When your country boasts a fairly desolate area called the "Outback" that's about 1,800 miles wide, driving range is paramount. Researchers at Australia's University of Wollongong appear to have that in mind as they develop an electric-vehicle battery that can provide more than twice the single-charge range of a typical lithium ion battery. That may not quite equal 1,800 miles, but it's getting closer.

The school's Institute for Superconducting & Electronic Materials (ISEM) came up with a way to both extend driving range and shorten charging time by using a Germanium-based nanomaterial that can boost energy storage more than fivefold compared to typical lithium-ion batteries, Australia's Illawarra Mercury reports. As a result, an EV battery can be modified to provide about 240 miles of single-charge range while cutting its full recharge time down to a few minutes. This doesn't mean they are just creating a big honking 85-kWh pack like what's in the Tesla Model S (and can already go 300 miles), just so you know.

The University, which is about 50 miles southwest of Sydney, says it's working with DLG Battery Corp. and Redarc Electronics for potential commercialization of such a product.