Battery Tech Breakthrough: 10-Minute Charge Time Paves Way for Mass Adoption of Affordable Electric Car

Fast-Charging Battery for Electric Cars

This 10-min fast-charging battery was developed for electric cars, with the black box on the top containing a battery management system to control the module. Credit: EC Power

Scientists develop a new technique that charges EV batteries in just 10 minutes.

A design breakthrough has enabled a 10-minute charge time for a typical electric vehicle battery. A paper detailing the record-breaking combination of a shorter charge time and more energy acquired for a longer travel range was published on October 12 in the journal Nature.

“The need for smaller, faster-charging batteries is greater than ever,” said Chao-Yang Wang, lead author on the study. “There are simply not enough batteries and critical raw materials, especially those produced domestically, to meet anticipated demand.” Wang is the William E. Diefenderfer Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Penn State.

The Air Resources Board of California adopted a comprehensive plan in August to impose restrictions on and eventually outlaw the sale of gasoline-powered vehicles in the state. This means that by 2035, the largest auto market in the United States will effectively retire the internal combustion engine.

Wang explained that if new car sales are going to shift to battery-powered electric vehicles (EVs), they’ll need to overcome two major drawbacks. First, they are too slow to recharge. Second, they are too large to be efficient and affordable. Instead of taking a few minutes at the gas pump, some EVs can take all day to recharge depending on the battery.

“Our fast-charging technology works for most energy-dense batteries and will open a new possibility to downsize electric vehicle batteries from 150 to 50 kWh without causing drivers to feel range anxiety,” said Wang, whose lab partnered with State College-based startup EC Power to develop the technology. “The smaller, faster-charging batteries will dramatically cut down battery cost and usage of critical raw materials such as cobalt, graphite, and lithium, enabling mass adoption of affordable electric cars.”

The technology relies on internal thermal modulation, an active method of temperature control to demand the best performance possible from the battery, Wang explained. Batteries operate most efficiently when they are hot, but not too hot. Keeping batteries consistently at just the right temperature has been major challenge for battery engineers. Historically, they have relied on external, bulky heating and cooling systems to regulate battery temperature, which respond slowly and waste a lot of energy, Wang said. 

Wang and his team decided to instead regulate the temperature from inside the battery. The researchers developed a new battery structure that adds an ultrathin nickel foil as the fourth component besides anode, electrolyte and cathode. Acting as a stimulus, the nickel foil self-regulates the battery’s temperature and reactivity which allows for 10-minute fast charging on just about any EV battery, Wang explained.

“True fast-charging batteries would have immediate impact,” the researchers write. “Since there are not enough raw minerals for every internal combustion engine car to be replaced by a 150 kWh-equipped EV, fast charging is imperative for EVs to go mainstream.”

The study’s partner, EC Power, is working to manufacture and commercialize the fast-charging battery for an affordable and sustainable future of vehicle electrification, Wang said. 

Reference: “Fast charging of energy-dense lithium-ion batteries” by Chao-Yang Wang, Teng Liu, Xiao-Guang Yang, Shanhai Ge, Nathaniel V. Stanley, Eric S. Rountree, Yongjun Leng and Brian D. McCarthy, 12 October 2022, Nature.
DOI: 10.1038/s41586-022-05281-0

The other coauthors on the study are Teng Liu, Xiao-Guang Yang, Shanhai Ge and Yongjun Leng of Penn State and Nathaniel Stanley, Eric Rountree and Brian McCarthy of EC Power.

The work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Air Force and the William E. Diefenderfer Endowment.

16 Comments on "Battery Tech Breakthrough: 10-Minute Charge Time Paves Way for Mass Adoption of Affordable Electric Car"

  1. Mass adoption? My ass too! Where is all this electricity coming from buddy? Out of thin air? Because if it doesn’t, then your E-cars are just as dirty as gasoline. So lose the attitude and find 0 free energy.

  2. Actually all energy comes from the sun, whether it makes plants grow which get buried for a million years to become fossil fuels, drives the weather to make the wind blow, or can be directly converted to electrons in a solar panel. The sun definitely has enough energy to power all vehicles on the planet. To someone who doesn’t understand science, harvesting the sun’s energy might seem like getting electricity “out of thin air.” Some of the batteries that cars don’t need can be used toward building solar plus storage.

  3. “There are simply not enough batteries and critical raw materials, especially those produced domestically, to meet anticipated demand.”

    This is something that most pollyannas don’t realize. They believe in Disney’s First Law: “Wish and it will come true.”

  4. Why is it always California I did not know that was the seat of power and government offices. O wait it’s not who cares what California thinks. I’m not listening to people who think it ok for people to poop in the street

    • Decades ago the EPA granted California a waiver to set its own emissions regulations. Either 13 or 17 States adopted California’s stricter regulations; some of them may also choose to ban the sale of new gasoline-fueled vehicles because the politicians and voters in those states are smart enough to realize the massive harms caused by continuing to burn fossil fuels.

