An All-Electric Trip Down Old Route 66 May Be Possible

Eco-Travel, Travel News, USA — By John Curran on February 3, 2011 at 9:30 am

If you have ever tried to create an off-the-wall road trip, you know that a good eye for gas stations can be important in rural areas, or in the Great Plains states. But for those with faith in scientific research, all-electric vehicles (we’re looking at you, Nissan Leaf) could still make the same sojourn.

The secret behind making it work is new materials inside batteries that researchers at Rensslaer Polytechnic Institute are saying work much faster than standard lithium ion batteries. If you imagine that the charging process resembles little lithium atoms running a relay race, according to Inhabitant, then you can understand how they could get tired.

In fact, current electric car batteries are set to charge more slowly than they could otherwise, simply because batteries would be destroyed at faster rates.

Enter the “nanoscoops”, wafers of very thin layers of charging material, allowing the charge to build up in each layer and acting as a support for the next one. They’re strong enough that they can charge small (microscopic, really) batteries 40-60 times faster than those with standard constructions.

Of course, it will take time to see if this scales up, but in the meantime it offers hope that one of the biggest bugaboos of electric cars could have a real solution.

[Image: Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz via Wikimedia]

Tags: Electric Cars, green travel, Nissan Leaf, road trips

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