wrong you are. If you're simply after more trails in less time you have to take into account that you're not doing anything good for the planet. You could compare it to eating organic grass fed beef from the farm down the road, the cow still gonna die and it's only happening for your pleasure.
(now take a deep breath, read again, do some research on the illusion of "sustainable consumerism", then go at me)
  • 3 0
 Excited for the electric car implications.
  • 3 0
 oh great, another battery standard to buy into...
  • 1 0
 We've always needed a better battery, one day we might find it and this is a good step but when we do it will really change the world.
  • 1 0
 @JcInv @reverend27 @pargolf8

I think it's time you all met up and settled this like men with a duel. Regulation weight handbags. No bra pulling.
  • 1 0
 Haha. Ya im just trying to warn the dude. Ive seen it happen. Dude talking shit in traffic acting like a badass. A friend of mine very nice guy would give you the shirt off his back. But on that day he jumped out of his car at the stoplight pulled dude out of his car and beat his ass in front of god and everyone. Wrong person wrong day.
  • 1 0
 I love my Turbo Levo. It's just fun. I can carry my chainsaw, loppers and lunch!
Better batteries sound like more fun and isn't that what time off should be?
  • 6 4
 May need to go back and proofread a bit brother.
  • 4 0
 I've noticed that the articles on here are getting really bad for writing style, grammar, and spelling. I understand they don't hire actual writers but maybe they should hire an editor.
  • 3 0
 So how do you spell sulfure/sulfer/sulphure?
  • 5 3
 Dope stuff, can't wait for a revolution !
  • 2 0
 Well you’re probably gonna have to wait. A lot. I have seen dozens of those lab technologies that were promising (if you want to believe in them) but hav significant limitations (200 cycles?). Guess what? We still have Li-ion as top technology. I wish I was wrong, I’d love to charge my phone every week (like in the 90s Big Grin ). Future will tell.
  • 3 0
 Sulfur*****
  • 1 1
 this is potentially good news. i plan to get an e-bike when i retire. hopefully batteries and motors are fairly dialed by then.
  • 3 1
 It makes sense: an spawn from hell should contain some sulphur in it.
  • 2 1
 e-bikes that don't look like pregnant guppies can only be a good thing, right?
  • 2 0
 you want green? use Human power
  • 1 1
 Do you drive?
  • 1 0
 Cheaper cost to who? I’ve never seen any of your claims of cheaper cost go to the consumers!
  • 3 3
 And there's the usual lack of "editing" of a story on pink bike... its spelled Sulfur not Sulfer...
  • 1 0
 sulphur
/ˈsʌlfə/
Learn to pronounce
noun
noun: sulfur
1.
the chemical element of atomic number 16, a yellow combustible non-metal.
"we should use coal which contains less sulphur"
2.
an American butterfly with predominantly yellow wings that may bear darker patches.
verb
verb: sulfur
disinfect or fumigate with sulphur.
  • 2 1
 So could a gym membership
  • 2 2
 It guts me to acknowledge this - but the creeping domination of e bikes is unstoppable................................
  • 2 1
 Change the name to PINK E BIKE ok
  • 1 1
 Unless you have and like a lithium open pit mine in your backyard, then F**K lithium batteries!
  • 1 0
 Yes but will it smell like farts?
  • 7 8
 Maybe... Juuust maybe we could reduce the carbon footprint of bicycles by, you know, actually pedaling them?
  • 10 6
 Do you ride to work every day? Do you drive an electric car? This tech will reduce carbon emission and possibly help save the planet. Quit whinging about your moral objections to E-bikes. If you prefer pedal power, that's great, so do I, but there's a bigger picture here.
  • 8 5
 You have to actually pedal Class-1 eMTB too! Bicycles, motor or not, still have to be manufactured. If you think the motor/battery are the only non-eco-friendly parts of bicycles, then you don't know much about the bike industry...
  • 7 2
 @superkeen: While it may help save emissions from automobiles it still creates more emissions compared to a standard bike. Pedal bikes don't involve mining lithium and other rare earth elements. don't forget this is pinkbike not the national news so the focus here is bikes not looking at how this will affect the "bigger picture"
  • 2 0
 @superkeen: Keeno getting madddddd
  • 5 0
 @ScandiumRider: So your argument is since bikes are already not fully eco friendly we shouldn't worry about making them even worse? lol
  • 3 2
 When I die I want astronauts to be able to see my carbon footprint from space. And no.. I don't care about your kids.
  • 1 0
 @ali-chapple: Lol not really, but it's it pretty ironic. Pinkbike is definitely the wrong forum for this debate.
  • 1 0
 @nismo325: do you drive?

I don't. Maybe I should look down on all people who drive internal combustion engines.
  • 1 1
 When it's available it's real.
  • 2 2
 Ebike subscription based riding is the future!
  • 2 2
 I the child labor in the lithium mines give all you greenies thumbs up!!!
  • 3 2
 e-bikes are mopeds
  • 2 3
 More efficient alternative.... pedal you lazy @&*#
  • 5 6
 Who cares?
Wink
  • 2 1
 Earth does
  • 1 2
 @Lasse2000: …
Winking smiley...
For a reason.
If it's really a huge improvement, great. I'm a huge treehugger. I also like to poke fun at emtbs.
  • 5 2
 @Lasse2000: Earth will be here long after we are all gone.
  • 1 2
 @Lasse2000: I have a bridge to sell you
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