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Clever battery technology to recharge electric cars in three minutes

CES 2015: One argument against an electric car is time it takes to recharge the battery, which can take tens of hours if using a household socket. But one company has a solution.

Tel-Aviv based start-up StoreDot is working on a battery charging technology that will enable an electric car’s battery to go from empty to full in just three minutes. Even better, it plans to show the world as early as CES 2016.

The technology is currently designed to recharge a mobile phone, but chief executive Doran Myersdorf told the BBC: “We are just starting work on electric vehicles. We intend to show in one year a model of a car that can charge in three minutes.”

To prove a point, StoreDot used the Las Vegas show to demonstrate a phone being fully recharged from almost empty in 30 seconds ─ about as you have to wait for the kettle to boil. Impressive given the charging unit is only slightly fatter than a standard one.

So how does it work? Myersdorf explained to the BBC: “[The technology] allows us to charge very fast, moving ions from an anode to a cathode at a speed that was not possible before we had these materials.”

The benefits are numerous. Lower electricity use only adds to the eco-friendliness, while the sheer speed of charging would mean you could fill up an electric car at a service station like you can with a petrol or diesel, making them much less susceptible to range anxiety.

Electric cars can, of course, be charged faster using fast-chargers and superchargers, but even then the time is typically measured in hours. Not exactly practical if you have to make two big journeys in a day.

No wonder, then, Myersdorf has labelled the technology a “game-changer”. Assuming the cost of implication can be managed and the performance claims are true, we can only agree. No doubt Tesla, which currently offers the electric car with the most practical range, will be all-ears.

Competing alternatives include hiding away the batteries better like Volvo is doing. Another, known as the flow battery, lets you top up a bettery using liquid internal electrodes.

Here’s our round-up of the best CES 2015 car announcements. No need to thank us.


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