So last time we saw some advantages – this time let’s examine some limitations - Charging
One of the biggest issues with EVs today is the time it takes to restore the on-board energy. We can fill up our gas tanks in minutes but to recharge batteries we can’t yet compete with that time and we lack the infrastructure to support quick charging. Thet doesn’t preclude EVs, it just means we have to change how we use our vehicles. Even if it takes 4 hours to recharge, this can be done at night or even at work during the day while the car is parked.
Here are some options (not all of them – there are other ideas)
- Li-Fe-polymer are the state of the art.
- about 500 kg of batteries can store about 40 kWh of electric power.
- enough to drive an 1,800 kg vehicle at least 250 km on a single charge at 90 kph and 500 km at 60 kph.
1. Stop to Charge
- The eBeetle uses 220V/50amp RV services to recharge in about 4 hours using conventional $500 chargers (can deliver 40 kWh total in that time).
- So 4-hour charging is currently available across the country in existing infrastructure.
- Mitsubishi is demonstrating that the Eaton Quick Charger can recharge a 120-km range battery in 30 minutes.
- that’s impressive but requires service stations to install the Eaton unit.
- there are some available in California.
2. Replace battery pack at service stations
- an Israeli company is pioneering this concept.
- charging is done at a service site without the vehicle being present
- just pull into the centre, slip out the current battery and replace it with a new fully-charged one and drive away.
- time is likely similar to filling up a gas tank (5-10 minutes).
- downside is the incredible inventory control costs and meeting the escalating demands
- as more and more EVs appear on the road, this method strikes me as being infeasible and impractical.
- not yet there but coming
- The ZENN car company from St. Jerome, Quebec is partnering with a Texas company called EESTOR to create the first commercially available ultra-capacitor
- charging will be very quick if materials can be developed to hold the charge and dissipate it in a controlled fashion