Leicester, England – An international consortium of research partners, including those from Canada, are working on a unique type of sustainable zinc-based rechargeable battery for electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids (HEVs).

The project, called PolyZion, has received €2.4 million in funding from the European Union. The researchers are coming together to explore numerous topics, including ionic liquids, conducting plastics, zinc deposition, pulse charging and batteries.

Although the global market for EVs and HEVs is predicted to grow significantly by 2015, current battery technologies are not ready to meet the demand.

“This research involves the development of a new class of fast-rechargeable batteries based on a zinc-plastic system incorporating a novel, inexpensive, environmentally-sustainable solvent,” said Claire Fullarton, a researcher at the University of Leicester. “This approach is necessitated by the problems associated with petrol- and diesel-powered vehicles, such as environmental impact, rising fuel prices, the looming shortage of oil, and the limitations of batteries available for electric vehicles.”

The project is expected to produce a battery device that will have the energy and power density necessary to compete with alternative battery technologies, and will construct prototype units for industry standard testing.

The consortium is made up of partners from Canada, Russia, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Portugal and the United Kingdom.

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