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Electric cars: supercharge setting could fill batteries 90% in 10 minutes

A tweak to the way electric cars are charged could allow them to get 90 percent of the battery out of the blue in just 10 minutes. A standard approach would take half an hour.

Technology


23 Aug 2022

Typically, electric cars charge slowly at first before ramping up the power.

Shutterstock/buffaloboy

Adjusting the way electric vehicle batteries are charged could make it possible to reach 90 percent charge in just 10 minutes from emptying. By comparison, current methods typically require half an hour to fully charge an electric vehicle.

A standard charging protocol typically starts with low power and ramps up, but then starts to reduce power again at 60 or 70 percent of battery charge to avoid unnecessary stress on the battery, he says. gil such at the University of California, Davis, who was not involved in the study. “What [these researchers] What we are trying to do is optimize this curve to get more time with more power,” says Tal.

eric duffek at Idaho National Laboratory and colleagues implemented artificial intelligence algorithms to look at how changing factors, such as current and voltage, affect battery aging over time. “You can do things like increase the voltage or sequentially decrease the voltage or current aspect,” says Dufek.

Using computer models and verifying the results on real batteries, the team devised a new charging protocol that can charge a standard electric vehicle battery from zero to 90 percent in 10 minutes, while protecting long-term battery health.

Fast charging and battery health is a balancing act, says feng lin at Virginia Tech, not involved with work. He compares it to people pushing their way through a door. “If all 100 people run into the room, we’re going to be stuck and not get as many people into the room in that short amount of time, so you’re going to get less capacity with fast charging. There is also a chance that when you rush so many people into a room, the door will break, so the battery materials may be damaged.”

Much of what has been learned so far about the improved protocol will be applicable to many of the different battery types used in electric vehicles, because the basic chemistry underlying lithium batteries is the same, Dufek says. But each company would still need to adjust the protocol based on their specific battery pack designs.

The protocol could be implemented by updating the software in cars that controls electric vehicle charging. “What makes it really cool is that it’s a free upgrade,” says Tal. “With the existing infrastructure and the existing technology, you can get some improvements.”

But even the most optimized charging protocols won’t be the main factor enabling extremely fast charging for most vehicles, says Tal. He expects the biggest improvements in vehicle charging times to come from new battery chemistries, larger battery designs and faster charging station technology, along with car companies improving their pack designs. of batteries.

The work was presented at the american chemical society Fall 2022 meeting in August.

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