The U.S. firm 2050 Motors has made a large investment in Graphene Future, buying up 20% of their stock. The specialty firm has invented an industrial process to produce graphene that is said to be both cheap and environmentally friendly.The deal will allow 2050 Motors to access an exclusive source of graphene for production of electric vehicle batteries. The U.S. car manufacturer currently offers two EV models, named the e-Go and the Ibis, which are imported from China.
According to George Hedrick, the president of 2050 Motors, the graphene industry is still somewhat underdeveloped, as is exemplified by the relatively high costs for quality graphene. The material is vital to the development of the next generation of batteries and superconductors, however, and will be used to improve energy- and performance-density.
The current standard industrial production of graphene requires multiple chemical processes, which have several disadvantages. For one, they are somewhat expensive, but also require high volumes of highly concentrated acid, severe safety precautions, as well as producing large amounts of toxic chemicals, according to Hedrick.
Graphene Future, however is pioneering a new, single-step process to industrially produce graphene, which does not involve toxic waste products.