Quick charge batteries due ‘in two years’
Manchester Interactive reports that the new units, which use lithium iron phosphate instead of lithium cobalt, break the traditional charging speed limits by adding an ‘energy highway’ to guide ions in and out of the cathode.
Named the ‘Beltway’ battery, after Washington’s motorway bypass, the new units can be charged and discharged anywhere between 10 and 100 times faster than the best batteries on the market, with up to 20% more capacity.
Scientists at the University of Illinois have so far developed a watch-sized battery with the technology, but claim it could be scaled up to mobile phones, laptops and electric cars in future. The technology would improve range and boost acceleration in EVs due to the quicker energy release.
Although the fast charging isn’t available from a home power supply, it would mean electric vehicles could be ‘refuelled’ like a conventional car on longer trips making them more practical for a wider range of drivers.