Ford’s 5-Minute EV Charger Could Be a Game-Changer

The clever engineers at Purdue University have, with funding from Ford Motor Co. since 2017, come up with a patent-pending charging cable that can fully recharge certain EVs in less than 5 minutes. Now, this is a real game-changer when it comes to convincing drivers to switch over to an electric vehicle and give up their good ol’ gas guzzler.

Until now, the EV battery’s charging speed has been limited by the danger of overheating. The faster the charging speed, the higher the current needed, the hotter it becomes. Thus far, the cooling systems of any charging system can only mitigate limited amounts of heat – ie. not enough.

The Purdue University researchers managed to design a cable that delivers a current that is 4.6 times that of the fastest EV charger available today (read: Tesla’s Supercharger) as it is able to remove 24.22 kilowatts of heat.

This particular lab at the university specialises in solutions to remove heat that currently available technologies are unable to remove. The professor in charge, Issam Mudwar, has for the past 37 years been developing efficient cooling by taking advantage of how heat is captured when liquid transports into vapour, which is 10 times more heat than liquid cooling (using liquid to distribute or circulate heat away). Pretty cool, if you’re into this sort of thing (which this writer is).

Of course, charge times will be dependent on several factors: the output ratings of the power supply and charging cable, and the power input rating of the battery. To achieve that optimum under-five-minute charge, these ratings have to all be at 2,500 amperes. Most chargers available currently supports only 150 amperes and up to 520 amperes at most.

However, this has only been proven in the lab and has not been tested on actual EVs yet. But the researchers plan to test the prototype charger on real-world EVs within the next two years.

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