The new technology could massively boost small-city EV adoption.

By Chris Young

A new battery technology developed by Swiss startup Morand could see electric vehicle (EV) batteries charge in less time than it takes to fill an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle at a gas station, the company reveals.

The new technology, which can charge electric cars in only 72 seconds, is a hybrid system that uses technology from traditional batteries and ultracapacitors. 

Novel hybrid battery technology

According to the American Petroleum Institute, the average time it takes an ICE vehicle owner to fill up their tank is two minutes. The new electric hybrid battery system, called eTechnology, almost halves that time, meaning it could become a great force for EV adoption.

Another benefit of eTechnology, according to Morand, is the fact that it can also offer much longer lifespans than the lithium-ion batteries traditionally used in EVs.

Morand was founded by former F1 driver and team manager Benoît Morand, who played a crucial role in developing the Hope Racing Oreco 01 Hybrid, the very first hybrid prototype to start at the 24 Hours of Le Mans more than ten years ago. The company’s goal is to apply energy technologies developed for motor racing for everyday solutions that can aid in the energy transition.

The startup says that, during testing, a prototype of its eTechnology solution was able to recharge to 80 percent in just 72 seconds, 98 percent in 120 seconds, and 100 percent in 2.5 minutes at up to 900 A/360 kW. The company also states that Geo Technology performed independent testing. 

Charging smaller vehicles and e-bikes in a fraction of the time

While those times obviously won’t apply to the larger 100-kWh+ battery packs used in the world’s longest-range EVs, Morand says it is well-suited to small city cars, such as the Citroën Ami, which has a 5.5-kWh battery pack. The technology could also be helpful for drones and e-bikes that require quick turnarounds enabled by fast charging.

Morand estimates that an e-bike with a 6-Ah battery, for example, could be recharged in six minutes at a lower rate of 3.2 kW using its technology. That could significantly boost e-bike adoption, reducing the reliance on buying spare batteries and making e-bikes a more viable option for many people.

Morand says it has tested its eTechnology prototype over more than 50,000 cycles and claims the technology shows potential for retaining power over far more charge/discharge cycles than a traditional lithium-ion battery. The company also says the technology works efficiently even in extreme temperatures, which isn’t typically the case for conventional EV batteries.

The firm is working with a partner to bring its technology to the market. It will likely be more expensive than lithium-ion battery technology, to begin with, though Morand aims to scale production to lower the cost of its potentially game-changing hybrid technology.