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New '5-minute charge' BEV batteries.


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“The number one barrier to the adoption of electric vehicles is no longer cost, it is range anxiety,” said Doron Myersdorf, CEO of StoreDot. “You’re either afraid that you’re going to get stuck on the highway or you’re going to need to sit in a charging station for two hours. But if the experience of the driver is exactly like fuelling [a petrol car], this whole anxiety goes away.”

“A five-minute charging lithium-ion battery was considered to be impossible,” he said. “But we are not releasing a lab prototype, we are releasing engineering samples from a mass production line. This demonstrates it is feasible and it’s commercially ready.”

Existing Li-ion batteries use graphite as one electrode, into which the lithium ions are pushed to store charge. But when these are rapidly charged, the ions get congested and can turn into metal and short circuit the battery.

The StoreDot battery replaces graphite with semiconductor nanoparticles into which ions can pass more quickly and easily. These nanoparticles are currently based on germanium, which is water soluble and easier to handle in manufacturing. But StoreDot’s plan is to use silicon, which is much cheaper, and it expects these prototypes later this year. Myersdorf said the cost would be the same as existing Li-ion batteries.

 

Tesla boss Elon Musk tweeted on Monday: “Battery cell production is the fundamental rate-limiter slowing down a sustainable energy future. Very important problem.”

“I think such fast-charging batteries will be available to the mass market in three years,” said Prof Chao-Yang Wang, at the Battery and Energy Storage Technology Center at Pennsylvania State University in the US. “They will not be more expensive; in fact, they allow automakers to downsize the onboard battery while still eliminating range anxiety, thereby dramatically cutting down the vehicle battery cost.”

Research by Wang’s group is being developed by the company EC Power, which he founded. It carefully increases the temperature of the battery to 60C, which enables the lithium ions to move faster, but avoids the damage to the battery usually caused by heat. He said this allowed a full charge in 10 minutes.

 

Full article :

Electric car batteries with five-minute charging times produced | Environment | The Guardian

 

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Usual battery problem, which is the same as for "fantastic new super-efficient solar panels" -- what matters most to 99% of the market is cost per kWh (or kWh capacity for a given price car, which amounts to the same thing). So if the new battery gets to be competitive on price -- and it has to catch up with existing batteries made in huge volumes, just like for monosilicon solar panels -- then it will indeed take over the market. If it's more expensive it will stay as a niche product.

 

This is the bit that Alan conveniently snipped from the end of the article which makes exactly this point:

 

"Anna Tomaszewska, at Imperial College London, UK, who reviewed the fast-charging batteries in 2019, was more cautious about the speed of their rollout. “I think technologies [like StoreDot’s] could start entering the market in the next five years or so. However, since they will be more difficult and expensive to manufacture, we’re likely to initially only see them in niche markets that are highly performance-driven and not as price-sensitive as electric vehicles,” she said."

5 minutes ago, fudd said:

Interesting. I wonder what sort of charger is necessary 

A bloody big one. Charging up a 50kWh car battery (not especially big nowadays) in 5 minutes needs a 600kW charger...

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1 minute ago, IanD said:

Usual battery problem, which is the same as for "fantastic new super-efficient solar panels" -- what matters most to 99% of the market is cost per kWh (or kWh capacity for a given price car, which amounts to the same thing). So if the new battery gets to be competitive on price -- and it has to catch up with existing batteries made in huge volumes, just like for monosilicon solar panels -- then it will indeed take over the market. If it's more expensive it will stay as a niche product.

 

This is the bit that Alan conveniently snipped from the end of the article which makes exactly this point:

 

"Anna Tomaszewska, at Imperial College London, UK, who reviewed the fast-charging batteries in 2019, was more cautious about the speed of their rollout. “I think technologies [like StoreDot’s] could start entering the market in the next five years or so. However, since they will be more difficult and expensive to manufacture, we’re likely to initially only see them in niche markets that are highly performance-driven and not as price-sensitive as electric vehicles,” she said."

A bloody big one. Charging up a 50kWh car battery (not especially big nowadays) in 5 minutes needs a 600kW charger...

Generally the cost of the electronics (and batteries) in a car increases with current, so it also doesn't make sense for mass-market cars to be able to charge them any faster than the motors can discharge them. If the motors are rated at 200hp/150kW (normal for a normal-sized car) then charging faster than 150kW will but the car cost up, which is not desirable. So charging times faster than 20mins or so (for 100% capacity) also don't make sense, except -- as was said -- for cars where performance is much more important than cost. If you're paying north of 70 grand for a Tesla that can put out 800hp (600kW) then you won't mind paying a few grand more for super-fast charging...

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Just now, Alan de Enfield said:

 Maybe you are suggesting that I should have cut & pasted the complete article - I find that when a simple link is posted with no 'comment' I rarely bother to open it.

