Tech Insight: Are Graphene Batteries Just Around The Corner Or Just Wishful Thinking?

Thanks to Dr Crittenden from OXIS Energy for clarifying some points with an earlier version of this article. Appropriate edits have been made below.

As followers of electric car technology will no doubt be aware, every few weeks another company announces that it has cracked the magic code that will make current battery technology obsolete. But as you delve into these announcements, they are either far from mass production, or are in a state where further research results in world changing promises becoming small incremental improvements in technology. Not only that, but these developments often take many years from announcement to market.

The first example of a battery technology we excitedly read about that ended up being a little further from production than we hoped was Lithium Sulfur. Back in 2013 the UK company OXIS Energy signed an agreement with GP Batteries which, it was hoped, would lead to the mass market production of Lithium Sulfur batteries. Whilst GP Batteries have begun production, they’re certainly not as common as we might think given their potential advantages.

Lithium Sulphur Batteries promise high energy density and a more stable chemistry

Lithium Sulphur Batteries promise high energy density and a more stable chemistry. Image (c) Oxis Energy.

In Li-S batteries, rather than an intercalated lithium compound as one electrode, and lithium metal as the other (as in lithium ion batteries), the chemically complex intercalated lithium electrode is replaced with one made from lithium sulfide. the anode remains Lithium, but the cathode is a Sulfur/Carbon mixture with a polymer binder. Through a process of passivation the Lithium anode develops a protective layer of Lithium Sulfur — and this relatively simple sounding change produces battery cells that are more stable, and potentially vastly more energy dense. Back in 2013, the predicted theoretical maximum energy density for such a chemistry was an astonishing 2.7kWh/kg (which vastly outpaces the current 150Wh/kg-180Wh/kg available from current Lithium-Ion cells used in most electric cars today). But lifespan was a substantial issue – just 500 cycles took you to only 70% of original capacity.

However, as we approach the summer of 2016, we’re still waiting and watching. OXIS Energy has hit an energy density now of 325Wh/kg – still a massive improvement on Li-Ion, and despite evidence it has resolved the lingering lifespan challenge (1500 cycles now only drops the batteries to 80% of original capacity), Li-S batteries aren’t yet in EVs.

Why? Well, back in 2013 our colleagues at Foro Choches Electricos suggested that OXIS Energy had not overcome the inability to rapid-charge this chemistry. Unless rapid charging becomes a reality, Li-S is effectively out of the running for the mainstream EV market. However, excitingly, as part of a European Commission funded project — Advanced Lithium Sulfur Batteries for EVs — a Lithium Sulfur module is being developed and installed in a SEAT Leon which achieves the current norm of 80% charge in 30 minutes. Lithium Sulfur, therefore, remains one to watch. 

But Li-S is by no means the only new exotic battery chemistry, or technological advancement that would transform EV motoring that’s trundled through the news cycle.

So when, in June last year, we covered the preliminary steps of another such development, we did so with substantial caution.  A team of scientists in South Korea, led by Dr. Lu Wu of Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, indicated that they had developed a method for the mass production of graphene supercapactitors. Supercapacitors have long held the dual promise of enabling EVs that charge in minutes, rather than hours, and of overcoming many of the concerns of battery degradation – some of which have been seen in cars such as the early model Nissan LEAF, particularly in challenging climate conditions.

Grabat say that their battery chemistry will drastically decrease charge times

Grabat say that their battery chemistry will drastically decrease charge times. Image (c) Grabat.

Then in October last year, a small Spanish company – Grabat – made the kinds of self-aggrandizing promises that many have dismissed as being the faith of a snake-oil salesman. But given its technology partners, it is a possibility that this snake-oil may have some promise.

It started small – an announcement on its Facebook page that it was working towards obtaining certification and completing manufacturing tests for graphene based batteries, but little other information was forthcoming.

