What is perceived as the main barrier to seeing an electric vehicle (EV) in every driveway? Simple: a range that's too short and charging times that are too long. Now, what if a battery technology was developed that would allow you could drive for 500 miles straight and then recharge the battery in 10 minutes? Exactly. There would be a lot wailing and gnashing of teeth by those who just sank billions into tar sand projects and pipelines.
In the coming decades, hybrids, and maybe even all-electric vehicles, may cruise without batteries. Instead, the energy in these vehicles of the future will be stored in a supercapacitor which could be recharged in minutes, possibly seconds. We've heard of the potential of supercaps (and ultracapacitors) before, but researchers have just announced they've overcome an obstacle to this device development. In the lab, they have developed supercaps with an energy density equivalent to that found in