A pair of MIT scientists thinks they’ve developed a new battery technology that could help accelerate the progress of electric cars. Lithium Ion batteries are currently good at hanging on to power, but struggle to release energy in quick bursts, like when a car accelerates on the highway. The reason for this was believed to be the lithium ions themselves, which seemed to struggle to move quickly. But the MIT researchers think they’ve discovered a way to improve that performance.
AFP: Their solution was a lithium phosphate coating that, like a system of feeder roads, nudges the ions towards the tunnels. The ions then zip instantly down the tunnel entrance and to the terminal.
A small mobile phone battery can be recharged in just 10 seconds thanks to the improved ion flow, they report in the British journal Nature.
In theory, a large battery that would be used to power a plug-in hybrid electric car could be recharged in just five minutes, compared to up to six or eight hours at present. But this would only be possible if a beefed-up electricity supply were available.
They think they can bring this technology to market in 2-3 years.
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