Skip to main content

New developments in energy storage technology could see electric vehicles able to travel as far as petrol or diesel vehicles, and charge in minutes rather than hours.

Developers from Bristol University and Surrey University have been able to create a next-generation material for supercapacitors that are able to store electric charge and replenish themselves faster than normal batteries.

The Guardian reported that the new technology could allow cars to recharge in 10 minutes, rather than the eight hours it can take to replenish the lithium-ion batteries in current electric vehicles.

Dr Donald Highgate, the director of research at Superdielectrics – a company that worked with the universities on the research, said that while the findings were promising much more research still needed to be done.

“It could have a seismic effect on energy, but it’s not a done deal,” he said.

Researchers currently hope that prototype production of the new technology could be underway within the next two years, beginning in specialist areas such as in the military.

Dr Thomas Miller, an expert on supercapacitors at University College London said the research was a significant advancement but had reservations about its feasibility to work on a mass scale.

“If a significant leap has been made in energy density, it would be an important achievement,” he said.

“One major consideration that is yet to be proven is the scalability, cost and sustainability of the new technology.”