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Japanese Super Rapid Charging System for Electric Cars Unveiled by JFE Engineering

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You would normally fuel up your car’s tank in about three minutes. Now, with the quickened adoption of electric cars for the sake of the environment, you may also want your future EV to charge in three minutes, right? The industry said it’s not possible to do so, at least with currently acceptable technologies. Until now.

JFE Engineering Corp, a company from Japan, has just released a so-called “super-rapid charging system”. The prototype has been shown on June 16, at Smart Grid Exhibition 2010 in Tokyo.

JFE’s super rapid charging system uses specially-designed battery systems, which are able to load in about 3 minutes to half of their capacity and in 5 minutes to around 70%. This is the fastest charger I have ever heard of. And it also has a prototype, which blows away all the naysayers’ speculations about the technology not being real.

CHAdeMO” is the system currently employed by Nissan’s Leaf, and Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV. JFE’s prototype super rapid charging system is not compatible to CHAdeMO, so the first versions of these cars won’t be able to use it. Still, for those, 30 minutes to charge up to 80% is an acceptable time frame.

The newly-invented charging system can also work with low voltage power supplies, being able to suck 20kW from a normal European 220V AC grid (of course, you’ll have to redesign your home’s installation to bear that amount of power instantaneously).

Much information is not revealed yet, but it looks like the super-rapid charging system is also grid-friendly, having two batteries inside. One has a higher capacity, and is able to store grid electricity during nighttime hours, and the other is a high-output battery, ensuring the fast three-minute charging (probably acting as a buffer between the grid and its bigger sister).

Revealed in a sensitive time for the electric vehicles’ acceptance by the market, JFE’s super rapid charging system is being promoted to car manufacturers for embedding in their future models. With such news coming, but only projected in the future, I wonder who’s going to buy the slow-charging version of these electric cars, anyway…

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