Fast Charging of Electric Vehicles: Is the Battery Technology Available?

By Staff Reports

(DGIwire) — As part of Britain’s ambitious “decarbonization” target, all cars sold in that country may have to be electric vehicles (EVs) by 2050—but charging them all will pose a huge logistical challenge, according to a report prepared by SO Energy Insights. Currently, notes the report, it would take about 19 hours using a standard-sized 3.5-kilowatt charger to charge a 90 kilowatt-hour battery, which offers a 300-mile driving range, from 25 percent to 100 percent. This could be halved to 10 hours with a seven-kilowatt charger and further reduced to 80 minutes with a 50-kilowatt charger.

However, even with a 22-kilowatt charger, which would take three hours to fully charge, owners wouldn’t be able to use any other electrical equipment at home while charging, notes the report. And anyway, 32 percent of low-voltage circuits across Britain would need reinforcing to allow most customers to use even the less powerful 3.5-kilowatt chargers at home.

Some are suggesting a solution: ultra-fast charging. For example, a 350-kilowatt charger would take less than four minutes to charge an average EV of today from 25 to 100 percent. Can current batteries—and the electrical grid—support this level of charging?

“There is an infrastructure gap in that the utility grid cannot yet support the level of charge that an all-EV Britain will need,” 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. “However, there is a solution. The smart energy storage in Carbon-Ion cells can provide a much more energy-efficient charging solution for drivers while potentially saving local utilities billions of dollars in infrastructure costs. A bank of ZapGo Carbon-Ion cells could be integrated into electric charging stations across Britain—and ensure sufficient power to charge up electric vehicles in a quick and timely manner.”

ZapGo’s Carbon-Ion cell technology is planned to be incorporated initially into products such as electric bikes, cordless power tools and robotic cleaners—available for sale starting in 2018—where the recharge time will be reduced from hours to sub-five minutes.

“With transportation set to be transformed by the switch to electric vehicles, looking ahead at the logistical challenges is vital—and Carbon-Ion technology could prove instrumental,” Voller adds.

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