Machine learning should make electric cars faster to charge


Shorter charging times – without changing battery chemistry. “Charging becomes an experience very similar to the usual refueling at a gas station.”

In addition to range, charging time is one of the most important parameters for electric cars. No one wants to be standing for an extra hour along the road on the journey. And precisely the concern about long waiting times makes some car buyers hesitant to choose an electric vehicle.

Now the Idaho National Laboratory has shown an exciting solution that can speed up the charging process. Using machine learning and large amounts of data, researchers have found a way to safely and quickly charge electric car batteries up to 90 percent in less than ten minutes.

– Fast charging is a key to increasing customer interest and the transition to electric vehicles. This can make vehicle charging an experience very similar to the usual refueling at a gas station, says Eric Dufek, one of the researchers behind the solution, in a statement.

Fast charging means a strain on the batteries and depending on the chemistry they are made of, the speed varies. Just rushing the process is difficult. If you choose to just turn up the power, the risk of damaging the batteries is significant.

Analyzed close to 30,000 lithium-ion batteries

Currently, 150–250 kW is common and many manufacturers state that the charging time for a typical bicycle charge from 20 to 80 percent takes 30 minutes. But Eric Dufek and his colleagues claim that with the help of data and machine learning, they have gotten around the problem. They have developed an algorithm and analyzed between 20,000 and 30,000 lithium-ion batteries of various types. Based on this, they have then developed the most efficient and safe charging process.

The result is what the researchers describe as “unique charging protocols”, based on the exact physics inside the battery during charging. The end goal is to produce electric cars that will be able to communicate with charging stations and explain how they should be charged based on the vehicle’s specific battery.

– We have significantly increased the amount of energy that can be charged in a battery cell in a short time. Currently, we can charge up to over 90 percent in the ten minute window that there is unwanted lithium coating or cathode cracks, says Eric Dufek.

The research is supported by the US Department of Energy and was presented during the fall conference of the American Chemical Society at the end of August.


Source: Nyteknik – Senaste nytt by www.nyteknik.se.

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