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A Chinese startup says its electric-car battery can charge in 6 minutes — even in extreme cold


Jun 9, 2023
A Chinese startup says its electric-car battery can charge in 6 minutes — even in extreme cold


Cold weather can decrease a
batteries range and slow down charging.
Getty Images
  • Slow charging is one of the biggest drawbacks to owning an electric vehicle. 
  • One Chinese startup says it has found a breakthrough to aid wider adoption of EVs. 
  • Greater Bay says its new battery can charge 0-80% in just 6 minutes. 

Cold weather is an enemy to electric cars, and one company says it has found a fix.

Chinese startup Greater Bay Technology says its new “phoenix” cell can charge from 0% to 80% in six minutes regardless of the outside temperature thanks to its ability to heat the battery pack, according to a Bloomberg report.

That’s a massive potential breakthrough, given the wear-and-tear temperature differences can have on batteries and their charging times. Cold weather can slow charging and drain battery range — meaning drivers have to charge up more often, and it takes longer to get to a full charge.

While most EV manufacturers have some form of battery conditioning built in to aid in charging times and battery health, that’s not always the case. 

Insider found Toyota’s newest bZ4X EV, for instance, charged particularly slowly during a test drive. The company said the slow charging was designed to increase battery longevity.

Frequent fast charging — versus hours-long charging at home — can degrade battery life over the long term. Of course, battery swapping is more popular in China and hasn’t yet caught on in the US. The practice could help solve battery degradation by moving slow charging outside of the vehicle and letting a driver replace it with a fresh battery within minutes. 

“We all know the range of EVs is greatly affected in cold regions, making it a terrible user experience,” Greater Bay’s cofounder, Huang Xiangdong, said in a press release. “The Phoenix battery not only addresses the long charging time for EVs, but other pain points. It doesn’t matter if it’s a hot day or a cold day, the Phoenix battery’s range won’t be affected.” 

That’s one feather in the cap for mass EV adoption — at least if the battery can make it from lab testing to the real world. 

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