Ricardo is working on ways to make EV charging even faster
By Nicholas Yekikian
When it comes to EV batteries, their main enemy is heat. Heat is why your range suddenly drops off in the summer and why charging times are limited. Heat breaks down battery cells and that’s why they’re so sensitive to temperature.
But Ricardo, a British auto parts manufacturer, is now working on a new technology that will allow batteries to have higher energy potentials and faster charging times. The technology is called immersion cooling and was first tested in a project by XING Mobility in 2017. Immersion cooling essentially coats batteries in a biodegradable, dielectric cooling gel called MIVOLT.
The goal of the so-called “i-CoBat immersion cooling project” is to reduce the size and cost of cooling systems but to simultaneously allow automakers to build denser battery packs without increasing how much heat builds up. The project would also lengthen the life of battery cells, resulting in more efficient battery packs and less weights.
Ricardo is working on the project with a British materials company called M&I Materials and WMG, a manufacturing effort of the University of Warwick, in Britain.
“Power, performance, practicality, such as fast charging times, and price are key determinants in persuading consumers to opt for an EV rather than a liquid-fueled vehicle when they next change their car,” said Neville Jackson, Ricardo's Chief Technology and Innovation Officer. “With current cell technologies, thermal management is a crucial enabler for improvements in these areas in order to reduce or eliminate range anxiety, and promote consumer acceptance of electric cars."
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