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Discussion in 'Electric Conversions' started by dpeilow, Jul 27, 2009.
Student-Built Electric Car Charges In 10 Minutes : Gas 2.0
MIT Electric Vehicle Team Blog: elEVen
So is it that they're just using a huge power source? Can't be good for the batteries long term no?
The article says they're using a 350kW power source. Makes the ~15kW HPC seem pretty lame.
I suppose if it's possible to build really high power density batteries with half decent energy density, and then build out an infrastructure of very high power "filling stations," it would be another way to deal with the battery range limitation issue. This might make sense for high duty cycle applications like over-the-road trucks. On the other hand, they're also good candidates for ethanol, hydrogen, or just continuing to use fossil fuels. I suspect that they're a modest fraction of the total fuel usage anyway.
It seems to me that for low duty cycle applications (like most cars) a better solution is greatly increased (10x+) energy density. If you've got a 3000 mile/charge range then you don't have range anxiety. As long as your (long term) duty cycle is low enough that you charge it enough to replace what you use, it should cover almost all applications. It's entirely possible that batteries like this might exist in a decade or two (nanowire and lithium-air might do the trick if they turn out to work).
Importance of perception
From a marketing perspective, it is important to show that BEVs are at least equivalent to or better than gassers (or EVs with hydrogen-fuel-cell range-extenders) in every category. Home charging is fine for some people, but availability of high-power charging can only be beneficial to wider acceptance of plugin EVs.
According to publicly available numbers on A123 cells used by the team, energy density is not much worse than a Roadster commodity cell pack (498 kg vs Roadster's 405 kg, based on 54 kWh).
I suspect that if cost was better, $80K for a 60 kWh pack is quite pricey (they got a deal, BTW), Tesla would switch to using these cells in a heart-beat.
So the MIT guys have not ever charged this car in 10 minutes yet and gas 2.0 blog writes that is does? (Big reason why I dislike amateur journalism)