Friday, 01 November 2019 10:47

US researchers say electric vehicle battery can be charged in 10 minutes

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US researchers say electric vehicle battery can be charged in 10 minutes Image by MikesPhotos from Pixabay

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University in the US claim to have developed a means of charging an electric battery in about 10 minutes, removing one of the main fears that owners of electric vehicles are said to have, something called the "range anxiety problem".

"We demonstrated that we can charge an electrical vehicle in 10 minutes for a 200 to 300 mile (321 to 482 km) range," said Chao-Yang Wang, William E. Diefenderfer Chair of mechanical engineering, professor of chemical engineering and professor of materials science and engineering, and director of the Electrochemical Engine Centre at Penn State.

"And we can do this maintaining 2500 charging cycles, or the equivalent of half a million miles of travel."

In a statement, the researchers said lithium-ion batteries tended to degrade when charged at temperatures less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius). At such low temperatures, the lithium deposited in spikes on the surface of the anode rather than the ions getting inserted into the anode.

When batteries were heated above the plating threshold, the higher temperatures meant greater efficiency; however, long exposure to high temperatures would degrade the batteries.

Dr Wang and his team had initially developed their battery to charge in 15 minutes at 50 degrees Fahrehneit.

They then tried out charging at 140 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes and rapidly cooling to the ambient temperature and found that lithium spikes would not form and degradation of the battery would also not take place.

"Fast charging is the key to enabling wide spread introduction of electric vehicles," said Dr Wang. "Taking this battery to the extreme of 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees F) is forbidden in the battery arena. It is too high and considered a danger to the materials and would shorten battery life drastically."

The rapid cooling is accomplished by a system within the electric vehicle. "The 10-minute trend is for the future and is essential for adoption of electric vehicles because it solves the range anxiety problem," said Dr Wang.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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