While many people who have looked into battery electric vehicles are turned away due to range limitations, others are more worried about the long recharge time. In some cases, these vehicles can take up to a full 8 hours to recharge, which is too long for some people to live with. However, a newly developed kind of battery may provide the answer to this problem.
The technology has been named Redox Flow and, according to the team of engineers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology in Germany, the batteries are able to be "recharged" in about the same amount of time it takes to refill a fuel tank. This is possible thanks to a fluid electrolyte that is able to be pumped out of a holding tank, when the charge is depleted, and then filled with charged electrolyte. Making this technology even more appealing is the fact that once the spent liquid is removed from a vehicle, it can be recharged right at the station vie solar power or wind turbines.
It will eventually lose its ability to hold a charge, but this would take literally thousands of charge-discharge cycles. Over the life of a tank of electrolyte, it could provide hundreds of thousands of miles of travel.
As if the deal isn't already sweet enough, the engineers are also planning on making the electrolyte as environmentally friendly as possible. This means that, assuming they succeed, a driver could travel is an all electric vehicle in almost the same manner as a traditional internal combustion engine without having to worry about tailpipe emissions or how the electrolyte was being disposed of.
The technology is still being tested, but so far everything looks very promising. The Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology has built a 1/10 scale version of the system and plans on continuing to refine the technology as much as possible over the next few months. If all of the testing is successful, we could see the technology within a few years. The only real hurdle would be establishing a refueling infrastructure.The Knee Slider