A potentially revolutionary technology could help the automotive industry overcome one of the biggest barriers facing the mainstream adoption of EVs.
Researchers at Pennsylvania State University have developed a lithium-ion battery that could see electric vehicle charging times reduced from one hour to 10 minutes.
The new approach, which involves charging the battery at an elevated temperature, could add between 200 to 300 miles of driving range to an electric car.
Reportedly, the rapid charging process also reduces the battery’s exposure time to high temperatures causing potential damage.
This means it could withstand around 2,500 charging cycles, which translates to approximately 500,000 road miles.
Standard lithium-ion batteries would only sustain about 60 charges using Penn State’s method.
“The key is to realise rapid heating; otherwise, the battery will stay at elevated temperatures for too long, causing severe degradation. The 10-minute trend is for the future and is essential for adoption of electric vehicles because it solves the range anxiety problem,” said Chao-Yang Wang, a mechanical engineer at Penn State University, when speaking to The Independent.
The Penn State engineers are now working on reducing the charge time by a further five minutes without damaging the battery.
“This will require highly stable electrolytes and active materials in addition to the self-heating structure we have invented,” Wang noted.
British government pledges EVs to counter emissions
The UK government pledged in 2018, that at least half of all new cars sold in Britain should be low carbon by 2030.
Of all the research areas and potential applications for battery technology, it’s not surprising the government has chosen to focus on automotive.
The global electric vehicle battery market is forecast to see a compound annual growth rate of more than 20%, with zero emission, hybrid and fully electric vehicles estimated to be worth £5bn in the UK and £50bn across Europe within five years.
The proposal, outlined in the Road to Zero Strategy, sets out the government’s plan to increase the amount of zero emission cars, vans and trucks on UK roads.
Britain will also end the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040, as stated in the government’s Air Quality initiative, as part of plans to make the UK world-leading in electric and energy efficient vehicles.