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Zapped Graphene Could Jumpstart Electric Car Batteries

Graphene, the thinnest material in the world, could be used to improve electric vehicle charging capacity and reduce the discharge limitations of low-density batteries currently being used by the automotive industry.

According to Science Daily, engineering research carried out by a team at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, has found that deliberately introducing blemishes to graphene can produce a hybrid material that can discharge energy significantly faster than standard lithium batteries. The Rensselaer team constructed a sheet of the carbon allotrope and then “zapped the paper with a laser or camera flash,” resulting in a series of pores, cracks and imperfections.

While lithium batteries are the industry standard for mobile devices, laptops and the current generation of electric vehicles, their ability to have a high energy density is limited by the low power output. They can hold a sizeable amount of energy but they are incapable of quickly accepting or discharging that energy, a concept familiar to anyone who has waited over an hour for their smartphone to charge.


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