Electric cars and EV batteries present drivers with the future full of greener motorways. However, it still takes some time to fully charge an EV battery. For a driving population that’s used to filling up a petrol tank in a matter of minutes, that wait serves as a serious drawback.
Several companies are looking to shorten the amount of time it takes an electric vehicle to charge though. One of these is the Australia-based Tritium. Tritium claims that it can provide drivers with 210 miles of charge after a mere 10 minutes of charging.
If this is the case, Tritium promises to do more than just make electric vehicles more convenient for drivers. A shortened charge time would break the record for charge times around the world while also changing the standards electric vehicles are held to.
The thing is, Tritium isn’t alone in its ambitions. Even with a multitude of obstacles in their way, several other car manufacturers are looking to boost the usability of EV batteries.
Tritium follows in the footsteps of Swiss company, ABB. As of 2018, ABB put its Terra High Power DC fast charger onto the world stage. This charger releases 350 kilowatts and can charge an EV battery three times more quickly than competitor, Tesla’s, superchargers.
What does this mean for drivers with electric vehicles? Is long as the electric vehicle in question has the materials to support an intensive charge, ABB’s DC faster charger could provide the car with 200 km of range in only eight minutes.
That said, the success of the ABB now relies on the flexibility of electric vehicles. This is the case for many, if not all of the super chargers on this list. While the chargers continue to grow in power, they must wait for the material of the vehicles they’re charging to catch up with them, technologically. While the resources exist then, for a super-charge, motorways have yet to see a vehicle that can benefit from that kind of power.
Even so, corporations and start-ups alike continue to push the front. Such is the case with Gbatteries. This start-up utilises the insight of aerospace engineer, Kostya Khomutov, and electrical engineers Alex Tkachenko and Nick Sherstyuk. Along with a few other hands, Gbatteries looks to use Artificial Intelligence to improve EV battery charging stations.
At this point in time, the chargers that the start-up has produced can charge a 60 kWh battery in roughly five minutes, providing the applicable vehicle with 200 km of range. Gbatteries revealed this intense charge at a 2019 CES demonstration in the United States.
They work pairs well with that being done by fellow start-up, Echion Technologies. Originally based out of Cambridge University, Echion Technologies isn’t looking to work with AI but is instead focused on creating new chemical mixtures that will help batteries across all industries improve their charge. At this point, the chemical compounds the company is working with could reduce EV battery charge time to six minutes.
Tritium in the UK
But what about the titular Tritium? While based in Australia, the company intends to bring several charging stations to the U.K. by 2025. Partnering with Box Energi, it’s possible that UK drivers will be able to access Tritium super chargers at 2,500 locations. Each location will house a Tritium Veefil-RT 50 kw DC Rapid Charger, which will be able to add 50 km of range to an electric vehicle in only ten minutes.
Porsche, too, is looking to improve the range of their electric vehicles. One of the manufacturer’s EV prototypes broke even Swiss ABB’s charger record, pushing a charge of 400 kw and adding 100 km of range to an applicable vehicle within three minutes. It now stands to compete with BMW and Mercedes, both of whom are pursuing equivalent or greater power pushes with their own super chargers.
Supercharging the future
It’s abundantly clear that companies around the world intend to make EV battery charging as quick and easy as possible. Not only is the competitive edge there to drive these companies forward, but the need for more accessible electric vehicles is, as well.
And yet, to see these superchargers in action, these manufacturers and start-ups alike will need to wait for motor vehicle technology to catch up with them. Until international vehicles can handle a battery that can accept a 400 kw charge rate, the super chargers will remain shining carrots to the auto industry’s stick.
Even so, the mere opportunity to charge an EV battery in the same amount of time it would take to fill a petrol tank is an intoxicating one. It pushes forward the idea that electric vehicles are not so inaccessible as some drivers would believe, and it makes them competitive with the fossil fuel vehicles that international roadways have housed for so long.