Honda is planning a fix for one of the biggest downsides of electric car ownership as soon as five years from now. According to Nikkei, the world’s largest manufacturer of internal combustion engines claims it will have EVs capable of a full charge in just 15 minutes by 2022.
The key to Honda’s plan is the battery itself. Honda currently sources batteries for plug-in hybrids from Panasonic and is looking for a partner to collaborate with on its new, quick charging battery.
Honda is also working with the unique challenges of electrified cars by engineering lighter bodies that are able to go farther on a single battery charge to reduce the range anxiety that’s been plaguing EV drivers since their introduction. The goal for 2022 is for a Honda EV to go 150 miles on a 15-minute charge.
Currently, the fastest quick chargers are able to charge an EV battery to about 80 percent in roughly 30 minutes. That’s pretty good, but still not good enough to establish widespread acceptance of electric vehicles with drivers who are used to the convenience of quickly filling fuel tanks for internal combustion engines in five minutes anywhere in the world’s massive network of gas stations.
Honda is apparently looking at EVs a little differently than the rest of the car industry. Rather than focusing on how many miles a vehicle can go on a giant battery that takes a long time to soak up electrons, Honda is focusing on how far an EV can go on a 15-minute charge.
It could be a smart way to appeal to drivers skeptical of electric vehicles and concerned about charge times and range anxiety by putting range into real-life, everyday language that’s easy to understand.
While this is a noble goal that could be great for the EV world (if it comes true), it remains to be seen how far along established electric competitors like Nissan and Tesla will be in five years. Will a full charge in 15 minutes already be the industry standard by then? If so, Honda is going to have to do a little more to stand out in the plug-in segment.