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Energy

A Battery Beyond Belief?

A secret, fast-charging, powerful battery.

Is EEStor of Cedar Park, TX, for real? The secretive company announced earlier this year that it plans to begin shipping a 15-­kilowatt-hour electrical-energy ­storage system that can propel a small electric car 322 kilometers and takes just minutes to charge.

The first peek at a much-hyped new battery technology will come courtesy of electric cars made by Zenn Motor of Toronto.

The first customer: Toronto-based Zenn Motor, which makes electric vehicles. EEStor says its technology is a cross between a battery and an ultracapacitor (which quickly stores and releases energy) and is based on mysterious ­barium ­titanate powders.

Company documents claim that the new storage system has better energy density than lithium-ion and nickel-metal hydride batteries, that it charges more quickly, and that it’s cheaper and safer. The implications are enormous and, for many, unbelievable, but the company says it’s all true. “We’re well on our way to doing everything we said,” says ­Richard Weir, EEStor’s cofounder and chief execu­tive.

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