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Fuji Heavy Speeds Up Recharging Of R1e EV

18 September 2007

Nikkei. Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) has developed new rapid recharge technologies that can recharge its R1e electric car to 80% capacity in approximately 8 minutes—twice as fast as before.

FHI plans to commercialize the Subaru R1e in 2010, and hopes to further reduce the recharge time to about five minutes, so that the car cab be recharged as quickly as a regular car can be refueled at the pump.

The R1e runs off a set of 16 battery modules, each assembled from 12 lithium ion cells. Since lithium ion batteries cannot withstand overcharging very well, care must be taken when recharging, and the current must be reduced once a certain overall voltage is reached even if some modules are slower to recharge than others.

To speed up recharging, the company built a microcontroller into each battery module to monitor voltage at both terminals of each cell. This not only allows recharging with a large current, but also enables the batteries to be charged up to 90% capacity with the rapid charger. This extends the R1e’s range on a single charge to 72km, up 8km.

September 18, 2007 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

I suspect it will have to be fairly cheap to catch on with that limited range.

Great news. How long do the batteries last?

Since they're only going to release this in 2010, maybe they should re-work the body on this. It's been kicking around so long now, it's a little dated looking. A new look would help generate more excitement. It's got to keep up with the Mixims and i MiEVs.

72km is about 44 miles. That is enough for me on a daily basis. My job is only 8 miles from the house, so work and back and errands on the way home.

Price of oil was over 82 dollars a barrel today. If it stays that way for long gas prices are going back up again and this car will be in high demand.

I agree on the redesign. I thought the egg trend was over. And the front bumper is hideous.

The car is not too bad. It is a city car, and the range of 44 miles is fine for city driving / commuting. It looks a lot better than many EVs, probably because it is made by a "proper" car company.

I wonder what it would take to add a serial hybrid range extender with a (say 600cc battery charging engine) for hardy souls who would want longer range with it.

If someone could come up with a modular battery charger, it could have application in many EVs - as long as you can figure out how to get the fuel into it and the exhaust out of it with low emissions.

[ Maybe it isn't so easy at all ! ]

Nice, that, they make so much progress so quickly with fast charging of lithium batteries. However, I think it would be more beneficial to work on increasing energy density and durability while lowering the production costs. The benefits of fast charging are very limited. Fast charging will most certainly not improve the durability of the batteries and most people do really not need fast charging. Most cars (probably 95%) are parked at least 20 hours per day which leaves plenty of time for charging. Just make it easy. Make some sort of robotic devise that automatically plug-in the car when it is parked and make it a global standard. Fast charging would only be a really good feature for taxis and trucks that are used perhaps more than 12 hours per day every day in the year. Here fast charging will be a necessity if such vehicles are going to become electric but then again that will not happen until the charging stations are in place. That may not be a problem for taxi fleets in cities but it will take decades to get it along all the highways.

Ideal for in-city fleet use.

44 km also kicks the Toyota PHEV's electric range in the kiester. I'd buy one. Of course it has to come to market first.

8-min charge is very important for a 44-mi-range vehicle, because you don't wanna get stranded when an unexpected trip beyond driving range suddenly comes up.

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