The problem isn't with operating range – after all, internal combustion engines have a limited range as well. It's the extended time required to recharge the batteries, up to several hours versus just a few minutes for a refueling stop, that kills the electric car for many people. That problem, however, could now be solved thanks to researchers at Purdue University. And if the solution is as viable as the report from Futurism suggests, we could be looking at a complete game changer for the world of electric motoring.
The technology is a new kind of flow battery that isn't recharged through electricity, but by removing and replacing the battery's fluid electrolytes. Without getting too technical, as the power runs low, you stop and drain the spent fluid in the battery then refill with charged fluid. The process would be much like stopping to fill up the gas tank, with the only difference being the need to remove the existing fluid first. That could be as simple as a remove-and-replace function using a specially designed electrolyte "gas" pump, giving new life to the batteries in just a few minutes.