Korean researchers may have solved a significant issue that makes some consumers hesitant to transition to electric vehicles (EVs). A team from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has developed a sodium-based battery capable of charging in mere seconds, as reported by Techopedia.

This groundbreaking technology could significantly boost the EV industry, making the adoption of electric vehicles more appealing and potentially benefiting both humanity and the planet. Although daily charging isn’t always necessary, lengthy charging times have been a deterrent for many consumers, according to studies by the International Energy Agency and other sources. Extended charging sessions also pose safety concerns, particularly for women. The U.S. Department of Energy noted that from 2020 to 2023, the average time spent at a paid fast-charging station was 42 minutes, often including time spent in nearby stores.

In a press release, KAIST announced that they had created a rapidly charging, high-power sodium battery by developing a hybrid energy storage system. This system uses improved materials in both the anodes and cathodes, enhancing the battery’s power characteristics and allowing for fast-charging cycles similar to those of supercapacitors.

Sodium-based batteries offer another advantage: cost. Sodium is much cheaper and 500 times more abundant than lithium, which is currently used in most EV batteries. As EV prices become more accessible, partly due to legislation like the Inflation Reduction Act, the widespread adoption of sodium-based technology could further reduce the initial investment required for these vehicles.

Replacing gas-powered cars with EVs would significantly improve air quality, reducing respiratory conditions like asthma by eliminating harmful tailpipe emissions. Increased use of EVs would also help mitigate climate change by reducing the emission of heat-trapping gases.

KAIST is not alone in its efforts to enhance EV technology. Chinese automaker IM Motors recently unveiled a solid-state battery that could reduce charging times while increasing vehicle range. Disordered rock salt, related to regular salt, is also being explored for its potential to extend EV ranges.

Although KAIST’s sodium-based battery solution is still in its formative stage, researchers are optimistic about its future applications. “This hybrid sodium-ion energy storage device marks a significant leap forward, overcoming the limitations of current storage solutions,” said Professor Kang Jeong-gu. “It heralds a new era where rapid charging becomes a reality for all electronic devices, including electric vehicles.”

If successful, these advancements could make EVs more enticing and accessible, paving the way for a cleaner, healthier future.

By Impact Lab