Alfa car battery runs on water, lasts a fortnight, comes this year!

alfa batteryI was enjoying Sunday dinner with friends last weekend and electric cars cropped up in the conversation. The problem with them being the need to recharge them en route if you were to take them out for more than a quick urban jaunt. This is set to change thanks to the Alfa battery.

Being able to recharge your car in the space of a few hours is fine but if this is needed partway through your journey then, not so much.

We would all prefer batteries that are faster to recharge but ones that boost their green credentials at the same time are even better.

Fuji Pigment has developed an aluminium-air battery which it has named Alfa. It will charge via water and should be available as soon as spring this year.

The Alfa battery can be filled with salty or non-salty water in order to replenish charge.

The company claims the cells will work…

“for minimum 14 days by refilling salty water or normal water occasionally.”

How often that means isn’t clear but since pretty much any water will work this shouldn’t be hard to manage – unlike trying to find a charging point in a small village in The Dales. Presumably after 14-days it require a full refill and charge.

fuji alfa battery techThe battery capacity for this wonder is theoretically 40 times as large as current lithium-ion batteries. The major problem holding back this battery was corrosion but that has been overcome by placing ceramic and carbonaceous materials between aqueous electrolyte and electrodes.

The aluminium-air battery boasts an impressive 8,100W/kg capacity whereas lithium-ion has 120-200Wh/kg. The big hitter, however, is lithium-air which can pack a mighty 11,400Wh/kg – the thing is, no one is entirely sure when this will be available.

The Alfa aluminium-air batteries are expected to be used in cars soon and the reality of charging your car with water before taking a drive over hundreds of miles on that single charge will be with us.

It looks like the future has actually arrived.