Making EV ownership as easy as possible is the priority.
Ford is wasting no time delving into the electric vehicle market with the Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning. A fully-electrified version of the Transit van, appropriately called E-Transit, is also on the way. Interest in EVs has definitely increased over the past year or so, but consumers, in general, still have a few concerns, like finding enough charging stations and, equally important, the time it takes to charge batteries. Ford aims to put the latter fear to rest; the Biden administration's $7.5 trillion infrastructure bill includes funds for a nationwide charging network.
The Blue Oval has announced it teamed up with Purdue University researchers to develop a new, patent-pending charging method. What's so great about it?
It'll enable EVs to be charged as fast as conventional gas station fill-ups. Researchers are designing a new type of charging using a cooling method where liquid serves as the active cooling agent. This enables more heat to be extracted from the cable by changing liquid to vapor. The goal is to charge EVs as quickly and safely as possible.
While this is still in the patent approval phase it could make its way to production in the not-so-distant future. Ford, like the university researchers, recognized the consumer demand for fast EV charging and decided to make it happen.
"Today, chargers are limited in how quickly they can charge an EV's battery due to the danger of overheating. Charging faster requires more current to travel through the charging cable," said Michael Degner, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering's senior technical leader. "The higher the current, the greater the amount of heat that has to be removed to keep the cable operational."
The transition from combustion-engined to pure battery electric vehicles will require several years for automakers, so don't expect gas stations to shut down anytime soon. Eventually, they'll simply become public charging stations. And when they do, Ford hopes to have this new cable ready to go. And yes, it could also be used for home charging.