• Jun 24th 2010 at 10:56AM
  • 22
Early last month, we broke a story regarding a super-rapid charging system that could take an electric vehicle (EV) from empty to 50 percent charged up in as little as three minutes. The super-rapid charging system, developed by JFE Engineering, could potentially change the EV industry forever. Just imagine, an EV could be charged in about the same amount of time that it takes to fuel up a traditional car. This could certainly put to rest some of the gripes regarding long charging times that are often associated with EVs.
JFE Engineering has apparently made significant progress on its super-rapid charging system and claims that it will be ready for field tests before the end of the year. In addition, the company claims that it will be ready for production as soon as EVs supporting the rapid charging standard become available. The system utilizes 500-600 amps of current, significantly more than the CHAdeMO systems, which of course means that the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-MiEV are not currently compatible with the super-rapid standard. Of course, there's still concern over battery degradation from the rapid charging system, but JFE remains confident that batteries can be designed to withstand the additional strain. We'll update you again as soon as the super-rapid charging system swings into action. Hat tip to Larz!

[Source: TechOn]


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  • 22 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      It should work no problem on the ALTI bateries. They will suck up all the juice you can give them
      • 5 Years Ago
      Every day I get more confident that there will be a way for me to realistically own an EV when I'm done paying for my Fit in 4 years. Range of at least 200 miles, quick charge in major cities to plan my trips around. Ten years time, there should be no problem at all...
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd like to see a picture of their charging connector if you guys can dig one up. The 50kW TEPCO/CHAdeMO connector is already pretty wonky looking.

      Anyhow, fast charging is nice, but not necessary for EVs to get established. Should put more effort in higher current Level 2 charging stations. Unfortunately in the US we're stuck with this fairly limited Yazaki connector and most of the charging stations going in are limited to 30A or so. I think this is pretty short sighted.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Here's Tokyo Electric's (the co. behind CHAdeMO) take on charging EVs and how fast charge fits in. I'd love to see a US electric utility this smart about EVs:

        • Home or working place
        Normal electrical outlet of AC 100V ~230V
        * Drivers have enough time for recharging.
        * Number of charging spots should be more than millions.
        * It should be easy and cheap infrastructure.

        • Public place
        DC quick charger
        * It relieves drivers psychological obstacle.
        * Mainly it is for emergency and sometime for range extender.
        * Number of DC charger is small because drivers don’t use it often.
        * TEPCO proposes safe and common use design concept.

        (The last "Summary" slide of http://www.emc-mec.ca/phev/Presentations_en/S12/PHEV09-S12-3_TakafumiAnegawa.pdf , or Google "Takafumi Anegawa Desirable characteristics of public quick charger" to read in your browser.)
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm not 100% sure, but I think this might be it:
        http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1750111

        And it's wireless, too.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree fast charging isn't required for EVs, but I think it's more important for public charging. A level 2 charging station lets you recharge at the other end of a journey (office, mall, etc.) as well as at home. A level 3 quick charge lets you recharge *in the middle of a journey*. Level 2 lets people use an EV for a 100 mile round trip; level 3 makes traveling 200+ miles a day in an EV possible.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is interesting work, but way ahead of its time IMHO. Yes, I know that the Altairnano batteries could probably take it, but name another one??? And exactly how many vehicles are shipping with those SUPER heavy monsters? I don't even think the A123 batteries would be happy about that kind of charging on a regular basis.

      Hopefully some day we'll have batteries that can handle all this and it will be wonderful. But I'm with Doug...I'd rather see focus on more 220V/60A or even 90A level 2 chargeing stations that could give you a decent charge in 20-30 minutes.

      As much of an EV fan as I am, I don't see any vehicles on the market needing this for 3-5 years at least. Who is going to take the chance of destroying their battery to save 15 minutes on a single charge?

        • 5 Years Ago
        A123 and BYD LiFePO4 cells can handle 10 minute charges by the manufacturer (A123), and even that is pointless.
        • 5 Years Ago
        David M,
        Yeah, I guess you're right. The Toshiba batteries do seem to be able to take that kind of charge rate and keep on ticking.

        I guess that for a while longer, we'll have to choose between something that can handle rapid charging like the Toshiba and A123 cells or something like the Panasonic cells which have the higher energy density.

