Electric car

This Electric Car Battery Takes Less Than 5 Minutes to Charge

A British startup, Nyobolt, has unveiled a groundbreaking 35kWh lithium-ion battery that can charge from 10% to 80% in just over four and a half minutes, addressing a major frustration for electric vehicle (EV) drivers. This development was showcased during a live demonstration last week.

Nyobolt, based in Cambridge, claims its new battery significantly reduces charging time compared to current fast chargers, such as Tesla’s Supercharger, which typically take around 20 minutes. This rapid charging is closer to the time it takes to refuel a gasoline-powered car.

Sai Shivareddy, Nyobolt’s co-founder and CEO, highlighted the breakthrough in a statement, saying, “Our extensive research here in the UK and US has unlocked a novel battery technology that is ready and scalable right now. We are enabling the electrification of new products and services currently considered inviable or impossible.”

The technology, developed from a decade of research by University of Cambridge scientist Clare Grey and Shivareddy, minimizes heat generation during charging, enhancing safety and longevity. The battery’s anode materials facilitate faster electron transfer, making the super-fast charge possible without compromising the battery’s life.

Nyobolt is negotiating with eight electric car manufacturers to integrate their technology. Although the 35kWh battery is smaller than the typical 85kWh batteries in American EVs, the company aims to scale up the technology for larger battery packs in the future.

This innovation addresses a significant drawback of EVs: lengthy charging times that hinder long road trips and inconvenience those without home charging capabilities. Paul Marchment, a consultant at vehicle leasing firm Arval, noted the potential benefits for commercial EV fleets and drivers dependent on electric cars for their jobs.

However, the adoption of Nyobolt’s battery also depends on the expansion of public charging infrastructure. Jack Evans, a motoring specialist at Blackball Media, emphasized the need for more ultra-rapid chargers to support this technology.

Shivareddy is optimistic about the increase in fast chargers across the US and EU, predicting widespread availability by the end of the decade. Nyobolt’s battery is compatible with Tesla’s Supercharger, and Shivareddy expressed a desire to collaborate with leading manufacturers to align recharging times with traditional refuelling.

Independent testing by a leading global manufacturer showed that Nyobolt’s batteries could endure over 4,000 fast-charge cycles, equating to 600,000 miles while retaining more than 80% capacity—far exceeding the warranties of current EV batteries.

Despite the promising technology, William Kephart, an e-mobility specialist at P3 Group, cautioned that scaling production remains a challenge. The critical element in Nyobolt’s batteries, niobium, is less abundantly mined than other materials like graphite, raising questions about scalability.

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