But as time has progressed, the claims have switched from small to seemingly outlandish. A production cost that would be 77% cheaper than equivalent lithium ion batteries; vastly higher energy density – reportedly as much as 1kWh/kg – apparently already achieved; and 80% capacity at 8000 charge cycles. All of this was wrapped up in a remarkably well produced video (in Spanish).

Grabat's TüV report was the subject of some controversy

Grabat’s TüV report was the subject of some controversy

Then came the fall – with the Spanish newspaper El Confidencial suggesting that Grabat had deliberately mislead people by posting the first page of a TüV report on this new battery technology and suggesting instead that it was a certification.

The claims of having completed certification were later retracted by Martin Martinez, CEO and founder of Graphenano, who claimed that the high expense of obtaining certification had prevented the company from obtaining final certificates, and suggested that certification institutes lack the standards required to test their batteries, but reiterated that the tests indicated that 1kWh/kg is the energy density of Grabat’s graphene cells.

It may seem outlandish that it will be able to meet its claim of producing 80 million cells per year at their factory by October this year. Certainly the balance of these claims means that they should be considered with the hefty pinch of salt that one would take any alleged similarly dramatic enhancements in battery technology. However with several automakers apparently in talks, or actively working with Grabat, the Chinese transmission and distribution giant Chint paying 18 million euro for a 10% share in Grabat, and public statements of working with Airbus, perhaps it pays not to dismiss these seemingly outlandishh claims out of hand.

Grabat themselves stated to El Mundo that they are working with automotive manufacturers who are assisting with the homologation process for their batteries with the intention of introducing them in 2017 model lines, which if true, would be a truly remarkable rate of transition both for Grabat and for the EV market. But as yet, the enigmatic company have not responded to our queries about their production schedule or technical specifications.

Grabat suggest that the current energy density of their battery chemistry is far ahead of the competition

Grabat suggest that the current energy density of their battery chemistry is far ahead of the competition. Image (c) Grabat.

If Grabat’s new Graphene cells  manage to fulfil even one half of its claims, then it will certainly be a fascinating company to watch, and truly transformative for the EV market. But we at Transport Evolved won’t be holding our breath for Graphene battery’d EVs just yet.


Want to keep up with the latest news in evolving transport? Don’t forget to follow Transport Evolved on Twitter, like us on Facebook and G+, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

You can also support us directly as a monthly supporting member by visiting

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInDigg thisShare on RedditEmail this to someonePin on Pinterest

Related News

  • UCannotStopMe

    I don’t really think it’s fair to make unqualified statements like this one:

    “Unless rapid charging becomes a reality, Li-S is effectively out of the running for the mainstream EV market.”

    Considering the data you presented, Li-S is essentially twice as energy dense as Lithium ion, rendering two other questions critical before rapid charging is even considered. Here’s why:

    Double energy density yields twice the range of current EVs, which puts them directly in the sweet spot for general use–regardless of charging speed (within reason.) The salient factor becomes cost. Both cost to produce and cost to recycle spent batteries.

    Consider the case of the Model 3. Fit with a Li-S battery with 2x capacity for equal cost, you end with a $35k EV with a range of 430 miles.

    Who cares whether you have to charge it overnight, and moreover, who cares whether it only has 1500 cycles (what’s that, 250k miles?) ?

    Further, demand has been proven for a $35k EV at 215 miles range, expected to have a pack cost on the order of $10k. A comparable Li-S car (*with 80% life @1500 cycles) would then cost $30k and demand can reasonably be expected to be much higher. 1500 cycles of a 215 mile range battery–especially a “slow charge” battery–would very reasonably end significantly over 100k miles. That’s eight years of driving and that would buy a lot of time for further R & D. Plus, the additional $5k would at least buy an equivalent battery at year X+8, and thus the factor that matters is again COST. It means 3000 cycles to 80% can be obtained potentially for the same price as Q cycles to 80% for a Li-ion.

