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New electric battery system could cut charging time ​​

A new type of energy storage system being developed by scientists at the University of Glasgow could reduce the charging time of electric cars from hours to seconds.

The technology is based on a new type of ‘flow battery’ system which can store either electric power or hydrogen gas.It uses a metal oxide which, when added to water, can be charged with electricity.

Since the material is a pumpable liquid, the battery of an electric car could be recharged in about the same time as it takes to fill up a conventionally-fuelled vehicle.The old battery liquid would be removed at the same time and recharged ready to be used again.

The approach was designed by a team led by Professor Leroy Cronin, the University of Glasgow’s Regius Chair of Chemistry.

“For future renewables to be effective, high capacity and flexible energy storage systems are needed to smooth out the peaks and troughs in supply,” Professor Cronin said.“Our approach will provide a new route to do this electrochemically and could have application in electric cars where batteries can still take hours to recharge and have limited capacity.Moreover, the very high energy density of our material could increase the range of electric cars, and also increase the resilience of energy storage systems to keep the lights on at times of peak demand.”

The research is funded by the University of Glasgow complex chemistry initiative, the European Research Council and the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council.