Report: Nissan developing a 10-minute super-rapid charging system for EVs

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 14, 2011

Recharging an electric vehicle may soon take just 10 minutes or even less. Nissan is working on a new super-rapid charging system that may silence skeptics who claim that it simply takes too long to charge an EV. It takes 30 minutes for a DC fast-charger to get to an 80% capacity but Nissan seeks to improve on that.

According Cnet, Nissan engineers and researchers at Japan's Kansai University have built a new capacitor electrode that’s composed of tungsten oxide and vanadium oxide rather than carbon.

Because of this, the new capacitor electrode could hold more power and cut charging time without limiting the capacity or voltage. In 2010, Japan-based JFE Engineering said that it had developed a 3-minute super-rapid charging system. Nissan is actually hoping to improve its technology and reduce the charge time to around 3 minutes too.

This short recharging time makes it comparable to refueling a gasoline-powered vehicle. The technology already exists but it would take a minimum of 10 years before the super-rapid car charger could be commercialized.

Nissan would still also have to find a way to manage the power infrastructure so it can support that kind of a drain on the grid. Last September, Nissan showed off a new, slimmer DC fast-charging station that sells for much less than the current bulky fast-charging stations. Nissan hopes that by March 2016, it will be able to sell 5,000 of these stations.

In nature, even the smallest of details can result to what may be a large impact. This is evident in the Nissan LEAF especially with its connected mobility IT system. According to Chief Product Specialist Tooru ABE, having an IT system gives the Nissan LEAF a competitive edge as the company also wanted this model to improve passenger experience while making sure that it remains to be the driver’s partner. In addition, he adds, the company is committed to creating a zero-emission community and with these different IT features it is now possible to do so.

Since the new Nissan LEAF utilizes an advanced IT system that is linked to a global data center, it can give the needed information and support for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It can even provide entertainment that drivers need. On its dashboard, there is a monitor that has been mounted and shows how much power is left in the LEAF. It also shows a list of charging stations in the vicinity.

Aside from the IT connectivity, the Nissan LEAF is equipped as well with a number of innovative features. One such feature is being able to use a mobile phone in order to set the charging functions or even activate the air-conditioning. However what sets the one equipped in the Nissan LEAF apart from the competition is that it is possible to do this even if the car is powered down.

Then there is also the remote-controlled timer inside that allows for pre-programming when it comes to recharging the batteries. In terms of design, the new Nissan LEAF makes use of bright trim colors for the interior.

It therefore results in a cabin that not only has a stylish ambience but a pleasant one at that. The interior follows a blue earth theme and this is evident with the blue highlights on the dashboard and even how the instrument is illuminated. This is not a new color theme as this is based on the same Aqua Globe color first seen on the introductory model of the LEAF.

Still on the design, the front has a style that is dominated by the upright and sharp V-shape design which has headlights with LEDs positioned slightly slanted upwards. By having a blue internal reflective style, it results in the LEAF telling the world that it truly is a special car. Since it makes use of light-emitting diodes, the lights only use around 10% of the power compared to conventional lights.

It thus ensures that the new LEAF is able to attain a range autonomy that is world class. The way the headlights have been designed, it is not limited to the style or even the electricity saved. In terms of design, they have been formed in a way that they can split and then channel the flow of air away from its door mirrors, making it have lower drag and wind noise.

Topics: nissan, electric car

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