CLIMATE CHANGE

Blog: How fast-charging, long range electric vehicles will become standard by 2027

In 2027, electric cars charging in 10 mins to reach 700km will be the norm

Electric cars with a range of 700km and charging time of ten minutes will be the norm in just two to three years. This prediction was one of many fascinating insights into the future of electric vehicle (EV) battery technology provided by Shoichi Matsumoto, CEO of leading EV battery manufacturer AESC, in a discussion with Professor Kei Saito of Kyoto University, at Envision Racing’s Race Against Climate Change™ event in Japan.

Envision Racing’s pioneering Race Against Climate Change™ programme aims to inspire and empower fans and the wider public to take climate action. Through Formula E’s platform, Envision Racing exists to make electric mobility and renewable energy a global reality.

Battery technology is progressing so quickly that range anxiety or concerns about EV charging times are set to become things of the past, Matsumoto explained during the discussion, which was entitled Charged for Change: The Future of Electric Vehicle Battery Technology. Held on 29 March, the eve of the first-ever Tokyo E-Prix, it took place at the Miraikan, Japan’s National Museum of Future Design and Innovation, Tokyo.

Battery Circularity

The CEO also revealed that recycled batteries are in the pipeline. When Professor Seito pointed out that there are currently great difficulties around recycling the different precious metals within batteries, Matsumoto explained how this obstacle is being overcome.

“In batteries, there’s not just lithium but also nickel and cobalt,” he said.

“These are valuable materials that we need to recover. The technology that can recover them has already been established but the cost is high. Also, if you try to extract each metal individually, it’s a lot of work. But instead of extracting them individually, we have the technology to refine lithium, nickel, and cobalt in a mixed state.”

An electrical conductor, anode material is essential for all battery manufacture, so this recycled liquid can be used to make more batteries. Technically, these recycled batteries have been proven to be just as good as those made from virgin materials. As things stand, the technology is still being refined, but Matsumoto believes large volumes of recycled batteries should come onto the market between 2030 and 2035 – bringing the EV sector one step closer to circularity.

Consumer demand

In terms of the mass adoption of EVs, the CEO had unique insights into trends around the world. When it comes to US customers, he said, “We have to ascertain whether or not they will be demanding EVs going forward. We are not sure what the political direction is going to be because of the upcoming presidential election.

“Meanwhile, in Europe, the customer mindset is that they’re sensitive to environmental issues and there is a large shift towards EVs.”

He added: “I think that trend will continue but there are very competitive EVs coming from China. There’s a concern that they will dominate the market and Europe will have to respond to that.”

Between 2035 and 2040, Matsumoto foresees that the performance and pricing of EVs will be the same as those of combustion engine cars.

In his opinion, this will be when EVs will win out because they will be overwhelmingly cheaper to run.