Electric cars have a huge number of advantages, as long as it does not concern long trips. While you can refuel a car with fossil fuel in 10-15 minutes, charging an electric car takes much longer. The USA wants to solve this problem.
Government researchers have announced that they have found a way to charge electric cars up to 90% in 10 minutes. The development will not reach the market in the next 5 years, but, according to scientists, it will be a fundamental shift in technology.
“The goal is to be very, very close to [times] you would see at the gas pump,” says Eric Dufek, lead author of the study and a research scientist at the Idaho National Laboratory, a research center managed by the Department of Energy.
The development coincides with the policy of the Biden administration, which is trying to push Americans to use electric cars instead of fossil fuel cars. Despite the fact that electric cars are heavily invested in, they are still considered elitist and inconvenient for long journeys.
According to the US Department of Transportation, the slowest, known as Level 1 chargers, can charge an EV battery in 40 to 50 hours. Some of the fastest, known as DC chargers, can charge a battery to 80% in 20 minutes to an hour.
But over the past decade, the race to fast-charge electric cars has hit obstacles. The problem is the delicate balance of trying to charge an EV battery faster, but not so fast that it causes long-term damage to the battery or causes it to explode. Rapidly charging the battery in an electric car can damage it, reducing its lifespan and performance, scientists say.
To try to solve this problem, Dufek and his team used machine learning to figure out how batteries age during rapid charging. Their algorithm was trained to analyze 20,000 to 30,000 data points that indicated how well the battery was charging and whether it was aging or deteriorating.
The methods they’ve found can charge an electric car’s battery to 90 percent in 10 minutes, Dufek said, but they hope to do better. In the next five years, Dufek’s team aims to find a way to charge batteries at speeds of up to 32 kilometers per minute, far exceeding the performance of the most efficient superchargers, which provide between 16 and 40 kilometers per minute.