Fast Charging Lithium Ions

Part of the disapproval with electric cars (or electric anything…) is that darn recharge time. I have to leave my laptop plugged in for hours to recharge. I once used an electric push mower but it would quickly die and take all day to recharge. And then there are cars. Hybrids recharge the battery through different means but a true all electric car must be plugged in and takes quite a while to recharge.

MSNBC reports that Toshiba (a leader in seemingly all things electronic) has released a new lithium ion battery capable of recharging to 90% capacity in about 5 minutes. Its also good around 5,000 charges.

Toshiba’s New Lithium Ion Battery

Yoshikazu Tsuno / AFP-Getty Images

My view: What about the other 10? I mean, 10% is significant in terms of cars. I really like the potential practical application. Take an electric car with battery good for a 100 miles. At 100 miles (or maybe a little sooner), the driver can pull off at a truck stop, rest station, or restaurant, rests. Then while grabbing a bite to eat, the car can be plugged in and charged by the time the driver returns. Make it like a parking meter and let people swipe their plastic. They pay and then they’re gone. Less pollution on the roads and it makes drivers take more breaks.

The bad side is that this battery won’t be in use till 2010 and that this means more strain on old coal power plants. There maybe fewer gas or diesel cars on the road but there will be more power plants in use. The flip side of this is that we need to switch energy sources anyway and more cars should come with solar cells on top. Perhaps they will once the owners know a more tangible cost involved (its easier to equate your mileage with the money you saved versus the money you spend when you can create your own fuel).

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