I find it much more useful to post a couple of paragraphs to explain what the link is about and then people can open the link if they think it is of interest.

 

YOU WILL NOTE (OF COURSE) THAT THE LINK TO THE FULL ARTICLE WAS INCLUDED.

 

Your posting stye is becoming more and more aggressive and vitrioloc, maybe you need to take a walk in the fresh air.

But Alan, your posting style is to extract only the bits that agree with your point of view and edit out the ones that don't, as you've shown on many occasions.

 

So surely you can't object when somebody replies and points this out?

 

BTW, the photo was from yesterdays' one-hour walk in the fresh air along the GU 😉

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Just now, IanD said:

But Alan, your posting style is to extract only the bits that agree with your point of view and edit out the ones that don't, as you've shown on many occasions.

 

So surely you can't object when somebody replies and points this out?

 

BTW, the photo was from yesterdays' one-hour walk in the fresh air along the GU 😉

 

IF I was being selective I would not quote the source or link to the full article.

 

You are becoming a zealot.

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13 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 Maybe you are suggesting that I should have cut & pasted the complete article - I find that when a simple link is posted with no 'comment' I rarely bother to open it.

I find it much more useful to post a couple of paragraphs to explain what the link is about and then people can open the link if they think it is of interest.

 

YOU WILL NOTE (OF COURSE) THAT THE LINK TO THE FULL ARTICLE WAS INCLUDED.

 

Your posting stye is becoming more and more aggressive and vitrioloc, maybe you need to take a walk in the fresh air.

Exactly Alan

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A fast charge battery means that the actual charger has to be high power. But the total amount of battery charging over time is no different, so this has little implication for overall power supply or the grid network, but will favour larger charging stations (I.e. those with multiple charge points) to keep the costs of the connection to the charging station down. So these high power charges will appear first at locations where throughout is high and there is demand for rapid charging - motorway and main road locations. But it ain't going to happen so much at your small suburban filling station.

Faster charging on main roads will reduce 'range anxiety' which in turn will mean lower capacity batteries can be fitted. This could offset the higher unit cost of fast charge battery technology.

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17 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

IF I was being selective I would not quote the source or link to the full article.

 

You are becoming a zealot.

Or maybe I just prefer seeing both sides of an argument made, backed by facts -- after all, this is a discussion forum, isn't it?

 

The press is full of over-optimistic puff pieces about fabulous new technological developments that their backers promise are going to transform the world, sometimes a dose of reality needs injecting. I'm an engineer and both coming up with new ideas (which is why I've got more than 50 patents) and spotting the problems with them (which is why I haven't got 500) is what I do for a living; if people who are over-optimistic about things don't like cold water sometimes being poured over their ideas, they should check their facts better.

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13 minutes ago, David Mack said:

A fast charge battery means that the actual charger has to be high power. But the total amount of battery charging over time is no different, so this has little implication for overall power supply or the grid network, but will favour larger charging stations (I.e. those with multiple charge points) to keep the costs of the connection to the charging station down. So these high power charges will appear first at locations where throughout is high and there is demand for rapid charging - motorway and main road locations. But it ain't going to happen so much at your small suburban filling station.

Faster charging on main roads will reduce 'range anxiety' which in turn will mean lower capacity batteries can be fitted. This could offset the higher unit cost of fast charge battery technology.

You're absolutely correct that the total capacity at a big charging station isn't affected by the charge rate at each station, that's not the problem.

 

The problem is that designing and building batteries and charging systems (controllers, converters, connectors, cables) gets more expensive the higher the current/power is, which is why (for example) a lot of LiFePO4 batteries can't cope with high-rate charging/discharging. All this gets especially expensive at currents above a few hundred amps, and this puts the cost of a car up if it's only done to enable faster charging.

 

It's possible that faster charging will allow lower capacity batteries to succeed but I doubt it, because the biggest worry people have isn't how long it takes to charge the car but how far it can go between charges, hence the push for bigger capacity batteries. If there is a choice between shorter range/faster charging and longer range/slower charging at the same cost it'll be interesting to see what the market reaction is, my guess is longer range will win but who knows.

 

What's certain is that cars are cost-sensitive for most people, and faster charging doesn't come for free.

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48 minutes ago, IanD said:

it also doesn't make sense for mass-market cars to be able to charge them any faster than the motors can discharge them

 

Apologies for being dense, but could you expand upon this, please, as it doesn't make sense to me. 

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It seems to me that this will work very well with things like phones, drones and door bells.  However the equipment needed to let this rate of charge work in a car is surely going to be substantial .  The existing fast chargers have to cope with a substantial current,  both in the charger and in the car to be able to accept the charge. It's a fair way off yet.

