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Cambridge Firm Claim: Recharge EV Batteries in Six Minutes

A British firm has developed new technology that they claim will allow phone and electric vehicle batteries to be charged in only six minutes.

The breakthrough comes as a welcome expectation in a time when long-distance EV commuters recharge at points along their route with charge times typically between 30 and 60 minutes. 80% of electric vehicles are charged overnight at home but are used for shorter commutes.

Echion Technologies, who developed the rapid-charge lithium battery technology, are a spin-off of Cambridge University. The company’s founder, Dr Jean De La Verpilliere, came up with a new material in 2017, at the end of his phD in nanoscience. The new material, when used in place of graphite in lithium batteries, reduces charge time and is less volatile.

Echion currently produce a kilogram of material per day, enough for a single electric car battery. However, the firm are moving from development to the commercialisation stage and are looking to scale up production next year. Reports hint that Echion are looking to produce up to 1,000 tonnes of product for commercial-scale EV battery production.

EV Fast Charging

Electric Vehicle fast charging is limited by the capacity of chargers. Tesla’s Supercharger stations are 150kW charge capability. The new Lotus Evija is rumoured to have an 800 kW capability.

However, UK homes typically allow up to 7.4kW charge rates. That is OK for overnight charging but not for rapid charging.

Echion Technologies point the finger firmly at lithium-ion batteries as being the “critical bottleneck” in future electric vehicle advancement.

With their advanced battery materials, Echion are looking to be part of the next-generation of EV products.

Their new material, once manufactured at scale, will simply “drop in” to the battery-manufacturing process without disruption. The advanced materials will then allow batteries to be safer, more sustainable and capable of that ultra-fast charge.

But it’s not just electric cars that will benefit from the new charging technology – electric and hybrid buses are lined up to take advantage of Echion’s disruptive tech too with Vantage Power becoming an official partner.

If you are looking for power and testing equipment in the EV industry, take a look at Caltest Instruments’ wide range of solutions for electric vehicles.