Researchers have developed a new electric vehicle battery that requires only 10 minutes to charge

Researchers have developed a new electric vehicle battery that requires only 10 minutes to charge

For electric car users, range anxiety is a constant worry. Drivers are in constant worry of running out of energy before getting to a recharge point and how long it will take to hit the road again. This may end soon after researchers came up with a battery prototype with a 250- mile range and the ability to recharge in about 10 minutes.

The group of engineers from the Penn State University developed a lithium iron phosphate battery that will be a game-changer. “We developed a pretty clever battery for mass-market electric vehicles with cost parity with combustion engine vehicles,” said Chao-Yang Wang, professor of chemical and material science engineering at Penn State. “There is no more range anxiety, and this is affordable,” he added.

The battery’s lifespan is about 2 million miles, according to the researchers. According to a report published in the Nature Energy journal, the battery is capable of quickly heating to 140 degrees Fahrenheit for the charge as well as discharge and later cools down when not working. This allows a rapid recharge and gives the battery a long life. “The very fast charge allows us to downsize the battery without incurring range anxiety,” said Wang.

Wang, who is also the William E. Diefenderfer Chairperson of the mechanical engineering, had developed a self-heating approach used in this battery. It uses a thin nickel foil together with one end which is attached to the anode and the other end creating a third terminal outside the cell. Before charging, electrons flow, causing the nickel foil to heat up. This warms the battery internally. When the temperature reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit, switch opens, starting the charging-recharging cycle.

According to the researchers, this self-heating method is economical. The cathode and anode use low-cost materials. The electrolyte is safe and of low voltage. Lithium Iron sulphate acts as the cathode and is thermally stable. The anode is a large particle graphite. Graphite is cheap, light, and safe to use.

“This battery has reduced weight, volume, and cost. I am very happy that we finally found a battery that will benefit the mainstream consumer mass market,” explained Wang. Wang has worked on this project with Xiao-Guang Yang, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, as well as Teng Liu, a doctoral student at Penn University’s mechanical engineering department.

The researchers say that the smaller batteries could power an electric car from 0 to 60 miles per hour in about 3 seconds. This battery produces about 40-kilowatt hours as well as 300 kilowatts of power, capable of propelling an electric car such as a Porsche. This research was funded by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in the US Department of Energy and William E. Diefenderfer Endowment.

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