Superlattice Power, a North Carolina based company, has announced a new development in automotive electric battery technology that, according to its creators, will "significantly increase operating voltage range and energy density." With the new tech, electric powered vehicles will be able to travel in excess of 200 miles, a big leap over current benchmarks in the vicinity of 120-140 miles.

The development responsible for the improved efficiency lies in a new cathode material which will be used in lithium-ion polymer batteries in automotive applications. The cathode material is in the form of a superlattice (pictured above), with alternating strands of material to give the battery wider voltage range, as well as make it non-toxic and disposable, unlike current batteries.

Critics wary of jumping on the superlattice bandwagon too early say the real breakthrough will come if Superlattice Power can manufacture the material in commercial quantities for relatively cheap prices compared to current technology.

While the technology is still in testing, preliminary results look promising and could mean a bevy of auto manufacturers will be buying the rights to use it. A range of 200 miles will allow for much longer commutes than GM's Volt, which has a 40mile range, but we'll need to wait to see when superlattices come to market.