Nissan Develops 10-Minute Rapid Charger For Leaf Electric Car

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Nissan's 10 minuite rapid charger

Nissan's 10 minuite rapid charger

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[EDIT: Since publishing this story, it has come to our attention that this story is indeed about storage technology, not charging technology. We're investigating our sources to try and better understand the advancement made in Japan]

The time it takes an electric car to fully recharge from empty has always been the technology’s Achilles heel, with even a so-called rapid-charge taking half an hour for a car like the 2012 Nissan Leaf.

As most consumers will tell you, they think electric cars should refuel as quickly as gasoline ones. 

But that goal might soon be in sight thanks to a joint project between Kansai University in Japan and Nissan’s own team of electric car engineers. Between them, the team has managed to develop charging hardware a new type of battery system which reduces the time it takes to rapid charge a car like the 2012 Nissan Leaf from 30 minutes to just 10 minutes

By replacing the battery with capacitors and changing the electrode material inside capacitors from carbon to tungsten oxide and vanadium oxide, the engineers discovered the power circuits inside the car could the charger could handle more power, increasing the amount of power that could be safely fed into the car’s battery pack. In other words, the advance isn't in battery technology, it's in charging technology. , allowing the car to charge more quickly than a conevntional battery could. 

As well as dramatically shortening the time it takes an electric car to charge, the new capacitor material could have big implications in everything from computers to medical equipment, increasing efficiency and improving power output of many different devices.

Fast Charging 2011 Nissan Leaf

Fast Charging 2011 Nissan Leaf

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Sadly however, the newly-designed rapid charging system could be as many as 10 years away from being used in commercial applications, so we’re stuck with a 30-minute rapid recharge time for now. 

Then again, 30 minutes isn’t that bad, is it? After all, that’s not much slower than the time it takes you to visit the restroom, buy a coffee and queue for gas, now is it? 


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Comments (12)
  1. No, we can live with the 30 charge until Nissan gets those 10 minute chargers out. The money we will be saving of gas will make it worth the 30 minute wait, and you can always visit the bathroom or have yourself two cups of coffee and then visit the bathroom. I can find a lot of things to do to occupy 30 minutes.

    Great going Nissan, we knew we couldn't depend on the U.S. for this technology.

  2. Charge times should be expressed in terms of miles of driving range per minute (or per hour). Right now a Tesla Model S with a 320 mile range can apparently be recharged in 45 minutes at level 3. That speed is comparable (or perhaps equal or better) to this Leaf fast charger, although it was not mentioned the level of charge being achieved (often 80 percent).
    Certainly a 10 minute charge for a Leaf is nowhere near as fast as a gas station fillup, which is good for 5 or six times the driving range using gasoline. But I wouldn't take very seriously any claims that consumers demand recharges as fast as what they could obtain with refueling, since they most often will charge at home, where the time required is irrelevant.

  3. I would most definitely check this claim as if they were pumping through that much power, the plug would melt. There's more to this than the capacitors.

  4. who writes your titles? do they know the difference between "develops" and "is developing?"

    remember; they dont have it yet and its 10 years away? granted a great idea and a million different companies are working on parallel projects all around enhancing electrical storage solutions.

    it is all exciting and will bring the masses to EVs which is where we need to be.

  5. @David Laur

    To be pedantic, the researchers HAVE developed a charger, so the title is correct.

    It just isn't ready for commercial applications yet. They've proven it works (yes, even with those high currents) in a prototype, but they haven't commercialized it yet.


  6. You are right David, and if they start making the nuclear battery, which they can start mass producing any time they want, and which weighs 50 pounds; it will get you over 300,000 miles. You buy that battery once in your life time and keep switching it between you electric cars. I do not know why these gas guzzling fans keep harping on battery charge. You can find that article on this web site if you are interested in learning more.

  7. No James, David is not right.

    From the quoted article "it appeared that batteries charged using this brand new updated system were complete in 10 minutes with NO significant effect on storage or voltage."

    Developed is the right word. She didn't say anything about commercialization or sales. Scientists developed the technology: they have demonstrated something that works. Companies will later produce/sell products based on the technologies that have now been developed.

    David Laur, your attitude is frustrating to those of us who can actually read.

  8. A ten minutes recharge time with damaging the battery would go a long way in making electric motoring mainstream. Wonder why it would take ten years to commercialize this though. I think Nissan needs it now if they want to succeed in selling EV's on scale were planning.

  9. In ten years we could see a new generation of battery and may not even need it by then. It would be great if they could get it out in 3 to 5 years.

  10. Will require a new charging standard, though, too fast for CHAdeMO... ;)

  11. Very interesting, thank you for the article. I'm sure with all of the competition coming out over the next few years this technology will be accelerated, and we'll be seeing it sooner. Doing very rough calculations for a 24 kWh battery pack charged in 10 min for a 440 VDC system, it looks like they could do it with less than 300 amps. This isn't my forte so I may have screwed up, but it seems very reasonable.

  12. Turns out this story is a hoax. Kansai University and Nissan are not working on some sort of miracle charger but but on the use of an experimental supercapacitor instead of a lithium battery:

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