        Over time those trade offs will become less painful as things progress on all fronts.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The lithium titanate chemistries are happy with this sort of charge.
        The Toshiba's show that they are good for 6,000 cycles fast charged.
        They do 12,000 if they are not, but who is counting? ;-)
        If you don't need it, fine, but that does not mean no-one else does.
        Time is money for some.
        • 5 Years Ago
        From memory the Panasonic and other NMC cells can hit around 188wh/kg.
        Toshiba:
        'As for EVs, we will begin to ship samples with the nominal capacity of 20Ah and the energy density of 100Wh/kg this fall. The energy density is sufficient for a small EV, but in order to drive a larger EV, the energy density needs to be raised to around 150Wh/kg. We are already working on this, and we are putting further efforts into research for EV batteries (Fig.6).'

        http://e2af.com/interview/091009.shtml

        So on the face of it if Toshiba hit their density target you would pay around a 25% penalty for using this chemisty.
        However, as the link I have given says, in practice the titanate chemistry has a wider band of operation than other chemistries and can reasonably be discharged more deeply without excessive penalties in wear, at least in view of the extraordinary cycle life of the chemistry, especially as in practice this reserve would rarely be used.
        To put some very rough figures on it, other chemistries might prefer a cushion of 20 % , so your 188wh/kg comes down to 150wh/kg usable, whereas you might choose a 5% cushion on the Toshiba, bringing it down to 142wh/kg.
        On top of that in an EV application the very high charge/discharge capabilities of the titanate battery, approaching that of capacitors, mean that unless you had dedicated capacitors in the NMC system regenerative braking would be far more efficient for the titanate battery system.
        On top of that you could, if the car and engine is set up to do so, have very high acceleration capabilities.

        The price is critical, of course, but if they could reach like for like pricing there is no doubt in my mind which is the better chemistry.

        Even at a premium, users such as delivery vehicles and taxis would benefit.

        What appeals to me, in a slightly silly numbers game, is that if costs can be reduced to perhaps $200kwh then for $15k or so you should be able to buy a 72kwh battery pack.
        That should be good for 300 miles.
        If you used it for around the average of 30 miles a day, and usually avoided fast charging, then shelf life issues aside your 12,000 recharges should give you a lifespan of around 300 years for your battery! ;-)
      • 5 Years Ago
      It is a shame, in my opinion, when folks start advertising EVs or charging infrastructure as if it conforms to the current paradigm of "fuel up at central locations in short period of time, and/or carry enough energy for the whole week".

      They SHOULD be describing the "new paradigm" of personal transportation. A charge point located at every place your car is likely to stay parked for more than 30 minutes. (shopping, movies, recreation, work, home).

      Get rid of this "fueling on the go" mentality. And begin to enlighten people to the fact that Cars stay parked for 90% of the day.... on only drive for 10% (2.4 hours).

      Home chargers (garage, street or parking lot) can account for at least 50% of the time 12 hours per day. And Work chargers (street or parking lot) can take care of 8 hours per day.

      ---------------------

      The reason why EVs are revolutionary... is because they can Change everything. Not only emissions, noise, and oil consumption... but the very mind of drivers and how we drive.

      It is scary for some. But change usually is.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, "shoulds" should be avoided when speaking about facts. But this is only opinion and wishful thinking.

        I am confident we will get there though.. If not within this generation, the next for sure.

        But I also include PHEVs in my future hopes and dreams.

        With 90% of all driving being powered by electricity, I think it would be okay to use other fuels (hopefully 0 net emissions) for the extraneous trips.

        This will take the burden off the transportation and put it on the power companies to clean up.
        • 5 Years Ago
        'They SHOULD be describing the "new paradigm" of personal transportation. A charge point located at every place your car is likely to stay parked for more than 30 minutes. (shopping, movies, recreation, work, home).'

        I am often a bit uncomfortable with 'shoulds'.
        What your describe is fine for many people's use, most of the time, but if, for instance, you drive long distances for your work, or simply as I do like to go away on weekends and might go a fair way, if it is technically possible to enable this, then why not?
        If nothing is done to help this sort of use, then for much business use petrol will remain the only way to travel.
        I think we 'should' be careful of our 'shoulds!' :-)
      • 5 Years Ago
      I thought the TEPCO/CHAdeMO standard was good to 100kW, or 500V/200A ? I know Nissan specs max 125A on their fast charger, but I thought that was a limitiation of that specific charger ?

