Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) and Purdue University are partnering to create a charging cable to recharge electric cars in about the same time it could take to refill gas for a fossil-fueled vehicle. The cable uses a liquid cooling system that converts water into vapor, thus limiting overheating.
According to the senior technical leader at Ford Research and Advanced Engineering Department, Michael Degner, current chargers for electric cars work slowly to avoid overheating. For the vehicle to be charged faster higher current should go through the cable; thus, the need for a better solution as a higher current means more heat is produced, which can disrupt the functionality of the cable.
Degner adds that Ford is focused on making the shift to electric cars simpler. The company is also glad to partner with Purdue University to make electric vehicles more appealing and accessible.
The researchers want to create a cable that can withstand overheating while delivering more current to the vehicle. The idea for the project came from Ford’s desire to make charging of electric vehicles faster and Purdue’s area of expertise.
Charging electric cars can take too long
Milton B. Hollander, Betty Ruth, and Issam Mudawar from Purdue add that charging cars can take 20 minutes at a station and hours at home, which many people see as an obstacle when considering electric vehicles. As a result, the team has developed solutions for circumstances when high heat is beyond current technology.
The best stations can charge an electric car up to 80% in about 20-40 minutes. As charging technology gets better, better cable designs should be created. Ford and Purdue have filed for a patent to protect their intellectual property. However, they have not said when they will release the new cable.
The collaboration allows Ford to scout for talent
This partnership is not the first between Ford and a University. In this way, the company introduces graduate students to current global issues while simultaneously giving them tools to solve them. Furthermore, some of these students later become employed by the company.
Ford’s Manager of Electrification Subsystems and Power Supply Research, Ted Miller, points out that the project is a way to spot young talent while solving big issues.
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