Energy

Adaptive micro-pulse technology could drastically reduce EV charging times

Adaptive micro-pulse technolog...
According to GBatteries, its charging system may ultimately allow electric vehicles to be recharged in as little as five to 10 minutes
According to GBatteries, its charging system may ultimately allow electric vehicles to be recharged in as little as five to 10 minutes
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CCO Tim Sherstyuk, working at GBatteries' headquarters
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CCO Tim Sherstyuk, working at GBatteries' headquarters
According to GBatteries, its charging system may ultimately allow electric vehicles to be recharged in as little as five to 10 minutes
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According to GBatteries, its charging system may ultimately allow electric vehicles to be recharged in as little as five to 10 minutes

It's no secret that many people don't like the limited battery range of electric cars. If those batteries could be recharged much quicker, though, that range might not be so off-putting. That's where GBatteries' new pulse-based system comes in – it may one day be capable of safely recharging an EV battery in a matter of minutes instead of hours.

In typical charging systems, a consistent current is continuously sent to the battery. That current is increased in fast chargers – this unfortunately degrades the battery over time, decreasing its ability to hold a charge. Additionally, overheating of the battery can occur, potentially even causing fires.

Ottawa, Canada-based GBatteries is developing a fast-charging system that reportedly gets around such problems, by delivering a constantly-varying current in successive micro-pulses. An artificial intelligence-based system continuously checks the battery's impedance and other factors, determining when those pulses can be sent – and at what voltage – without harming the battery.

"Right now, when a battery is charged, because of the charging protocol that is used – constant current, constant voltage – it's a one-size-fits-all approach, and nothing's really adapted," Chief Commercial Officer and company co-founder Tim Sherstyuk tells us. "The battery is charged at high resistance, so there's a lot of heat that ends up being generated, and irreversible chemical reactions happen."

"With our technology, we're able to identify the threshold during which irreversible chemistry begins to happen, and we charge the battery as much as we can up to that point using a pulse, and then stop, and then do it again and again and again."

CCO Tim Sherstyuk, working at GBatteries' headquarters
CCO Tim Sherstyuk, working at GBatteries' headquarters

The system should reportedly work with any lithium-ion battery (for a car, smartphone or anything else) utilizing off-the-shelf electronics that could be integrated either into the charger, or into the device that's being charged. That said, the AI algorithms would need to be adapted in order for the system to work best with a given make/model of battery's specific chemistry.

It is hoped that once the technology is developed further, it could allow an electric car to be recharged from near-empty in as little as five to 10 minutes – although this would depend on the power of the fast-charging station. The system could then be licensed to automakers, electronics companies, or other clients. It may be some time before that happens, however.

"For something like a consumer vehicle, it's going to be a while," says Sherstyuk. "The typical design cycle for a vehicle is five to seven years. And you also need to take technology validation into account. We're working with electric vehicle manufacturers today, but it's a long process."

Company website: GBatteries

17 comments
guzmanchinky
Excellent. The only thing keeping me from buying an electric car is charging times.
vince
Good news but unnecessary soon with 1 minute charging solid state batteries coming on the market is a surprise move that will stun Detroit.
Tom Lee Mullins
I think reducing charging times would increase the appeal of the electric vehicle. Now to work on the cost and the range.
Brian M
That's a lot of energy to shift in a short period of time - So consideration would need to given towards a massive update in the electricity supply system. Current eclectic battery cars really aren't the solution, fine as a smaller volume stop gap, but its the wrong solution (barring any dramatic change in battery technology). Hydrogen has the potential to give all the consumer advantages of petrol, with non of the downsides of current Lithium based batteries, with the potential to be even greener.
paul314
Almost all of range anxiety is the result of poor planning and badly-thought-out charging infrastructure. For daily commutes, anything over 100 miles with overnight recharge should be fine. For most longer trips, we just need to move away from the gas-pump model and toward charge-enabled parking spots at rest stops and elsewhere. For the tiny residual, that's what rentals/hsared vehicles are for. It's incredibly wasteful to size everyone's vehicles to meet the occasional demands of a small minority.
Expanded Viewpoint
Come on now, EVs are really not any kind of a solution for anything, except for how to get rich off of the gullibility of most people. How much energy does it take to get the Lithium from raw ore to finished product? What about any other chemical compounds that are needed? And then what about the disposal of the batteries after they are no longer usable? And let's not forget about where that electricity is coming from! Is it from burning Carbon based fuels of some kind? If it's solar or wind power, how much energy does it take to produce the solar panels or make the the wind turbines? There is a certain amount of energy in various forms that is needed each day to run our modern day world, where does it come from and at what cost? There's no such thing as a free lunch. Somewhere, somebody, somehow, is paying for it. Unless you're just picking it up off of the ground and it's ready to eat. And just how often does that ever happen??
Colt12
Expanded Viewpoint, All of the expenditures that you are talking about are one time investments. Having not to put gas and motor oil in a car ever again is eternal, without the byproducts. Making gas from oil is one dirty game and one that we need to minimize.
HDBoomer
Has anyone thought about the amount of current that must be available from the grid; transfer to the EV... to charge in 10 minutes or less?
Simon Redford
Here we go again - well said Brian M. Lets take a relatively conservative 60kWh battery (perhaps 300km range) - to charge this in 10 minutes requires an average of 360kW. While this is not as extreme as some claims, this is still around 20 times the maximum capacity of a UK domestic supply, and if everyone wanted to do this at 'fuel' station you would need a new HV pylon network and an awful lot of wind generators! Hydrogen or perhaps Bio-Butanol as a close replacement for petrol without major infrastructure changes makes more sense. I hope Vince was joking.
Lihui Su
That is technology used years on cell phone fast charging (like Qualcomm With) and I think even EV charging now is not totally constant current. But the bottleneck will be how fast you can draw electricity from the grid. There is a limit there so EV charging can lot be in minutes. But with over night home charging I only need charge once or twice a month outside. I had less than 100 mile EV for last 4 years. People think 100 miles are low because they forgot that is 100 miles every morning.