Tesla Model S-05

A study conducted by researchers at Rice University and the Queensland University of Technology have resulted in the creation of a graphene-based supercapacitor film that could possibly replace the need for a conventional battery in electric cars.

Construction for the supercapacitor consists of two layers of graphene with an electrolyte layer sandwiched in the middle – creating a thin and durable film that is able to disperse large amounts of energy in a short amount of time. Being made from graphene allows for the layer of carbon to measure in at one atom thick.

Naturally, this would help with the packaging of the vehicle as the film can be incorporated into different parts of the car – from the body panels to the roof and even the doors. Another added benefit is the fact that carbon is more easily sourced compared to lithium, allowing for lower entry costs in terms of manufacturing.

B Class Electric Drive-11

Another immediate benefit of the supercapacitor film technology is apparent in charging time. According to the researchers, the system is able to achieve a full charge within minutes rather than the required few hours of a more conventional battery.

With the inclusion of the film, researchers are aiming for a future where electric cars will no longer require a batter. Instead developing a system capable of a maximum range of 500 kilometres – more or less the same as a petrol-powered car.

“In the future, it is hoped the supercapacitor will be developed to store more energy than a Li-Ion battery while retaining the ability to release its energy up to 10 times faster,” adds Jinzhang Liu, one of lead researchers.