Alex Wilkins

Lithium-ion battery cells being inserted into a pack at the Johammer e-mobility GmbH electric motorbike factory in Bad Leonfelden, Austria, in 2016

The Johammer e-mobility factory in Bad Leonfelden, Austria, has an electric motorbike factory with a pack of lithium-ion cells.

The images are courtesy of Lisi Niesner.

A battery that uses copper and copper nanowires can charge to 60 per cent in 6 minutes without affecting its energy storage. One day electric cars will be powered by this more efficient battery, which will allow drivers to travel further without waiting for the vehicle to charge.

Batteries use binding agents to stick their particles together to form a solid structure. Slower charging times can be caused by a thick battery fluid with a random distribution of particles. The particles of thinner battery fluids are ordered to charge more quickly.

A group of people at the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei have designed a battery that has a positive end and a negative end.

The particles that make up the anodes of the battery are usually arranged in a random order. Hongbin and his team put the particles in order of their size and number of gaps between them.

Their battery charged to 80 per cent and 60 per cent in 5.6 and 11.4 minutes, while maintaining a high energy storage on standard tests.

Read more: Are there any lithium battery alternatives?

The researchers did not record the time to get to a 100 per cent charge. Electric car manufacturers recommend charging vehicles up to 80 per cent to maintain battery life. 40 minutes to an hour is the average time for a car to get from 40 percent to 80 percent charge.

The whole density in the anode is controlled by our design.

The particles were coated with copper and mixed with copper nanowires. The ordered structure was set when the particles were heated, cooled and compressed.

Billy Wu at Imperial College London feels that the additional processing steps needed to coat the graphite and make the copper nanowires could add to the cost.

Adding heating and cooling to the anode may add to the cost of a cheaper battery component.

Science Advances is a journal.