[Problem this design idea solves...]
The amount of time to presently charge a battery electric vehicle (EV) at home is numerous hours. Using a public, high-powered, fast charger takes much more time compared to filling up the tank with gasoline or diesel. For example, here are estimated charge times for a 2021 Tesla Model 3 (Battery size: 55-82kWh): [A] 15-22 hours, 3.6kW Charger, empty to full; [B] 8-12 hours, 7kW Charger, empty to full; [C] 40-60 minutes, 50kW Charger, 20%-80%; [D] 20 minutes, 150kW Charger, 20%-80%.
This idea can reduce the charging time to about one-half, one-third, or more. So instead of 12 hours using a 7kW charger, it is around 6, or 4, or 3 hours to go from empty to full. Likewise, 20 minutes using a 150kW charger is shortened to about 10, or 7, or 5 minutes. Fast charging time will help to accelerate EV mass-market adoption and electrified transportation in general.
[How does this design work?]
Consider a battery pack of an EV electrically separated into two sub-packs A and B, where each of the sub-packs A and B may be charged independently of one another simultaneously. A battery pack with a combined 80kWh capacity, for example, may comprise sub-packs A and B, each with 40kWh capacity. Sub-packs A and B are coupled together and operate in a parallel manner when not charging.
Although each of the sub-packs A and B may take longer to charge than charging half a battery pack with twice the capacity, since sub-packs A and B can be charged simultaneously, the duration required to charge both sub-packs A and B simultaneously is approximately one-half the time it would take to charge a battery pack with twice the capacity of an individual sub-pack A or B.
With a battery pack electrically separated into three sub-packs A, B, and C, and charged simultaneously, the charging time is about one-third the time it would take to charge a battery pack with triple the capacity of an individual sub-pack A, B, or C. In the same way, when separated into four sub-packs A, B, C, and D, the charge time is reduced to about one-fourth. And so on. Further details of the idea are found in US Patent 10,790,680 and 10,978,887. Additional US and international patents are pending.
This idea can charge faster with present and future battery types/chemistry and chargers. It is battery technology agnostic. The option to purchase multiple chargers and charge much faster from home is a game-changer for existing and potentially new EV owners. In the commercial space, electric buses and trucks can charge faster using multiple high-powered DC chargers concurrently and are ready to go with less charging downtime.
[Manufacturability and costs...]
The recently revealed 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning truck has dual onboard chargers and gets about 30 miles per charging hour using an 80-amp charge station. Without further details, it sounds similar to the idea presented and appears production-ready at an acceptable cost.