Graphene battery charges in just five minutes

'Revolutionary' material charges 12-times faster than current lithium-ion batteries

Anthony Cuthbertson
Tuesday 19 June 2018 08:47 BST
Graphene-based batteries could make charging electric vehicles almost as fast as filling up with fuel
Graphene-based batteries could make charging electric vehicles almost as fast as filling up with fuel

Billions of pounds have been poured into research of the "revolutionary" material graphene, though few real-world applications have so far been realised.

A Catalan startup called Earthdas is aiming to address that by producing a graphene-based battery that it claims can charge 12-times faster than current lithium-ion batteries – potentially transforming the usability of electric vehicles by decreasing charging times from hours to just five minutes.

"Currently, cities are experiencing an obvious shift in terms of mobility," Rafa Terradas, founder of Earhdas, told ZDNet.

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"We're all aware we must reduce the space occupied by combustion vehicles and incorporate innovative solutions to reduce pollution.

"Because graphene batteries charge so quickly, that opens the door to revolutionary solutions in terms of energy sharing between users."

Beyond the faster charging times, Earthdas batteries also have a 60 per cent increase in capacity compared to current batteries.

Unlike other startups and research initiatives developing graphene-based batteries, Earthdas says it is the first to build batteries that are commercially viable and plans to produce the first 3,000 units in the second half of 2018.

A scientist inspects a model of graphene’s super-fine structure; it can ‘separate items smaller than an atom’

Since its discovery in 2003 by researchers at the University of Manchester, graphene has also been touted to improve everything from water filtration to solar cells.

This is made possible by the remarkable properties of the one-atom thick material, which is 200-times stronger than steel, more conductive than copper and as flexible as rubber.

Such is its potential that the European Union's biggest-ever research initiative is the Graphene Flagship, which commands a budget of around €1 billion (£800 million). The initiative claims graphene applications like Earthdas' will generate "economic growth, new jobs and new opportunities" for Europeans.

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