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Now nanotechnologists from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Australia have developed an ultra lightweight supercapacitor that can easily be combined with regular batteries to dramatically boost their power while decreasing their weight - and within five years could eliminate the need for batteries altogether.

"Supercapacitors offer a high power output in a short time, meaning a faster acceleration rate of the car and a charging time of just a few minutes, compared to several hours for a standard electric car battery," said Marco Notarianni, a PhD researcher from QUT who worked on the project, in a press release.

But the potential of these devices goes beyond simply upgrading our current batteries - they could also replace them.