Just recently, a groundbreaking discovery in the field of electric batteries was achieved. The reality of fast-charging phones, laptops, and even full sized electric cars could come to us sooner than what we expected.
The breakthrough was from a research led by the University of Surrey and Augmented Optics Ltd. in collaboration with University of Bristol. The study resulted to the discovery of new materials that offer an alternative to battery power, and is proven to be between 1,000-10,000 times more powerful than existing supercapacitors.
This development revolutionizes the average 6 to 8 hours charging time of electric cars, shortening the recharge time down in just minutes. Now, charging your electric car will seem like refueling a gasoline-engined regular car. Moreover, it may also lead to a future possibility of full-charging your gadgets in just a matter of seconds.
In fact, it is known that existing supercapacitors are already used in China’s buses, but with only limited travel distance due to needed charging for every 2 to 3 stops. The new super-fast charging battery, on the other hand, allows a travel-duration of continuous 20 to 30 stops without having the need to recharge.
The project was provided with a platform in development through Dr. Donald Highgate’s research of soft contact lens materials. Then, he later teamed up with principal investigators Dr. Ian Hamerton and Dr. Brendan Howlin to make the materials electrically active.
More so, Augmented Optics CEO Jim Heathcote stated that we are not looking at a technology that will hit reality in 10 to 20 years. Instead, he concluded,
We're talking about potentially getting into prototyped devices within a matter of months."
Existing EVs are powered with lithium-ion battery that was first commercialized by Sony in 1991. However, the said battery doesn’t have enough temperature resistant and degrades over time. This is because lithium-ion batteries store energy in a chemical reaction.
In contrary, supercapacitors stores on the surface of the material, providing longer life span and faster charges. Thus, allowing it to perform much better in low temperature than an ordinary chemical battery.
While our faith for this technology lies in Heathcote’s statement about its quick development, the world was assured with his follow-up statement, “We are now actively seeking commercial partners in order to supply our polymers and offer assistance to build these ultra-high energy density storage devices.”