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GAC Aion V 6C Promises 8-Minute Charge Times, 1000 Kilometer Range

GAC claims its new Aion V 6C has exception range and super fast charging times.

The most frequent complaint about electric cars is they take too long to charge. You can gas up and go at any convenience store in 5 minutes or less. Why in the world would you want to drive a car that has to be plugged in for 30 minutes or more? Who has the time?

Of course, that argument just illustrates how ill informed most drivers are about the electric car experience, thanks to most manufacturers’ refusal to educate the buying public. The vast majority of the time, we don’t charge when we are away from home. We charge in our garage or carport. I have had my Nissan LEAF for 3 years now and never once plugged in at a public charging station.

It’s not like we have to plug in every time we drive an EV 10 miles down the road and back. The average American drives 25 miles a day or less. At that rate, most EVs on the market can go a week without charging and then get back to a full charge with one overnight charging session. It’s ultra convenient. For owners of gasmobiles to experience the same level of convenience, they would need to have a gas pump installed in their garage. Yes, you can fill up in 5 minutes or less but you also have to drive to the gas station and sometimes wait in line for an available pump. If you’re late for work, pumping gas really isn’t all that convenient.

I admit the argument breaks down for apartment and condo dwellers who don’t have access to an EV charger at home and for them charging times are more of an issue. However, our executive editor has been driving electric for over 3 years now without a home charger and has never had an issue. The answer to the charging controversy is educating the motoring public, not installing a Level 2 charger in every light pole in America.

But I digress. Chinese manufacturer GAC says next month, customers will be able to buy an Aion 6C battery electric SUV that can charge a depleted battery to 80% capacity in a lightning fast 8 minutes. The company claims the car will have a range of 1000 kilometers NEDC, the wildly optimistic standard used in China. EPA range would probably be a little more than half of that but still — 500+ miles of range and an 8 minute charging time? BOOM! That’s the sound of range anxiety fears exploding.

Image credit: cnevpost

According to Chinese website cnevpost, whose staff witnessed actual charging events, the Aion 6C achieving a charging time of 8 minutes for 0 to 80% charge and 5 minutes for a 30 to 80% charge. During the session, it was able to charge using almost 500 kW of power. The Aion will also be available in a 3C version that is no slouch either. It can be charged from 0 to 80% in 16 minutes and takes only 10 minutes to charge from 30 to 80%. It has a claimed range of 500 kilometers.

Naturally, such expeditious charging requires state of the art chargers. Aion says it will have 100 super high speed chargers installed by the end of this year. Still, that’s precious few in a country with a population of about 1.5 billion people. The Aion breakthrough will take a while to trickle down to the masses.

For those worried that such rapid charging will degrade the battery, Aion says not to worry. Assuming charging is done at room temperature, it claims the battery should last for up to 1 million kilometers.

Graphene Is The Secret

In February, Aion announced it had created new battery technology that uses graphene instead of graphite for the anode, a breakthrough that unlocks fast charging. According to Electrive, the Aion V 6C may use the new graphene battery while the 3C uses conventional lithium-ion batteries. According to reports, the graphene battery has been subjected to torture tests that include being penetrated by a bullet without exploding or catching fire, similar to the blade battery from BYD.

We always assume that Tesla is the global leader in EV battery technology. Is it possible that other companies are ahead of it? In any event, don’t expect the Aion to come to North America any time soon. Yet if history teaches us anything, it is that once a breakthrough happens, others are quick to follow.

Ultra speedy, really really rapid charging may be largely irrelevant to most EV drivers, but perception is reality. If more people come to believe the charging issue has been solved, that could allow them to embrace owning an electric car when they were afraid to before. The EV revolution can use all the help is can get.

 
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Written By

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. 3000 years ago, Socrates said, "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." Perhaps it's time we listened?

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