Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have made a fast-charge lithium-ion battery that could potentially be used to recharge an electric car in as little as five minutes, the Boston Globe reported today.
A "crystalized coating" over the electrodes allows the lithium ions to move more readily and lets the battery discharge about 100 times faster than current batteries, according to MIT studies. Such a torrent could cause explosive acceleration similar to nitrous oxide, but with the added benefit of "refilling" just as fast from an electrical outlet. While the technology is at least several years away, performance automakers will likely make an early jump on it (Tesla and Porsche tuner RUF, which introduced an electric 911 in Geneva, spring to mind).
As at least one reader pointed out, the potential for battery failure due to overheating and exploding is a serious concern for fast-charge batteries, as is the reduced overall life cycle. The Tesla Roadster, which uses 6,831 lithium-ion batteries on its speedy Roadster, has a performance mode that utilizes higher discharge rates, and another that maximizes durability and mileage. In the near future, there will be a battery that does both.
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|Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
|Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
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|John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
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|Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
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|Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on About.com. He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
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|George Kennedy is a senior writer for WheelsTV in Acton, which produces video reviews for Yahoo, MSN, and other auto websites.
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