Published on September 11th, 2012 | by James Ayre


Lithium-Ion Battery that Charges 120 Times Faster than Normal Developed

September 11th, 2012 by  

A super fast-charging lithium-ion battery capable of being recharged 30 to 120 times faster than conventional li-ion batteries has been developed by researchers.


The researchers think that they can use this technology to create a battery pack for electric vehicles that will fully charge in less than a minute.

The primary issue with rechargeable batteries is the increased charging time that results as their volume grows. Since batteries charge from the outside towards the inside, the thicker the battery becomes the longer it will takes to charge. This is solvable to a degree by breaking the larger battery into smaller individual cells, but there are limits to that.

“The Korean method takes the cathode material — standard lithium manganese oxide (LMO) in this case — and soaks it in a solution containing graphite. Then, by carbonizing the graphite-soaked LMO, the graphite turns into a dense network of conductive traces that run throughout the cathode. This new cathode is then packaged normally, with an electrolyte and graphite anode, to create the fast-charging li-ion battery. Other factors, such as the battery’s energy density and cycle life seem to remain unchanged.”

The networks of carbonized graphite created by this process essentially function as blood vessels. They allow nearly the whole of the battery to recharge at the same time, speeding the recharge up by 30 to 120 times.

“Now, for all intents and purposes, this is a standard lithium-ion battery that could be used in smartphones and laptops — but the network of conductive traces does increase the overall size of the battery, so it’s probably better suited for use in electric vehicles (EVs). Obviously, an EV that can be recharged in under a minute is pretty crazy — though it still only brings them in-line with their gas-guzzling cousins. Being able to charge quickly is convenient, but it doesn’t get around the fact that li-ion battery packs are incredibly expensive — and the Korean carbonized LMO battery certainly won’t be cheap.”

–>Also recommended for you: Advanced Batteries Market to 2020 — Demand for Electric Vehicles to Drive Growth, Asia Pacific to Remain the Major Producer

Fast-charging batteries for phones and computers sound very appealing, though, so I can’t imagine that this technology won’t end up being applied that way eventually. The researchers also mention potential applications in wireless mice and keyboards, and other small electronics.

Imagine being able to charge an electric car in a minute; cheap, fast, no gasoline fumes, and no CO2 emissions.

Source: Extreme Tech
Image Credits: VARTA

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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • Marylandbob

    I see the “Electric Vehicle Gas Stations” having a very LARGE BATTERY BANK on site, and just as our present gasoline and diesel refueling stations store fuel for multiple refillings of vehicles, they would do the same for electric vehicles. If the big battery were charged at a rate equal to what is needed to charge two cars in an hour, then, in a day, this big battery could then be used to “Fast Charge” at least 40 cars! ( I did not say 48, as some power losses will be involved, and totally depleting the battery is not advisable.)-Such a battery should be capable of megawatt level storage, for use in an electric refueling station, and I feel that even WITH availability of the power, a ONE MINUTE charge rate may entail many more problems than a slower, 6 to 15 minute rate, which would favorably compare with our fresent liquid fueling rate, and greatly relax the amperages and conductor sizes required to transport this energy into the vehicle battery! (Safety would be greater, and heating losses would be much less, charging at 10 minutes instead of 1 minute.) As I understand it, TESLA automobiles is incorporating on-site battery storage of electricity, AND solar power, at some of its vehicle charging facilities, to reduce demand on the A.C. Power grid. Without such storage and augmentation, quickly charging FOUR of the TESLA cars, with each having a 85,000 watt-hour battery, would require at least 320,000 watts for one hour to charge them in one hour, or 3,200,000 watts for 6 minutes to charge in 6 minutes, and 19,200,000 watts to charge these 4 cars in 6 minutes, not accounting for added power required to compensate for power lost due to heating!–No matter how you look at it, MOST neighborhoods electrical service is NOT up to providing additional 6 minute demands of 19.2 Million watts! I see some type of “on-site storage/generation” as being essential to large scale deployment of quick-charge facilities!

  • Marylandbob

    I see the need for a different outlook on charge facilities, with the most practical being a charger that would contain a large BATTERY, which would be slowly charged by grid and/or solar power, and then be used to rapidly DUMP its charge into the device having the fast charge battery, and afterwards, the chargers battery would once again, SLOWLY recover its energy by recharging from the grid/solar connection, to be ready for the next rapid charge cycle. Operating in that manner would do away with the need for extremely heavy amperage A.C. Circuits and greatly reduce peak kilowatt demand, enabling such charging to be supplied using existing outlets! ( sort of like filling your bathtub in 5 seconds-Install as very LARGE water line and faucet, or use the existing water line to slowly fill a 200 gallon tank on the roof, then connect a big pipe from the tub to the roof tank, and open the valve, to quickly filll the tub!)

    • Bob_Wallace

      If you’re charging a stream of EVs rather than only one once in a while you’re still going to be in need of a great big feed.

      Slow charging a battery might mean being able to charge only one EV over a multiple hour period.

      If we go the rapid charge route then we’re going to need to run a big supply to the chargers.

  • wattleberry

    In considering the expense of the batteries, I didn’t see any mention of their life-expectancy.
    What this development did, though, was to give a glimpse of the taxation possibilities of simply installing a dedicated socket on each vehicle so they would be forced to recharge at the installations at filling stations. It would not be welcome to consumers but you can bet it would guarantee enthusiastic government backing to the changeover!

