Future EVs could take just 3 minutes to charge
Quantum batteries will charge electric cars as fast as filling up with petrol, say researchers
One of the main drawbacks of owning electric vehicles (EVs) is how long they take to charge, ranging from 10 hours with a home charger to about 30 minutes with a high-powered public one.
However, this could be cut to just three minutes — about the same time it takes to fill a car with petrol — with quantum technology.
A new paper from the Institute for Basic Science (IBS), published in the journal Physical Review Letters, says that quantum batteries could allow future EV owners to live without range anxiety.
The concept of a quantum battery was first proposed in 2012 and theorised that quantum resources, such as entanglement, can be used to vastly speed up the battery charging process by charging all cells within the battery simultaneously.
Such collective charging isn’t possible in classical batteries where the cells are charged in parallel independently of one another. This takes long because modern large-capacity batteries contain numerous cells.
With collective charging, a typical electric vehicle with a 200 cell battery could therefore be 200 times faster to charge with quantum charging, says the IBS. At a home charger this could reduce charging time to three minutes, while at high-speed charging stations it would be cut from 30 minutes to about ten seconds.
Researchers say that consequences can be far-reaching and that the implications of quantum charging can go well beyond electric cars and consumer electronics. For example, it may find key uses in future fusion power plants, which require large amounts of energy to be charged and discharged in an instant.
Quantum technologies are still in their infancy and there is a long way to go before these methods can be implemented in practice, admits the IBS.
“Research findings such as these, however, create a promising direction and can incentivise the funding agencies and businesses to further invest in these technologies. If employed, it is believed that quantum batteries would completely revolutionise the way we use energy and take us a step closer to our sustainable future,” it says.
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