While many companies are working to reduce EV charging times, TankTwo says it’s contrived a novel way to do it.
Instead of figuring out how to squeeze more capacity from batteries, TankTwo’s design involves egg-shaped batteries with lots of contact surfaces. The batteries, which TankTwo calls “string batteries” or “string cells,” also have computerized “brains” to best determine how to route power.
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An EV equipped with this system could still use a standard plug for charging, with the same charge times that are available now. But TankTwo is promising that in the event of a need for a quick charge, a charging station properly equipped can literally suck the depleted batteries out, vacuum-style, and then use the same system that sucked the old batteries out to drop new batteries in. All the batteries have to do is touch each other, no wires required. TankTwo promises that the transfer takes under three minutes.
String cells are rechargeable, so the depleted batteries can charge at the service station and be ready for use for the next customer. TankTwo says that stored batteries can be charged when the gird has more capacity free.
Consumers may also be able to only pay for the capacity they need, says the company.
“A car manufacturer can build a battery pack that can hold enough energy to drive, say, 400 miles, but it can sell the car with, for example, 100 miles capacity installed,” Bert Holtappels, TankTwo’s CEO, told the Observer in an email. “When you want to do a road trip, you just get some extra cells, for which you pay a modest fee for the period you use them.”