Quantum Technology Will Cut Time it Takes to Charge Electric Cars to Just 9 Seconds

Institute for Basic Science

Scientists in South Korea have proven that a new technology will cut the time it takes to charge electric cars to just nine seconds, allowing EV owners to ‘fill up’ as fast as their gasoline counterparts.

And even those plugging-in at home will have the time slashed from 10 hours to three minutes.

The new device uses the laws of quantum physics to power all of a battery’s cells at once — instead of one at a time — so recharging takes no longer than filling up at the pump.

Electric cars were rarely seen on the roads 10 years ago, but millions are now being sold every year and it has become one of the fastest growing industries, but even the fastest superchargers need around 20 to 40 minutes to power their car.

Scientists at the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) in South Korea have come up with a solution. Co-author Dr. Dario Rosa said the consequences could be far-reaching.

“Quantum charging could go well beyond electric cars and consumer electronics. For example, it may find key uses in future fusion power plants, which require large amounts of energy to be charged and discharged in an instant. ”

The concept of a “quantum battery” was first proposed in a seminal paper published by Alicki and Fannes in 2012. It was theorized that quantum resources, such as entanglement, can be used to vastly speed up battery charging.

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The researchers used quantum mechanics to model their super fast charging station with calculations of the charging speed showing that a typical electric vehicle with a battery containing around 200 cells would recharge 200 times faster.

Current collective charging is not possible in classical batteries, where the cells are charged in parallel, independently of one another.

“This is particularly exciting as modern large-capacity batteries can contain numerous cells.”

The group went further to provide an explicit way of designing such batteries.

This means charging times could be cut from 10 hours to three minutes at home and from around 30 minutes to just a few seconds at stations.

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Co-author Dr Dominik Šafránek said, “Of course, quantum technologies are still in their infancy and there is a long way to go before these methods can be implemented in practice.”

“Research findings such as these, however, create a promising direction and can incentivize funding agencies and businesses to further invest in these technologies.

“If employed, it is believed that quantum batteries would completely revolutionize the way we use energy and take us a step closer to our sustainable future.”

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The findings were published in the February 8 edition of the journal Physical Review Letters.

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