A strong argument against the wide spread adoption of electric motorcycles and scooters (e-bikes) is charging time and range anxiety, an issue addressed by Mahle Powertrain and Allotrope Energy’s ultra fast charging with its new battery technology. Combining super capacitors and traditional lithium-ion batteries, Mahle detailed a lithium-carbon battery pack that could be recharged at 20 kW in just 90 seconds, duplicating the time required to refuel an internal combustion engined motorcycle or scooter.

Mahle’s battery uses a high-rate battery-type anode and a high-capacity electric double layer capacitor (EDLC)-style cathode, separated by an organic electrolyte. The battery remains stable at high temperatures without the danger of thermal runaway, eliminating the need for complex external cooling or elaborate battery management systems.

The battery pack is targeted at urban e-bikes typically used for short journeys or point-to-point trips in the city centre such as food delivery services with travel distances of 25 km or less. Typically, a 500 Wh conventional lithium-ion battery would require a recharge mid-shift that, even with a fast-charger, would take more than 30 minutes.

“With ultra-fast charging, the size of the battery can be optimised to suit the scenarios the vehicle will be used in, and that leads not only to weight savings but also cost reductions that further lower the barriers to decarbonisation,” said Dr Mike Basset of Mahle Powertrain. The battery is fully recyclable and does not use rare earth metals, while the capacitor-style cathode enables a lifetime of over 100,000 recharge cycles.