    Ramp up of electrification depends largely on production capacities and charging infrastructure, but increasing significantly the range of EVs drops the latter away as primary factor as it makes home charging a much more compelling option. It’s a hell of a lot easier on the grid to take advantage of trough power, too.

    What we need to do, in my view, is look for the positive points of new developments. We need to spend our energy figuring out how they CAN work rather than how they won’t based on our current paradigms.

    • Surya

      While longer range is nice, I wouldn’t want an EV without fast charging. I can charge slowly at home 98% of the time, but in those other 2% I wouldn’t want to be without fast charge capabilities at all. I wouldn’t consider any EV without that function.

      • Brian Kent

        I appreciate the reply, Surya, but again it has all to do with parameters. You’re hearing “fast charging” and there are absolutely no parameters set on what that means. As a consequence, I find it hard to accept your statement–even though it’s solely up to you whether you’d “consider any EV without that function.” It’s an entirely arbitrary statement. You wouldn’t even CONSIDER an EV with 400 (or 500, or 1000) miles range if it could only be charged at a rate of 25 miles per hour? You’re free to decide that, of course, but my bet is that the majority of people–who drive an average of far less than 100 miles a day and who would easily be able to handle 400 miles of driving with any such car–disagree with you. Virtually all would consider one, and moreover, since price is ultimately the main consideration for most, most would also buy one.

        Frankly, a great limiter on the electrification process is universal statements by people who hold fringe opinions, or opinions poorly supported by the data. Your comment below is yet another indication. It suggests new batteries must be lighter, cheaper, and faster to charge to have a chance to succeed Lithium ion, and that’s patently not the case. Any combination of factors which leads to a significantly more dominant value equation will ultimately exceed Lithium.

        Keep in mind that with existing batteries, charge rate is dependent (in part) on battery capacity. Significantly larger battery capacities may well lead to faster charging speeds, at least as it comes to level 2 charging. Again, nailing down what “fast charging” even means makes all the difference to the discussion.

        • Surya

          Well, no, I didn’t specify what counts as fastcharging, but I think most people understand that that is the speed that is required to take a current generation almost 100-mile EV to charge in about 30 minutes to 80%. So 50kW DC or 43kW AC. Which is why I wouldn’t buy the ZOE R240, and am glad to have a Q210 version.

          And when traveling with your EV – which I have done – charge time is an important factor. Having to charge less because of greater range is great of course, but if I had to charge twice as long to get the same range, I wouldn’t want to use my EV for travel. With the current charging speed it’s fine, though not optimal.

          So no, having 500 miles wouldn’t be good enough for me if it would take hours to charge it, as sometimes when traveling you need to drive more than that. I have done close to 500 miles in one day with my ZOE, thanks to charges that last at most 36 minutes to 99%!

          • Brian Kent

            You’re talking about a fringe view, and unfortunately you’re also talking to a person who knows Nissan’s chief product very well, and can call BS about “at most 36 minutes to 99%.” I’ve sampled the chargers. I know that power scaleback can begin as early as 75% and I’ve taken photos of output dropping to less than 20 AMPs long before you reach the 99% you’re talking about. 36 minutes to 99% is optimistic, and can hardly be relied on as an average.

            I drove a 2013 Leaf 650 miles in a day using the referenced fast charging, and have also driven 500-560 miles three times, with countless 300-400 mile days. Fast charging is great, but it is far from critical. The majority of people are still clinging to the old paradigm (“I have to be able to fill up fast.”) It’s plainly not true, and it’s entirely inconsistent with the driving parameters of the real public (drive 5% of the time, sit the car in the driveway 95% of the time.)

            Your statements, in any case, are not internally consistent. Driving 500 miles in your ZOE (range ~ 150 miles) absolutely REQUIRES at the very least your 36 minutes x 2.3 = 82 minutes. Not willing to consider a car which allows you to drive 500 miles WITHOUT that 82 minutes of charging but willing to consider one that does require it?

