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Fast charging i-Miev for the UK


December 13, 2009

On charge - the fast charger is claimed to replenish the Lithium-ion batteries to 80 percent capacity in just 30 minutes

On charge - the fast charger is claimed to replenish the Lithium-ion batteries to 80 percent capacity in just 30 minutes

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As Mitsubishi's iMiev electric cars become available to the public next year, the UK will be the first to benefit from technology that will see the Lithium-ion batteries recharged to 80 percent capacity in just 30 minutes. Mitsubishi UK will be the first company in Europe to showcase the city car's fast charging capabilities.

We previously reported that 25 iMiev's were going on the road in the UK as part of a trial and the company reports that more are on the way for a leasing scheme. Although the initial scheme is fully booked up, Mitsubishi has hinted that more could follow giving the British public a chance to try the four-seater, rear-wheel drive electric vehicle before they buy (the first models will be available for purchase next year).

Even though the average daily commute in the UK is thought to be no more than 48km (30 miles), which is well within the 130 - 160km (81 - 100 miles) travel capabilities of the iMiev, a criticism often leveled at electric vehicles is limited range. The 200 x 100 x 80cm (79 x 39 x 32in) fast charger (supplied by Tokyo Electric Power Company) is claimed to replenish the batteries to 80 percent capacity in just 30 minutes so strategically placing a few at motorway service areas or car parks in retail zones should extend the car's range and convenience by more than enough to silence most detractors.

Mitsubishi UK is gearing up to be the first company in Europe to showcase fast charging technology for the iMiev. Lance Bradley of Mitsubishi UK said: "the fast charge function will revolutionize the way people think about the practicalities of Electric Vehicles. This is particularly significant with the launch of the Plugged in Places initiative by the Department for Transport, which is seeking to accelerate the implementation of the UK's charging infrastructure".

UK actor turned broadcaster Robert Llewellyn (of Red Dwarf and Scrapheap Challenge fame) will be using an iMiev next year for a brand new video podcast focused on electric vehicles, where no doubt such things as performance and range will be eagerly discussed. His internet TV portal Llewtube will have more information shortly.

See below for a short introduction to the iMiev:

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Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag. All articles by Paul Ridden

why do they measure the recharge time to 80 percent rather than full 100 percent recharge time?

bio-power jeff

Can you imagine the massive power delivery system needed to shove that much power into a battery in such a short amount of time? We\'re dealing with kilo-volts here folks! With hundreds of amps! Power cords as thick as your arm! There is NO WAY a standard home power can charge this thing that fast! And a recharge station would have to be extremely massive in order to service more than one of these vehicles at one time! And can you imagine the crater that would be created when one of those lithium battery packs explodes due to some kind of issue? Overcharging, short in the battery, or failure of the onboard charging system (and don\'t say it won\'t happen...because it will!) whoa, I want a video of that happening!


Bio-power Jeff- they do that because you can get an 80% charge fairly quickly but 100% takes longer. It\'s the same reason IC engines manufacturers rate their peak power numbers (i.e. 200kW/ 6500 rpm), when their engines would only last a fraction of the normal service life when run continuously at that level. The numbers sound better so it\'s better for marketing- that is all.

ED- sort of like when someone uses their mobile phone at a petrol station and the whole place immediately explodes? Happens all the time. I saw it just yesterday. Quick ban all mobile phones. Come on, think about it!! I the BMS will probably be designed to cope, and if it can\'t there will be a series of fail safe devices as long as your arm to prevent thermal runaway.


I think that fast recharge stations might work well if they designed to use large capacitors. This may help to lower the amount of current required from utility transformers. What you need is a steady draw to the recharge station, even when a car is not being charged so a circuit is needed for the charging of the capacitors at a nominal rate.

Adrian Akau

It\'s a big step, but why no brand of cars can\'t incorporate a sensitive fan in the front of the car which can produce the energy while it\'s spinning(while the car is moving). This energy can be stored in the same batteries, but without limits as other cases. They\'re afraid that theese cars will be to independent by refueling stations?!

Iosif Olimpiu
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