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 |  Oct 12 2011, 10:00 PM

If your cell phone has ever run out of battery power midday, you know how frustrating it can be to charge on the go. Imagine having to do the same for your car.

Driving an electric vehicle (EV) means you’re always thinking about when and where you can charge next. At current charging times that can be significant - DC fast-charge systems on the market today need 30 minutes to achieve an 80 percent charge.

Nissan’s Leaf is one of the EVs available on the market today, and thanks to a recent tech development the automaker hopes to change charging times for the better.

According to a report, researchers at Japan’s Kansai University working with Nissan engineers sped up the charging process by tweaking a capacitor using tungsten oxide and vanadium oxide instead of the usual carbon. The result— a 10-minute charge.

The faster charging process allowed the capacitor to retain almost the same capacity and voltage as lithium ion batteries and appeared to retain durability during charging and discharging tests.

In light of their latest achievement, the same researchers hope to alter the capacitor’s structure to further decrease charging times to three minutes. If they can achieve their goal, charging times will be on par with average fueling times for gasoline vehicles.

The same report also mentioned that while this development will help bring such technology to consumers faster, it probably won’t be widely available for another decade.

[Sources: PaulTan.org and cnet.com]