Several Japanese and Korean automakers have been entrenched in fuel cell hydrogen technology for their zero-emission vehicle effort supposedly due to its range and refueling advantages over battery-powered vehicles.
Now that those advantages are fading away and they are starting to make electric vehicles, it’s interesting to see what approach they are taking to charging infrastructure. As for Honda, the automaker is reportedly aiming for a 15-minute charging system for its upcoming electric cars.
According to a report from Nikkei, the Japanese automaker is working on a new battery technology to enable “240 km (150 miles) of range in 15 minutes.”
It would represent roughly a doubling of the current best charging capacity on an average-size vehicle, but they are reportedly not planning to include the technology in their EVs until 2022.
Honda is planning to release new electric vehicles before then, but they will feature current battery technology.
The automaker currently sells its only all-electric vehicle, the Clarity Electric, a compliance car, and it plans to bring a new retro-looking urban EV to market in 2019.
“240 km (150 miles) of range in 15 minutes” doesn’t tell us much in terms of charge rate without knowing the power consumption of the vehicle, but saying that it’s twice as fast as the current systems in production sounds about fair.
2022 is within the timeframe that some automakers and battery companies are reportedly planning to release automotive grade solid-state batteries, which are expected to enable faster charging.
With this said, other companies are promising similar charge rates using li-ion batteries, like Porsche with the Mission E and Fisker with the E-Motion. It will be interesting to see those vehicles being launched in the next few years as we get a better idea of the limits of li-ion batteries and the potential impact of a new generation of batteries to enable new kinds of performance for EVs.
Of course, that’s for passenger cars. When it comes to larger vehicles with bigger battery packs, companies have already achieved much higher charge rates, like BYD in its electric buses or Tesla’s recently announced electric semi truck.