Supercapacitors will replace batteries in electric vehicles, allowing them to be charged in a matter of seconds, according to a research group working with the University of Surrey and University of Bristol.
The group claims to have reached a breakthrough in its research into EV batteries and says supercapacitors are proven to be between 1000 and 10,000 times more powerful than equivalent batteries.
This breakthrough could finally allow battery-electric vehicles to have ranges as long as those of fossil-fuelled cars, along with similar refuelling times. The group also described supercapacitors as being more efficient and greener, suggesting that they may waste less energy and have a smaller environmental impact than regular electric vehicle powertrains.
The research into new materials was the cause of the breakthrough, and despite a lower current projected energy density than the traditional lithium-ion batteries used in EVs - meaning a lower storage capacity per kilogram, until the energy density of the tech increases - the considerably quicker charge time of the research group's supercapacitor system means that "A lot of people would be more happy with a half the range of a 300-mile, lithium ion-batteried EV, but a fast charging time", said chief executive of Augmented Optics Ltd and Supercapacitor Materials Ltd, Jim Heathcote.