            Your math leads to a 500 mile trip which takes–in your car–
            19.5% longer to 200 miles
            10.0% longer to 300 miles
            12.0% longer to 400 miles
            13.8% longer to 500 miles

            …and only begins saving you time when you drive at least 550 miles in a day (the crossover point.)

            You *do* save a significant amount of time once you’re driving over 600 miles. It takes
            15.9% longer in the referenced 500 mile (25 miles/hr charging) car
            35.8% longer to drive 700 miles
            50.5% longer to drive 800 miles
            61.9% longer to drive 900 miles
            70.9% longer to drive 1000 miles.

            This is of course provided you want to drive it as fast as you possibly can without breaks.

            Incidentally, it also requires–in your case–charging stations which cost roughly 5 times as much, precisely perfect placement of those fast chargers to fit your route, getting 150 miles range *every time* with a car that gets 149 estimated on a charge, always having access to the charger as soon as you arrive, and driving at a nominal 50 mph to ensure your charge lasts to the next station (and copious “range anxiety” to boot.)

            With the 500 mile reference car, you could theoretically drive 50% faster (75 mph) and use twice as much charge en route. That would allow you to arrive on
            a 150 mile drive 50% faster than your ZOE
            a 200 mile drive 79.3% faster than your ZOE
            and a
            300 mile drive 65% faster than your ZOE.

            Again, driving your purchasing considerations emotionally versus mathematically is what people generally do until there is general understanding of the alternative. It’s about the paradigm shifting. Personally, I don’t want electrification to have to wait on the slow expansion of extremely expensive and often unreliable DC fast charging stations. The other factors it appears you aren’t considering are the “devils in the details.” Sure, in a perfect world EV charging would be “just like gassing up.” But the world is not perfect, and it will quickly progress to a stage where it’s less than desirable if people don’t begin accepting math versus misconceptions as the primary driving forces of their purchasing behaviors–which ultimately leads to change in our overall economy.

          • Surya

            I have a ZOE. I have charged it to 99% many times. The longest it ever took was 36 minutes. I have done it next to a Leaf. The Leaf takes much longer than the ZOE. The ZOE simply doesn’t slow down nearly as much. I don’t pull stuff out of my ass, I’m telling you the facts as I experience them in my life.

            And I’m not comparing driving my car 500 miles with a car that can do 500 miles. I’m comparing it doing more than 500 miles with a car that can do that but takes hours to recharge. I’d rather take a 20 minute break each hour than one hour long break. Just not practical.

            This is not emotional, I’m speaking from my experience with my EV. If I can find an EV that can do 500 miles and can charge at at least the same speed, I’d be happy to make the switch.

          • Brian Kent

            I appreciate your input, and I’m not suggesting you’re “pulling stuff out of your ass.” What I am saying is that you’re making projections based on optimistic figures which are on the fringe. I realize that it’s a distinct possibility that the EVs which exist, right now, are *in an extremely difficult to contrive metric* better than the reference car for a small fraction of the population. I’m arguing that the metric you’re regarding as most critical to you is far outside normal, and plainly inconsistent with what we know about the driving behaviors of the general population.

            It makes no sense to me why you seem to be viewing what I’ve said here as a personal attack, because it isn’t one. What I’m saying is that your viewpoint is inconsistent with the data and likely with the majority.

            My argument is pertinent to the industry direction, and what we can expect from it. Serving the needs of the general public is as suitably done with EVs with effectively infinite range which charge “less than super fast” as it is with gas cars that fuel up instantly. There is no counterargument, that is a fact. The components to the equation involve costs that customers don’t see. Have we solved the issue of how to expand “fast” chargers yet? Have we solved their reliability issues yet? No and no. Have you always arrived at a charging station and found it available and ready for your use? Have you never once experienced a charger that refused to accept your card, or in some other way delayed the “36 minute” process you claimed? I doubt it, and even if you did, there are other time costs, such as getting to the station, and the certainty that stations are not always going to be optimally placed with respect to your route.

