Perennial 24 Hours of Le Mans entrant Team TAISAN is aligning itself with Power Japan Plus, makers of the Ryden organic dual-carbon cotton battery to build a fast-charging electric go kart. The goal is to fast track this technology to production vehicles.
Under development for about a decade, the Ryden battery has the same power density as lithium-ion batteries, but recharges 20x faster. Even from a standard 120-volt outlet, charge times for EVs would be reduced drastically. Before this battery hits the road though, Power Japan Plus and Team TAISAN want to make an EV-sized battery pack and management system for a go-kart. The Ryden battery is also supposed to be safe from thermal runaway (AKA “fire”), and part of Team TAISAN’s testing will include racing in high-heat situations.
Established in 1983, this Japanese racing outfit is no stranger to electric vehicles, having won the 2011 All Japan EV-GP series in 2011 with a Tesla Roadster, as well as adapting a Porsche 916 to electric power. Unfortunately, the Roadster’s battery was prone to overheating, a problem they hope the Ryden battery will solve. They’ve also won 13 Japanese national racing championships, making them one of the top teams in the Land of the Rising Sun.
After the go-kart, comes a full-sized race car (I assume), though just which EV will get this new battery is anybody’s guess. Maybe Nissan or Mitsubishi will donate one of their experimental electric race cars? Or maybe another Tesla Roadster? Whatever it is, taking this new battery to the race track is the best way to figure out if it’s ready for the road.
Let’s hope this is the game-changing battery we’ve been waiting for.