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Graphene Supercapacitors Ready For Electric Vehicle Energy Storage, Say Korean Engineers

Conventional batteries take so long to charge that they cannot efficiently store braking energy. But now graphene supercapacitors that store almost as much but charge in just 16 seconds could do the job instead.

Electric vehicles are coming, ready or not. And one of the enabling technologies that is making them more driver friendly is the humble battery, particularly lithium-ion versions which can store enough energy to give these cars a reasonable range for city driving.

Of course, car makers are always searching for ways to improve the efficiency, and therefore the range, of these vehicles. And one way to do this is to recover and reuse the energy that would normally be wasted when the brakes slow down a vehicle.

There is a problem doing this with conventional batteries, however. Braking occurs over timescales measured in seconds but that’s much too fast for batteries which generally take many hours to charge. So car makers have to find other ways to store this energy.

One of the more promising is to use supercapacitors because they can charge quickly and then discharge the energy just as fast. Indeed, many car makers are experimenting with just this technology.

But supercapacitors are not yet ready for the open road. That’s because, although they charge and discharge quickly, they do not store much energy.
More technologyreview.com

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