Why we can’t charge lithium-ion EV batteries in a few minutes

Extremely fast charging of our EVs would be a dream come true, right? Just imagine rolling up to a charger and juicing up your battery within mere five minutes, or as long as it takes to fill up a car with gas. Mmm, I bet that would convince even the most stubborn Earth-killer lovers to flock to EVs’ superior embrace.

Unfortunately, this is still just a dream. Of course there are loads of infrastructural and economic hurdles in the way, but there’s an even more fundamental issue that’s stopping us from super-fast charging our mainstream lithium-ion batteries: chemistry.

It’s been already tested that fast charging your EV speeds up battery degradation. But why exactly?

In a new research conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, scientists have focused on the chemical behavior of the battery’s anode (the negative terminal), during the battery’s charge and discharge — and they’ve discovered some interesting stuff.