A 'game-changing' new battery for electric vehicles (EVs) that charges in three minutes and lasts for 20 years could soon be coming to new cars.
Adden Energy, a start-up based in Waltham, Massachusetts, has been granted a licence and $5.15 million in funding to build the battery design at scale to fit in EVs.
The battery, developed by Harvard scientists, is lithium metal, rather than lithium-ion found in EVs that are already on the market.
Its intricate design, inspired by a BLT sandwich, prevents the growth of troublesome 'dendrites' that grow in lithium-metal batteries and shorten their lifespan.
Currently, EVs contain lithium-ion batteries that degrade over time and last up to around seven years, depending on how much they're used – much like a smartphone battery.
These lithium-ion batteries can be replaced, but they can cost thousands of pounds, meaning drivers are often better off buying a whole new EV.
But this new solid-state, lithium-metal battery can increase the lifetime of EVs to a comparable length to petrol and diesel cars – up to 20 years – without the need to ever replace the battery during this time.
In the lab, the team's battery prototype has achieved battery charge rates as fast as three minutes with over 10,000 cycles in a lifetime.
The new technology has been created by Xin Li and colleagues at Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS).
Adden Energy was co-founded in 2021 by Li, along with William Fitzhugh and Luhan Ye, both of whom contributed to the development of the technology as graduate students in Li's Harvard lab.