The general bottleneck in reducing charging time isn’t in the charger or the amount of power that can be pumped into batteries, but rather in the frailty of the batteries themselves—the cells can’t handle too much current at once. So a new battery technology that can cope with a very high amount of energy without degradation could conceivable [sic] allow that kind of super-fast charging.
The Daily News talks about a price of around $13,000 for the new fast-charger. So this may not be quite the breakthrough Leaf owners and others have wanted. Still, Nissan has dropped the cost of its present home charger to $1,818, including installation.
There is no question that a recharge time of 10 minutes would do wonders to boost electric car sales. And such quick-charging reportedly won’t damage the battery.
Along with the dreaded range anxiety, long overnight charging times are one of the bugaboos of EVs, so this may (and we stress “may”) be a very significant development.
Some backyard mechanic/engineering types in California are working to improve aspects of the Leaf’s performance—probably without Nissan’s blessing.
One of these, Phil Sadow (right), got disgusted at the rip-off charges of up to $6,000 to install 240-volt chargers in homes. He found a way to adapt the 120-volt charge cord that comes with the Leaf so it can handle 240 volts and recharge safely in less than 8 hours. Standard recharge of the Leaf at 120 volts takes about 20 hours.
Nearly 15 percent of the 7,000 U.S. Leaf owners have bought his $239 software modification. Says Phil, “The E.V. cord should be as simple as a garden hose.”
To help make it so, seven big German and American carmakers (Audi, BMW, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Porsche and Volkswagen) have agreed to develop a common charging standard for their vehicles to communicate with the charging station.
The Asians have yet to join in, but this is a very good idea, and it will be backward compatible to accommodate current Leafs.
Electric car technology is changing rapidly. Now, let’s get to work on the charging infrastructure. Would you agree?