10 Minutes Charge for 300 Miles Range Possible, Researchers Say

Not long ago, we learned a team of scientists from the Dalhousie University in Canada, backed by Tesla, is working on a battery pack that could last 1 million miles. And given that present-day batteries are expected to last about eight years or 100,000 miles, this should be an enormous leap forward.
Flow of ions in a battery 1 photo
Photo: Chao-Yang Wang Lab, Penn State
But the life expectancy of the battery is, at least for now, the least of the buyers’ worries, as very few of them, the ones who purchased the first generation Nissan Leaf or older Tesla cars, have to face a possible battery/car swap.

What troubles most is the current charging time that, let’s face it, is huge compared to the time it takes to fill a tank with gas. No average was yet made to better illustrate this, but it’s safe to say the amount of time spent by a car plugged in is measured in hours, not minutes.

One of the reasons behind this reality is the temperature involved in charging a lithium-ion battery. To safeguard the battery, present-day technology only allows for charging to be done at a set temperature. Increasing it might significantly reduce the time needed for a fill.

A team of researchers from the Pennsylvania State University, led by Chao-Yang Wang, is apparently working on exactly such an idea.

According to Penn State's official webpage, the team is on the verge of finding a way to avoid increased charging temperatures from damaging the battery components. They do this by raising the value to 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit) for 10 minutes, during which time enough current to get it to cover a distance of about 320 km (200 miles) is pumped in.

The tested procedure showed that the batteries did not get damaged during the process, and they went through some 1,700 cycles without major problems, and even more is possible.

"We demonstrated that we can charge an electrical vehicle in ten minutes for a 200 to 300 mile range," said in a statement Chao-Yang Wang, chair of mechanical engineering at Penn State.

"And we can do this maintaining 2,500 charging cycles, or the equivalent of half a million miles of travel."

It’s not clear at this point how far from implementation this idea is, and not even how it's supposed to work, for that matter.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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