Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

Batteries that recharge in 5 to 10 minutes could help make electric vehicles more competitive. Credit: Proterra.

The high cost of batteries is one of the biggest reasons why electric vehicles aren’t widespread. We recently wrote about an interesting solution to this problem–rather than equipping an electric vehicle with enough batteries for a day’s driving, use a minimal amount of energy storage but provide a way to recharge quickly. This way you can spend a lot less on energy storage and bring the cost down to something competitive with conventional vehicles. In the case we wrote about, Sinautec Automobile Technologies has equipped buses with ultracapacitors with a very limited range–just a few miles–but that can be recharged in 30 seconds or so at bus stops.

Here’s another approach from Proterra, a company based in Colorado. Instead of ultracapacitors, the company uses batteries from Altairnano that can recharge in 5 to 10 minutes at a special overhead recharging station. The solution doesn’t seem as elegant as using fast-charging ultracapacitors–presumably you’d want a larger range between charges, so you’d need more batteries. But it might be good for some situations where you need a bus to travel further than a few miles between charges.

Gain the insight you need on energy at EmTech MIT.

Register today

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Tagged: Energy, energy, battery, ultracapacitors, cost

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me
×

A Place of Inspiration

Understand the technologies that are changing business and driving the new global economy.

September 23-25, 2014
Register »