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Graphene-Painted Batteries Could Revolutionize Electric Motorcycles

A team led by two Italian researchers, Vittorio Pellegrini and Bruno Scrosati at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa has reached preliminary results which might bring a new edge in electric mobility. The two say that a new type of battery they’ve been working on could store as much as 25% extra energy and what’s really awesome - it needs only minutes to recharge, instead of hours.
Graphic representation of graphene layers 1 photo
Photo: knowyourmobile.com
The new battery uses graphene, a new material which has opened a wide palette of new opportunities. First isolated in 2004, graphene was proved to be much easier to produce, as the research of Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov at the University of Manchester proved. For their work, the two have won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010.

Pellegrini and Scrosati came up with the idea of expanding the use of graphene by turning it into a sort of paint and thus making it compliant with much more applications in various industries. According to insella, the new technology has already reached its maturity and is ready for implementation to an industrial scale.

The anode elements of the new lithium-based batteries are graphene-treated and are said to provide 25% more energy density than their current “normal” lithium counterparts. Even though the recharging times have not been mentioned, Pellegrini and Scrosati say that their batteries will recharge in “record time”.

(Recharging) time is money

The long recharging time is currently one of the major drawbacks of electric mobility. Electric motorcycles suffer a lot from this, because the small battery weight they can carry also determines the limits of their range. The average recharging time ranging between 4 and 8 hours, at least for motorcycles which are intended to be ridden for more than 15-mile (24 km) commuting. Customers have to carefully plan their trips lest they are forced to spend unwanted time waiting for at least an 80% charge.

If the new graphene battery technology will indeed reduce the recharging time to minutes and preserve the battery life to decent levels, we might get to see the dawn of a new era in electric motorcycling. Faster recharging these bikes would definitely make them much more useable in more scenarios and would make using them for longer trips much easier, provided that the new batteries would arrive on the market with less than sky-high prices.

1 atom-thin layer of carbon

Graphene is often referred to as a 2D (bi-dimensional) material, and is in fact made of pure carbon. It contains a very thin layer of graphite, which is also pure carbon. The layer is 1 carbon atom-thin, and the atoms are grouped in a specific hexagonal pattern. Exceedingly lightweight but at the same time 100 times stronger than steel, graphene has special properties and its interactions with light and other materials are rather odd, with more and more properties and uses being discovered as time passes.

The motorcycling world is definitely going high-tech (even Star Trek) with the use of carbon nanotubes, graphene and 3D-printing.
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