[Image for illustration purposes only. -Ed.]
By David Ponce
Those are some big claims for EEStor, a very secretive company in Cedar Park, Texas. They claim to be working on an electrical storage device that they’re reluctant to call a battery, for the simple reason that it does not use a chemical reaction to store the energy. Instead, it is rumored the device is made of a ceramic powder coated with aluminum oxide and glass, and would indeed take five minutes to charge, as opposed to hours, as it is now with batteries. Such behavior is sometimes described as being an Ultracapacitor. A car powered by such an engine would have a range of 500 miles, on a 5-minute charge that would usually amount to $9 of electricity. $9 for 500 miles works out to about 45 cents a gallon.
Unlike its battery counterparts, this device could charge and discharge hundreds of thousands of times. Also unlike regular electric cars, it would be able to power a car in such a way as to make a four passenger sedan drive like a Ferrari. An engine made from EEStor’s “batteries” would cost approximately $5,200 which is a premium over conventional engines, but the company expects people will realize that the premium can be quickly offset from the expected savings.
There is no word on when exactly this technology will be commercialized, though 2008 seems to be a target.