Ultra-fast charging graphene SuperBattery
European firm envisions 15-second EV charging with its tech Metal Tech News – September 9, 2020
Last updated 9/9/2020 at 7:51am
The ability to charge an electric vehicle in just 15 seconds would wipe out many of the barriers to EV ownership – slow charging times, battery degradation, and range anxiety.
Skeleton Technologies, a global leader in graphene-based ultracapacitor energy storage, believes it is on the verge of such an ultra-fast charging battery breakthrough and has partnered with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany to complete the development of SuperBattery, a graphene battery with a 15-second charging time.
"We are delighted to have signed the SuperBattery development deal with Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and combine forces to bring to market a technology that will blow existing EV charging solutions out of the water," said Skeleton Technologies CEO Taavi Madiberk.
KIT's energy storage expertise and Skeleton's manufacturing capabilities offer synergies that will be used to bring next-generation energy storage technologies such as the SuperBattery to market.
"We see Skeleton as a perfect match which fits for our purpose," said Maximilian Fichtner, research unit leader at KIT. "Skeleton is both flexible and big enough to develop a new process, transfer our knowledge into a product and bring it to the market."
This potentially game changing SuperBattery technology has also attracted the attention of one automaker who has signed a letter of intent with Skeleton to invest US$1.2 billion to bring it to market.
Ultracapacitors, which store energy in an electric field rather than in chemical reaction like batteries, can be charged almost instantly and have a long life.
Batteries and ultracapacitors are complementary technologies – batteries provide energy for the long term while ultracapacitors provide the fast reaction and high power.
What makes SuperBattery different than other products on the market is Skeleton's patented curved graphene carbon material, enabling the high power and long lifetime of ultracapacitors to be applied in a graphene battery.
"The SuperBattery is a game changer for the automotive industry," said Madiberk. "Together with Li-ion batteries, they have it all: high energy and power density, long lifetime, and 15-second charging time."
Looking to take advantage of this combination to improve its own EVs, Tesla Inc. acquired ultracapacitor manufacturer Maxwell Technologies in 2019.
Development of Skelton's patented curved graphene has been supported by EIT InnoEnergy, the innovation engine for sustainable energy across Europe. EIT InnoEnergy was also the first backer of Northvolt, a Swedish manufacturer with a mission to build the greenest rechargeable batteries in the world.
"Cooperation between European energy storage companies is key for the EU to be a global leader in energy storage," Madiberk said.
Skelton Technologies has subsidiaries in Germany and Estonia.