Scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) have developed a new battery that can be recharged up to 70% in only 2 minutes. The battery will also have a longer lifespan of over 20 years.

NTU Singapore’s scientists replaced the traditional graphite used for the anode (negative pole) in lithium-ion batteries with a new gel material made from titanium dioxide, an abundant, cheap and safe material found in soil. It is commonly used as a food additive or in sunscreen lotions to absorb harmful ultraviolet rays. Naturally found in a spherical shape, NTU Singapore developed a simple method to turn titanium dioxide particles into tiny nanotubes that are a thousand times thinner than the diameter of a human hair. This nanostructure is what helps to speeds up the chemical reactions taking place in the new battery, allowing for superfast charging.

This breakthrough has a wide-ranging impact on many industries, especially for electric vehicles which are currently inhibited by long recharge times of over 4 hours and the limited lifespan of batteries. Infact, this next generation of lithium-ion batteries will enable electric vehicles to charge 20 times faster than the current technology. With it, electric vehicles will also be able to do away with frequent battery replacements, because the new battery will be able to endure more than 10,000 charging cycles, 20 times more than the current 500 cycles of today’s batteries.

Moreover the waste generated by disposed batteries will be drastically cut down, since these new batteries last ten times longer than the current generation of lithium-ion batteries. Such a long-life also means drivers save on the cost of a battery replacement, which could cost over USD$ 5,000 each.

(Reprinted from Nanyang Technological University)