Spectrum of opinion on rapid recharging

9 December 2007

IEEE Spectrum reports on the practicalities of charging a flat electric vehicle in 10 minutes dead. Or a dead electric vehicle in 10 minutes flat. Whichever:

“To charge a 35kWh battery in 10 minutes requires 250 kilowatts of power—five times as much as the average office building consumes at its peak. That rules out rapid charging at home. Even rapid-charge ‘filling stations’ stretch the imagination, as you’d need a megawatt power feed—generally available only at electrical substations—to simultaneously operate four power pumps. That is a stretch too far for even some staunch EV proponents. ‘I look at 10-minute charging as a gimmick because of the power requirements,’ says Andrew Burke, an EV engineering pioneer at the University of California, Davis.”

The article looks at Altair Nano, which has developed batteries capable of sucking up the necessary wattage without melting or exploding.

Altair CEO Alan Gotcher, in true nominative deterministic spirit, admits to Spectrum that this gotcha has been a problem in his own firm’s labs, but nonetheless thinks there is a future in rapid recharging.

The article goes on to discuss the merits of vehicle-to-grid electron-shuffling, in Shai Agassi style.

Worth a read.

Next » « Previous Home