Researchers develop 10-minute charging method

Topline

Pennsylvania State University researchers have discovered a way to cut electric vehicle charging times by more than half, according to a study published Wednesday in Natureas the electric vehicle industry and its advocates desperately try to address concerns about the convenience of vehicles, which is slowing their wider adoption.

Highlights

The authors of the paper wrote that they had found a “record combination of charge time, specific energy gained and lifetime” by adding a thin layer of nickel foil inside the battery to help regulate temperature.

The fast-charging method performed over 2,000 250-mile charge cycles, closely mirroring the range and life cycle of the base model of electric vehicle market leader Tesla.

Tesla Superchargers, the company’s nationwide network of 35,000 high-powered chargers, takes about 20 minutes to reach a range of 250 miles, while charging at home with the company’s $500 Wall Connector or in a traditional outlet would take around six and 100 hours respectively to reach that level, according to the company.

The Air Force, Department of Defense, Department of Energy and the university jointly funded the research, carried out in tandem with startup EC Power at State College, Pennsylvania.

Contra

It takes about two minutes to refuel a gasoline-powered car, five times shorter than even the new method of charging electric vehicles.

Key context

Around 10% of respondents to Deloitte’s 2022 Global Automotive Consumer Study listed longer charging times as their number one issue with driving a battery-powered vehicle. The adoption of electric vehicles has exploded in recent years, accounting for more than 5% of all new car sales in the United States, although only about 1% of all cars on the road are electric. A wave of state and federal policies, building on the lower environmental impact of electric vehicles, are designed to increase the number of electric vehicles on the road, with California announcing in August that it will ban sales of new gas-powered cars from 2035 and the Biden administration committing $7.5 billion to building a nationwide charging network in February.

Further reading

Charging EVs at home overnight may not be the cheapest option for much longer (Forbes)

Biden releases first funds for National Electric Vehicle Charging Network (Forbes)

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