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Fast and ultra-fast charging


Technology Description

Most commercially available direct current (DC) fast charging stations currently enable power levels ranging from 250-350 kW. Fast charging technology of 350 kW up to 1 MW is a key driver for faster electric vehicle (EV) deployment, to increase the convenience of inter-city travel and reduce range anxiety. In particular, fast charging hubs are required for electric road freight and larger EV passenger models. A number of innovations are needed to go beyond high capacity thresholds, including battery and ultracapacitor combinations and integration of high capacity charging equipment within passenger EV and truck frames. Charging stations must provide high power output with minimal impact on the grid, which also will require further integration efforts including application of battery storage, capacitors or smart management systems. Finally, battery chemistries and designs will need to be developed that can be rapidly charged by ultrafast charging systems without risking accelerated degradation (e.g. via dendrite formation). Innovations are also needed on materials that also achieve ultrahigh discharge rates, comparable to those of supercapacitors.

Relevance for Net Zero

Long-distance road travel is a particular hurdle for light- and heavy-duty electric vehicle adoption, despite the fact that inter-city passenger transport demand from light duty vehicles comprises a small share of total passenger travel. Deploying ultra-fast charging technology that can make trips over long distances possible with refuelling times comparable to those of internal combustion engines could greatly accelerate adoption and reduce emissions from intercity travel.

Key Countries

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