Everybody is talking about battery-powered cars, but why shouldn’t we able to ride “green” buses or take eco-friendly trains one day, too? And Japan seems to think hard about that question. In cooperation with Nippon’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Kawasaki Heavy Industries has developed a battery suitable for those vehicles that recharges in less than 10 seconds.
The two organizations already developed a similar nickel-hydrogen battery, but the current version takes about 600 seconds for a charge. While the car industry uses lithium-ion batteries, the nickel-hydrogen models don’t contain flammables and are cheaper to use (they are also bigger but are easier to use in larger vehicles). The vehicles are supposed to get quickly charged during stops and don’t need any other power sources than the battery itself.
The prototype batters is said to deliver power even after 1,000 charges and is planned to be commercialized by 2013. Next to buses and streetcars, Kawasaki Heavy hopes for interest from makers of industrial vehicles such as forklifts or cranes.
The picture shows the Swimo, a metal-hydride battery-powered light rail vehicle made by Kawasaki Heavy.
Via Nihon Keizai Shimbun [JP]