There is no denying that electric cars still have some big hurdles to overcome so that the average consumer will seriously consider adopting the technology. One of the biggest is the recharging time. People are used to pulling into a gas station that is conveniently located, and refueling their car in the matter of a few minutes. Even with the DC rapid chargers, it takes significantly longer to bring an electric car’s battery up to 80 percent full, and that still doesn’t provide the same driving range as internal combustion engines (with the exception of the top-of-the-line Model S).
At the same time, everyone knows that battery technology has shifted significantly over the past several years. Lithium-ion batteries have drastically reduced charging times and made batteries smaller, but they also have their limits. That’s why news of a new lithium-ion battery technology that allows for 70 percent recharge in 2 minutes is a big deal. Engadget reports that the discovery was made by researchers at Nanyang Technological University, which is located in Singapore.
Not only will the technology allow the batteries to recharge faster, it will mean the batteries last for 20 years at a whack. A number of electric car critics have brought up concerns about the cost of replacing batteries when they do wear out, citing it as a major expense that could eclipse what a new internal combustion engine would run most car owners.
The new tech would allow an electric car owner to fully recharge the battery in about five minutes, which is the average time it takes to refuel a gasoline-powered car. Without going into too much detail, the innovative technology involves swapping out the graphite that is used in lithium-ion anodes, replacing it with a titanium-dioxide gel. The gel can be arranged into nanotubes, facilitating faster chemical reactions.
The good news keeps rolling, because the new tech would also make manufacturing lithium-ion batteries easier, which would lower production costs. Before you get too excited, realize that it could be some significant time before the tech ever hits the mass market.