In a major move, Lamborghini has licensed promising new battery technology developed at MIT that could give its future electric vehicles significant advantages over rival lithium-ion powered models.
The Italian sports car maker has been collaborating with MIT for six years on research into new battery chemistries to power Lamborghini’s upcoming transition into electric vehicles. That research has yielded an organic cathode material called TAQ – short for bis-tetraaminobenzoquinone – that Lamborghini believes can outperform conventional lithium-ion batteries on multiple fronts.
TAQ Offers Higher Capacity and Extreme Longevity
According to the MIT researchers who developed it, TAQ batteries offer energy densities around 50% higher than lithium-ion batteries using nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) cathodes. This could give Lamborghini EVs considerably more driving range between charges.
But an even bigger advantage is TAQ’s longevity. The organic composition of the TAQ cathode makes it highly insoluble, preventing loss of active material to degradation over an EV battery’s lifetime. MIT testing has shown TAQ batteries retaining over 90% of initial capacity after 2,000 charge cycles, whereas lithium-ion batteries degrade more rapidly.
This combination of high energy density and extreme longevity convinced Lamborghini to license the technology and focus on integrating it into production EVs. Other automakers and MIT itself continue researching alternatives like aluminum-sulfur and sodium-ion batteries. But TAQ’s properties make it one of the most promising next-generation battery technologies to emerge.
For Lamborghini, Adopting New Battery Tech is Crucial
Lamborghini’s interest in batteries like TAQ stems from the practical realities of electrifying a supercar brand. Range anxiety needs to be minimized for buyers spending six or seven figures on a vehicle. And degradation that forces costly battery replacement too frequently can makes EVs untenable as luxury products.
By adopting MIT’s TAQ battery breakthrough early, Lamborghini hopes to make a smooth transition to EVs without compromising the performance and luxury its customers expect. If TAQ’s advantages hold up in real-world use, it could give the Italian automaker a meaningful edge over competitors stuck with lithium-ion limitations.
For the auto industry as a whole, new battery technologies can’t arrive soon enough. Lithium-ion batteries constrain EV growth due to supply chain issues, environmental impacts, and capacity limitations. New chemistries like TAQ have the potential to make EVs more affordable, longer-lasting and truly sustainable – key factors to widespread EV adoption. Lamborghini’s licensing deal signals growing industry confidence that the long reign of lithium-ion batteries is beginning to fade.