Fast charging curves are the result of protocols put in place by automakers as a means to prolong battery life. You could, theoretically, maintain maximum charging speed until the end of the charge, but this would harm the batteries, so after a certain point, the charging speed tapers off and becomes quite low as the state of charge approaches 100 percent.
But now a group of scientists led by Eric Dufek from the Idaho National Laboratory has created what it deems to be improved charging protocols that apparently allow EVs to fast-charge all the way to 90 percent in 10 minutes. According to Eric Dufek, quoted by New Scientist,
You can do things like ramping voltage, or sequentially decreasing what the voltage or current looks like.
They used both computer models and real-world test to confirm the results and they say these updated protocols do not affect batteries longevity. The protocols can apparently work for any vehicle that uses lithium ion battery technology and they could be implemented by automakers on their existing models.
It is not mentioned whether Dufek and his team have reached out to any automakers that could implement their protocols. But we wonder how can a small group of researches come up with such a breakthrough when automakers are spending billions to achieve a lot less and many of them do have access to artificial intelligence to aid in design?
We can’t help but think this may still have an impact on battery health over time, although we definitely want to see this implemented and tested more if it yields results as good as the ones they say they have achieved. Charging speeds (and wait times) are a big talking point in the EV community and it's interesting to see they can be improved not just by upgrading the charger or the vehicle's charging hardware.