Charging an electric vehicle can take hours. Not super convenient if you’re already running late or just want to pop to the shops.
Enter the fast-charging stations.
These advanced charging stations may mean that cities might require upgrades to their energy grids, and for home use, smart meters or charging methods may need to be adopted that involve charging at off-peak periods, as noted by Julian de Hoog et al.1
Converting existing petrol stations to fast-charging electric vehicle charge points could help to meet the needs of highly trafficked routes in major cities and suburban areas supported by a strong energy network.
It isn’t just at a converted petrol station that these fast-charging electric car stations could reside in. They may pop up in public areas of major cities, suburbs, towns, and would become available for private use at home as well.
Because most people charging an electric vehicle do so at night,2 being able to meet increased demand during peak periods will be crucial to facilitate people installing a fast-charging port in their own home.
Which fast-charging features could we expect?
The fast-charging technology of today is widely used around the globe, and can provide an electric car with a 160-kilometre (100-mile) charge in 10 minutes at 250 kilowatts (kW).3
Increasing the charge to 400kW is believed to satisfy the charging requirements for most long-distance journeys, according to Thomas Bryden et al.4
Providing more powerful, faster-charging stations requires advancements in electric car battery technology to ensure an efficient delivery – so that no energy is ‘lost’ due to inefficiencies or an issue on the battery side of the electric car.
Fast charging also generates a lot of heat, which can hurt the efficiency of the car’s battery. Such heat could also cause physical damage from an overheating charger melting components.
Liquid-cooling and air-cooling technology are already utilised in current fast-charging electric car stations and batteries, to avoid high temperatures. So, we could expect to continue to see this technology in the fast-charging stations of the future.
Liquid-cooling is more effective than air-cooling, according to Ryan Collin et al.’s article ‘Advanced Electric Vehicle Fast-Charging Technologies’,5 which could mean we are likely to see liquid-cooling methods used in the future’s more advanced fast-charging stations.
Where could fast-charging stations gain popularity?
Despite likely widespread popularity, research shows the following cities may be frontrunners in adopting these stations due to being busy trade, business and financial hubs within their respective countries and globally. A fast-moving economic district may find fast-charging stations appealing for a growing fleet of electric vehicles.