While electric vehicles (EVs) are slated to be the vehicles of the future, a number of factors are holding people back from switching over from regular vehicles right now. EVs have a lower driving range, extremely slow recharge speeds and there aren’t enough charging stations around when compared to regular gasoline-fueled vehicles. Well it looks like it won’t be for too long; researchers from MIT have developed a new battery that is said to solve the problem of slow recharge speeds.
The battery uses a semi-solid flow cell design and stores electric energy as a liquid called Cambridge Crude (a very thick electrolyte solution that contains a very large suspension of tiny lithium-ion particles). When the energy in the liquid is exhausted, all users have to do is head to a charging station to pump out the old liquid and pump in a new batch of fully charged liquid. This process is said to take as long as it would be to refill a car with gas, which eliminates the slow charging speed disadvantage of EVs.
The discharged liquid is also reusable: it can be recharged and then pumped into other vehicle, which makes it an eco-friendly solution. The battery is still in development right now and MIT hopes to have a fully functional prototype ready for testing sometime in 2013 (including the car, battery refueling pumping system, battery refueling pumping system, recharging station system, and storage tanks for charged and discharged solutions). Hopefully everything goes as planned, the sooner we get everybody to convert to EVs, the better for our planet.