      100kW should be enough for most people, 200A into the Leafs batteries would mean 15 minutes charge from 0 to 80%. On a 300-mile Model S the process would take about 45 minutes, but you could then drive another 240 miles or 4 hours at 60mph. I'd want at least a 45 minute break after 4 hours of driving...
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Toshiba's can handle 12C:
        http://www.toshiba.com/ind/data/tag_files/SCiB_Brochure_5383.pdf

        If you always charge at that rate though, it gives the other chart on the link, and after 6,000 charges you are down to 80%!
        Stick to 1C and you get 12,000
        • 5 Years Ago
        Right now all the TEPCO/CHAdeMO chargers being installed are 50kW and I don't think the iMIEV or the Leaf's batteries can charge much faster than that (30 min charge is 2C already).

        The impact to the battery isn't measured by kW, it is measured by how fast the battery is charged. For example, a 25kWh (Leaf sized) battery charged in 30 minutes versus a ~100kWh (300-400 mile Model S size) battery charged in 30 minutes are both considered 2C (1 / 0.5 hours = 2C). However, the Leaf will need a 50kW charge, and the Model S will need 200kW.

        However, lithium titanate chemistries mentioned above that can take a (4C/15min or 6C/10min) charge. At that point, what limits you is the power of the charger. For example, a 100kWh battery will need a 400kW charger to charge in 15 minutes, although that will give you 300-400 miles.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Keisuke Ogawa of Nikkei Automotive Technology is a hell of a lot sharper than the US press!

      "the new system proposed by JFE Engineering uses 500-600A of current, which is about five times higher than the current of the existing systems, it is not compatible with the CHAdeMO." Well, CHAdeMO's connector supports 200A though the first cars only accept 125A. (CHAdeMO hasn't actually published their specification, despite companies selling charging stations and cars compatible with it - a neat trick!)

      Two key things about this new system: "Another feature of the super-rapid charging system is that it can be used with a low voltage power supply (20kW, AC200V). The existing rapid charging systems require a higher power supply voltage (50kW or more, AC6.6kV). " But to work with lower voltage "The super-rapid charger for the new system has two batteries inside. One is a high-capacity battery used to store grid electricity during nighttime hours. And the other is a high-output battery that rapidly charges an EV by using the electricity stored in the high-capacity battery."

      So JFE gets a simpler electrical connection, but *two* monstrous batteries outside the car sounds really expensive! It allows the charge station to participate in the fabled smart grid (CS2G?), but unless electric utilities start paying serious money to help out their grid, I can't see it as a money-maker. Otherwise regular power users would already be buying batteries to store cheap night-time electricity.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @hermperez,
        Thanks for the link, interesting (ABB and Altairnano also are selling batteries for this). If utilities are going to buy batteries to stabilize the grid, maybe they will decentralize and put them in charging stations to collect a bit of money; maybe they will also fairly compensate BEV owners for V2G. But I wonder how many kWh of batteries utilities are actually buying for grid stabilization? USA utilities seem incapable of implementing innovation, they just advertise it :-(

        I agree, fast charge only makes sense in the middle of a long journey. But it's so convenient in that role (who wants to drive 2 hours at 65 mph, then wait 6+ hours to drive the next 130 miles?) that I think a fast charging station can charge customers way more $$ than the cost of the electricity.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "but unless electric utilities start paying serious money to help out their grid, I can't see it as a money-maker. Otherwise regular power users would already be buying batteries to store cheap night-time electricity."

        but utilities are already spending lots of money on batteries used for grid stabilization.. they would be happy paying these fast charge stations.

        http://www.a123systems.com/a123/applications/grid-stabilization

        The only issue is that there will never be much of an economic demand for fast charge stations.. why would you spend $10 to charge your BEV when you can do it for much less in the convenience of your garage?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think fast charging is the most important feature of electric drive. Put in the ALTI batteries go 80 miles 3 minutes gone again. No anxiety,no waiting for hours.
        • 5 Years Ago
        ALTI batteries have lousy energy density, are overpriced, and most of the companies that tried them sent them back. ALTI had negative revenues in one quarter as a result. They'll be out of business long before this charger hits the market.
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