The super battery of the Piech electric athlete – Desten lithium-ion battery

The super battery of the Piech electric athlete - Desten lithium-ion battery

Charge to 80 percent of the battery capacity in just five minutes? The battery of the Piëch GT is supposed to do that – thanks to its great temperature budget.

Thanks to advanced cell technology from China, the coupé is said to have a long range and can be reloaded quickly.

© Piech Automotive AG
Thanks to advanced cell technology from China, the coupé is said to have a long range and can be reloaded quickly.

For the majority of frequent drivers, diesel engines are still the drive of choice. And if it absolutely has to be an electrified car, then a plug-in hybrid, please. For many of them, however, a purely electric car is not an option. Why? Refueling with electricity every 200 to 300 kilometers and having to wait 20 to 25 minutes for a stop even on the fast charger in order to be prepared for the next stage with the same distance is out of the question for them. But what if such forced stops would only last five minutes in the future? A battery that can do that would have the potential to become a game changer and revolutionize electric mobility, right?

The electric car startup Piech promises GT for its electric sports car (see photo show) exactly that: With a suitable fast charger, the battery should be able to be filled to 80 percent of its capacity in just five minutes. Such a fast charging time is not possible with previous E-models, even if their charging power is well in the three-digit kilowatt range. The reason is the temperatures: Because the cells get very hot when charging so quickly, the output must be reduced again after a short time so that the temperature can be regulated downwards. And so even Taycan, EQS and Co. are sucking energy at Renault-Zoe level from the charging stations after a few moments.

500 kilometers in 4:40 minutes

But how is the Piëch GT supposed to solve the dilemma? It’s actually quite simple: because its battery cells do not heat up to such a large extent during particularly fast charging. Supplier Desten, which was only founded in 2015 in the Chinese metropolis of Hong Kong, promises special pouch cells for its lithium-ion batteries that heat up by a maximum of 15 degrees Celsius even under the toughest conditions – even when recharging at ultra-fast power. Expressed in numbers: in just 4:40 minutes, in conjunction with the appropriate 900-kilowatt charging system, a range of 500 kilometers should be refueled.

The researchers from Desten claim to have succeeded in minimizing the internal resistance of the battery cells, which is responsible for the high temperature rise in other batteries. The Chinese speak of a temperature increase of only twelve degrees if the cell is flowed through with a current of 190 amperes. The reason for this is said to be “groundbreaking discoveries in materials and cell structure” – the company understandably withholds further information. However, three institutes – including the Esslingen University of Applied Sciences – are said to have scientifically confirmed the information provided by the Chinese.

Water cooling? Unnecessary!

Desten also promises a “constant and reliable high-performance energy supply” for the drive and a long service life for its battery cells: after 3,000 charging cycles, the battery should still be able to provide at least 80 percent of its capacity. A total mileage in the seven-digit kilometer range would be virtually guaranteed – hardly a car gets into these regions.

The Piëch GT also demonstrates another advantage of the Desten battery system: thanks to the exemplary temperature management within the battery cell, there is no need for liquid cooling for the battery. This saves weight, which is of course particularly desirable in a sports car. And it offers the possibility of filling the space provided for the battery with more cells. This in turn increases the range and should cushion one disadvantage: a Desten battery seems to have a relatively low specific energy content. The company specifies a value of 160 watt hours per kilogram. For comparison: the Nissan Leaf’s battery pack can store 224 watt hours per kilogram; the new Tesla 4680 battery should even come to 380 watt hours per kilogram.

Own battery storage in container size

In addition, if a car is charging with 900 kilowatts – or 0.9 megawatts – all the fuses at the charging point should pop out immediately. But Desten already has a solution for this problem: its own container-sized battery storage system that can deliver this charging power, but uses itself at slow speed from the normal network.


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