NASA has suggested an experimental cooling system it is funding could ultimately allow electric vehicle users to charge their cars within five minutes.
The agency said a team led by a Purdue University professor has developed the “subcooled flow boiling” technology for experimentation, with the hope it can control future systems’ temperatures in space.
“A team sponsored by NASA’s Biological and Physical Sciences Division is developing a new technology that will not only achieve orders-of-magnitude improvement in heat transfer to enable these systems to maintain proper temperatures in space, but will also enable significant reductions in size and weight of the hardware,” NASA said in a blog post last week.
“What’s more, this same technology may make owning an electric-powered car here on Earth easier and more feasible,” the post continued.
NASA indicated achieving such a feat of charging electric vehicles within five minutes would require chargers to provide current at 1,400 amperes, far higher than currently available technology.
Most chargers currently available support currents less than 150 amperes, while some of the most advanced chargers on the market deliver currents up to 520 amperes, the post noted.
But NASA said Purdue University’s developmental cable can provide currents of up to 2,400 amperes by removing heat through the new technology, which would deliver charging at 4.6 times the rate of the fastest charger currently available.
“Application of this new technology resulted in unprecedented reduction of the time required to charge a vehicle and may remove one of the key barriers to worldwide adoption of electric vehicles,” NASA wrote.
President Biden has emphasized a shift to electric vehicles as a significant component of his climate initiatives, but the proposals have been met with criticism among some in the GOP, who have portrayed the plans as elitist and boons for the rich.
Questions have also been raised about whether the U.S. electrical grid could even handle a hard shift toward electric vehicles.
The Inflation Reduction Act, a party-line reconciliation package passed over the summer, includes billions in funding for electric vehicle tax credits and other financial incentives.
It also includes a $7.5 billion investment to build a network of charging stations across the U.S.
“The great American road trip is going to be fully electrified,” Biden said in Detroit last month. “Whether you’re driving coast to coast along I-10 or on I-75 here in Michigan, charging stations will be up and easy to find as gas stations are now.”