Will charging electric cars ever be as fast as pumping gas? – National Geografic

electric vehicles at charging stations at an all-electric auto service station in Britain
Electric vehicles charge at a new station in Braintree, U.K., on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. Researchers are closing in on an electric car battery that can recharge in 10 minutes or less. Photograph by Chris Ratcliffe, Bloomberg/Getty Images


Electric vehicles are gaining popularity fast, but some prospective buyers remain hesitant. One big reason is that charging EVs is slow. While drivers today are accustomed to filling their gas tank in less than five minutes, EVs, depending on the size and specifications of the battery, typically take at least 30 minutes to get 80 percent charged at the fastest charging stations out there.

In five to 10 years, though, far faster charging might be possible. Companies are developing new lithium-ion battery materials, as well as new “solid state” batteries, which are more stable at faster charging speeds. They could place recharge rates of 20 minute or less within reach.

Meanwhile, a team of scientists recently designed a lithium battery prototype that, under laboratory conditions, can recharge more than 50 percent of its capacity in just three minutes—and do so thousands of times without significantly degrading. This, the researchers say, could pave a path toward batteries that can recharge fully in as little as 10 minutes.

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