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Nissan developing 10-minute EV charger

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October 11, 2011

Nissan has developed an experimental system that can fully charge an EV battery in just te...

Nissan has developed an experimental system that can fully charge an EV battery in just ten minutes (existing commercial charger is pictured)
(Photo: Nissan)

If there are two obstacles that are still keeping the general public from embracing electric cars, those would have to be the vehicles' limited driving range and long charging times. Well, Nissan has achieved a major milestone regarding one of those two problems - last week, Japan's Nikkei news agency reported that the automaker has developed an experimental system that can fully charge an EV battery in just ten minutes.

The system incorporates a capacitor in which the electrode is made from a combination of tungsten oxide and vanadium oxide, instead of the traditional carbon. This change is said to drastically boost the power of the charger, which is what allows it to work so quickly. On the batteries that were tested, no significant effects were noted regarding their storage capacity or voltage.

The charger is apparently half the size of Nissan's existing fast charger, and is said to work with batteries from a variety of manufacturers. It may take up to a decade, however, before it's commercialized.

Source: NY Daily News

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
19 Comments

There is also the problem of the cost, and that the most expensive component will wear out in 4-7 years.

Slowburn
11th October, 2011 @ 11:17 am PDT

The article text makes the impression that the problem of long charging time lies in the charger and that a new capacitor electrode there should solve the problem.

Actually it is the car batteries that has a limited charging capacity and if they are replaced with capacitors the charging will be much faster. My guess is that is what Nissan develops.

Kenneth Palmestål
12th October, 2011 @ 03:35 am PDT

And the lack of a network to allow you to charge at a wide range of locations. Sounds extremely limited loactions.

Mark Smith
12th October, 2011 @ 04:15 am PDT

In 10 year something better will turn up

Stewart Mitchell
12th October, 2011 @ 04:53 am PDT

THere is an American charging company that can charge an EV in 20 minutes from zero to 80%. Charges a car practically like putting gas in your car too.

Daniel Lafontaine
12th October, 2011 @ 05:26 am PDT

@Sloburn: Nissan's recent studies show that fast charging doesn't do significant harm to their batteries, the batteries should last more than 7 years with minimal loss of capacity, AND you'll be able to replace a few cells at a time with new and improved versions as your battery degrades at a cost of a few hundred dollars.

@Mark Smith: Unlike for the adoption gasoline, people have a supply of electricity right in their houses, and the public fast chargers cost a few thousand dollars instead of hundreds of thousands for a gas station. The network will come rapidly as EVs gain popularity.

Electric cars aren't fully practical replacements for gas cars yet, but that day is coming sooner than you think.

Tysto
12th October, 2011 @ 09:02 am PDT

A DECADE to develop ??? This will never see the light of day...

bgstrong
12th October, 2011 @ 12:02 pm PDT

We're talking about HUGE current here. If everyone had electric cars and charged them at home we'd need to beef up the grid significantly.

In China they already have buses that use ultra-capacitors instead of batteries. Because they stop every minute or so, they have an opportunity for frequent charging and there are chargers at the bus stops. Capacitors have come a LONG way recently. YouTube has some good videos showing ultra-capacitors at work.

warren52nz
12th October, 2011 @ 12:44 pm PDT

Warren 52nz is EXACTLY CORRECT. No matter what the technology is based on, you CANNOT get around the absolute truth that the faster the charge, the greater the current and/or voltage level. If you want to stuff that battery in half the time, it will take twice the power. As it stands now, just the draw of summer air conditioning is enough to cause overloading and blackouts. We are talking about current loads that dwarf the AC loads.

Burnerjack
12th October, 2011 @ 03:55 pm PDT

Uh...fully charge batteries in 10 minutes? Can you imagine the amount of power that will need to go through that system to charge those batteries that quickly? And what about the batteries themselves? If there is just the slightest thing wrong with the batteries, the resultant explosion would be catastrophic!

Ed
12th October, 2011 @ 04:08 pm PDT

Problem here is that once the economy rises again, solar PV rooftop installations that are owned by the consumers and small businesses will become more commonplace. These units can trickle charge a stand alone battery anytime the sun is shining for later use. Hundreds can be charged at the same time from the free energy of the sun.

My point being, that a fast charge battery is not necessarily the answer for the future. A swap out battery is. People that are seeing banks, utility companies and oil companies as monopolies that need to be avoided (now and for future generations), are finding a way to quit enriching them (as well as the politicians their money buys). Once rooftop solar is paid for - the energy from sunshine is free.

It takes less than a minute to change batteries as a Japanese taxi company found. All it takes is for the designer to build this feature in. For fleet vehicles (or consumers that don't have their car parked at work or at home), this is ideal. People that understand the technology realize that these batteries can also be used to "help" the power grid become more stable, by feeding in power from these same consumer owned batteries in times of high demand. Much like the solar assisted auto factories that are now coming into use, they can feed the power into backup batteries for their own use, or back into the "dumb grid".

It is sad to see that the auto companies are still forcing us to rely on the existing monopolies. They are keeping our economy at a standstill for a short term Wall Street driven profit, while letting other countries develop in a smarter way. Do a quick search on the Israeli or German rooftop solar infrastructures.

Cars should be made so the batteries are standardized and can be changed out as simply as a flashlight.

electric38
12th October, 2011 @ 10:52 pm PDT

ok... a car that does 100km at 100kmh needs about 20kwh (tesla is 53) .

that is 20kw for an hour. for 10 minutes that is 60kw. so a station with 4 chargers is 240kw. with the right connections that is easy.

also in south of france on a hot day 20 m2 of solar makes 3gw, so we are looking at 120m2 of panels methings? maybe 60 i cant remember.

however no one in the WORLD has demonstrated batteries that charge in 10 minutes, the early adopters are RC cars, and community, electric bike builders, for whom the investment is less. these batteries have never been demoed. also they might weigh 2x more, ask questions on the endless sphere website.

