One barrier to drivers’ acceptance of electric vehicles (EVs) is the unwillingness to stand around for 20 minutes while the car charges at a public station.
Most EVs can run for at least two days on a typical overnight charge at home, but the fear of being stuck at a charger in a random parking lot keeps many from committing to the idea of owning an EV.
Purdue University engineers may have just erased that fear.
One reason that it can take a while to charge an EV is that the cable from the charger to the car can handle only so much electricity at a time without melting. If cables could handle more heat, they could transmit more power faster and battery packs could “fill up” quicker.
The Purdue group has encircled the conduit holding the electric charging wires with a layer of fluid that draws off heat and circulates it back to the charger, where a heat exchanger dissipates it into the air, then sends the cooled fluid back through the cable.
In lab tests using commercial EV charging cables and equipment, the new design was able to handle a current of more than 2,400 amperes—a measure of the amount of electricity per unit of time—compared to the 1,400 amps that today’s best commercial chargers can offer.
The new cable delivered current 4.6 times faster than today’s fastest installed EV chargers, the developers calculated.
As a result, the new cable design could charge a large EV’s battery pack from empty to full in no more than five minutes, about as long as it takes to fill a pickup truck’s gas tank from bone dry to topped up.
Purdue’s project was funded through a partnership with Ford Motor Co.
TRENDPOST: New battery designs and charging technologies will all but eliminate “range anxiety” and concerns about long wait times at public EV charging stations by the end of this decade.
Each incremental improvement in these technologies, combined with falling EV sticker prices, will convince more people to buy an EV, enabling technological advances and market growth to keep pace with each other.

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