  • UKGary

    These batteries would be ideal for plug in hybrids with a high power electric motor and low power internal combustion engine (range extender). That way, the battery pack could be kept to a size that allows perhaps 20 to 30 miles, and the very high power characteristics of the battery would allow for exceptionally efficient regenerative breaking, nippy performance, and low vehicle weight.

    There are four further advantages I can see in these batteries.

    1. As internal resistance is orders of magnitude less, resistive losses during charging and discharging will be greatly reduced – making the batteries very efficient in their cycling.

    2. Low internal resistance in lithium batteries often goes hand in hand with enhanced cycle life – it is likely that these batteries will last for many more charge cycles than other lithium battery designs.

    3. With such a reduction in internal resistance, the design of very large cells is greatly simplified so that even with the higher costs of the technology in general, the specific costs of very large cells >1,000 AH is likely to be lower.

    4. With very high power capabilities both charging and discharging, these batteries are ideal for static application in electrical grid stability control – able to deliver or absorb megawatts with millisecond reaction time – allowing time for generators and other sources of spinning reserve to ramp up or down.

  • blacky9er

    Obviously some of you have never seen the smog/filth in the air from the gas and diesel powered vehicles in places like L.A. California in the late 1960’s. Or perhaps in the future all of the country of China. And the middle class who can afford to use Cadillacs and Mercedes as daily commuters. Expensive I don’t think so. I don’t care how “expensive” being clean has no price tag. You should try living next to Interstate 5 in L.A. then you will understand what unhealthy is.

    • getting back to the heart of cleantech.

      thanks for the comment/refresher.

      well said.

      • linda518

        Jonathan. even though Cindy`s comment is astonishing… last week I got themselves a Mazda MX-5 since I been making $7846 this past 4 weeks and-even more than, 10/k this past munth. without a doubt it is the coolest work I’ve had. I actually started 8-months ago and right away started to make minimum $82, per/hr. I follow the details here,, jump15.comCHECK IT OUT

  • Oh please….paying $43,000 for a Volt is no worse than the regular price of $40,000……it’s just another $80 per month for a car that you can actually USE.

  • Bob_Wallace

    Taxis and buses. Vehicles that need to stay moving. A few taxi and bus stops could be wired with big pipes and vehicles could take on some range as they loaded passengers.

  • Captivation

    With charging that fast, the preferred option will be a lightning rod.

  • Nicholas

    Being able to charge quickly is convenient, but it doesn’t get around the fact that li-ion battery packs are incredibly expensive

    Sorry, but I disagree with that statement. Charge time is of paramount importance. It can help the cost situation by facilitating smaller batteries, because fast charging batteries can easily be recharged in public places.

    The large, longer range batteries in use today are much bigger than fast-charging batteries would need to be.

    Fast charging batteries just need to provide a range long enough to get you to a charging station whenever necessary.

    It also means that setting up charging stations will be worth it because right now, sitting in public with an older EV for 3 to 8 hours while it charges is not feasible. 1 minute is.

    • Very good argument and I very much agree.

      If this ultra-quick charge capability doesn’t make the battery much more expensible (a 10% plus is absolutely acceptable for this capabality) then we can say that this is revolutionary.

  • Pedro Coolinoza

    This sounds very nice but is has some “real world issues”:
    Lets see. In order to charge a 1Kwh battery in 1 minute you need some serious power supply: You would need a 270A power line at 220V. This is nothing you will easily get in your garage. It will not only switch off the lights in your house, it will take care of your neighbors houses too.
    To charge your iPad3 in a minute, you would need a 5V 510A Power supply which will cost more than 10 iPads. The wires in the iPad would be 3 times bigger than the iPad itself. You would need a 120V 22A Wall outlet

    • Nicholas

      That would deliver 990 Wh (you can round that off to a kWh) in one minute. Outlets of this type would have to be connected to the power lines outside. Whenever anything such as large industrial systems require huge amounts of power even more than this, they connect them to the power lines.

      There is no blackout issue like what you mentioned, or everybody would lose power every time factories start up, for example, or anything industrial for that matter.

      Power lines provide more than enough at night.

    • Bob_Wallace

      In your garage is not where we need very rapid charging.

      We need very rapid charging along our major travel routes.

      We’ll run the really big wires where they are needed.

    • Obviously, you will not try to charge a battery like this from a garden-variety 100/240V outlet.

      Quite likely, you will use public charging stations or a dedicated home charger which has a dedicated connection to the grid (and a special, demand-managed meter in it).

      In any case, there is no point in charging like this at home since you would be in no hurry. You arrive at home, put the car on the charger and it will be charged by the morning.

      Public charging stations on the other hand will have properly designed, huge connections and will be able to handle the currents needed. This would actually make public stations viable since they could serve a car in every 1-5 minutes.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Just to put a bit of icing on your comment…

        The average driver piles up less than 35 miles a day. With a normal 240vac outlet one could recharge in about 1.5 hours.

        Most cars are going to get parked at least 9-10 hours per night. That’s more than enough for a complete charge even if you had a 200 mile range battery.

        There’s no need for faster charging except on long trips.

  • anderlan

    Remember the hubub over supercapacitors because they would have allowed more efficient regenerative braking? Well, this is pretty close to that. Expect hydrids to partake of this if the cost is low enough. Also, with recharge (braking) power at hundreds of kilowatts, I expect this technology could be used to finally make road freight hybrid power trains very attractive.

    • Yes, this would seriously improve the regen capability of hybrids/EVs with smaller battery packs.

      And regen ratios are extremely important in city driving so this advancement could make hybrids and EVs even more efficient and thus cost effective to own.

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