General Motors is partnering with Delta Americas to develop extremely fast charging technology that will allow electric car drivers to add 180 miles of range in as little as 10 minutes, according to Bloomberg. To put that into context, that is three times as many miles as Tesla drivers can add in 10 minutes using today’s Superchargers and 50% more than Porsche owners will reportedly enjoy with their new Taycan or Cross Turismo when those cars go on sale (and charging stations are available).
The development process is expected to take place over the next three years and will support General Motors’ plan to have 20 electric cars with rapid charging capability for sale by 2023. It is being assisted by the US Department of Energy, says Jalopnik. The new charging system will deliver 400 kW of electricity with 96.5% efficiency — the highest number of any charging system. Such high efficiency will be made possible by using solid-state transformers — an industry first.
“We’re thrilled to lead such an important project and have a stellar team of researchers and partners in place that are more than ready to take on the challenge of setting a new standard for EV fast charging,” President of Delta Americas, M.S. Huang, tells The Drive. “By utilizing solid state transformer technology, we have the opportunity to create unprecedented charging speed and convenience that will ultimately help support the DOE’s strategic goal of increasing EV adoption across the nation.”
High efficiency will become critically important to the electric car revolution as it moves forward, helping to lower the strain on local utilities as more and more chargers get added. Extremely fast charging will also be a boon to urban residents who do not have access to a charger in their apartment or condominium buildings. Instead of waiting for hours to charge at a public charging location, they will be able to top up their batteries in about the same time it takes to pump a tankful of gasoline. Since the average American drives less than 30 miles a day, one trip to a high power charger could provide enough power for a week’s worth of driving in just 10 minutes.
Jalopnik adds, “There is an arms race in the EV market right now, and it’s perhaps the most exciting thing happening in the world of cars. The first company that can make electric conveyance an option for city dwellers will win big.”
CleanTechnica has a number of questions about this new charging standard, especially whether it will be available only to GM owners or will be compatible with other charging standards like CCS. We also want to know what the specs will be for the onboard chargers GM plans to include in its future cars to enable such rapid charging and whether the fast charging technology will be optional or standard on GM electric cars.
General Motors did not respond immediately to our request for further information. We will update this story if we hear back from GM with more details.