Researchers have developed a new charging station that can fully charge a standard electric car battery in record time.
How fast? Just 15 minutes. There is a catch, however, because the device is currently in testing phase, but it could be the solution to the power grid that holds back the development of electric cars with fast-charging batteries that require large amounts of power.
The new intermediate power storage device was developed by a team of researchers at Ecole Polytechnique Federale and it is basically a giant battery with lithium-ion technology the size of a shipping container. It works by constantly pulling power slowly from the power grid and, when it's time, it can transfer a large amount to the vehicle's battery much faster than other chargers.
"With this buffer storage, charging stations can be disconnected from the grid while still providing a high charge level for cars", said Alfred Rufer, a researcher in EPFL.
As electric charging stations will eventually replace gas stations, researchers build models to predict how these need to adapt from refilling tanks with fossil fuel to charging EVs. A station that can charge roughly about 200 cars each day needs a buffer storage capacity of 2.2 megawatt hours, which corresponds to an intermediate storage device approximately the size of four shipping containers.
Note: Porsche Mission E Concept pictured