A few days ago, Piëch Automotive introduced the world to the production version of its slinky coupe, the Piëch GT. One of the most captivating aspects of the GT, after its beauty, is its claimed charge time: four minutes and 40 seconds to replace 511 miles of charge on the WLTP cycle. Read that again: Just under 5 minutes to charge a range roughly equivalent to a Mustang Mach-E. The hasty replenishment of electrons is said to be thanks to patented batteries from Hong Kong-based battery maker Desten and its accompanying 900 kW charging system. Not long after Piëch showed his wares, Desten shared a bit more about his batteries at a unveiling of his charging system in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The raw specs will raise the eyebrows of anyone watching the EV market and wondering how it will answer the numerous challenges ahead. Desten says it has made “breakthrough discoveries in materials and cell structures,” creating a prototypical EV battery capable of 3,000 charge cycles and approximately 930,000 miles of driving range. When plugged into the 900 kW charger, the battery reportedly gets no hotter than 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit) above the ambient temperature at the battery’s maximum discharge rate of 10 degrees Celsius. That last claim, we’re told, has been verified by “third-party testing organizations.” The main drawback seems to be the specific energy content, according to New Atlas. The latest Nissan Leaf package from AESC produces 224 watt-hours per kilogram, the latest Tesla 4680 package has a capacity of 380 Wh/kg. Desten’s package is said to cost 160 Wh/kg. Desten says his packs, made up of 19-Ah cells, don’t require liquid cooling, so it can pack more into the same space as a liquid-cooled competitor pack.
Or, with a 4:40 time to get 300 miles of range, you might not need that — assuming you had access to a Desten charger. The company says it plans to install chargers and sell them for home use. In commercial locations, to keep the grid from blowing all the fuses when cars are plugged in to consume 0.9 megawatts each, Desten will apparently install a battery storage unit as a buffer. The storage unit draws with standard power from the grid and then discharges to a Desten battery equipped EV at a rate of 900 kW.
The only catch for now is that we only have what we’re told. We don’t know battery chemistry, except that it supposedly comes from “new chemical formulations.” All we know about the composition of the battery is that it is “mainly renewable energy sources”. We don’t know who those testing organizations are. That is expected to change soon as Desten uses his showcase in Indonesia as the start of a roadshow that will travel through Asia, then the Middle East, Europe and North America.
Until then, we can look forward to the Terra 360-kW chargers just unveiled by the Swedish-Swiss company ABB, which will reportedly top up a 100-mile range for up to four EVs at once in less than three minutes. They are now rolling out in Europe and will come to the US and the Asia-Pacific region in 2022.