Students at Eindhoven University of Technology have devised a way to speed up charging an electric racing car so the process takes just under four minutes
A team of 30 students have designed and produced a new battery pack for their Revolution vehicle which has capacity of 29.2 kWh and gives the vehicle a range of some 250 kilometres.
The pack is fully charged in three minutes, 56 seconds, making the car probably “the world’s fastest-charging electric car for distance racing,” the university said at Thursday’s unveiling of the technology.
The InMotion team aims to show it is possible to bring the charging time for an electric car into line with filling a fossil-fuelled car with petrol. They hope by doing so, electric driving will be more appealing to consumers and industry will take up the challenge.
“Student teams like InMotion are important for pushing boundaries and testing new technologies in practice,” said electrical engineering professor Henk Jan Bergveld. “Faster battery charging in an electric car is crucial for faster market acceptance.”
The fast time has been made possible through a specialised cooling system which offsets the battery-destroying heat generated through fast charging.
“If you want to extract heat as efficiently as possible from the battery pack, you want be close as possible to the battery cells,” said team manager Julia Niemeijer.
“We have developed a method that enables cooling at cell level, with actual coolant flowing between each cell. This means we can extract even more heat from the pack and has a tremendously positive effect on the lifespan of the battery.”
The students have now implemented the technology in a prototype racing car and plan to conduct more extensive testing on the circuit in the coming year. Ultimately, InMotion aims to showcase the technology during a 24-hour race at Le Mans.
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