Will not replace lithium-ion batteries, but may supplement it for better performance.
Skeleton Technologies, an ultracapacitor specialist from Estonia, announced that together with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany, it is working on a new groundbreaking graphene battery named SuperBattery.
The SuperBattery will utilize Skeleton’s patented Curved Graphene carbon material to achieve a charging time of just 15 seconds (240C) and charging cycles counted in hundreds of thousands.
As in the case of other ultracapacitors, also this one is not energy-dense enough to replace the lithium-ion batteries, although it beats lead-acid and NiMH, reaching some 60 Wh/kg.
"The key differentiator for the SuperBattery is Skeleton’s patented Curved Graphene carbon material, enabling the high power and long lifetime of ultracapacitors to be applied in a graphene battery. Ultracapacitors are increasingly emerging as the ideal complementary technology to lithium-ion batteries, as also shown by Tesla’s acquisition of ultracapacitor manufacturer Maxwell Technologies in the hopes of improving batteries used in Tesla’s electric vehicles."
Despite the energy density beings several times lower than in the case of typical EV batteries, the new SuperBattery might be a perfect fit for all types of hybrids (conventional hybrids, plug-in hybrids or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles). It might also be a supplement for the main traction battery in all-electric vehicles to carry on the high power under acceleration or strong recharge. In theory, it could extend battery life and lower the cooling needs of the battery pack.
Who knows, maybe we will see the SuperBattery also for the replacement of lead-acid auxiliary batteries in higher-end EV models.
It will be interesting to see whether the Skeleton Technologies really has something viable on the table. The company said that one of the automotive OEMs is seriously interested in the SuperBattery tech:
"The SuperBattery has already garnered a lot of attention in the automotive and transportation sectors. Recently, Skeleton Technologies signed a 1 bn EUR Letter of Intent with a leading automotive OEM to bring the technology to the market.