Researchers Have Developed New Battery Expertise That Can Cost Your EV in 10 Minutes

Researchers at Penn State may have found a way to make EVs even more appealing.

The university has just unveiled a new battery technology that has the potential to cut charging times in half for EVs. The technology could also reduce the size of the batteries, something all but guaranteed to improve their performance in other ways, including range.

The researchers’s findings were made public in a study published in the journal Nature earlier this week. The new technology, which was developed in collaboration with university-backed startup EC Power, is an internal thermal modulation system for EV batteries. An ultra-thin nickel foil is added to the structure of the battery that helps regulate temperature, keeping it “hot, but not too hot,” without the need for bulky heating and cooling systems, according to the school. Not only would this allow for 10-minute charge times, but it could also reduce battery size by up to two-thirds. A smaller battery would more efficiently store energy and cost less.

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“Our fast-charging technology works for most energy-dense batteries and will open a new possibility to downsize electric vehicle batteries from 150 to 50 kWh without causing drivers to feel range anxiety,” Chao-Yang Wang, the university’s William E. Diefenderfer Professor of Mechanical Engineering and lead author of the study, said in a statement. “The smaller, faster-charging batteries will dramatically cut down battery cost and usage of critical raw materials such as cobalt, graphite and lithium, enabling mass adoption of affordable electric cars.”

Long charging times are currently viewed as one of the main drawbacks of EVs, according to Forbes. One in ten people who responded to Deloitte’s 2022 Global Automotive Survey cited it as their primary issue with driving a battery-powered vehicle. Ten minutes is still five times as long as it takes to fill a gas-powered car’s tank, but it’s a definite step in the right direction.

EC Power is currently trying to manufacture and commercialize the new battery, according to Penn State. The timing couldn’t be better, as EVs seemed to have hit a tipping point over the last couple years. While they currently only represent five percent of new vehicles sold, and one percent of those on the road, adoption is quickly increasing. On top of this, the last few months have seen both the EU and the state of California announce plans to ban the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by the middle of the next decade.

Source: Robb Report

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