Batteries are an integral part of our lives, for good or for ill, finding a home in anything from smartphones and watches to the latest motor vehicles. So any new developments in battery tech is a good thing and the latest update, from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore, claims to have improved lithium-ion batteries to the point where they can achieve a 70% charge in about two minutes.
The improvements, which involve replacing a common component in batteries – graphite – with a titanium dioxide gel. This gel is turned from its usual spherical shape into a nanotube structure that facilitates the improved charging abilities of the Li-ion batteries.
The improvement in charging speed also carries a few other benefits. The NTU researchers say that the batteries will withstand 10,000 charging cycles, around 20 times that possible in existing car batteries. As a result, they could have a lifespan of 20 years or so. Like we said, efficient.
The NTU’s Associate Professor at the School of Materials Science and Engineering Chen Xiaodong said that “With our nanotechnology, electric cars would be able to increase their range dramatically with just five minutes of charging, which is on par with the time needed to pump petrol for current cars.”
“Equally important, we can now drastically cut down the waste generated by disposed batteries, since our batteries last ten times longer than the current generation of lithium-ion batteries.”
The battery tech is expected to be available commercially in the next two years, reports Gizmodo, so it’s possible that we’re going to be seeing a further spike in electric car purchases right about that time as well.