A breakthrough technology works with lithium-ion battery chemistries of today, making it easy to mass produce. It's very quick to charge and requires smaller batteries - making cars cheaper too.
People would be much more likely to buy EVs if they could charge them up in about the time it takes to buy a cup of coffee at a charging station.
A new lithium-ion battery reported in the journal Nature, promises that scenario. It can charge in just 10 minutes, without compromising the amount of charge it can hold, and could lead to EVs that run over 200 miles on a quick sip of electric power.
“We turbocharged proven energy-dense lithium-ion materials rather than relying on unproven, expensive chemistries,” says Brian McCarthy, chief technology officer at battery startup EC Power in State College, PA, and a co-author of the paper. EC Power is now planning to build a factory to start mass-producing the batteries, he says, adding that “our R&D department is working on decreasing the charging time to five minutes.”
Because today’s lithium-ion batteries take so long to charge - about an hour for a car to run between 300 to 350 miles - car and battery companies have been making larger and larger battery packs to reduce the need to charge often, and to overcome the problem of ‘range anxiety’. These massive batteries are expensive, and require more raw materials that are already facing supply chain issues.
A fast-charging battery could solve those problems. It would allow smaller batteries, which would be more affordable and sustainable, that could be charged in minutes. “Our technology will let automakers make more electric vehicles with the same quantity of materials,” McCarthy says. “We hope that our method will result in large numbers of truly affordable economy electric vehicles on the road.”
“The battery industry has already invested billions of dollars into the construction of standard lithium-ion cell manufacturing plants, and our technology can be directly added to existing plants, unlike some proposed new electrode materials,” McCarthy says.
In addition to building a battery-manufacturing plant, he says that the team is now also working on licensing agreements to achieve broader deployment.
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