In the revolution to reduce the charging time of electric car batteries and give them more useful life and efficiency, every day we find new advances. On this occasion the improvement comes through the formulation of the electrolyte.
Electric cars tend to be the future of transportation, but one of the biggest barriers to its mass adoption is the time it takes to charge its batteries. However, every day there are more advances in this regard. This time the solution is proposed through electrolytes.
Another step towards fast charging of electric cars. Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have developed a material that promises to accelerate battery charging rates to unprecedented levels.
The time when you have a coffee. 10 minutes for your electric car to recover 80% of its capacity. Almost like stopping with your combustion car at the gas station. That’s exactly what this new material promises to offer. The heart of this advance lies in a fundamental component of batteries: the electrolyte.
In simple words, the electrolyte is the medium through which ions move between the electrodes during charging and discharging, more safely. What ORNL scientists have done is reformulate it using new combinations of lithium salts and carbonated solvents.
Just as if we were replacing old incandescent light bulbs with LEDs with more efficiency, longer life and, ultimately, a revolution in how we consume energy. The advance with electrolytes is above all pragmatic, as if the fuel were more refined and efficient.
This new formula not only allows for faster charging, but also maintains this capacity for 1,500 charge cycles. This advance is significant, because it raises the level of fast charging practically as usual and not as an emergency option.
Zhijia Du, research team leader at ORNL, highlighted the importance of their discovery: “We found that this new electrolyte formulation basically triples the Department of Energy’s goal for the life of a battery with ultra-fast charging,” he said.
Electrified roads and solid state batteries, the future of electric cars
In the context of advances in the battery industry, Toyota has already shown how to maximize the efficiency of batteries in electric cars and presented its roadmap for new batteries in the coming years.
In addition, other innovations are being investigated such as electrified roads that can charge moving vehicles. However, solid-state batteries with improved electrolytes such as the one described could surpass them in terms of practicality and general applicability.
The new discovery is not just a laboratory test. It was validated in 2 Ah pilot cells, confirming its effectiveness and safety. As technology advances and adapts, electric vehicle owners will be able to benefit from extremely reduced charging times thanks to the new electrolyte formulation, making the electric car meet its challenges.