            When the reference car reaches 1000 miles, your cognitive dissonance must necessarily increase to force the requirement of fast charging. At some point, you’ll ultimately have to accept that unless something drastic changes about our economy, having charging speed exceed charge depletion rate by more than roughly an order of magnitude is not necessary. When cars begin to be used differently (as they certainly will) it might be that your argument comes into greater play. Certainly when carsharing, autonomy and the use of reliable electrics which easily handle 50, 60, 70% uptimes versus charge times become the norm “fast” charging will matter. Right now it matters primarily because range is a significant factor.

          • Jamison Bonham

            You are full of crap. It takes over an hour to charge to 80%.

          • Surya

            Thanks for being so nice.
            Bug I own a ZOE Q210. That car can charge at 43kW. With a 21kWh battery, that only takes a bit more than 30 minutes
            If you have a ZOE R240 that can only charge at 22kW, or the new one with 41kWh battery it will take about twice as long.

            I’m not full of crap, you didn’t inform yourself.

            Oh, by the way, when I posted this reply, the 41kWh battery wasn’t even on the market yet.

          • “The majority of people are still clinging to the old paradigm (“I have to be able to fill up fast.”) It’s plainly not true, and it’s entirely inconsistent with the driving parameters of the real public (drive 5% of the time, sit the car in the driveway 95% of the time.)”

            Oh please, spare me the ‘on average people drive only x miles per day etc etc.’ stuff. People do not live perfectly average days. Some days they don’t drive, other days they drive a lot. And yes, that averages out to your useless statistic.

            A car means the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want and that is not some old paradigm, it is the raison d’être of the automobile. If you can’t go further on a single day than the range of your battery (because when it is empty you have to wait around for a few hours or even a whole night to charge), that is not freedom.

            If you would follow the EV scene a bit, you’d know that every EV owner thinks fast charging is essential, and that includes Tesla owners who have a >250 mile range. If you go to a holiday destination that is 600-800 miles away, that is what most people would do in a single day. If an EV can not do that, I can tell you that very little people will want it. You’re taking fringe view here.

            If may be that it is an old paradigm, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still very true today.


            And then there is a whole other approach to fast charging. When you say “sit the car in the driveway 95% of the time” it only shows how out-of-touch you are with reality. The majority of the world population have no driveway. They have only on street parking available. Bart Lubbers, CEO of Fastned, is adament that these people will be served better and cheaper with (ultra) fast charging. Since the cost to build slow chargers (‘trickle chargers’ he calls them) nearly everywhere is very high. And this costly infrastructure is also very often used very inefficiently because cars stay parked for hours after their battery has been filled.

          • Brian Kent

            “If you would follow the EV scene a bit.”

            That statement shows how terribly out of touch YOU are. You cling to the old paradigms, and your cognitive dissonance is astonishing. You not only ignore the data, but you do so both proudly and loudly.

            You obviously support the electrification process, and it’s for that sole reason that I don’t waste any more efforts skewering your nonlogic.

          • Brian Kent

            What’s comical is you call yourself an electrification advocate and then at the same time alternately ignore data and misuse it–whatever you need to do to support a notion that is FALSE and will remain FALSE no matter how many times you repeat it. This is cognitive dissonance, you are out of touch with reality.

            Robust L2 charging and batteries which can yield 500 or even 1000 miles range beats fast speed charging and 200 mile range cars hands down. Make an apples to apples comparison for God’s sake! L2’s can be placed for roughly an eighth of the cost of L3’s, and the clear majority use L2’s for most of their charging. L2’s are not just far cheaper but far more reliable and satisfactory for the VAST MAJORITY–which becomes unanimous just as soon as range peaks to 800 or 1000 miles. Well, at least if you’re not operating a cab company which requires the vehicle to be in motion 20 out of 24 hours every single day.

            Zan Dubin-Scott emphasizes the necessity of home charging, and that will essentially never be your definition of fast speed charging–at least not until it is far too late to save the planet from 6 degrees of warming.

