Tech

Fast charging for cars: full recharge in five minutes?

Fast charging is, today, one of the main focuses of research by engine manufacturers, which have made the leap into the electric vehicle market. And it is that yes, normally people talk about how limited their autonomy is, but of course, this conversation would vary substantially if it were possible to greatly reduce the time it takes for cars to recharge enough to be able to make long trips distance.

The improvements in this field are remarkable. For example, if we talk about the fast charging of Tesla superchargers, a Model 3 from the same manufacturer can go from 0 to 80% charge in less than 30 minutes. This, added to the autonomy they offer, already allows long-distance trips with stops every two hours… as long as there are superchargers on the way. And still, 30 minutes can be too long for such breaks.

And although until recently it might seem that we were approaching the limits in the speed of fast charging, if something has taught us the experience is that there is always room for improvement. And the latest example of this is found in an article by Purdue University, in which they put us on the trail of an investigation that they are carrying out jointly with Ford and that could reduce the charging time of an electric car batteries to five minutes.

As a result of this research, its managers have designed a cable that would solve one of the most important problems in fast charging systems: temperature. And it is that the faster the electrical charge is transmitted, the more temperature is generated in the process. Thus, the researchers’ proposal is pure common sense: look for a system that allows to dissipate that heat, allowing the efficiency of the cable to be improved, transferring a greater flow of electricity than it would be possible to transport without said system.

Specifically, with the fast-charging cable that these researchers have designed, they have opted for a system that combines liquid and vapor, So what would allow a load of 2,400 amps, nearly five times that of Tesla’s superchargers, which deliver up to 520 amps. To achieve this, the fast-charging cable cooling system designed by Purdue and Ford is capable of dissipating up to 24.22 kilowatts of heat.

The cable, yes, has not yet been tested in electric vehicles. And is that cable is just part of the equation that must be solved to make fast charging systems that offer the performance of this cable a reality. It is also necessary for car charging stations, connectors and batteries to be adapted to be able to withstand this type of operation. However, this development is a big step in that direction, so while we still have to wait, there is reason to be quite optimistic in this regard.

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