Blog Post

Epyon: 10-Minute Electric Car Charging

Dutch startup Epyon says it can charge the battery of an electric vehicle in 10 minutes — a mere fraction of the 8-10 hours it can take to charge an electric car in a standard outlet. The two-year-old company’s charging technology, which was developed at the Delft University of Technology, isn’t available yet, but Epyon just raised funding from Canadian VCs Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital and European sister firm, SET Venture Partners, to help it move closer to production.

Chrysalix’s managing director, Richard MacKellar, tells us that Epyon’s charging technology will likely first land in large commercial installations, such as an airport with a large fleet of electric vehicles that need to be constantly kept charged. Then in the future MacKellar thinks the startup can try to conquer the consumer, mainstream world. We can imagine a select group of consumers that would be willing to pay extra for a super-fast charging station at home. Particularly if utilities partner with the firm to offer incentives to help split the bill.

We’re not entirely clear on the ins and outs of Epyon’s technology, but the company uses circuitry design, smart software and an energy storage medium and supercapacitors to produce the fast charge. MacKellar explains it as an intelligent system that analyzes each battery cell (instead of the entire battery) and determines how much charge each cell needs.

The technology behind the speedy charge-up is only being built to work with lithium-ion and lithium-phosphate batteries — what most believe will one day be the dominant form of electric vehicle battery tech. And as MacKellar notes, lithium ion and lithium phosphate batteries lend themselves particularly well to the company’s intelligent charging system.

Epyon’s biggest barriers, we feel, are the infrastructure needed to install these chargers and the cost of installation. MacKellar didn’t have any details on the cost, but if it’s too high, it has a very small chance of ever landing in consumer homes. It’s hard to beat a free plug.

With VC money, Epyon is looking to reach two goals: first, work with utilities to do installation demos; second, partner with a leading battery company (A123?). After hearing the company’s pitch, we immediately thought, if we can charge existing batteries so fast, what happens to Project Better Place? Why would we need to swap them out? MacKellar says he sees room for both solutions (hey, they’re nice up there in Canada).

24 Responses to “Epyon: 10-Minute Electric Car Charging”

  1. chris dunn

    EVs are the future, lets accept it, develop it, and live with it. Wont have to worry about big electricity spills messing up the environment. We are capable of overcoming any of the problems with mileage, energy storage, and maintenence with a little bit of creative thinking. There are enough great ideas on this page (combining solar, using fans to harvest wind energy etc) to solve some of the immediate problems. Keep moving forward with research into this all-important field. The most daunting task will surely be taking down the oil behemoths who will fight this every step of the way. They have far more lobbiests, politicians, and money than the burgeoning electric industry. Epic battle ensues….

  2. How many times you eat during a normal … every day life?
    are you the type of person who eats a bit and often?
    or rarely and too much?

    i usually have 3 and i’m the 2nd type of person (though it’s not that healthy)

    8 am breakfast

    3pm lunch

    9pm a snack.

  3. Recently one of my friends started an obsession with the actor Nicholas Cage (mostly because their names are both Nicholas – sounds strange but he is strange and that isn’t the point). After asking around the rest of my friends he seems to be a very controversial figure.
    What does the forum think? do you love the all action superhero? Or do you hate the droning voice of the man who does nothing but action shooters?

  4. The company I work for has developed a new ultra-capacitor, which is ideal for energy storage for electric grid or fast recharge stations, see for details. Currently ready to go to pilot plant manufacturing after funding is raised. Cost BOC is estimated to be about 35 Euro ($50US) per kilowatt-hour of storage. Commercial versions are limited to discharge times greater than 1 second and Military storage is unlimited with charge discharge times much less than 1 milli-second charge. Life is > 100,000 cycles and can be connected directly to high voltage DC transmission lines.

    David Kelly

  5. dave vrooman

    This charger along with a 300 mile range ev can replace all gasoline powered cars. The power to run
    these devices can come from solar wind or nucleur. It
    could also, with a little design work replace all gasoline
    and diesel powered vehicles

  6. Just watching

    The only thing holding the EV back is the economy today and the EV price tag.
    If the guy fliping burgers at Burger King cant afford it then all is a moot point. Our Congress has done a good job sending most of our good paying manufacturing jobs to other countries. Even the EV’s will be manufactured out of country. Who in this country can drop $40,000 with a minimum wage job for a golf cart that can only go 40 miles before it needs recharging.

