Pennsylvania State University researchers have developed a lithium ion battery that charges at an elevated temperature to increase reaction rate, but keeps the cell cool during discharge. It is possible to charge an electric vehicle in 10 minutes. The technology could offer electric cars an additional 200 miles of driving range, alleviating range anxiety.
Normally fast charging risks lithium plating (the formation of metallic lithium around the anode), which would severely deteriorate battery life.
“In addition to fast charging, this design allows us to limit the battery’s exposure time to the elevated charge temperature, thus generating a very long cycle life. The key is to realize rapid heating; otherwise, the battery will stay at elevated temperatures for too long, causing severe degradation”, wrote senior author Chao-Yang Wang, a mechanical engineer at The Pennsylvania State University
He is further stated “We are working to charge an energy-dense electric vehicle battery in five minutes without damaging it. This will require highly stable electrolytes and active materials in addition to the self-heating structure we have invented.”
The study suggests that the benefits of mitigated lithium plating at the elevated temperature with limited exposure time far outweigh the negative impact associated with exacerbated side reactions.