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Northwestern University Researchers Create Breakthrough Batteries That Could Give EVs 500 Mile Range, 10 Minute Charge Time

Posted By Laura K. Cowan On November 21, 2011 @ 6:56 pm In automotive,Green Transportation,News | 3 Comments

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Researchers led by professor Harold Kung [1] at Northwestern University have just developed a breakthrough battery technology that could allow electric cars to run 10 times longer and recharge 10 times quicker. The new lithium ion batteries [2] use several techniques to pack more power capacity into batteries while vastly improving both their charge speed and their ability to hold a charge over time. The result is a battery that could be ready for use in 3 to 5 years that could keep your cell phone charged for a week and recharge in 15 minutes, or give your electric car [3] a 500-mile range with 10-minute charging. We already know Nissan is set to release a quick-charger [4] that powers up current EVs in 10 minutes, so we’re excited to see how these two breakthrough technologies will interact.


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These are game-changing numbers, and it seems that the technology isn’t different enough from current batteries to make its success all that improbable. You can read a full explanation of the new batteries here [5], but basically the researchers arranged the current materials in a lithium ion battery differently to maximize their potential. They sandwiched clusters of silicon between graphene sheets to stabilize it and maximize charge capacity, which allows for a greater number of lithium ions in the electrode. Then the researchers created tiny holes in the sheets to give the lithium ions a “shortcut” to the anode, which gives the batteries their quick-charging capabilities.

Harold Kung, the professor of chemical and biological engineering who published the results in the journal Advanced Energy Materials [6], said that “[e]ven after 150 charges, which would be one year or more of operation, the battery is still five times more effective than lithium-ion batteries on the market today.” We can’t wait to see this technology come to market along with all the other recent battery breakthroughs.

+ Northwestern University [5]

Via AutoBlog Green [7]


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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/northwestern-university-researchers-create-breakthrough-batteries-that-could-give-evs-500-mile-range-10-minute-charging/

URLs in this post:

[1] Harold Kung: http://www.chem-biol-eng.northwestern.edu/people/faculty/profiles/kung.html

[2] lithium ion batteries: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium-ion_battery

[3] electric car: http://inhabitat.com/index.php?s=electric+car

[4] quick-charger: http://inhabitat.com/nissan-unveils-10-minute-electric-vehicle-charger/

[5] here: http://www.mccormick.northwestern.edu/news/articles/article_1000.html

[6] Advanced Energy Materials: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/%28ISSN%291614-6840

[7] AutoBlog Green: http://green.autoblog.com/2011/11/18/plug-in-batteries-could-offer-10-times-more-range-10-times-fast/

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