Australian company Graphene Manufacturing Group (GMG) has announced exciting performance test results for a new type of aluminum-ion battery that can charge 10X faster than today’s lithium-ion units, while lasting much longer and needing no cooling.
In experiments performed by the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology at the University of Queensland, coin cell prototypes of the new battery delivered the following key performance figures.
Firstly, a power density around 7,000 W/kg. Power density puts a number on how quickly a cell can charge and discharge. With current lithium-ion batteries sitting between 250-700 W/kg, this is a huge leap, and it puts the aluminum-ion battery nearly on the level of ultracapacitors, which can deliver around 12,000-14,000 W/kg.
Secondly, an energy density of 150-160 Wh/kg – so it carries only around 60 percent of the energy per weight of today’s best commercial lithium-ion cells.
Energy density has long been the key spec sheet number for electric car batteries; the greater the energy density, the more range you can get out of your battery pack. So on energy density alone, this new GMG battery wouldn’t get a second glance from an EV manufacturer.
But its monster charge rate could change that, along with a couple of other key advantages. These things can charge so fast, says GMG, that a mobile phone running on this aluminum-ion tech could get a full charge in 1-5 minutes. Take that concept across to the electric car world, and you’re looking at an EV that travels 60 percent as far as an equivalent Tesla on a charge, but that charges so damn fast that range might become far less of an issue.