Investors have just pumped $27.5 million into Los Angeles-based Nanotech Energy. Why? Because the company claims its graphene based lithium batteries can charge 18 times faster than conventional lithium-ion batteries. One of the factors holding back the EV revolution is the perception that electric cars take forever to recharge. People refuse to buy them if they take longer to charge than it takes to fill a gas tank. Who cares about climate change? If it’s less convenient, people want nothing to do with it.
But if what Nanotech Energy says is true, it may soon be possible to recharge an EV in less time than it takes to fill up at the Gas N Go. That could really light a fire under the switch to electric transportation, which would be a very good thing indeed.
Nanotech Energy says graphene is the world’s first 2-dimensional material. It is 1 million times thinner than a human hair, 200 times stronger and 6 times lighter than steel, and able to stretch 20% of its length. It is highly conductive and carries electrons at the rate of 1 million meters per second. The company says on its website, “Thanks to its outstanding surface area and high electronic conductivity, Nanotech Energy used graphene to improve the electrochemical properties of the lithium ion battery anode and cathode simultaneously. This has enabled a new generation of lithium ion batteries, we call graphene super battery (Gen I), with outstanding power density, energy density and cycling life.”
But wait, there’s more! Not content with its first generation battery, the company has gone back into the lab to create a second generation battery that “can be customized for high energy or high power applications. Designed with very low internal resistance, graphene SUPERbatteries have the ability of fast recharging — up to 18 times faster than a conventional lithium ion battery.” These second generation batteries are said to have “excellent power density, exceptionally high energy density and long cycling life.”
Jack Kavanaugh, CEO of Nanotech Energy, tells PV Magazine that his company is “the world’s top supplier of graphene” and plans to release a non-flammable, environmentally friendly lithium battery that can charge “18 times faster than anything that is currently available on the market” within the next 12 months. “We are confident that we have a one-of-a-kind, industry-changing product that will impact the technologies and bottom lines of multiple end-user markets,” Kavanaugh adds.