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USA: In Veiled Sales Pitch, A123 Warns about Dangers of EV Quick Charging

The all-electric Chevy Spark EV will run on a nanophosphate lithium-ion battery pack supplied by A123 Systems.

Last week, battery manufacturer A123 Systems explained in its corporate blog that some lithium-ion batteries are not built to withstand constant quick charging. Even though quick charging—promising to refuel EVs in 20 to 30 minutes—is viewed by many as the killer app that will make EVs more practical, questions remain about its long-term impact on the battery pack’s capabilities.

A123 plays into those fears, which are considered false and alarmist by many industry experts. But this time, the warning about quick charging is not coming from an EV naysayer, but from A123 Systems, the maker of batteries for the Fisker Karma, Chevy Spark EV, BMW hybrids and others. “EV batteries are typically made to meet energy requirements, rather than power, because energy determines EV driving range,” writes Andy Chu, A123′s vice president of marketing and communications.

Chu emphatically states: “While some vehicles currently claim to offer 30-minute fast charge capability using these technologies, owners are urged to only use this capability sparingly to minimize battery degradation and reduced life. In this case, installing a charger with fast-charge capabilities is not worth the added cost because the EV battery simply cannot handle regular fast charging.”


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