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Wednesday, 24 January 2007 04:46

Mysterious super battery to power electric cars this year

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A revolutionary "ultracapacitor", charging in minutes yet offering 10 times power of traditional batteries, is on track to ship in electric cars this year.

Texas-based developer EEstor has been extremely secretive about its ceramic Energy Storage Unit (ESU), but has revealed that the ESU has entered mass production and is set to power Toronto-based ZENN Motors' electric cars this year.

Constructed from barium nitrate powder, the ESU offers up to 10 time the energy density of lead-acid batteries or 2.5 times that of lithium ion batteries. EEstor is on target to provide 15 kilowatt per hour batteries to ZENN this year, weighing less than 45 kg and in operating in environments as sever as minus 20 to plus 65 degrees Celsius. The battery will have ability to be recharged in "a matter of minutes," according to EEstor, and will not degrade due to being fully discharged or recharged.

The technology can scale up to 52 kWh, according to EEstor's patent papers, charging in the range of four to six minutes with sufficient cooling of the power cables and connections. The batteries are not "explosive, corrosive, or hazardous" and EEstor also anticipates they could be used to store energy from solar panels for residential, commercial, or industrial applications.

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