Automakers are in a new race, not for miles per hour on a track or the street, but in miles per hour regained while an electric car is sitting at a charger.
GM is the latest automaker to join the race toward faster-charging electric cars, with a new project to develop an "extreme fast charger" that can deliver up to 180 miles of range to an electric car, such as the Chevy Bolt EV, in 10 minutes. The company says it has committed to building a prototype car to work with the new charging system, but says it will not be a production Bolt EV.
Other automakers working on extreme fast charging include Porsche and Aston Martin, which are both working on new 800-volt battery architectures. Porsche says its Taycan will be able to replenish up to 240 miles of range in a 15-minute recharge when it's connected to a 350-kw DC fast charger.
GM is working with Delta Electronics funded by a grant from the federal Department of Energy to build a prototype electric car that will charge up to 180 miles in 10 minutes, a faster charge rate than Aston Martin or Porsche, according to a Bloomberg report.
That would give the car a recharge rate of 18 miles per minute.
The Aston Martin Rapid-E and the Porsche Taycan boast recharge rates of about 12.4 miles per minute. Tesla Superchargers operate at a rate of about 6 miles per minute. Currently, the Bolt can recharge at 50-kw DC fast charge stations at a rate of about 3 miles per minute.
The project will use solid-state transformers, according to Delta electronics, and deliver up to 400-kw of power.
Recharging at such high rates is dependent on faster DC fast-charging equipment. Today Electrify America and other networks are beginning to roll out new 350-kw fast chargers, with liquid-cooled cables, across the country.
The new, faster DC fast chargers are expected to be up to 3.5 percent more efficient than the latest DC fast chargers installed today, Delta says.
The companies plan to have a prototype of the new extreme fast charger ready by 2020, and GM says it is developing 20 new electric cars for sale by 2023. Some of those cars may use the new extreme fast charger technology.
Update: This story was updated to clarify that the car prototype vehicle GM is building to demonstrate its new extreme fast charger will be a new prototype vehicle, not the Chevy Bolt EV.