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Posted: January 14, 2008
How To Build A Quick-Charging Electric Battery
(Nanowerk News) Forbes carries a story about Altair Nanotechnologies' plans to make batteries that can power an electric car for 150 miles and recharge in the same amount of time it takes to fill up a gas tank and grab a Big Gulp. Although the company lost $17 million during the first nine months of 2007, it was able to raise $40 million from a Dubai investment firm.
"Altair has staked its future on 40-nanometer-size particles of lithium and titanium. It uses the particles to make a coating that covers a battery's anode, an aluminum bar that carries electricity to and from the vehicle's motor. By contrast, most hybrid cars, including Toyota's Prius, use a graphite coating, in conjunction with nickel metal hydride or lithium ion batteries."
The article also mentions that in early January Altair built its first pair of industrial 1-megawatt batteries – each about the size of a freight car – designed to store excess electricity produced at night. The Virginia power utility AES plans to use the mega-batteries to warehouse power for use during peak consumption times.
"Such batteries could help Altair offer 10-minute recharges to the masses. Futuristic filling stations might feature massive batteries below ground, replacing the gasoline storage tanks of today."