But this could become obsolete in a few years as researchers at the Idaho National Laboratory developed a method based on artificial intelligence to speed up charging. Tweaking how voltage and current are applied through the charging process they can maintain maximum speed while preserving the battery’s long-term health.
The protocol developed by Eric Dufek and his colleagues uses machine learning to simulate how batteries age when fast-charged. The algorithm they developed is trained to analyze between 20,000 and 30,000 data points to find out how the battery is degrading.
The ongoing investigation can already charge a vehicle’s battery to 90% in just 10 minutes, although Dufek thinks they can improve this in the future to charge batteries as fast as 20 miles of range per minute, which is double than the current speed.
But the best part of this investigation is that it can be applied to existing batteries and chargers with a software update of the current car battery management systems. These, when communicating with the charger, will lead to how the current is applied to preserve battery life while charging at maximum speed.
Another advantage of this investigation could be encouraging car manufacturers to use smaller batteries once the charging times are shorter, which will lower EV prices and accelerate the transition to cleaner and more efficient vehicles.
Because although battery prices have been falling for the last decade, raw materials costs have been skyrocketing for the last year and prices have stalled. Battery costs are still the main driver for electric vehicle prices and, together with high demand, the reason why they are still expensive.
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