Antony Innit
12th October, 2011 @ 11:53 pm PDT

There are only a few things Americans want to waste time plugging in to. Otherwise this 150 year old technology is nothing but a big sham. GM tried it and ended up crushing all of those useless toys. Pull the battery out of this and drop in a clean deisel with an EPA of 58 mph and a price tag of $21k "out the door" and watch the wait list grow!

Fred Hughes
13th October, 2011 @ 12:35 am PDT

Unless the ultra capacitor is always charging up with a relatively low voltage/wattage and then releases it at the car charge moment.

James Doughty II
13th October, 2011 @ 03:45 am PDT

I have dreamed of driving an EV for 25+ years. I don't believe in global warming or conserving oil. I want energy independence. Cheaper transportation costs would be a side benefit but not at first. Once the monopoly by the oil cartel is broken innovation will bring unpredictable advantages and lower costs. The market works when not distorted by government regulation and subsidies. For example, decentralized energy production by individuals will be difficult to tax and regulate, freeing us from the grid/oil cartel. Next, we need to end the monetary theft/fraud by the FED/government. Market supplied money and energy are necessary for freedom. Today we have neither.

voluntaryist
13th October, 2011 @ 01:00 pm PDT

@Fred, the 100year sham is the gasoline car, which uses MORE electricity per 100 miles than an EV in addition to the pollution it generates:

http://solarchargeddriving.com/news/scd-editorials/831-surprise-gas-cars-use-more-electricity-than-evs.html

So, if all gas cars would be replaced by EVs the grid would not suffer at all, on the contrary we would use 25% electricity in total.

Zsolt Zsoldos
14th October, 2011 @ 06:19 am PDT

lets not forget that the electric cars can have their chargers set on a timer to use off peak power only. Which I dare say is quite likely when most people would charge after a work day anyway and they can save some of their money off-peak. The practical effect is that it would have no extra load on the grid.

Sam Qu
20th October, 2011 @ 05:41 am PDT

Renault of France (and partner/owner of Nissan) Is launched a program recently where you buy the car lease the battery for less then a internal combustion car would cost/run.

Renault also promised that you will never have to deal with a battery that is below 75% NEW capacity! They will maintain the battery as long as you lease it.

About the power grid- I have personally talked with power company executives that say power plants have to waste energy at night because they cant run below a certain level of production and that charging a electric car at off peak times would be a good thing.

The Austin Expo center took this idea of using energy at off peak times to use during peak times a step further by freezing water tons of water at night and then during the day running air over the ice to cool the expo center down and thus reducing peak demand.

Austin Energy has a program (for big power users such as industries in Austin like IBM and AMD- but have plans to make it available for all users) where users are paid a check for power they don't use during peak hours compared to the last year of service, in short a dividend for energy savings and conversely a higher rate for consuming power during peak times.

Cool stuff! Go green, save green!

Flint McNamara
20th October, 2011 @ 11:09 am PDT

@Fred Hughes - Kudos to you for using what is, I assume, your real name on your post but I'm afraid its content is so ignorant that I just have to respond.

Firstly, I am guessing you have never driven a modern production EV like the LEAF or a Tesla? If you had, you would realize in about 10 seconds that the age of the internal combustion engined vehicle - lets call it the 'ICE-age' - is doomed. The EV is truly a vehicle fit for the 21st century. ICEVs are, in comparison, noisy, smelly, dirty, rattly, unrefined and appallingly expensive to run.

GM spent billions of US dollars (much of it effectively paid by the US tax payer) to develop the EV1 in order to satisfy the Californian CAFE regulations to allow it to continue to sell ICEVs in that state. It was adored by all of the few hundred people who got to lease one (not 'own', mind). When it realized it had created the object of its very own demise, GM destroyed all but a small handful to make sure the car never made it into mass production. Fortunately, CAFE, under huge pressure from NADA and all their well-connected, Big Oil-funded, political bed-fellows, dropped its requirement for 'compliance' cars which gave GM all the excuse it needed to bury the EV1. It did so in spectacular fashion by taking them away and shredding them. (See the film "Who Killed the Electric Car")

But the main reason that I felt compelled to reply is that your belief in maintaining the ICEV status quo completely ignores the fact that, even with the recent fracking revolution (how long is that going to last? 5 years...?), the US is still spending hundreds of billions of tax payers money every year securing its main oil supplies around the world and what has been going on in Iraq and Afghanistan etc of late is 100% tied up in that objective. All those dead and injured, all that money spent in destruction and calamity instead of re-building America...

If *you* are prepared to continue supporting this insanity, fine, but I'd like to think that most Americans are not and so I would encourage you and anyone else reading this to grow a pair and try an EV and actually be in a position of at least some authority before spouting your mouth off about a subject about which you clearly know absolutely nothing!

Nissan are letting potential customers borrow a LEAF for a week at the moment in the UK - I'd recommend the LEAF. For something a bit cheaper try a used Mitsubishi i-MiEV if your needs are more for a second car. I've had one since January and it is easily the best car I have owned in 40 years of driving. For any UK readers interested in an i-MiEV, there a quite a lot of ex-lease Peugeot iOns (a re-badged i-MiEV) on eBay at the moment, mostly with Howard's of Taunton. 2011,

Martin Winlow
19th September, 2014 @ 02:10 am PDT
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