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Breakthrough allows charging to be just a 10 minute affair

2w ago


One of the primary reasons we're so reluctant to use electric vehicles is due to the never-ending charging times. In contrast to petrol which takes a couple of minutes, a charging station takes hours to fill up half the juice. At a time when people get agitated if a webpage doesn't load up quickly enough, carmakers want us to wait an eternity, every time we want to head out for a long drive? Fortunately, not for long. Pun intended.

A technological breakthrough has prompted scientists to claim the charging time required to procure 200 miles, or 320kms of range can get reduced to just 10 minutes. Writing in a journal Joule, researchers at the Pennsylvania State University stated the possibility of adding 400 kilowatts of energy to a car battery within that time frame.

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Although that sounds pretty amazing, the execution isn't the same. Introducing these methods to the current bunch of our EV batteries might damage it. Hence, researchers have found a workaround for this. The battery's temperature had to be raised to 60 degree Celsius while receiving the charge and then subsequently lowered while it was getting utilised, to sustain the battery pack's long life cycle.

Senior author Chao-Yang Wang, a mechanical engineer at The Pennsylvania State University, explained this process. He mentioned that by doing the above, we could "limit the battery's exposure to the elevated charge temperature, thus generating a very long cycle life."

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The reason our current crop of electric vehicles can't achieve the same feat is battery life. Introducing such high volts of energy at an equally rapid pace can cause lithium plating or the formation of metallic lithium around the anode. If this happens, the risk of these batteries getting damaged is immense.

Moreover, the electric cars are all made up of batteries residing on the car floor. Users can't just take out batteries and replace them with new ones, as in case of AAs. The process here is much more complicated than that. In fact, once these batteries go defunct, the possibility of that car getting scrapped remains high.

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While this may seem like a viable alternative to our traditional splash-and-dash method, certain researchers still believe we're years away from making it feasible. It is the onus of carmakers to ensure charging these batteries at such high temperatures is safe and stable, and it won't lead to explosions. Rick Sachleben, a member of the American Chemical Society even told AFP that scaling up such a design and bringing it to the market may take a decade.

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Comments (17)
  • Thanks for article on electric cars

    Some thoughts:

    -For Britain to go all-electric it would take 2x world’s supply lithium + 50% world’s supply copper (Drivetribe)

    -Electric cars need power stations - Britain still dependent on 50% fossil greenhouse emission power stations, so electric car emissions merely displaced somewhere else—

    -Bosch exhaust train diesel tech can reduce NOx emissions by 90% but not taken up by industry (Daily Express)

    -Electric seen as more profitable by the industry? Electric cars need dismantling/remanufacture after 100,000 miles; 2013 VW 1.9 turbodiesel good for 250,000 miles + still going

    -Compressed-air cars recently prototyped: 200 miles on one charge; 2 minute charge time; adequate performance

    -“Free” public transport for all, paid from corporate tax-haven taxation - would discourage car use + even car ownership, without heavy- handed ULEZ tax; reduce congestion, emissions, parking problems, new road building....

    -If we voluntarily reduced the U.K. population to 25% of present levels (Birth-rate falling naturally already; reduce immigration to a minimum) we could all drive around in 6 litre petrol V8’s without damaging the climate of the planet, there would be no more need to build massive housing estates on our beautiful countryside that we drive out to see, and the place would be a lot more comfortable for us all to live in - kind of thing!


    14 days ago
    6 Bumps
    • Hello,Charlie Browne. You seem to be the victim of misinformation. Some of the information you have here is either wrong or very misleading.

      Lithium is one of the more abundant...

      Read more
      13 days ago
      7 Bumps
    • The small scale research showed that the batteries with this heating technology can take 2500 recharge cycles, which is equivalent to 750,000 kilometres of driving (New...

      Read more
      13 days ago
      3 Bumps
  • Er... first off - most people that drive EVs today charge at home every other night and have zero problems with range, even with tiny batteried Nissan Leafs.

    The focus on fast charging is largely a distraction. New EVs today usually support 100kW fast charging, while most UK Motorway services only provide 50kW. This still means 40 minutes to get 80% range back. I e if you stop for lunch on your road trip you’re set until the next time nature calls.

    Yes, the UK fast charge network in motorway services is woefully unmaintained and underpowered (for shame, Electric Highway), but Ionity is establishing themselves with 350kW chargers across the country. Only the Taycan comes close to accepting charge at that speed. Again it’s a distraction.

    The whole thing about pre-heating batteries - Tesla and the Taycan (at least, probably more cars - I just can’t be bothered to google to verify) already thermally manage their batteries to enable fast charging and to increase longevity of the battery packs.

    You might not _like_ EVs because they are not real cars but the practicality of them has improved drastically, mostly thanks to Tesla that despite not even knowing anything about modern manufacturing or production engineering has forced the state of the industry forward, especially around what kind of charging speed and range is socially acceptable.

    11 days ago
    1 Bump