Today’s lithium-ion batteries carry the risk of damage and subsequent expensive repairs or even replacement if they are charged too quickly. Charging is usually a stop for at least 20-30 minutes, depending on how strong a connection you park.
However, the Washington Post website writes that US government researchers have found a way to charge an electric car’s battery to 90% within ten minutes.
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They do not specify the capacity of the battery or the initial state of charge or the chemical composition of the battery, yet their words cannot be brushed off the table. “The goal is to get very, very close to the times you spend at the gas station,” says Eric Dufek, the study’s lead author and a scientist at the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory.
Dufk’s team created a computer algorithm that analyzed 20-30 thousand charging data records using machine learning. These indicated how well the battery was charging and whether it was degrading or aging.
The methods that the team subsequently discovered will allow the battery to be charged to 90% within ten minutes. But it’s not the end – the goal is to get to a charging speed of 20 miles (32 km) of driving per minute. Today’s best chargers manage about 10-15 miles (16-24 km) per minute.
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However, the biggest benefit of this technology when it reaches the market – which could take about five years – is not the fast charging itself, but the possibility for automakers to build cars with smaller batteries.
It wouldn’t matter that you drive 150-200 km on one charge, if the charging only takes five or ten minutes. On the contrary, a smaller battery is an advantage – it means lower weight and also a lower price of the car. In particular, the purchase price is currently one of the biggest obstacles to the mass adoption of electromobility.