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25 minutes ago, Col_T said:

 

Apologies for being dense, but could you expand upon this, please, as it doesn't make sense to me. 

The cost of the electronics (and cables, connectors, relays, battery cooling) gets higher as current (power) increases, and it's set by the higher of charge and discharge currents (powers).

 

So if the drive system and motor in a car are rated at 150kW (e.g. 375A at 400V) the components have to be sized to carry this much current, so charging at up to 150kW is "free". With a 50kWh battery, this corresponds to a 0% to 100% charge in 20 minutes. You can pick your own numbers, but no road car ever built can use up all its fuel (or battery charge) in 5 minutes for obvious reasons -- maybe a land speed record car...

 

If you want to charge faster than this everything has to be designed to cope with the higher charging currents, which puts the cost up just to allow faster charging.

 

And actually it's worse than that, the charging circuits have to take the full current for the full charging time, most car drive systems don't usually have to sustain full power for 20 minutes. This is why most mass-market cars don't allow a full charge in 20 mins, even if chargers existed. High-end cars like Porsche and Tesla can cope with "superchargers", but then their buyers don't care if this adds five grand (or whatever the number is) to the cost -- and their drive systems are rated at 400kW or more so can cope with high currents anyway.

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45 minutes ago, Man 'o Kent said:

So all that energy we derive from petrol and diesel will go away to be replaced by electricity over and above what we already use?

 

The poor old national grid will melt!

There's a lot of analysis being done on this, and it's not as big a problem as it appears at first.

 

This isn't like petrol stations where most people drive in with an almost empty tank once a week and leave with a full one, most charging will be done more slowly and in small dribs and drabs. A lot of cars will be charged more slowly overnight when there's plenty of spare grid (and power generation) capacity. Others will be charged slowly during the daytime when plugged in either at work or places like supermarkets (or sat on the driveway at home).

 

Only a small fraction of the total power demand will come from "filling stations" with fast chargers, and yes these will be a challenge to connect to the grid since they'll draw maybe 1MW-10MW depending on size. Demand levelling can use capacity from plugged-in charged cars so their batteries act as energy reservoirs -- the grid will pay you more per kWh to do this (because demand will be higher), then you can recharge when the cost is lower.

 

Don't get me wrong, this is something that's going to need a lot of work, it's by no means trivial, it's a huge challenge. But it will happen, because it has to happen to get CO2 emissions down. And the good news is we (on a canal forum) don't have to solve the problems ourselves, because the enormous car industry will do it 😉

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In the USA, GM killed off what may have been their most successful development in electric vehicles that dealt effectively with range anxiety - I am biased because I have one.

The decision to cease production of economical saloons (they call them sedans) and focus on the massive all-terrain military style tractors that they call SUVs seemed to coincide with the election of their last president. Perhaps the new incumbent will reverse this trend and point the USA in a more environmentally sensitive direction.

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15 minutes ago, NB Alnwick said:

In the USA, GM killed off what may have been their most successful development in electric vehicles that dealt effectively with range anxiety - I am biased because I have one.

The decision to cease production of economical saloons (they call them sedans) and focus on the massive all-terrain military style tractors that they call SUVs seemed to coincide with the election of their last president. Perhaps the new incumbent will reverse this trend and point the USA in a more environmentally sensitive direction.

Even allowing for the recent shift to petrol and away from diesel because of the emissions scandal, the data shows that the modern love of SUVs (and "trucks" in the USA) is responsible for the trend of decreasing CO2 emissions reversing recently -- the manufacturers work like mad to squeeze every last g/km out of their cars (driven by regulations), and then this is negated by people buying bigger heavier taller less economical SUVs that never go off-road in their lives. The USA in in an even worse position environmentally with mammoth "trucks" driven by cheap fuel, the Ford F150 was the best-selling vehicle of any kind last year.

 

Yes there are people with a genuine need for them (farmers, towers, remote countryside livers) but these are massively outnumbered by townies for who it's mostly a fashion choice -- and please don't shoot the messenger here and say how you bought one because of better visibility and easier access (real reasons but I'm not sure this justifies higher CO2 emissions), I'm just reporting what surveys of buyers have found when asked their reasons for buying one 😉

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51 minutes ago, IanD said:

 

It's possible that faster charging will allow lower capacity batteries to succeed but I doubt it, because the biggest worry people have isn't how long it takes to charge the car but how far it can go between charges, hence the push for bigger capacity batteries. If there is a choice between shorter range/faster charging and longer range/slower charging at the same cost it'll be interesting to see what the market reaction is, my guess is longer range will win but who knows

Unless the presence of widespread fast chargers means that people are no longer worried about running out of power, and so come to accept lower range batteries.

