Electric cars could recharge in mere minutes with new technology
Fast charging electric cars could become reality due to research at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) in Korea. The scientists say their technology enables lithium-ion batteries to recharge at 30 to 120 times faster than current lithium-ion batteries. This would be a major breakthrough which would allow electric car drivers to recharge more-or-less as quickly as gasoline car drivers, if the technology works out, is safe, and if charging stations are built which support a matching charge rate.
The battery technology uses cathode material, standard lithium manganese oxide (LMO), soaked in a solution containing graphite. The carbonized the graphite-soaked LMO forms a network of conductive traces that run throughout the cathode which allow more of the battery to recharge at the same time. Put another way, all energy-holding particles in the battery start recharging simultaneously. In conventional lithium-ion batteries the recharge process starts at the surface of the cathode and works inward. This is what allows this battery technology to recharge more quickly.
To make a full battery, of course, the cathode is only part of the picture, and must be packaged with an anode and electrolyte.
One of the concerns about electric vehicles is the long recharge time required with current battery technology. “The development of such a battery could significantly raise the popularity of electric vehicles whose lithium-ion batteries currently take hours to recharge,” according to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.