A Piëch electric car, the Mark Zero, made its debut at the Geneva International Auto Show, but its battery is making more waves than the car itself.
Piëch Automotive, named for Ferdinand Piëch, former Volkswagen executive and the great-grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, showed off an electric supercar at the recent Geneva Auto Show. The most interesting thing about the Piëch electric car was not how fast it could go in a straight line, but how fast it could charge its battery.
The Mark Zero’s claim to fame is its supposed breakthrough in battery technology. The company claims that the Mark Zero can charge from 0-80% in only 4 minutes and 40 seconds. Given its 500km (311 mile) WLTP claimed range, that represents 400km (248 miles) of range in less than five minutes. Essentially, it will take the same amount of time as filling up a car at a gas station.
Here’s how Piëch describes the new electric car battery technology:
The special type of cell hardly heats up during charging or discharging phases. Significantly higher currents can flow as the cell temperature rises only marginally. In addition to conventional CSC charging, the fast charging mode allows for a sensationally short charging time of only 4:40 minutes to 80% battery capacity with an exceptionally high recuperation rate. Because of the reduced heat build-up, the batteries can be cooled by air alone.
Due to being fine with air-cooling alone, the Piëch electric car can forgo any liquid cooling measures and shave off around 400 pounds of weight. This allows the electric car to come in with a curb weight of less than two tons.
The batteries are proprietary technology from Hong Kong-based Hong Kong-based Desten Group. Additionally, Qingdao Tgood Electric Co. will contribute to the company’s charging infrastructure plans.
The Mark Zero comes with three motors (one in the front and two in the rear) that give a system output of 450 kw (603 hp). There has not been any word on how fast the Mark Zero will go, but we can assume it will competitive with other electric supercars.
Piëch also states that the Mark Zero will be able accommodate batteries, internal combustion, as well as hydrogen power. This along with the Mark Zero’s resemblance towards the Aston Martin Vanquish, has had many believe that Piëch Automotive were the ones that bought the outgoing Vanquish’s design and tooling drawings.
It’s no secret that battery technology be the most important thing to electric car makers moving forward. Which ever company can make the batteries that charge the fastest and go the longest distance will control the market. A 5-minute charge up time is not a new claim either. While I want to believe Piëch and Desten, I will remain skeptical of the charging speeds until the car comes out. It just seems odd that Desten would limit its supposed breakthrough in battery charging technology to one small startup rather than selling the technology to big automakers who are looking for the slightest edge.
Additionally even if the battery could charge at those speeds, it would require much more than the 350 kW charging max that stations are being built with now. And truth be told I don’t know how many charging companies will go through the hassle of upgrading charging stations that they just built.
Regardless, the Mark Zero looks very nice, has a good range, and should move in hurry. Even if it doesn’t charge 0-80% in five minutes, I think it is a fine car. But now we’ll get to wait to see what kind of premium this new battery technology will cost us.
What do you guys think? Let us know down in the comments below.
Source: The Verge