(DGIwire) – The market for electric vehicles (EVs) is set to experience massive growth, according to a recent article in Investor’s Business Daily. In a field dominated by Tesla, whose Model 3 dominated EV sales in the U.S. in 2018, competition is heating up with new models from manufacturers large and small. In addition to the Audi e-tron, the first purely electric SUV from the company, new entrants into this space include the the I-Pace from Jaguar, its first all-electric SUV, and the Niro and Soul vehicles from Kia. Further EV offerings, such as the Hyundai Kona electric and Nio Technologies’ ES6 electric SUV, are in the mix as well, IBD reports.
“The impressive array of new offerings from the world’s vehicle manufacturers is the highest-profile indicator that the global EV revolution is underway,” says Stephen Voller, CEO of ZapGo Ltd, the developer of Carbon-Ion (C-Ion®) cells, a fast-charging and safe alternative to lithium-ion batteries. “Customer demand for existing and future EVs will be strongly dependent on perceptions regarding how conveniently they can be recharged.”
This entails the need to ensure that EV owners can recharge their vehicles in as little as the five minutes required by conventional gas-powered vehicles, rather than the hours it can require today. A standard residential wall socket delivers 3kW of energy per hour, and if used to charge a standard electric car battery (100kWh) would take about 33 hours to charge fully; a van would still take a week and a truck a whole month to fully charge at that rate. Although street chargers available today can deliver faster charging (30kW), these still require four hours to charge an electric car. Even with 120kW chargers, it takes about an hour to charge an electric car—while the most cutting-edge chargers today, announced by Electrify America in the U.S. and Ionity in Europe, deliver 350kW.
Lithium-ion batteries today can’t handle a 350kW charge rate, and even if they could, it still leaves people far from the goal of a five-minute recharge for a car, says Voller. What is needed for that is a recharge rate of 1 MW, which can be made possible with innovative materials such as C-Ion.
In Voller’s view, a promising application for ZapGo’s C-Ion cell is for it to be used effectively like a battery charger. Indeed, one of ZapGo’s initiatives involves ensuring a very high rate of DC charging of battery electric vehicles, where the electric grid can be buffered.
According to Voller, the way this works is that filling stations have to offer very high-speed charging. To avoid digging up streets, the grid can be buffered by putting C-Ion storage into the filling station site that is filled at standard electricity rates at night when off-peak rates are in effect. When vehicles turn up for charging, they can charge very quickly because ZapGo’s cells discharge rapidly.
“Only when a recharging infrastructure has been implemented that appeals to the mainstream auto customer will the complete transformation from gasoline to electric vehicles begin in earnest,” Voller adds.