Nissan has always been one of the key players in the emergence of the electric vehicle.Since the dawn of the green movement, Nissan and the Japanese car industry, have been pushing the boundaries with innovative electric technology to entice us to shift from our fossil fuelled, Earth-killers.
While their early efforts never really caught on, the recent introduction of hybrid-powered cars and full-blown electrics have really hit a chord with the motoring world, and with increased pressures from governments and clever people, we’re all starting to see electrics in a new light; they could well be the future after all.
Despite all these positives, there are several downsides to owning an electric car. First off all, they are rubbish when it comes to re-charging. Cars, as a practical, every day tool, have to be reliable, easy to use and above all, painless. Electric cars, however, aren’t.
Yes, they ‘save’ the Earth and yes, they are great ways of saving money, but on the whole they take far too long to charge up once the battery is out of juice. If a normal, petrol car runs out of fuel, you just simply go to a petrol station and fill up for 3 minutes. But in an electric, your typical fill up is the best part of 8 hours. This is not acceptable and it is certainly not viable.
And that’s where Nissan come in. It’s taken a good while, but Nissan now claim they have advanced their basic technology for battery charging to a level where your typical electric car will be fully charged in just 10 minutes; that’s right, just 10 minutes.
Have Nissan created the perfect electric solution? A 10 minute recharge time would, without any shadow of doubt, leave us electric cars that are actually commercially viable and that we wouldn’t mind owning on a day-to-day basis
So, how have they done it? Well, and here’s the boring bit, they’ve effectively changed the battery’s materials to manipulate such an impressive charging time. Effectively, and sorry for giving the boring bit, they changed the capacitor electrode and made it out of tungsten oxide and vanadium oxide – see, aren’t you glad you learned that today?
It all sounds super, doesn’t it? An electric car with a charge time of just 10 minutes; surely, there must be a catch? Well, yes, actually, there is. According to reports, while Nissan’s charging technology may be a reality, it is only likely to hit commercial stands in 10 years time; which is, in case you aren’t aware, much longer than 10 minutes.
But why? We’ve seen with hydrogen fuel in California that you can fill up in a few minutes a drive away, so why can’t the new EV battery technology be applied now? It’s all thanks to the governments and our social infrastructure. We’re just not prepared for it.
We’d need a complete over-haul of our plug sockets and power stations throughout the country, and as good as the innovation would be, it’s just not feasible in 2011. But, don’t fear, as the technology is coming, and before you know it we’ll be living in a world full of electric cars that actually have batteries that work and don’t drive you up the wall.
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