BP sees electric cars charging 100% in 5 mins by 2021

BP sees electric cars charging 100% in 5 mins by 2021 (BNEF)

  • As the oil major BP is expanding its footprint in EV charging, the company has stated it is focusing on reducing charging times, “…to have a battery in a car by 2021 that can be charged completely in five minutes – for a lot more than 100 kilometers”.
  • After its acquisition of BP Chargemaster for US$170m, BP is now in the process of installing ultra-fast EV chargers at service station in China, Germany, and the UK.
  • BP is also investing in biofuel development, as it considers the technology to be “the best way of decarbonizing long-distance jet transport”.

Analysis and Comments

  • This level of super fast charging is the holy grail of EVs. As cost comes down, and as the charging network grows, the last big barrier to overcome is the inconvenience of the time it takes to charge.
  • This shift, if achieved, could open up the EV market to those city dwellers who don’t have off street parking (so no easy home charging option).
  • To be clear, the BP target is just that; a target. The article claims, that the technology from a BP investment in an Israeli company called StoreDot already allows ultra high speed charging of mobile phones but the EV version seems to be work in progress.
  • The technology (FlashBatteries) seems to be a combination of the use of organic compounds in the cathode (plus Silicon?) and some form of capacitor technology (those of you with good memories will recall that Tesla recently purchased Maxwell Technologies – a global leader in ultra and super capacitors).  
  • Normally, I would be sceptical about such claims – the “we have found a way of producing super batteries” story appears on a regular basis in the tradepress. But with BP money behind them, perhaps this approach has a future.

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