Slow home, workplace and supermarket charging is more than adequate to cope with the shorter local journeys that make up the vast bulk of most people's car use, even with smaller batteries than are currently fitted. So it's only on long journeys that the range anxiety arises. At the moment the fear of running out of power on the occasional long journeys we all make is surely one of the factors which deters ordinary folk from buying an electric car.  Fast charging on the motorways could be a game-changer.

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2 minutes ago, IanD said:

Even allowing for the recent shift to petrol and away from diesel because of the emissions scandal, the data shows that the modern love of SUVs is responsible for the trend of decreasing CO2 emissions reversing recently -- the manufacturers work like mad to squeeze every last g/km out of their cars (driven by regulations), and then this is negated by people buying bigger heavier taller less economical SUVs that never go off-road in their lives. The USA in in an even worse position environmentally with mammoth "trucks" driven by cheap fuel, the Ford F150 was the best-selling vehicle of any kind last year.

 

Yes there are people with a genuine need for them (farmers, towers, remote countryside livers) but these are massively outnumbered by those for who it's mostly a fashion choice -- and please don't shoot the messenger here and say how you bought one because of better visibility and easier access (real reasons but I'm not sure this justifies higher CO2 emissions), I'm just reporting what surveys of car buyers have found 😉

Absolutely spot on! And, even for farmers and those who want easier access and better visibility what was wrong with Citroën's solution?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citroën_2CV

An every-day car doesn't need to be built like a tank . . .

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7 minutes ago, David Mack said:

Unless the presence of widespread fast chargers means that people are no longer worried about running out of power, and so come to accept lower range batteries.

Slow home, workplace and supermarket charging is more than adequate to cope with the shorter local journeys that make up the vast bulk of most people's car use, even with smaller batteries than are currently fitted. So it's only on long journeys that the range anxiety arises. At the moment the fear of running out of power on the occasional long journeys we all make is surely one of the factors which deters ordinary folk from buying an electric car.  Fast charging on the motorways could be a game-changer.

If you have range anxiety then more charging stations is the game-changer, not 5-minute charging. Fast charging is nice, at least to get it down to 20mins or so for a full charge ("superchargers" today), but it's not essential to get the time down to 5 minutes -- in many cases people stop for a coffee or snack anyway after driving for several hours.

 

The "5-minute" idea is driven by the fact that with petrol/diesel cars you have to fill up at stations regularly when empty even if not on a long journey, and this means standing there in the cold and rain holding a nozzle, and nobody wants to do this for more than a few minutes on their way to work or the shops -- and of course filling up this quickly doesn't cost anything extra.

 

Electric's not like that... 😉

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9 minutes ago, David Mack said:

Unless the presence of widespread fast chargers means that people are no longer worried about running out of power, and so come to accept lower range batteries.

Slow home, workplace and supermarket charging is more than adequate to cope with the shorter local journeys that make up the vast bulk of most people's car use, even with smaller batteries than are currently fitted. So it's only on long journeys that the range anxiety arises. At the moment the fear of running out of power on the occasional long journeys we all make is surely one of the factors which deters ordinary folk from buying an electric car.  Fast charging on the motorways could be a game-changer.

 

The obvious answer is to have a built-in generator. GM and BMW did this with petrol generators and enjoyed some success but in the future we may see better generators that run on hydrogen or even built-in solar energy converters.

I am rather pleased that I never need to replenish my battery from a public charging point unless it is 100% free to use!

 

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13 minutes ago, NB Alnwick said:

 

The obvious answer is to have a built-in generator. GM and BMW have did this with petrol generators and enjoyed some success but in the future we may see better generators that run on hydrogen or even built-in solar energy converters.

A built-in generator ("range extender") gets you back to being fossil fuel powered (CO2 again), and hugely increases cost -- it's basically then a series hybrid.

 

Hydrogen will never take off for this end-use market (even if it has grid infrastructure applications), because when everything is driven by lower CO2 emissions and/or powered from renewable sources using a hydrogen generator uses maybe 4x more energy than a battery BEV, plus the 2x overhead of making the hydrogen. Even a fuel cell to convert the hydrogen into power makes no sense, this is still 3x the energy use of a BEV including making the hydrogen. And lets' not even mention the huge problems of distributing (leaks) and storing (10,000psi) hydrogen...

 

This is why the car industry is adopting BEV and discarding "range extenders" and hydrogen.

 

Solar's even worse for cars than it is for narrowboats, you simply can't fit enough area of cells on to be useful for driving.

8 minutes ago, NB Alnwick said:

I think battery electric boats could easily use the same 'range extended' technology.

 

That's exactly what everyone with an "electric boat" (so really a series hybrid...) is doing today, because there are no charging points on the canals 😉

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