            Your goal is expanding electrification, right? Why fight the converted? Why vehemently argue statements which are plainly false? The assertion given was purely hypothetical:

            “…at the point range exceeds 500 or 800 miles, fast speed charging becomes irrelevant.”

            It does. A handful of voices amongst the 7 billion in the world who feel entitled to be able to drive “as much as they want with no delays” are NOT relevant. Most especially not when their logic is driven by misconceptions rooted in emotionality.

    • “Who cares whether you have to charge it overnight”

      Most people except a few exceptions. If you want to drive to a holiday destination, 400 miles of range doesn’t cut it for many people. And having to stay a night in a hotel if you want to go, say, 600 miles, because your car can’t fast charge is not acceptable for most people. And then you’re limited to choosing a hotel that has a charger.

      Yes, fast charging (80% in 30 min) is absolutely essential for any EV, even if it has a very long range.

      • Brian Kent

        Repeating a false statement does not make it true. The perspective you offer here is patently false, and misinformation continues to be the main force acting against the expansion of electrification.

        “fast charging (80% in 30 min)” is NOT essential, as stated it matters a great deal the range of the car. If for no other reason than WHAT 80% MEANS DEPENDS ON THE RANGE!

        There’s obviously no requirement that charging speed be variable, that is FALSE.

        What is true is that ~1% of people ALREADY accept EVs and the majority of them clearly do NOT do it as a result of fast speed charging WHICH DOESN’T EVEN EXIST ON THE MAJORITY OF THE EVs WHICH HAVE BEEN SOLD.

        These people accept EVs in part because they’re cheaper to operate and maintain. Many do so without a care in the world that they supposedly cannot “roadtrip” (which, incidentally is another false statement.) These people are making a significant difference to the spectre of global warming, and it’s an insult to all of them to say that the difference they’re making is insignificant–which is absolutely what you’re saying by applying the logic you have here.

        Offering up this FALSE requirement as true suggests to people who might consider an EV that an evaluation of DC fast charging infrastructure is important prior to purchase, when in reality it makes virtually no difference in all but the most extreme cases.

        Your argument is equivalent to saying, “You absolutely must only ever buy a pickup truck, because once in a while you might want to haul something from Home Depot.”

        Is it true that batteries that allow EVs 1000 miles of range render fast speed charging unnecessary? Yes, it is. Is this the main point of the discussion? Yes, it is. By following the exhausting challenges which plague the expansion of EV infrastructure, you would realize why all of this matters so much:

        Level 2 stations–which can potentially offer up to 80 miles range per hour–are MUCH cheaper and easier to install and maintain than DC fast chargers. Such chargers cover greater than 99.9% of uses. This majority matters–in fact it’s critical to an problem we’re facing.

      • Alta Satt

        Not everyone drive to their holidays. And not everyone take a holiday every week. If you make your 700+ mile holiday drive once or twice a year, it seems a pity that that should keep you from getting a car that’s more suitable for the rest of the 300+ days of the year.

        Wouldn’t it be better to rent a car for those two occasions? I very rarely drive my petrol powered car on my holidays. It does not fit on the plane, and when the holiday trip is closer, I prefer to take the train or bus. Not everybody loves driving. Some would like to avoid it as much as possible. They are the ones who couldn’t wait for the self driving car to get here.

  • KIMS

    Wonder if Tesla is poised to transition nimbly enough to new battery technologies or if their Panasonic partnership at the Gigafactory locks them out completely from adopting new technology at scale? -If the new graphene supercapactitors is as close to mass production as the sources would want you to believe, then the worst case fall-out would be that it would start a chain of events that would collapse Tesla before it got to truly shine. Best case, Tesla and Panasonic have contingencies where they shunt parts of manufacturing to take advantage of new technology while at the same time making use of already made investments. For example by producing li-ion for other or complementary uses. Maybe it would even make sense to have e.g. early models with a 10-20kWh super capacitor combined with a li-ion battery due to gigafactory commitments to li-ion mines, Panasonic, etc.

