Feeds

Liquid electrocar batteries could be replaced at pumps

An end to long EV recharge times?

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Remorseless German boffins have come up with a solution to long recharge times for electric vehicles. They propose the use of liquid-electrolyte batteries, so that a 'leccy car could have discharged electrolyte pumped out and replaced with fully-charged liquid at filling stations.

The proposals come from the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT) near Karlsruhe. The engineers there suggest the use of a well-known technology known as a 'redox' battery, in which two fluid electrolytes containing metal ions flow through porous graphite felt electrodes, separated by a membrane which allows protons to pass through it.

The Fraunhofer battery-boffins say that redox batteries have until now suffered from rubbish capacity compared to the li-ion units now being deployed in advanced electrocars, preventing their use. But they say this has now been cracked.

"We can now increase the mileage four or fivefold, to approximately that of lithium-ion batteries," said Jens Noack of the ICT. "These batteries can be recharged at the gas station in a few minutes."

Most electric vehicles now in service are actually powered by lead-acid batteries, but there are a few - for instance the Tesla Roadster - which use li-ion. It's generally thought that li-ion performance or something like it is the minimum that mainstream motorists of the future might accept, but as Noack says the crippling defect of this tech is the long recharge time.

Redox batteries could, by the sound of it, solve this problem - and solve it a bit more easily, perhaps, than alternative schemes where garages would have loads of massive, ready-charged-up, standardised li-ion batteries on hand waiting to be craned into vehicles in place of dead ones.

On the other hand there's the promise of li-titanate batteries, with similar performance to ordinary li-ion but able to charge up in less than ten minutes from an industrial power outlet. This would be more convenient still, and it's apparently further down the road to commercialisation.

Noack's kit may well be better, but there are dozens of examples from the history of technology to show that better doesn't always win: and even the electric car itself has rivals in the race for the future of road transport. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
HUGE SHARK as big as a WWII SUBMARINE died out, allowing whales to exist
Who'd win a fight: Megalodon or a German battleship?
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.