New Li-Ion Batteries Charge 70 Per Cent In 2 Minutes, Last For 20 Years

New Li-Ion Batteries Charge 70 per cent in 2 Minutes, Last for 20 Years

A team of researchers in Singapore have developed a next generation lithium-ion battery that can recharge a battery to 70 per cent in just two minutes. That means it would charge an entire electric car in just 15 minutes. And here's the kicker: it lasts over 20 years.

Normally, it's safe to be sceptical about new battery technology, but there's something rather hopeful about this breakthrough. The new battery isn't altogether new. It's actually just an improvement upon existing lithium-ion technology.

The key comes in the form of nanostructures. Instead of the traditional graphite used to create the lithium-ion battery's anode, this new technology uses a cheap titanium dioxide gel, the same kind of material used in sunscreen to absorb UV rays. The scientists found away to turn the compound into nanostructures that speed up the charging process. And speed it up they do. This simple innovation makes lithium-ion batteries charge 20 times faster and last 20 times longer.

"With our nanotechnology, electric cars would be able to increase their range dramatically with just five minutes of charging, which is on par with the time needed to pump petrol for current cars," Associate Professor Chen Xiaodong of Nanyang Technological University said in a release. Just imagine what it could do for your smartphone.

The researchers say they will have the new technology on the market in just two years. While we've certainly seen fast-charging battery promises in the past, the simple fact that this new battery uses so much existing technology is reason to believe that they're right about that timeline too. [NTU]



    I'm in the tin foil hat brigade when it comes to batteries and conspiracy theories. The Bunny is deliberately holding out on us as far as new battery technology is concerned to sell as many as they can. Think of the profit dive at Christmas with all those kids toys that would no longer need a battery.

      That's why I hope Tesla's gigafactory can defeat the bunny

      They call that planned obsolescence. What better way to integrate it than in the non-removable battery.


    Hopefully with people like Elon Musk driving a lot of research in the field, they won't have much of a choice (if they are in fact holding out on us).

    Edit: in reply to @lord_itchybum

    Last edited 14/10/14 8:59 am

    Get on this Tesla. Also, this could be the breakthrough that smart watches need, particularly if this can be applied through short-range NFC charging. An 8 hour battery is pretty poor, but if it only takes 5 minutes to get another 6+ hours of use then it's almost not an issue. (I'd still prefer an actual battery that lasted all week though)

    Last edited 14/10/14 8:58 am

      Pebble smart watch lasts about a week.
      but it is e-paper.

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again..! You're going to need to hold onto your seat this next ten years or so, we are at the start of a serious leap in technology. Not just batteries either, Solar power and hydrogen production are making serious inroads. I wouldn't be surprised if we could buy a solar powered, Hydrogen power supply for your house at the end of that time, or maybe even sooner..! :)

    Last edited 14/10/14 9:01 am

      I've been saying it for years...

      The next technical revolution will come about when "power" stops being a problem. This may comes around due to new battery tech or new power generation (arc reactors, cold fusion, pocket sized nuclear generators etc...) or some other fancy tech, but it will be a massive change.

      That is patently false. Our very own Prime Minister has declared that coal will be much more important for the next few decades at least. He couldn't possibly be wrong. Or short sighted.

      As it stands at the moment a 50litre petrol tank in a car holds about 38kg of fuel that the engine turns into usable energy with about 25% efficiency. Lithium Ion batteries to deliver the same amount of usable energy need to weight about 400kg including safety case and cooling. Once that gets to about 200kg at a reasonable price then we can probably kiss Internal Combustion Engines goodbye. Also, once the price gets low enough - which I think will certainly be in the next 10 years - then domestic electricity storage becomes quite viable and many more homes will go off-grid or be selling electricity back to the power companies with no net consumption. I for one, will be buying shares in whatever penny dreadful stock claims to have a mining stake that will yield Lithium.

        Whilst I agree that batteries are currently quite heavy, I don't think it will be an issue once the rechargeability and price come down, Tesla and others are selling quite nicely already..! But I think the weight issue will be solved with Hydrogen, which can be used directly instead of petrol or via Hydrogen power cells..! Problem solved..! :)

        38kg of fuel PLUS the 400kg engine vs 400kg battery plus the 40kg electric engine.

        If these batteries can charge to 70% in 2 minutes, then expect to see electric cars with solar panels take off

      Not if the power companies have their way and since the gov is protecting them, I doubt it will ever happen.
      In response to inquizitorz

      Last edited 14/10/14 2:18 pm

    Step back from the petrol station usb charger!

    I see electronic motorbilkes becoming a way bigger market segment than cars. It could even develop to a point where there's a universal standard for batteries there could be an automated battery exchange.

    Hang on a second. Before anyone gets too excited this tech "only" allows the battery to be charged that fast, you still need a method to charge a battery that fast. From what I can gather this tech hasn't sorted that last mile out yet. Even using my basic napkin math to charge 70% of an 100kWH battery in 2 minutes, you'd need to supply 9kA of current at 240V. Yes the voltage could be increased instead, but that would still require something along the lines of 26kV of juice at 80A.

    This is, no questions asked, an amazing leap for batteries, but I don't think this is practical for home use for electric cars, this will definitely be for charging stations with dedicated power circuits that can handle that much power, 2.1MW over 2 minutes is not something to be taken lightly.

      You bring up a Vaild point, but the aim is to have super chargers at normal petrol stations that allow you to charge your car quickly on the go. If your at home charging your car obviously it will take longer. leaving your car on charge over night shouldn't be issue for most. Its about having fast options when traveling about that petrol counter parts have.

      The biggest advantage here is battery life. Lasting up to 20 years probably longer than most cars last theses days. Normally battery have to replaced after 5 years. Which is extremely expensive.

        Yes I completely agree, there is no doubt in my mind this tech is amazing and clearly the biggest step forward in batteries in decades, but we still have some practical home issues. Again, not a problem for a petrol/charging station.

    "I'm sorry, but the only power source capable of generating 1.21 gigawatts of electricity is a bolt of lightning! Great Scott..."

    Sorry, it just came to mind :)

    I'm going tin hat.. even if awesome super batteries are real, we won't get them. it just won't happen.
    there is just too much money in current models.
    Hydrogen fuel cells super efficient solar blah blah, we won't see any of it in everyday consumer products. the cats are too fat.
    everything always come down to money and making more of it. 40 years on this earth has taught me that much.

    Hey we could have an all fibre network right now.. not going to happen.. instead lets keep the old copper and charge more for it.

    Last edited 14/10/14 1:06 pm

      But my experience on the world has taught me that if one company can build much better batteries then everyone else they will so they can get more market share or licence the technology out for royalties.

      That's why we have Velcro and microwave ovens and aren't just making do with twine and a pot on a campfire. Actually probably not but you get the gist..

    I don't care for faster recharging as much as I do packing in as many MaH as possible while keeping the battery thin.

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