  7. john karagoz

    can the sceptics of EV s realize that it took decades to perfect the mainstream gas powered cars to its current working 8-10 litre per 100 km consumption and state of the art design of its ICE’s.

    Give the EV’s and its batteries a good commercial run of 10 years and i think most of the issues what we are disscussing here will be eleminated. better designed batteries, electric motors, and a clever grid system catering for your vehicle will all take its course. But with only one condition, and that is the market forces must come into play. ie competition from car and battery manufacturers plus the ever increasing gas prices. I am sure this is what has just started happening now.

    The future looks bright in that sense.

  8. Matthew

    Greensolutions, John Byers, and Howard are on the right track towards a sustainable transportation method for our near future.

    Fast recharging stations at places like markets, restaurants, and other places of business will work well for commuters and those driving more than the average 40 miles a day. Couple the fast charger with a solar powered shaded parking structure and a power purchase agreement, and electric powered transportation will become economical and practical.

    A power purchase agreement allows any excess solar generated electricity to be sold, at market rate or less, to the electric vehicle charging station host business or parking developer.

    We can do this, it just takes the will.

  9. The negative vibes of some of you people is disgusting !!

    First of all the only kind of car that is credible is an
    ALL ELECTRIC car a fully mature technology kept
    down by the Detroit/Oil mafia.

    Even without the superfast charging EV’s are far better than today’s vehicles in so many ways.
    As for charge times a little common sense tells you
    that it is no big deal to have regular fast charges
    in car parks at shopping malls, cinemas and
    restaurants, places where people spend an hour or
    more. The cellls that have been available for years now charge up a good 100 miles plus out of the 300
    miles distance of the best batteries. Once in mass production that would increase in capacity every few years. Solar power on your roof can run your car off
    sunshine or you can use the grid.

    Now here comes this super super fast new charging
    technology and that is even more fabulous. This new charging system could also be used to power up en masse pre-charged batteries in factories in North Africa where massive solar contrating power projects
    are planned in the Sahara. While yes there would be a pipeline to Europe sending over electricity one should not put all the eggs in a single basket. People could also buy a precharged power box that would slot into a connection in their home for powering their house or apartment for one month or six weeks. These could be at first sent from the richest source of solar North Africa on a new generation of
    eco-friendly cargo ships then later recharged either
    by a service at your local supermarket or constantly
    reboosted by a home solar system. We need to stop
    both nuclear and hyrdogen as both are simply a reaffirmation of the gangster regime of the current world order.

    Howard in Manchester

  10. But is in it some electric vehicle experts afraid that recharging time could be electric vehicles’ Achilles heel, Epyon’s minutes-only “supercharger” could gain instant acceptance when plug-in and all-electric vehicles start hitting the road in two to three years.

    According to the company’s web site, “Epyon wants to become a leader in providing ultra fast charging solutions for electric vehicles used in critical business processes to enable clean and reliable electric transportation in a 24-7 economy.”

    Well goodluck Epyon.

  11. John Byers

    think of what this could do if install at car hop resturants like Sonics. they have all that surface area covering cars sothey could install solar to help offset use of this device installed so when you pull in,you plug in, by the time your order is made, cooked,eaten your car has a FULL charge…..

    or installing this in parking garages/lots and pay like a parking meter, so we could eventually discontinue the need of a petrol startion in favor of these (eventually cheaper) devices as they can be places ANYWHERE a car can be parked that has access to some form of energy wether it be city power grid or remotely by wind, solar,geothermal,hydro,etc

  12. greensolutions

    King George,

    How do you know tom c gray and kerry bradshaw are the same person and that he usually comments under the name Kent Beuchert? I don’t understand how a Google search could confirm this.

