Faster charging batteries for electric cars

One of the big problems for electric vehicles has always been charging time. Every generation of electric vehicles is getting better and better with the range it can travel. However, when it comes to charging those vehicles, it takes hours, sometimes a full overnight charge. This is a huge difference from going to a gas station and filling up, which takes just minutes.

Now engineers at the University of California, San Diego, have developed algorithms that allow lithium-ion batteries to run more efficiently. This new discovery may reduce cost by 25 percent and more importantly, allow batteries to charge twice as fast as current battery packs.

Traditionally to gauge a battery behavior and health, we monitor the current and voltage. With these new algorithm models they can estimate where lithium ions are within cells, in turn giving more accurate data. The team was awarded $460,000 from the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E research division to further develop the algorithm with its partners Bosch automotive firm and battery manufacturer Cobasys.

We have multiple breakthroughs in science each year, making our devices smarter, faster, and more efficient. I don’t believe electric vehicles will really replace fossil fuel vehicles, they are more of a stepping stone. If anything we will see more hybrid vehicles with electric, solar, and maybe even hydrogen technology. I hope we also see these new algorithms applied to all our other devices that run on lithium batteries, like smart phones, laptops, and tables. Imagine charging those devices in just a few minutes and not having to buy extra battery packs just to last the day.

Source: UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering, Engadget

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