    • Brian Kent

      This is not likely to be an game-breaking issue for Tesla, though it stands as being a critical development in the downfall of the legacy manufacturers. Consider:

      Legacy manufacturers (all of them) are FAR from being ready for the electrification process to get up to speed. ALL of them rely on internal combustion engines for over 90% of their respective “meal tickets.” You’re looking at a situation not entirely different than the collapse of the big banks in the 2008 financial crisis. They’re “too big to fail”–i.e. they employ too many people and the economy relies a great deal on their performance and ability to encourage oil to flow.

      The general public will hardly be willing to bail out the majority of the automakers (*AGAIN*) particularly when only Tesla has finished paying back their loan. Who wants to be working on gas-powered engine parts and drivetrains when a miracle breakthrough happens to power cars with electricity? No one does, but who plans their work day around it? No one in the obsolete ICE industry, that’s for sure. It’s the public’s problem to sort it out, and paternalistic HIllary Clinton will undoubtedly use this as another self-aggrandizing moment which conveniently doubles as an opportunity to further ingratiate herself to big money interests, fossil fuel among them. (And Trump would be as bad or worse.)

      You won’t have graphene supercapacitors in phones for a while and there are more than enough (too many, really) other uses for the batteries Tesla is prepared to build anyway. Is Tesla–one of the most forward-thinking companies on the planet whose CEO is one of the most brilliant minds we’ll ever see–overly concerned about graphene supercapacitors? No. However, there are literally countless people trying to make a fast buck short selling Tesla, and this is another (unrealistic, in my view) reason to be bearish on the company.

      • KIMS

        Full disclosure: I’m ‘long’ or whatever the term is on Tesla stocks at a small personal investing scale of things. I’m just happy that my average purchase price of my Tesla stocks was ‘only’ $174 per share..

        In all the healthy ways, Elon Musk is my idol, hero and inspiration!

        -The ‘danger’, if any, that I was talking about, is if some complete technological revolution came out of nowhere and caught everyone completely off guard. If they can deliver 80 million units of these super capacitors in 2017 at near the spec’s they are talking about, I would argue that would be such a technological revolution. In a handful of years, the whole bottom would fall out from under traditional li-ion related industries from mining to manufacturing and companies that are unable to adapt quickly enough will succumb through loss of competitive edge, price and inertia. It would be a total game changer across all industries really, from cellphones, wearables, energy harvesting (with such super capacitors at a tiny scale, you would be able to collect static electricity or any number of tiny energy sources and slowly build it up in a super-cap), grid storage, emergency backup, home ups, laptops, tablets, EV’s, the list just goes on and on… On the other hand, such sweeping revolutions don’t happen much at all for many reasons.. and I’m extremely skeptical to these claims.. even just manufacturing graphene cheaply at volume is something that AFAIK has yet to be solved, and here is this tiny company claiming that not only do they have working super capacitors, but they also can produce in the millions by next year? -Very unlikely… but not entirely impossible either. 🙂

        If anyone would be able to adapt and re-act in an agile manner, it would be companies with CEO’s such as Elon, but bail-outs or not, certain cataclysmic events cannot readily be averted by politicians throwing money at it any way.

  • Surya

    This shows – once more – how hard making a better battery for EVs. Every new batter must be as light or lighter, as energy dense or more energy dense, as cheap or cheaper and have the same or better power capabilities – that includes chargetimes – all while keeping or improving cycle life. Really, really hard.

    • vdiv

      I’d argue that the current crop of li-Ion cells are good enough as demonstrated in the past few years and though improvements in price and density would be great they are not that critical for the success of the EV. As you argue fast-charging and charging infrastructure become more important. Regardless of the range at some point one needs to pull over and charge.

      • Surya

        Sure, I’m quite happy with the current state and evolution, but improvements are always welcome. Let’s go further faster at a lower price if we can 🙂