5 Minute EV Charging Closer Than You Think
A brief history of the five minute Electric Vehicle charge.
In March of 2009 Byoungwoo Kang and Gerbrand Ceder of MIT announced a new technology breakthrough for lithium-ion batteries that increased their power density by 100 fold.
Using this technology batteries can charge 100 times faster or release their stored energy at the same higher rates. This potentially makes standard lithium-ion batteries share the same performance traits as supercapacitors.
The MIT technology adds a lithium phosphate glass-like coating that is less than 5nm thick on the surfaces of LiFePO4 crystals, which allows charge to move into and out of storage very rapidly.
The technology when used on small batteries while connected to standard household current a typical mobile phone battery could be charged in approximately 10 seconds. In theory an electric car battery, which is many times larger could be charged in about 5 minutes, however, that would take an amount of current well beyond those found in homes (approximately 180kW). However commercial public EV chargers could still be constructed to make use of this technology.
A homeowner could have a stationary second battery pack charged via a trickle charge during off-peak hours yet still incorporating the same lithium ion crystal technology discovered at MIT that could act not only as a back-up power supply for those times when power is lost to the home, but could also be used to transfer that stored energy to an EV in 5 minutes.
According to Kenneth Burridge (Editor-in-Chief) of EV.com “having electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) and battery storage in the home greatly increases the quality of life of those driving electric cars, but possibly those still at home when the power goes out. It’s like having a battery backup for your desktop computer, but could would function for short periods of time for the entire house and act like a fast and convenient gas station for the family EV on a regular basis.”
In March of 2011 researchers at the University of Illinois have shown proof of concept of technology that changes the nanostructure of a battery to dramatically increase the power density and charging rates says Paul Braun the lead researcher. The team is using a process that involves tiny, self-arranging polystyrene balls, coating, etching, and electropolishing, that increases how porous the batteries electrode material was to electrons. Commercial prototypes are expected within 18 months.
In June of 2011 the Japanese company Energy Use Technology Research K.K. was awarded a patent for a 5 minute EV charger developed by a Mr Kanno. The charger slowly collects energy from the grid but can deliver it like a firehose charging a typical EV in less than one 1/6th the time of the 30 minute Level 3 fast EV chargers, such as Coulomb’s ChargePoint station. Working prototypes of the new Japanese charger should be available from major manufacturers within the next two years.