Charging EVs in 15 Minutes Could be Possible if New Technique finds Commercial Realization

Even as the automotive industry looks toward electric vehicles to save millions of tons of carbon emissions globally in the next few years, efficient charging of EVs has always remained somewhat of a gap. The lithium-ion batteries that EVs are fitted with can take up to eight hours to be fully charged – a factor that can prove inconvenient to users on the go.

A team of Swiss researchers, however, now claims that it is possible to fully charge EVs in a few minutes – 15 to be precise – by boosting the electrical charge released to the vehicle. The researchers have said in a paper published this week that a 4.5-MW EV charging station could power the average EV in just 15 minutes.

The team, from Lausanne-based Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, might have come up with a finding that will have people sit up and take note. But what’s important to consider is that 4.5MW is a massive amount of power – equal to the power required by 4,500 washing machines. If such an arrangement were to be tried out commercially, it would “bring the power grid down,” according to the researchers.

What’s assuring is that there is a way around this problem. To avoid extracting such a massive charge from the power grid all at once, the team of researchers created what they describe as a ‘buffer storage system’. This buffer disconnects from the grid before delivering the 4.5MW charge to an electric vehicle, thus temporarily becoming independent of the grid.

This “immediate storage system” can be used on both low and medium voltage grids. While the former is used to supply electricity to residential complexes the latter supplies power for regional needs. This solution can potentially reduce the risk posed to the grid. Using an intermediate storage battery, the researchers could provide about 20 to 30kWh power to charge a standard EV battery.

Companies are vying to bring the fastest EV charger on the market to keep pace with the rising sales of EVs and to lay concerns about EVs being inconvenient to charge to rest.


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