“Flow” batteries, i.e. batteries filled with a liquid electrolyte that can be pumped out and replenished, have the potential to transform the process of charging an electric vehicle into something that more closely resembles filling it up with gas. This research is still at its earliest stages, but a battery from startup Eos Energy Storage could be drained and refilled with charged electrolyte in three minutes, the company’s CEO told Katie Fehrenbacher of GigaOm.
Before tackling electric cars, though, Eos wants to commercialize its battery technology for grid storage — a potentially ginormous market, considering it would take 80 gigawatts of it to balance an emissions-free power generation system in the United States. Once they’ve sorted out our national power storage problems, then they can move on to revolutionizing electric vehicles.
Eos’s batteries are “Zinc Air,” which means they are made out of common, relatively benign materials, and could last up to 30 years, claims the company. That means your new “fuel tank” could last longer than your car.