Swiss Researchers Develop Ultrafast 15-min EV Charger

Published Date: 1st Feb 2016

Swiss researchers from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EFPL) are claiming they have created an Interesting new way of charging an electric vehicle that takes only a fraction of the amount of time to fully charge a car, compared to today’s methods.

Usually the time taken to charge a flat Electric Vehicle or EV can be up to 8 hours. The new system developed by EFPL can take just 15 minutes to complete a full charge from being flat. The major drawback up until now has been drawing the power from the grid. In even the most modern cities attempting to quick charge the cars battery could cause the grid to fail due to the sheer power draw.

The new system is an Intermediate storage which can be disconnected from the grid while still providing a high level of superfast charge. They are able to do this through a lithium ion battery the size of a shipping container which is continuously charged from a low voltage source. When a car needs charging the electricity is then just transferred through this larger buffering battery.

“Our aim was to get under the psychological threshold of a half hour. But there is room for improvement,” says Massimiliano Capezzali, deputy director of the EPFL Energy Center.

EPFL says a station able to quickly charge 200 cars per day would need an intermediate storage capacity of 2.2 MWh. This is the same order of magnitude as the energy consumed by one home in one year. In volume terms, it translates roughly to four shipping containers.

“Electric cars will change our habits. It’s clear that, in the future, several types of charging systems – such as slow charging at home and ultra-fast charging for long-distance travel – will co-exist,” says Capezzali.