One of the problems with powering electric cars lies in the fact that batteries take up to eight hours to charge. Now a new type of lithium-ion battery, that features a 3-D interior structure, is able to recharge in just a few minutes. This could bring closer the day in which electric cars can recharge as quickly as gas-powered vehicles fill their tanks at the pump.
Lithium-ion batteries are the most popular devices for powering electric cars and portable electronic gadgets thanks to their high energy density and low weight. Existing Li-ion batteries recharge slowly, last only about two years, and need special integrated circuits to avoid overheating.
The 3-D Li-On battery prototype was developed by researchers at Colorado State University and presented at this week’s national meeting of the American Chemical Society. Study leader Amy Prieto says the 3-D prototype has about the size of a cell phone battery and takes about 12 minutes to recharge, compared to two hours for a conventional lithium-ion battery. It’s also said to have double the lifespan. The battery can be discharged over twice as many times as a conventional lithium ion battery at high discharge rates, she added.
Prieto used nanowires of copper antimonide instead of the graphite anode. They are more stable and heat resistant than the graphite electrodes used in existing batteries.