US government researchers have found a way to charge electric car batteries up to 90 percent in just 10 minutes

Once perfected, a new method could charge an electric vehicle’s battery 90 percent within ten minutes, solving an issue sceptics have long had about electric vehicles. Will Pavia discusses latest developments in an article on The Times website.

 

Fully charge your electric car in less than ten minutes

Electric cars could be recharged almost as quickly as a petrol one can be fuelled thanks to a new technique.

Scientists sponsored by the US Department of Energy say that they have designed a super-fast method to replenish the batteries of electric cars in less than ten minutes.

Although it may take years for the technology to reach roadside charging stations, they believe the breakthrough could help to remove a key drawback hampering sales of electric vehicles.

“Fast charging is the key to increasing adoption of electric vehicles,” said Eric Dufek, lead author of the study and head of the energy storage and electric vehicle department at the Idaho National Laboratory. “It would allow vehicle charging to be very similar to filling up at a gas station.”

Ten-minute charging stations could help the US reach a target set by President Biden to have electric or hybrid cars make up more than half of all vehicles sold by 2030, Dufek said.

The slowest technology, using mains electricity, takes 40 to 50 hours to fully charge a car. Faster chargers take 20 minutes to an hour. Tesla says its superchargers give 200 miles of charge in 15 minutes, and it will begin producing equipment to allow the drivers of other types of electric car to use them this year, the White House has said.

Efforts to speed up recharging have been hampered by concerns over the damage that fast charging can cause to batteries. When lithium-ion batteries recharge, lithium ions migrate from one side of the battery to the other. When this is done swiftly, some of the ions fail to migrate, which can cause a build-up of lithium and the failure of the battery.

Developing a method that avoids this damage involved analysing data on how different charging techniques affected different batteries. Dufek and his team used artificial intelligence to predict how batteries would be affected and used their findings to develop protocols for fast charging.

“We’ve significantly increased the amount of energy that can go into a battery cell in a short amount of time,” he said. He added that they had achieved “charge to over 90 per cent in ten minutes” without battery damage.

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