Researchers from the University of Glasgow have developed a new battery that will allow an electric car to charge in seconds. Described as a flow battery system, it revolutionises energy storage, using a nanoscale battery molecule to store electric power or hydrogen gas, and release it on demand as fuel.

A concentrated (pumpable) liquid is made from these nano-molecules, increasing its energy storage capacity by almost 10 times. The energy can be flexibly released in the form of electricity or hydrogen gas based on the requirement.

By allowing electric cars to be charged in seconds – as fast as a normal vehicle filling up – the new innovation is expected to address current energy supply issues. The old battery liquid would be removed at the same time and recharged ready to be used again.

The team behind the innovation include professor Leroy (Lee) Cronin, the University of Glasgow's Regius Chair of Chemistry, and Dr. Mark Symes, senior lecturer in Electrochemistry, also at the University of Glasgow with Dr. Jia Jia Chen, a researcher.

These researchers are confident that their innovation will help develop a new energy storage system that could be used in electric cars as fuel, store renewable energy, and develop electric-to-gas energy systems to meet fuel requirements.

Professor Cronin observes that renewables can be effective only with high capacity, flexible energy storage systems easing out inconsistencies in supply. Additionally, the very high energy density of this material could increase the range of electric cars.