"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.
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.