Using a 2010 Mercury Milan hybrid and 7,905 lithium iron-phosphate batteries, the car fully charges in about 10 minutes. Whereas most EVs require overnight charging to reach full capacity, this is clearly a game changer.
Radu Gogoana, an undergraduate on the Electric Vehicle Team, says “Right now the thing that differentiates us [from car manufacturers] is that we’re exploring rapid recharge.”
The motor is an oil-cooled, three-phase 187 kW induction motor originally designed for electric buses. Installed in the Milan, the car will go from 0 to 60 in just 9 seconds and has a top speed of 100 mph at 12,000 RPMs. And each “ten minute” charge will get you about 200 miles before you’ll need another.
The vehicle needs 350 kW of power to obtain that ten minute charge time. But the car can also use a standard outlet which would require an overnight charge.
“That’s enough power [350 kW ] to blow the fuses on 20 residential homes at once,” Gogoana said.
Ideally, charging stations that delivers 356 V and 1000 A would be widely available.
Some companies are working on building charging stations nationwide. There are currently 40 ChargePoint stations across the U.S. The CT1000 ChargePoint can output 1.4 kilowatts, or 120 volts at 12 amps, which isn’t enough to rapidly recharge MIT’s car.
Another hitch is the cost of the battery array. It runs about $80,000. The team hopes that can be scaled by mass production. Um, me too.
The team’s press kit added that, “electrochemistry [of the batteries] is less volatile than that of other types of lithium-ion cells, which makes these batteries desirable in applications where crash safety is a high priority.”
Each member currently spends about 100 hours a week working on the project called the elEVen. The car is expected to be finished around the third quarter of 2010.
More on Student-built Electric Cars:
- Students Build Hydrogen Vehicle That Gets 1,336 MPG
- Texas Teen Builds His Own Electric Car on $10,000 Budget
- 2008 Eco-Marathon Car Gets 7,148 MPG
- Don’t forget to visit The Great Electric Car Race. Or, want your own electric car?