Breakthrough lithium-ion battery can recharge 1,000x faster than current tech

© IU

Battery© IU

Breakthrough in power density

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have created a new lithium-ion battery that has pretty incredible power characteristics, at least in the lab. It can be charged and discharged about 1,000 faster than current lithium-ion batteries, even beating many supercapacitors. But before we uncork the Champagne and imagine driving electric cars with 1,000 miles of range, I must stress that what's incredible about this battery is the power density. The energy density isn't. So you would get much faster charging if you have the "fat pipes" to deliver that much power, but not necessarily a longer driving range.

Battery© IU

Still, it's an important breakthrough that could help improve batteries, especially if it can be combined with other technologies to improve energy density. Or maybe this type of battery can be used in parallel with more energy-dense batteries to offer more flexibility (ie. you have 25 miles of range that can be charged much faster than the rest, enough to get you back home to charge overnight in most cases, or something like that).

If you want more, there's some interesting discussion about the battery on Hacker News (where a lot of engineers hang out), including some about the pros and cons of these types of batteries used for electric vehicles, and why charging much faster than Tesla's Supercharger might be hard (but not impossible).

Battery© IU

Via University of Illinois

See also: The 2014 Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive is coming to the U.S.

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