It wouldn't be a modern Consumer Electronics Show without a flurry of new electric vehicles. And while some of the flashy prototypes might never make it to market, the technology under their hoods could improve electric cars everywhere.
Batteries in modern EV's won't always take you as far as gasoline. And filling a tank takes way less time than charging, even with special hardware to speed up the process.
But Fisker says its newest car will include flexible, solid-state batteries that could deliver more power and range than lithium-ion cells while taking up the same amount of space and taking less time to charge. This would also be useful for just about anything that uses rechargeable batteries, not just vehicles.
For today's lithium-ion cars, AeroVironment is showing off a new charger the company claims will top off more batteries faster.
And Continental is teasing inductive charging — similar to wireless charging for cellphones but scaled up. It could be as efficient as some of today's plug-in standards, providing almost 40 miles of range per hour of charging.
Carmakers are hoping advances like these make the EV market more appealing for U.S. drivers. For all the hype, electric vehicles still make up less than 1 percent of U.S. vehicles.