Graphene-Based Supercapacitors To Power Our EVs?

Researchers at UCLA made a discovery that could change how EVs and other battery-based electronics could be powered in the near future.

In this short clip, graphene, already a well known substance, was being put through the phases to be produced in large quantities and for a low cost.

During this process it was discovered that graphene can hold a charge similar to a battery. A small piece of graphene, when charged for 2 to 3 seconds, powered a small light for upwards of 5 minutes.

By developing a supercapacitor made with graphene, one could theoretically charge a consumer electronic device in a fraction of the time it currently takes.

Apple, Samsung, GM, Toyota and other companies that look for innovative ways to power their products, it is being said, will inevitably investigate the possibility of using graphene.

While this product has interesting potential, sourcing it could become harder. As companies look to expand into the potential of graphene, more graphite will need to be mined.

The closure of graphite mines in China, which produces 75 percent of the world’s graphite, has resulted in a fall in global graphite production to 1.3 million tons per annum in 2011. Like rare earths, China is restricting the export of graphite to protect its own domestic industries.

The second-largest producer is India, followed by Brazil, North Korea, Austria and Canada.

The video shown here is part of General Electric Focus Forward, a new series of 30 three-minute stories about innovative people who are reshaping the world through act or invention, directed by some of the world’s most celebrated documentary filmmakers.

The Super Supercapacitor is a finalist in the $200,000 Focus Forward Filmmaker Competition and is in the running to become the $100,000 Grand Prize Winner.

Whether they win or not, let’s hope the potential of this technology will come to fruition sooner than later. We can all dream of charging our EV in a couple of minutes, can’t we?