      You seem unaware that GM and every other automobile maker is saying they will eventually “electrify” their entire fleet. The shift to battery electric vehicles is inexorable. There’s a quieter, quicker, more reliable, and overall far less polluting car in your future.

  5. The main barrier to mass EV adoption is not charge speed but exorbitant EV prices and secondly – lack of EV choice. But price-busting sodium ion batteries(from the likes of Faradion) are already on a par range-wise with BYD’s LFP(Lithium Iron Phosphate) batteries which are now also powering almost half of Tesla’s Model 3’s and Y’s. Sodium ion batteries contain no cobalt or nickel or of course lithium. As for the proud but extremely trite, worn-out old question “Where will all the electricity come from?” – read on and learn:
    1) China is confident that their hybrid nuclear fusion+nuclear fission(using thorium) reactors will be online within 6 years.
    2) the nuclear fusion race is accelerating around the globe as never before
    3) ultra-low-cost sodium ion batteries will also slash the cost of off-grid solar and micro-windturbine systems – not just for homes but for that 99% of commercial, municipal, agricultural rooftops worldwide that still have no solar panels or micro-windturbines at all(= billions of hectares of roof-space still without one single solar panel or micro-windturbine.) Also: the latest generation of vertical axis micro-turbines are 2-3 times more efficient and require far less maintenance.
    In short – please get some real research done before you post up your worn-out, ultra-trite unresearched comments.
    Paul G(Editor: EVUK…since 1999)

  6. I am not a fusion reactor expert, however I’ve been looking into the subject for about 15 years and I’m sorry but in spite of a lot of recent investor cash flow and startups popping up, Fusion is still very much in the research phase and NIF still cannot reproduce their more-energy-out-than-in anomaly that they had last year. It’s still worth researching, however In my opinion the problem requires more fundamental research on nuclear particle interactions, and more focus on the fundamental physics happening to get a better grasp on trying to make a fusion machine vs trying to think of it solely as an engineering problem in which engineers think all you need is the right kind of reactor containment geometry or algorithmic magnetic confinement secret sauce that you’d normally get with a company making unique marketable product based on some chemistry formula. It’s tantalizing for investors to pour money into these startups to plump up their reactor designs, just like what’s happening in ITER, however again progress in this field based on literally all reactor designs aren’t really any more groundbreaking in the way their marketing sells them to be. Their all successful in reaching reactor temp milestones, but there needs to be a radical shift in the current reaserch that just doesn’t exist. This could be partly because there’s little to no money being put to design proposals that are unknowns or aren’t ‘safe’ in terms of being based on a design that’s known to produce a reaction in a way to garner headlines and produce fusion, but might not lead to any real greater scientific understanding of physics, and thus stagnate any progress.

  7. Are you familiar with nuclear fusion it’s going to replace nuclear fission within 5 to 10 years so the comment you have made is a mute point

  8. For me, I think the main problem is that enviros have created at least as many problems as they’ve solved. We could have had nuclear plants being built for the past four-plus decades; but, no, nuclear bad we must end nuclear. Oh, wait, that was before they determined the way to control was by saying carbon is the problem. So, now we must pitch all the ‘dirty’ plants we have had to build instead. Those plants work 24/7, regardless of weather or time of day.

    The only thing consistent is that they’ve been consistently wrong about pretty much all of it. Global cooling in the 1970s; global warming in the 1990s; climate change (as a result of man) in the 2000s. Why should we listen to any of it, much less trust it? At what cost is any of this? A dog chasing its tail

  9. Geothermal energy can supply the majority of our electric energy and heating needs. 24/7, 365 days a year baseload energy with a 95% uptime. All without the radioactive aftertaste. No GHG emissions.

  10. 10 min charge of a 65kw battery pack means a charging rate of 390kw. Multiply times 10 cars being charged at a time, a fueling station will be 4MW. I’m assuming all fuel stations will need 25-50MWhr of batteries so the grid doesn’t see large fluctuations in load. Also is a quite useful wide spot in the pipe to support renewables.

  11. @Phil, You’re mistaken. A minority of climate scientists in the 1970s saw signs of a slight cooling of about 0.2°C that might lead to anorher Ice Age in the next few centuries. Even then the majority were more concerned about global warming due to increased greenhouse gas concentrations. Since then, Earth’s average temperature has undeniably increased about 0.9°C, swamping any cooling trend. Unless we rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by stopping burning fossil fuels, Earth’s temperature will continue to rise by 0.15-0.2° C for decade for te foreseeable future, worsening the multiple crises we’re already experiencing.



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