Wilber Presents at the Biannual Meeting of UMD’s Center for Research in Extreme Batteries

Wilber Presents at the Biannual Meeting of UMD’s Center for Research in Extreme Batteries

What  do a battlefield, the planet Mars and Alaska have in common? The answer: All of these places need batteries that can perform in extremely cold temperatures.

ACEP research engineer Michelle Wilber presented on challenges and opportunities for electric vehicles in Alaska at the biannual meeting of the University of Maryland's Center for Research in Extreme Batteries on Friday, Dec. 10. Other speakers reported on research in battery-pack insulation for military field applications, low-temperature electrolytes for extreme cold on Earth and Mars, and other solutions to help lithium-ion batteries perform in cold temperatures.

Wilber presented ACEP research showing real-life energy use of Alaska EVs and ways to keep their batteries at operating temperature when not in use. Tools based on this research include an EV cost and emissions calculator for Alaska, as well as an EV map showing regions of the world with similar energy use. This work provided motivation for research into novel solutions, as this energy use can negate climate or cost benefits of EVs in extremely cold climates with fossil-fuel heavy electricity generation. 

Wilber said that "presenting on Alaska's need for cold-optimized batteries helped other researchers see a potentially larger application, beyond military and space exploration, with a chance to increase the equity of electrified transportation by allowing more people in cold climates to realize the economic and environmental benefits possible with the technology."

Check out the Center for Research in Extreme Batteries’ great story on the meeting here

ACEP is always looking for more data on EV energy use in Alaska. If you are willing to share data for your EV, please contact Wilber at mmwilber@alaska.edu. We are also working on a cost and emissions calculator for electric school buses in Alaska. You can check out the beta version and submit any suggestions to Wilber as well.


An electric vehicle carries a fat bike near Anchorage. Photo by Kirk Martakis.