Charging an electric car battery can take hours, so it seems somewhat inconvenient compared to a few minutes at a conventional gas station to fill up a tank. Electric cars also have shorter ranges than conventional vehicles. There are a few solutions to these problems, but many of them aren’t quite ready for consumers. Here are a few possible technologies for cars that don’t run on gasoline.
A battery startup called Sakti3 claims its battery could double the range of a Tesla S to nearly 500 miles. However, this battery isn’t commercially available yet, and it’s uncertain whether any electric vehicle would accept a battery from a third party manufacturer. [url]
Supercapacitors could be made into structural parts of a car, storing energy without taking up unnecessary space. The researchers working on these supercapacitors have done some mechanical testing, but it might not be a great idea to store a lot of energy in a part of a car that might experience extreme structural failure in an impact… [url]
One of the problems with using hydrogen as a fuel for vehicles is that it’s hard to store and transfer significant volumes of hydrogen safely and easily. Using ammonia instead might solve some of the problems and offer vehicles that are similar to ones powered by liquid natural gas, but ammonia as a fuel also introduces a few more engineering challenges. (Ahem. A corrosive, toxic gas under pressure might not be too safe for the general public to handle.)