One of the main arguments against electric cars is that it takes too long to recharge the battery. Even using a DC fast-charger, going from 0 to 80 percent capacity still takes about 30 minutes. But Nissan is working on a new super-rapid charging system that can recharge a drained EV battery in 10 minutes, which could be a game changer for the industry.
Nissan engineers and researchers at Japan's Kansai University have created a new capacitor electrode made of tungsten oxide and vanadium oxide instead of the usual carbon, according to an article in Paul Tan's Automotive News. According to an unnamed report, the new capacitor electrode can hold more power and reduce charging time without reducing capacity or voltage.
Last year another Japanese technology company, JFE Engineering, announced that it had created a 3-minute super-rapid charging system. Nissan is working to improve its technology and reduce the charge time to around 3 minutes as well, which would put recharging an EV on par with refueling a gasoline-powered vehicle.
But while the technology may exist, don't hold your breath waiting for it to come to the Leaf any time soon. It will take at least 10 years to commercialize the super-rapid car charger, not to mention figuring out a way to manage the power infrastructure so it can support that kind of a drain on the grid.
Last month, Nissan revealed a new, slimmer DC fast-charging station that will retail for a lot less than its existing bulky fast-charging stations, and is aiming to sell 5,000 of them by March 2016.