399. FAST CHARGING
Last week, MIT announced the development of a new type of fast-charging lithium battery:
MIT breakthrough promises lighter, fast-charging batteries
Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a way to charge lithium ion batteries in seconds, instead of hours, that could open the door to smaller, faster-charging batteries for cell phones and other devices.The above is just one approach. A number of fast-charging technologies are already practical and being rolled out. This was also announced last week:
The breakthrough by Cedar and graduate student Byoungwoo Kang is the development of a reengineered surface material for batteries that allows lithium ions to move quickly across the surface of the battery and channels the ions into tunnels. A prototype battery built using this surface material can be charged in 20 seconds or less, compared to 6 minutes for a battery cell that does not use the material, MIT said.
The surface material is not new but is manufactured in a different way. This means batteries that use the faster-charging surface material could be on the market within two to three years, the statement said.
Nissan to trial fast charge electric car network
Pilot project in Arizona promises to charge batteries in less than 15 minutesThe Minit Charger fast-charge technology from ECOtality subsidiary eTec was developed in 1996, and 4300 stations are currently in use for fast charging forklift trucks. You can see a video of the Minit Charger in action here.
The prospect of electric cars that can be recharged within 10 to 15 minutes moved a step closer last week with the announcement of a new pilot project in Arizona.
Car giant Nissan announced that it has signed a partnership with electric vehicle charging technology firm ECOtality and Pima Association of Governments, which represents the Tucson, Arizona region, that will see the three parties work together on rolling out a charging network.
ECOtality said that it would aim to have parts of the public recharging infrastructure rolled out by 2010, in readiness for the US launch of Nissan's zero emission vehicle. Nissan added that under the agreement it would then make a supply of electric vehicles available to the regions public and private fleets.
Toshiba also has an entry in this area, the SCIB (Super Charge Ion Battery):
Toshiba gears up for fast charging battery
Toshiba is to ramp up production of a new type of Lithium Ion battery that can charge to 90 percent of its capacity in a few minutes and is highly-resistant to short circuits.Toshiba is collaborating with Schwinn on a fast-charging electric bicycle powered by the SCiB:
The Super Charge Ion Battery (SCiB) is a Lithium Ion battery based on proprietary technology developed by the company and is targeted at both industrial and electric vehicle applications and consumer laptop computer use.
Production of the battery, which has been in development for several years, has already begun for the industrial market at the relatively low volume of 150,000 cells per month.
Toshiba will increase that to several tens of millions of cells per month at a new factory it plans to build in Kashiwazaki in Niigata prefecture in north west Japan, it said last week. Construction of the factory will begin in late 2009 and production is scheduled to begin a year later, said Hiroko Mochida, a Toshiba spokeswoman.
Initial production at the factory, which represents an investment of several tens of billions of yen (several hundred million US dollars), will likely be aimed at the industrial and electric vehicle markets although the same lines will be able to make SCIBs for laptop computers, she said.
At September's Ceatec show in Japan Toshiba demonstrated a laptop running on an SCIB. The battery will keep its performance through up to 6,000 recharges -- more than ten times that of typical Lithium Ion batteries -- meaning a laptop should be able to run its lifetime on the SCiB without need to replace the battery. Due to its design it is also much less likely to catch fire or short circuit if crushed or damaged.
New Schwinn fast charging electric bicycle
In September 2008 Schwinn Bicycles announced a strategic collaboration with Toshiba Corporation that they think is going to dramatically improve the uptake of electric bicycles around the world. Schwinn presented the results of this collaboration at the recent Interbike International Bicycle Expo in the form of the Tailwind.Here's a fast charging battery technology for buses:
The Tailwind incorporates Toshiba’s new Super Charge ion Battery (SCiB) technology. The SCiB technology will enable Tailwind owners to recharge their battery in 30 minutes through a standard electrical outlet or as little as five to seven minutes through a commercial charger. By comparison, it takes four hours or longer to fully recharge the battery of most other electric bicycles.
Proterra claims electric vehicle batteries can recharge in 10 minutes
Battery recharging times remain a major obstacle for electric vehicles. But perhaps not for long. Proterra claims that its new all-electric buses can recharge in as little as ten minutes.More info on Proterra here.
Last week the company demonstrated one of its buses in San Jose (see the video below). Seattle and San Francisco are also considering buying the Proterra's buses.
Last week, it was also announced that the Tesla will have 440V fast-charge capability, similar to the Minit Charger specs. Apparently Nissan's upcoming TBD all-electric car will also have the ability to fast charge in 26 minutes.
It would seem that fast charging technology is already here.