We've heard similar promises before, but given the magnitude of change that these ultra-fast charging technologies are talking about, we're always game for one more. Especially when the latest promise includes a two-minute charging time (to 70 percent full), a lifespan of 20 years and a pack that will be easy to manufacture. A large-scale battery prototype does not yet exist, but that's supposedly coming soon.
Those highlights come from a new announcement from Nanyang Technology University (NTU) School of Materials Science and Engineering researchers who claim to have developed a battery that could work well, "especially for electric vehicles." The big change in the battery comes from replacing the traditional graphite anode with a new gel material that is made from titanium dioxide that has been turned in to "tiny nanotubes" that are "a thousand times thinner than the diameter of a human hair." A detailed paper on the development was published in Advanced Materials.
The researchers were NTU associate professor Chen Xiaodong, research fellow Tang Yuxin and PhD student Deng Jiyang. In a statement (available below), Chen said that EVs would, "be able to increase their range dramatically, with just five minutes of charging, which is on par with the time needed to pump petrol for current cars." Of course, a suitable charging station will also be required.
A brief history of the similar announcements mentioned above include the Hydro-Quebec utility researching five-minute EV charging in 2012 and an even faster two-minute charging time using nanostructure-based cathodes that was under development at Illinois University in 2011. Too bad these speed batteries can't get here faster.
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