New electric car’s battery charges in just ONE HOUR – eight times faster than today’s batteries
An electric car battery that charges in one hour could be the answer to a shortage of charging stations in the US, a country that aims to end sales of new gas-powered cars by 2050.
The innovation was made possible by growing uniform lithium crystals on a surface it “doesn’t like,” resulting in dense, uniform layers that lack the spines called dendrites that degrade battery performance.
This was achieved by replacing the ubiquitous copper surfaces on the negative side, or anode, with a nanocomposite surface of lithium fluoride (LiF) and iron.
New progress led by the university California (UC), San Diego nanoengineers have overcome a significant obstacle holding back the widespread use of energy-dense lithium metal batteries for applications such as electric vehicles and portable electronics.
A new battery for an electric car has been created by growing uniform lithium crystals (pictured) on a surface it “doesn’t like”
The White House has set an ambitious plan for half of all new cars sold to be zero-emissions vehicles by 2030, including battery electric cars, hybrid electric cars or fuel cell electric cars.
The government is also aiming for zero emissions by 2050, which means an end to new sales of gas-powered cars.
Although the action is aimed at combating climate change, the country lacks the infrastructure to support this initiative, but scientists are working on a solution.
A team at the University of California, San Diego found that the solution might be to quickly and uniformly seed crystals of metallic lithium onto a surface that normally doesn’t like crystals.
To grow lithium metal crystals, the researchers replaced the ubiquitous copper surfaces on the negative side (anode) of lithium metal batteries with a lithium-phobic nanocomposite surface of lithium fluoride (LiF) and iron (Fe).
Using this lithium-phobic surface to deposit lithium, lithium crystal nuclei were formed, and dense layers of lithium grew from these nuclei – even at high charging rates.
The result is lithium-metal batteries with a long service life that can be quickly charged.
Ping Liu, senior author of the new paper, said in a statement: “The special nanocomposite surface is a revelation.
A new breakthrough led by nanoengineers at the University of California (UC) San Diego may remove a major hurdle holding back the widespread use of energy-dense lithium metal batteries for applications such as electric vehicles and portable electronics
“We have challenged the traditional notion of what kind of surface is needed to grow lithium crystals.
“The prevailing wisdom is that lithium grows better on surfaces that it likes, surfaces that are lithophilic.
“In this work, we show that this is not always the case. The substrate we use does not like lithium.
“However, it provides abundant nucleation sites along with rapid surface movement of lithium.
“These two factors lead to the growth of these beautiful crystals. This is a good example of a scientific understanding of a solution to a technical problem.”
Several US states have announced bans on the sale of new gas-powered vehicles in an effort to combat climate change.
California first announced a ban on gas-powered vehicles in 2020, but the legislation took effect in August 2022.
The state requires 35 percent of new passenger cars sold to be zero-emissions by 2026, then 68 percent by 2030 and 100 percent five years later.
New York was the second state to announce a similar ban in October 2022, with Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington recently following suit.
However, almost a dozen more may join them in the coming months.
Other states that follow emissions standards but have yet to adopt a ban include Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, the District of Columbia and Rhode Island.
However, many states may not be ready to handle the influx of electric vehicles — and New York is one of them.
There are only 677 charging stations in New York’s five boroughs, and while the city plans to add 10,000 on-street chargers by 2030, that may not be enough to power the thousands who will be cruising by 2030 — 68 percent of all new cars , sold this year, will be electric.
California also faces such obstacles, but it has the land and private roads to build on.
The west coast state officially announced its ban in August, but currently does not have enough charging stations to meet future demand.
More than 73,000 public and shared chargers have been installed to date, with another 123,000 planned to be installed by 2025.
Those numbers fall short of the state’s goal of 250,000 chargers for 54,000 installations.