Energy

Lithium-carbon battery lets electric mopeds recharge in 90 seconds

Lithium-carbon battery lets el...
A novel lithium-carbon battery architecture has the capability to recharge an electric moped in 90 seconds, according to the developers
A novel lithium-carbon battery architecture has the capability to recharge an electric moped in 90 seconds, according to the developers
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A novel lithium-carbon battery architecture has the capability to recharge an electric moped in 90 seconds, according to the developers
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A novel lithium-carbon battery architecture has the capability to recharge an electric moped in 90 seconds, according to the developers
In addition to ultra-fast charging, Mahle's new lithium-carbon battery uses no rare-earth metals and is entirely recyclable
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In addition to ultra-fast charging, Mahle's new lithium-carbon battery uses no rare-earth metals and is entirely recyclable

German outfit Mahle has teamed up with battery-maker Allotrope Energy to put forward a new fast-charging solution for electric vehicles. The duo's novel lithium-carbon battery borrows elements from the world of supercapacitors to deliver charge times that are on par with the refueling process for internal combustion-powered vehicles, and offers a few other environmental benefits while it's at it.

“Range anxiety is often quoted as the main barrier to electric vehicle adoption, but if the battery could be recharged in the same time it takes to refuel a conventional internal combustion engine vehicle, much of that worry goes away,” says Dr Mike Bassett, Mahle Powertrain’s Head of Research.

Mahle, who earlier this year revealed a cheap electric vehicle motor that uses no magnets, teamed up with Allotrope Energy to turn this type of thinking to electric mopeds, pointing to the increasing use of gasoline-powered variants in cities in response to the on-demand economy. The idea was to develop a cheap, small-capacity lithium-carbon battery that could keep these electric vehicles on the move, with minimal stoppage time required for recharging.

Their solution is made up of high-rate anode seen in traditional lithium-ion batteries, which combines with the type of cathode seen in a supercapacitor, separated by an organic electrolyte. This is claimed to bring the tremendous power density and charging capabilities supercapacitors offer, combined with the superior energy density of lithium batteries, with the resulting lithium-carbon cell offering fast-charging rates of up to 20 kW.

In addition to ultra-fast charging, Mahle's new lithium-carbon battery uses no rare-earth metals and is entirely recyclable
In addition to ultra-fast charging, Mahle's new lithium-carbon battery uses no rare-earth metals and is entirely recyclable

According to analysis carried out on a simulated fast food service with a 25-km (15-mile) radius, using a conventional 500-Wh battery would require electric mopeds to pull over mid-shift and spend 30 minutes recharging. For the sake of comparison, the team says its novel battery pack could recharge these vehicles in 90 seconds thanks to its ultra-fast charging rate.

In addition, the team's lithium-carbon battery uses no rare-earth metals and is entirely recyclable, and is also claimed not to be susceptible to thermal runaway events that can cause batteries to overheat and be destroyed.

“With the rise of the on-demand economy, there’s been a rapid increase in the use of petrol-powered mopeds for urban deliveries such as take-away meals, and this has contributed to air quality issues in our cities,” says Bassett. “Decarbonizing these deliveries has so far proved difficult without maintaining a stock of expensive interchangeable batteries or switching to a larger, heavier electric vehicle with increased energy consumption.”

Bassett presented the breakthrough at the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle show in the UK this week.

Source: Mahle

10 comments
10 comments
Michael son of Lester
90 seconds to recharge a moped/car etc. would be fantastic. However, considering that I'm still waiting for my cold fusion home power plant, I'll believe what's claimed in this article when I see these mopeds for sale in the local motorcycle showroom.
Username
And what is the range? Do you have to charge it every ten minutes? 30 minutes mid-shift doesn't seem to be much of a problem. Recharge at lunch time. The real benefit seems to be cost saved from the exclusion of rare earth materials.
DavidB
How is that a moped (motor+pedal), when it appears to have no pedals?

In the US (and in every article I’ve read from other countries), that’s a scooter.
Joel Lazewatsky
By my calculation, if this uses a battery that charges at 20 kW and requires 90 seconds to charge fully that means it requires a minimum 222 amp line to charge. I don’t think there are too many places around right now that can supply that much current. This would require a significant infrastructure upgrade to make it possible for it to be widely used.
fasteddie2020
uh.....about the only place to get the over-200 amp power level needed to charge these batteries in 90 seconds would be Tesla's very latest Superchargers. I find it hard to believe these cells have low enough internal resistance to handle that kind of power without creating a massive explosion!.
sally
They refer to it as a moped one presumes because this is the market that this thing is designed to replace. If a moped moniker is determined by pedals then would a few mock pedals on it make it a moped rather than a scooter. This is what happens when technology updates and in this case electric power simply makes the pedals redundant even when it is designed to specifically replace that type of vehicle. Branding is important when people become entrenched in what something is called as much as what it does, otherwise you spend far too much time trying to explain when that is far better used in explaining the machines advantages to a likely suspicious and sceptical potential early adopter.
AngryPenguin
@DavidB

It's a moped in terms of role and performance.
foxpup
....and pops your circuit breaker in 0.0 seconds. Good luck finding an appropriate charger in the time savings this product promises. You still need to be able to charge at 2kW, not 20kW if it is going to be convenient.
Trylon
Sad to say, the "moped" name was co-opted years ago and now is used to refer to low-powered scooters without pedals, including gas-powered ones.
Per Holmen
Could this construction be scaled up to car batteries? That would be great. The article says nothing about any drawbacks with this type of battery. There is always something. Every time you search for "new battery technologies" you get a different set of results, and then you hear that the stuff you read about last time didn't work out after all. Sooner or later one of these companies/technologies will hit the jackpot for real, I guess.