Forget Battery Swapping: Tesla Aims to Charge Electric Cars in Five Minutes  

Posted by Big Gav in ,

Technology Review has an article on Tesla's Forget Battery Swapping: Tesla Aims to Charge Electric Cars in Five Minutes.

Electric vehicles take too long to recharge. To charge a Tesla Model S just halfway takes five hours at a typical home or public charging station. But in its effort to make electric vehicles more practical, Tesla Motors is quickly reducing the charging times. Last September, it unveiled a network of “supercharging” stations—designed exclusively for its Model S and future electric vehicles—that could charge a battery halfway in 30 minutes. In May, it announced an upgrade that cut that time to 20 minutes. Now Tesla’s chief technology officer, JB Straubel, says the company eventually could cut the time it takes to fully charge the battery to just five minutes—or not much longer than it takes to fill a gas tank.

Straubel isn’t referring to the battery swap technology Tesla recently unveiled (see “Why Tesla Thinks It Can Make Battery Swapping Work”). That system doesn’t charge batteries quickly. It simply takes out a depleted battery and replaces it with a fully charged one. He’s talking about what might be a more appealing option for drivers: recharging the battery in your car while you wait.

“It’s not going to happen in a year from now. It’s going to be hard. But I think we can get down to five to 10 minutes,” Straubel said in an interview with MIT Technology Review. He noted that the current superchargers, which deliver 120 kilowatts of electricity, “seemed pretty crazy even 10 years ago.” Conventional public charging stations deliver well under 10 kilowatts.

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