    Tom C Gray,

    The article says that this company intends to use some kind of energy storage technology, meaning that their device has a lower instantaneous requirement over a longer period of time and then dumps it all into the vehicle battery in the course of 10 minutes. However, by solving that problem, they’ve created another problem–degraded well-to-wheel efficiency. If energy must be transfered into and out of their energy storage medium before it charges the car’s battery, there’s a certain amount of energy lost in the process, thus lowering the overall efficiency of the vehicle. This is really important and shouldn’t be overlooked in an era of energy decline. Having said that, the vehicle would still have a higher well-to-wheel efficiency than the most efficient available gas or diesel vehicle… also, if the system is cheap enough, it might be a good idea for people who are really going to need that fast charge here and there, as long as their mainstay is the slow, overnight charge. Also, it would be best if the Epyon device draws power slowly overnight, thus smoothing troughs in the grid, increasing overall grid efficiency and decreasing costs to the vehicle owner.

    Having said that, a fast charge is absolutely not a requirement for the success of electric vehicles since the vast majority of round trips are 50 miles or less and people will largely use slow, overnight charging. The main EV R&D focus now should be on getting battery costs down and reducing vehicle weight without compromising safety, quality, performance or cost. Every time gas prices go up, electric vehicles become more economical. In some parts of the world with double the US gas prices, they’re already at parity with gas or diesel vehicles on a cash-flow basis.

    Despite my almost fetish-level of interest in electric propulsion, I feel the need to point out an extremely important point: Electric vehicles are A solution but not THE solution. They are a few rungs down the priority ladder after these much higher priorities, which are cheaper and also have the side effect of an increase in quality of life:

    Re-localization of our economy: Food and water and other goods sourced, used and recycled locally–eliminating the need for transport as much as possible.

    Intelligent city planning, which reduces the need to travel in the first place and encourages walking and bicycling.

    Mass transit, where appropriate

    Reviving our pathetic rail system

    Let’s not forget that roads require an enormous amount of energy to build and maintain. I don’t know what the exact numbers are, but given the fact that roads are often literally made of petroleum and involve the use of steel, and concrete (both energy-intensive materials) and gravel, you can be sure that it is a sh*tload of embodied energy on top of the energy used to transport and operate heavy equipment for road construction and maintenance. Because of that maintenance requirement, a road that’s just sitting there uses a certain number of gallons per mile, more or less depending on how much it’s used and what kind of vehicles are using it.
    Given that much of our existing highway infrastructure is now in disrepair, we have a great opportunity to get rid of a lot of it instead of rebuilding it at an enormous environmental and financial cost to society.

    Let’s keep all this in mind when we’re discussing electric vehicles, shall we?

  13. King George

    Above comments by “tom c gray” and “kerry bradshaw” are actually from the same person. Usually he comments under the name Kent Beuchert and he is the author of literally thousands of cranky anti-electric car comments across these here internets. Google is your friend.

  14. The only time you need battery swap with Better Place is when you drive on the freeway and want to continue beyond the battery range. Given the two options of swapping the battery in 1 minute or fast charging (as if the grid can take it….) in 10 minutes, every 100 or so miles, what would the average consumer want?

    Better will have fast charge, used mostly for special fleets too…

  15. tom c gray

    I am skeptical that this technology would work, but even if it does, the cost of battery-only vehicles is so great that it’s doubtful that anything positive willl result. Charging a car’s battery in 10 minutes requires an enormous amount of power – about 6 houses pooling every last bit of their entire capacity,
    using juice for nothing else. Those who repeat these 10 minute recharging claims simply are ignorant of what’s involved, since they know zilch about electricity.

    • chris dunn

      douche. Cointelpro. Petroleum Employee. You are at least 2 on this list. How many aliases do you have and why multiple posts under these aliases? How much does someone like yourself make to attempt to fool people. Eletric energy is safer, how about that. How important is safety to you or the people that support you? Or to any petroleum employee? How abput the environment? Give a crap about that? Nevermind, you truly are a tool.

  16. I see a bigger role for this rather than just a “select group of consumers.” If you can charge a car battery in 10 minutes, why wouldn’t gas stations install them for plug-in hybrids or electric cars? It takes nearly as long to fill a talk with gas. This could greatly extend the range of such vehicles.