Claim: New refillable batteries could fuel an electric car revolution

Credit: carsdirect.com

As with all battery-related news, it has to be treated with caution. Such ideas more often than not fail to turn into practical realities.

New technology promises an end to motorists’ ‘range anxiety’, reports NBC News.

Electric vehicles are easier on the environment than their gasoline-powered counterparts, but their long charging times and the scarcity of charging stations can make life hard for the eco-conscious motorists who drive them.

Now help may be on the horizon.

Scientists are working to develop refillable, or so-called flow, batteries that can be refueled in minutes at a vast network of converted gas stations. It’s a shift that could make electric vehicles (EVs) more attractive to drivers who are wary of long charging times.

“You drive 300 miles, drain your tank and pump in new [liquid] — as long as it would take to fill your car with gasoline — and drive off,” says John Cushman, a professor of earth and atmospheric sciences and mathematics at Purdue and a leading researcher on liquid battery technology.

Lee Cronin, a chemist at the University of Glasgow in Scotland and another leading researcher on the technology, agrees. He says flow batteries “would turn EVs into the cultural equivalent of a fuel car. Your range anxiety would be gone. And you have the existing pipe infrastructure for moving liquids around” — a reference to the service stations now in existence that could be retrofitted to pump the battery liquid instead of gasoline.

A TWIST ON RECHARGING

Like the lithium-ion batteries that power most electric vehicles on the road today, flow batteries release energy through chemical reactions between the ends of the battery and a substance known as electrolyte.

In a lithium-ion battery, the electrolyte sits between the ends of the battery; when it’s depleted, it has to be recharged.

In a flow battery, the electrolyte is pumped from a tank through the battery; when it’s depleted, it can simply be swapped out for a fresh batch.

Continued here.

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop

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February 25, 2019 at 05:09AM

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