A new development from South Korea looks set to offer an efficient alternative to lithium ion batteries for use in electric vehicles (EVs). At present the current generation of EVs feature lithium-ion batteries to store energy. However the performance of the lithium ion batteries has been criticised, particularly with regard to the recharge time required as this is considerably longer than the time needed to refuel a combustion engine-powered vehicle.
While faster charging technologies are available for lithium ion batteries, these reduce battery life considerably. The charging time has been identified as a major reason for the slow adoption rate of EVs around the world. However a team of engineers is working on a novel solution by developing a graphene supercapacitor that can store almost as much charge as a lithium ion battery but should be able to charge in just 16 seconds, according to the developers - the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea. The team’s high-performance supercapacitors use graphene and are said to store almost as much energy as a lithium-ion battery. In terms of practicality, they can charge and discharge in seconds, and maintain 98% of their initial value after 10,000 cycles. The project is using a highly porous form of graphene that has a very large internal surface area.