How sensible is it to drive around in battery-powered cars that weigh tons to calm down your bad climate awareness? Strictly speaking, not very, but the Chinese GAC group has recently apparently managed to bring the charging process closer to a regular refueling stop, even with a large electricity storage system: The graphene battery of the electric SUV called Aion V is (based on 30 percent) 80 percent charged in five minutes.
With an empty battery, it takes only slightly longer at eight minutes. Not even the new Hyundai Ioniq 5 can do that, despite the 800-volt network. It takes 18 minutes from ten to 80 percent and is at the forefront in terms of loading speed.
This 80 percent is generally recommended as an upper limit for charging in order to save the battery. In addition, the charging performance drops drastically. In a recent demonstration, the graphene battery from GAC is said to have drawn electricity with a maximum output of 481 kilowatts even at 80 percent charge level. For comparison: the Hyundai’s maximum charging power is 220 kW. The voltage was 855 volts.
Graphene battery makes it possible
The secret of the Chinese success is the self-developed graphene battery. Graphene is, so to speak, single-layer, i.e. two-dimensional graphite and significantly more conductive. If it is applied to the anode of a lithium-ion battery instead of graphite, this increases the conductivity and the energy density of the battery. Graphite is bulkier and heavier.
Disadvantage of graphs: it is expensive. According to GAC information, the costs were initially up to a few hundred dollars per gram. Thanks to a new production process, the price should be reduced to a tenth.
Record SUV arrives in September
The charging performance has not yet been confirmed by an independent body, but it would be a real sensation in a production car. The Aion V with the battery described – referred to as 6C – is due to hit the market in China in September. In addition, GAC plans to set up 100 charging stations this year.
There is currently no talk of exporting to Europe. According to the Chinese standard, the Aion V should have a range of 1000 kilometers. 6C means that the battery can be fully charged in one sixth of an hour (i.e. ten minutes). A 3C version is also being introduced, which therefore requires 20 minutes to “fill up”.