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Porsche’s Quest to Build the Perfect EV Battery

The first all-electric vehicle manufactured by the German carmaker made its way to the streets this year, and apart from the beautiful exterior design, drivers were treated to a high-capacity battery that can be charged from 5 to 80% in a little over 20 minutes using a DC fast charger.
Porsche Taycan 9 photos
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To appreciate and understand what a Porsche is all about, one must drive it a bit more aggressively when road and traffic conditions allow it. But sporty driving means fuel or energy is consumed faster.

With the Taycan, engineers understood that Porsche customers will not want to wait an hour to recharge the battery, so they developed a highly capable battery pack that ensures they don’t have to, introducing many revolutionary technologies like the 800-volt system pioneered in endurance racing on the legendary 919 Hybrid.

Thanks to a total of 27 new developments, the Taycan has recently been declared the most innovative car in the world by the Center of Automotive Management (CAM), an independent scientific institute for strategic consulting and factual automotive and mobility research at the University of Applied Sciences (FHDW) in Bergisch, Gladbach.

Moreover, the car won World Luxury Car and World Performance Car of the Year at this year’s World Car of the Year Awards, an extremely encouraging start to the EV era for the German manufacturer.

But Porsche is not satisfied with those accolades and is concentrating large amounts of resources for the development of new EV technologies in the quest to create the perfect battery pack.

The biggest challenge engineers are currently facing is creating a battery that offers a longer range and requires as little time as possible to recharge, but as Dirk Uwe Sauer, Professor of Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage System Technology at RWTH Aachen University explains: “several extreme properties can-not be combined. You can't have everything at once.

That means that a pack that theoretically offers both ultra-fast charging and high energy density cannot be created with current lithium-ion technologies without decreasing the service life of the product.

However, storage systems for EVs are getting better all the time and lithium-ion will remain the technology of choice for the immediate future, because the high reactivity of lithium and the high energy density of the cells allows a relatively large amount of energy to be stored in a compact package.

Energy density in large-format lithium-ion battery cells has increased by almost 50% over the past ten years and by 2030 it is reasonable to expect that it will increase even further.

Multiple technologies are being researched and could be launched soon. These include solid-state lithium-ion batteries, electrode materials made of silicon-carbon composites, nickel-rich cathode materials, or high-voltage materials that enable cell voltages of around five volts.

Fast charging will also improve in the coming years, and the developers are aiming to create a battery pack that can be charged in the same amount of time it takes to refuel a conventional ICE-powered vehicle.

To do this, Porsche teamed up with Siemens and Phoenix Contact E-Mobility under the FastCharge research project, and has already made great progress, developing a research vehicle with a battery capacity of around 90 kWh that achieved a charging power of 400 kW.

This enables a complete charging process from 10 to 80% at an ultra-fast charging station to be done in 15 minutes.

One thing is certain, over the next decade lithium-ion batteries, with all their further enhancements, will remain the go-to technology, and “progress will be evolutionary, not revolutionary,” states Professor Sauer.

Porsche is spearheading the development of these batteries and we can expect more EV models from the manufacturer in the near future, as electric mobility is becoming the new normal in the automotive industry.

 
 
 
 
 

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