Electric cars: from 0 to 90% in 10 minutes, the latest advances in charging research

Presented last August, the work of American researchers promises significantly faster charging for electric vehicles.

Without degrading battery health, this method optimizes the charging protocol and could be deployed with a simple software update.

A matter of balance

A standard charging protocol is a balance between low and high power. Typically low at the start of charging, power then increases to 60-70% battery, then returns to a lower level. This type of protocol is necessary because an unbalanced fast charge can have a lower performance, or even damage the battery.

Erik Dufek and his team at the Idaho National Laboratory have developed a new protocol that allows for better performance. By deploying artificial intelligence algorithms, they were able to study the impact of different electrical currents and voltages on the batteries over time. While preserving the life of this essential component, this discovery allows a car to be charged from 0 to 90% in 10 minutes.

Low-cost installation

According to Dufek, this new protocol will be applicable in many electric vehicles, because the chemistry of lithium-based batteries always remains the same. A simple software update could benefit the already existing technology and infrastructures, and it will then be up to the companies to adapt it to the specificities of their products.

However, researcher Gil Tal, from the University of California, points out that the protocols are not the only factors having an impact on the speed of refills. Better battery pack designs, the use of new chemicals, and advances in charging stations are all things that can have a major influence in this area.

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