Friday, March 13, 2009

Fast charge battery tech

One more barrier to electric vehicles fell today. The several hours to recharge a battery pack may soon fall to just a few minutes, if claims from MIT can be trusted.

With this tech, you could keep your car on a constant slow charge at home overnight to take advantage of lower costs, but then also be able take the vehicle for long trips by doing a rapid recharge at a charging station.

Because of the amount of power involved, the rapid recharge will still take several minutes, even if the batteries themselves could recharge in a few seconds. If you have a 60kWhr battery pack (big enough for a subcompact car to have a decent freeway range), recharging in 6 minutes requires a 600kW connection. At 600 volts DC, this requires 1000 amps. Which is just barely feasible with standard equipment.

More likely, you'd have to give it 20 minutes and recharge at about 300 amps.

If you're driving cross country, you should stop and have a decent stretch every few hours anyway, I guess.

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