Researchers Tout Fast-Charging EV Process

Steve Plumb

Penn State University researchers say they have developed a method to fully recharge an electric vehicle battery in 10 minutes to provide as much as 300 miles of driving.

The fast-charging process can be repeated 2,500 times, according to the scientists. Their research was published this week in the scientific journal Joule.

The technology uses asymmetric temperature modulation to quickly heat and cool batteries (up to 140°F and back down to ambient temperatures) during the charging process. This eliminates so-called “lithium plating” issues—the formation of metallic lithium around the anode—that can otherwise severely degrade battery materials during fast charging, the researchers note.

Penn State’s process uses a thin nickel foil with one end attached to the negative terminal and the other extending outside the cell to create a third terminal. A temperature sensor triggers electrons to flow through the foil to complete the circuit, rapidly warming the inside of the battery via resistance heating.

The research was partially funded by the U.S. Dept. of Energy. No timeframe was provided for further testing or possible commercialization.