Super-Fast Charging: The Next Step in Electric Vehicle Evolution

(DGIwire) – As of late 2018, there were more than three million electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid cars in use worldwide, according to an article in Power Technology. It would be sensible to assume that EVs are on their way to market dominance, but this expectation fails to take into account a major roadblock: the lengthy time it takes to recharge them. For example, a Nissan Leaf requires seven hours of charging to reach full capacity using a 208V-240V home charging system, according to the manufacturer.

This presents a significant problem. According to a recent article on Citylab.com, American drivers log about three trillion miles per year, consuming more than 170 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel in the process. Converting all those road miles to electricity would place new demands on the nation’s system for electric production and delivery.

“One of the major hurdles involves recharging rates,” says Stephen Voller, CEO of ZapGo Ltd, the developer of Carbon-Ion™ (C-Ion®) cells, a fast-charging and safe alternative to lithium-ion batteries. “Currently available chargers are unable to supply electricity to an EV at anything close to the five minutes that is required to refuel a conventional gasoline-powered car.”

According to Voller, this true not only for the 3kW charge available from standard wall sockets and 30kW street chargers, but even commercially available 120kW chargers and cutting-edge 350kW chargers. It is not feasible, he notes, to expect drivers to wait for much longer periods while their vehicles recharge. One issue is that installing new grid infrastructure at charging stations that can handle very fast charging rates has been viewed as cost-prohibitive.

One potential solution is to utilize C-Ion cells, which allow energy to be safely transferred to EVs using extremely fast charging rates. Banks of C-Ion cells can be used to buffer the grid, and very-high-rate direct current chargers could then be connected to the C-Ion banks operating at 350kW, 450kW or even as high as 1,000kW. These DC chargers could be installed at filling stations without the need to install new grid infrastructure, Power Technology reports.

“If incorporated into an EV, C-Ion could make it possible to transfer energy at rates higher than anything currently available, and reduce the charge time to as little as five minutes. This would have a tremendously positive impact on the appeal of EVs in the mind of the average car owner,” Voller adds.

close