More electric vehicles (EV) are available today than ever before from manufacturers like Tesla, Rivian, and Toyota. While governments have been nudging manufacturers and buyers toward EVs, consumers have expressed concerns. A big one has been how long it takes to charge an EV fully. One company has announced a breakthrough that could speed up the process. Its EV battery can reach a nearly 100% charge in around 10 minutes.
The world’s move toward electric vehicles
Government policies have been helping to push the automotive industry toward EVs and away from gas-powered vehicles. Various countries offer tax incentives for EV purchases, stricter emissions and fuel-efficiency standards, and some even ban the sale of new gas-powered vehicles after a specific date. According to Politico, a 2021 executive order from President Biden says that in the U.S. “50 percent of all new passenger cars and light vehicles sold in 2030” should be electric vehicles.
While countries have set ambitious goals, auto manufacturers also have their own policies regarding the shift to EVs. Mercedes aims to go all-electric for its light vehicles by 2030, and General Motors hopes to be all-electric by 2035.
The EV battery charges in about 10 minutes
According to ExtremeTech, the California lithium-ion battery company Enovix has developed a new EV battery that can be charged in a little more than 10 minutes. The Enovix silicon-anode lithium-ion battery is named 3D Silicon, and previously it’s been used for smaller devices, like smartwatches, laptops, smartphones, and mobile radios. The newest version is designed for vehicles.
A June 13, 2022, press release from Enovix announced that the company’s 0.27 Ah EV test cells could charge from 0% to 80% charged in about 5.2 minutes and could charge to more than 98% charged in less than 10 minutes. PV magazine points out that these capabilities far exceed the United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) goal of achieving 80% charge in 15 minutes. In tests, the batteries still had 93% of their charge capacity even after 1,000 charge cycles, including tests under very high temperatures. Enovix estimates its new batteries will last at least ten years.
These impressive advances are possible partly because the Enovix batteries use silicon anodes instead of the graphite anodes generally used in lithium-ion batteries. In theory, silicon can store more than twice as much lithium, but it is prone to swelling, which Enovix says it has been able to limit.
Concerns about EVs
While EV buyers like saving money on gas and helping reduce emissions, not everyone is sold. People have range anxiety and hope for longer-range batteries, where they won’t be worried about running out of charge before getting where they’re going. People are also concerned about having access to fast chargers when away from home and about how long charging will take. EV batteries that charge quickly will help alleviate the public’s objections about switching to electric vehicles. In addition, EVs do have higher purchase costs, points out Blink Charging.
Enovix’s new battery may help address some of these concerns. “Fast charge capability can accelerate mass adoption of EVs, and we’ve been able to demonstrate a level of performance that meets and exceeds many OEM roadmaps,” said Harrold Rust, co-founder, CEO, and president of Enovix. “EV manufacturers are pursuing batteries that support longer range, while the public and private sectors work to increase EV driver access to fast chargers. We’re proud to support these goals to help electrify the automotive industry and demonstrate our batteries are an exciting option to power long-range, fast-charging EVs.”
The auto industry is headed toward electric vehicles instead of gas-powered ones, but the full adoption of EVs depends on advances like faster-charging batteries.