New Coated-Lithium Battery Charges in Minutes

Martin Schwoerer
by Martin Schwoerer

Channel Web says a quite simple adaptation of lithium-ion battery technology could make electric cars a hell of a lot more convenient. As reported in today’s issue of Nature Magazine, MIT researchers Byoungwoo Kang and Gerbrand Ceder have found that coating batteries with a thin layer of lithium phosphate allows small batteries to be loaded in twenty seconds, while car batteries could be good to go in just five minutes. That sure beats the six to eight hours plug-in vehicles currently need—provided you have access to an electricity outlet with a lot more than 110 or 220V. Anyway, MIT engineers have taken existing battery material and changed it to create what it calls a “beltway” that allows for the rapid transit of electrical energy.

As explained to Spiegel Online, Ceder says that coating the batteries is not particularly complicated and would come without extra costs. “The glassy coat grows chemically during the normal production process, just like the rest of the battery”. The new-type batteries would be less difficult or dangerous to handle than conventional Li-Ion batteries: “they produce no extra heat.” And here’s the punch line: since the changes required in the production process are relatively simple, the new batteries could be on the market in two or three years. Is this the long-awaited breakthrough in e-car technology?

Martin Schwoerer
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  • T-truck T-truck on Mar 12, 2009
    Rod Panhard : So, uh, where is all the power for electric cars coming from, again? From the current grid we have for now and hopefully from a cleaner grid in the future. The power grid is sized to meat short term peak demand, usually in the afternoon when AC, cooking, computers, lights, office and home are all in full use. Outside those few peak hours the grid has excessive capacity. So charging a large number of cars, 180 million according to a Department of Energy study, on the current grid would not be a mayor problem. Furthermore, EV's plugged to a smart charger during the day, could be trickled charged if there is excessive power on the grid or act as a battery bank to provide needed peak power, some thing similar to this system
  • Tesla deathwatcher Tesla deathwatcher on Mar 12, 2009

    Charge and discharge time from lithium-ion batteries has not been a bottleneck on developing better electric vehicles. Several companies have worked around that problem. Altairnano, for one, demonstrated a 10-minute charge of a 35 kWh battery in a Phoenix Motorcars car. Nor will this invention do anything to help electric vehicles get to the roads. This new technology is a welcome advance for batteries. But not so much for electric cars. Energy density, cost, cycle life, operating temperatures -- these are the problems that need better solutions for electric cars. Not rapid charging. "Is this the long-awaited breakthrough in e-car technology?" Not hardly.

  • T-truck T-truck on Mar 12, 2009

    Quick charging may not be a major problem in the real world, but it sure comes up frequently in debates as an obstacle for general use of EV’s. Most people know what their daily routine is going to be, 10 miles to work, 4 miles to the store, 14 miles back; 40 miles range not a problem. Now what if you suddenly remembered that your dear old grandmother has her birthday today, but there is no way that you could drive the extra 27 miles to pay her a visit since it would leave you stranded with a dead car. Arguments like this have been used on whatever proposed the range=n is supped to be, what if grandma lives at n+27, are you not going to visit her you heartless bas&*%#? Stopping at the quick charging station may not be super cheap nor convenient but it would take poor grandma out of the argument.

  • Ryan Kinne Ryan Kinne on Jun 08, 2009

    The new lithium tech. gives ranges far exceeding 100 mile per charge. as for the recharge-- some smart folks have come up with some great ideas. automated battery pack replacement stations that can change you pack in less than a minute. all underground and all that is needed is that you roll up in it just like an automated car wash.Its faster than fueling up at a gas station! heres the address---->>,GGLR:2006-18,GGLR:en%26sa%3DN%26start%3D40%26um%3D1