Countries worldwide are seeking to slash transportation emissions by electrifying various modes of transport. However, people still have lots of questions regarding electric vehicle (EV) adoption, primarily concerning battery performance: What’s the mile range? How fast can they charge?
Range anxiety emerges as a significant hurdle to electrification in transportation, surpassing concerns about battery cost and capability.
Revolutionizing Charging Times: Cornell Engineers’ Lithium Battery Breakthrough
In a technological breakthrough, a team at Cornell Engineering has developed a new lithium battery capable of charging in under five minutes, faster than any other battery on the market. Despite tech advances, the fastest available market charger takes 30+ mins for EVs.
This breakthrough maintains stable performance over extended charging and discharging cycles. It could alleviate “range anxiety” among drivers concerned about electric vehicles’ ability to travel long distances without a lengthy recharge.
Lithium-ion batteries, favoured for powering electric vehicles and smartphones, are lightweight, reliable, and relatively energy-efficient. Yet, they suffer from slow charging times and limited capability to manage high current surges.
Indium: A Novel Path to Accelerated Battery Charging
To achieve faster-charging capabilities, the team adopted a novel strategy. Rather than conventional methods, they discovered that indium, commonly utilized in touchscreens and solar panels, facilitates rapid charging and storage in batteries. Unlike the typical graphite-coated copper foil anodes in lithium-ion batteries, their battery employs indium anodes.
However, indium’s weight presents a drawback, Indium is heavy whereas EV manufacturers prefer lightweight materials. Nevertheless, this development holds promise for the proliferation of faster-charging batteries in the future.