Anyone who's had to recharge an EV -- or, for that matter, any mobile device with a very big battery -- knows the pain of waiting for hours while a lithium-ion pack tops up. South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology has developed a conduction technique that could cut that charging time down to less than a minute. By dousing the nanoparticle materials of the battery in a graphite solution that's then carbonized, the researchers make a web of conductors that all start charging at once; current batteries have to charge towards the center slowly, like a not-very-edible Tootsie Pop. The immediate goal is to develop a secondary battery for an EV that could provide extra mileage in a matter of seconds. Here's hoping that the Ulsan team's fast-charging battery is more viable than others and spreads to just about everything -- we'd love to have EVs and laptops alike that power up in as much time as it takes to fill a traditional car at the pump.
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Fast-charging an EV isn't new in itself, but deciding on a standard for it is. Which is why we're glad to hear that Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, Ford, GM, Porsche and Volkswagen have all agreed to a common format for their EV charging ports, the not-very-elegantly-titled DC Fast Charging with a Combined Charging System. Together, the automakers are promising a consistent way to power up a car within 15 to 20 minutes, all without breaking a current Type 1 AC charging implementation. The new format will be demoed at the Electric Vehicle Symposium 26 in Los Angeles starting May 6. Just be aware that your first-generation Focus Electric won't be certain to use the newly universal technology: the first cars to tout the new plug won't be at dealerships until 2013, and the European vehicle association ACEA is only guaranteeing that charging stations on the continent will be using the DC Fast Charging system by 2017. Check after the break for a further look at the port.Permalink | | Email this | Comments