A Japanese company has pioneered a low-cost, recyclable, high-performance battery technology that could see electric vehicles charging just as fast as a petrol car filling its fuel tank. Power Japan Plus' Ryden dual-carbon cells are starting production in a few months, and could appear in electric cars within a couple of years.
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The new cell has a number of innovations that could prove to be advantageous for electric cars. It's largely comparable to lithium batteries in terms of energy density, but has a much improved lifetime, with a rated 3000 discharge/recharge cycles before noticeable degradation versus the 300 of existing consumer-grade cells. Power Japan Plus' new development can also charge up to 20 times faster than lithium — and with a lithium-based car like the Tesla Model S topping up 80 per cent of its battery in half an hour, a Ryden cell-equipped EV could theoretically receive a long-distance charge in only 90 seconds.
Using carbon for both the anode and cathode of the battery means that the new cell is more sustainable than current battery production methods — it's entirely recyclable, for one. There's also a hugely reduced risk of thermal explosion due to the simpler chemistry, so the new cells don't need the same cooling and over-the-top safety features of current electric vehicles. While Power Japan Plus is making a small number of cells in-house, it will licence the tech out to other battery makers for large-scale production and use in electric cars and other types of transport.
If Power Japan Plus succeeds in getting its Ryden batteries into an electric vehicle — it's searching for partners, after first installing the new cells in satellites and medical devices — the dream of a low-cost, long-distance, high-powered electric vehicle could be a reality in the near future. [Power Japan Plus]