a quantum charge faster than a full charge?

Why don’t we have an electric car with quantum batteries yet?

Due to technological problems! In fact, the phenomenon of decoherence, which must be mastered, relegates its use for electric cars to a very hypothetical future. On the other hand, the main systems considered at the moment store optical rather than electrical energy. On the other hand, paths for safer, autonomous and durable conventional storage are explored, such as fully solid or semiconductor batteries, which take advantage of quantum modeling of materials.

>> Here’s the sand battery, the world’s first electricity storage system in the form of heat!

But the weather is urgent! If the real ORSEC plan is struggling to get out of the boxes, some measures are emerging however. What are we doing, for example, to tackle the 12% greenhouse gas emissions emitted by cars? Europe has bet on the electric car with 100% of the heat eradicated by 2035. France, which has long “sponsored” diesel engines, appears to be taking a small step to the side with its hybrid strategy. The fact is that automakers and R&D, both private and public, are on deck.

The Holy Grail?

Making electric vehicles as efficient as thermal vehicles. To get there, the race for the battery is in full swing. The megajackpot will go to whoever gives it the most autonomy and the shortest loading time. Since the first car marketed in the world by Nissan with the Leaf, charging time has gone from 24 hours to 12 and then to 6 hours. The moon’s objective would be to reach “the time of a full”. Focus on energy storage challenges and battery technology locks.

The history of the electric car

The first electric vehicle was… a horse-drawn carriage! This prototype was designed by a Scottish businessman in 1830. With the invention of the rechargeable battery, New York saw its streets being crossed in 1922 by electric taxis. But cheap gasoline and the advent of Ford’s thermal models relegated it to the background for nearly 40 years.

It took nothing less than an oil shock in 1973 to bring it out of oblivion. It regains its “stripes” as an ecological awareness develops. In 1997, General Motors released the EV1. Other manufacturers follow him, but projects are abandoned for lack of buyers. Because ? The main defect of its armor is its low autonomy and its cost. It will be necessary to wait until 2008 for the launch of Nissan’s 100% electric Leaf and Tesla’s increasingly innovative models. Since 2010, the race has been (re)launched and the market is, this time, at the meeting point!

(source: BEQ Technology.com)

Electric car with quantum battery: on paper, it works

The last few years have marked the boom in the development of the quantum computer and, with it, the promise of a multiplication of computing power. So why not a quantum technology that would increase battery charging speed? A Korean team has just modeled the charge of a quantum battery versus a classical battery. Their results, published in the journal Physical review letters in April 2022, show the speed would be 200 times faster.

“To obtain this quantum advantage, the scientists analyzed whether the n cells that make up a battery had to talk in pairs or if each one had to talk to all the others at the same time, in global operation. His equations validated the second hypothesis. While with n cells, the charging rate of a classical battery would be proportional to n, for a quantum battery it would vary by ntwo. This research is very interesting, but for now, the quantum charge of electric cars reduced to the time of a full tank of gas remains pure science fiction. And for good reason, applications face a major technological hurdle, which is to maintain quantum coherence during loading and unloading. explains Brigitte Leridon, a CNRS researcher in the physics and materials studies laboratory at ESPCI Paris.

Conventional batteries are composed of chemical cells, equivalent to our batteries, mounted and connected to the electrical circuit in parallel. The loading speed is therefore directly proportional to the number of cells. When connecting all quantum battery cells, the charging speed is proportional to n2.

A Big Problem: Maintaining Quantum Coherence

Are you intrigued, sorry, intrigued? Welcome to the “magical” and completely counter-intuitive world of quantum physics! Imagine a quantum emoticon: it would be smiling, grimacing, sticking out its tongue, blinking, vomiting or crying at the same time. It would no longer be a simple image, but an animated GIF of all these superimposed states. And without a bio-ionic eye, you would only see a yellow circle in the background.

Physicists talk about the tangle of states when you find yourself in a video in front of a wall of connected .gif emoticons. According to Brigitte Leridon: “The whole difficulty for computers as for batteries is to maintain the coherence of quantum systems. For this to work, all quantum objects (here the battery cells) must remain in the same entangled quantum state. They have to collaborate, in a way. However, when a quantum system interacts with the external environment, during a charge or discharge (in the case of the battery), we run the risk of decoherence, which would cause the quantum advantage to be lost. All research today focuses on mastering these aspects.”

Towards quantum superabsorption

In addition to these theoretical models, an Australian publication reports on experimental progress. Researchers at the University of Adelaide have created a quantum nanobattery. In the microcavities, the latter placed molecules of dyes, organic semiconductors, which they excited with a laser. They found that these molecules absorbed more energy per molecule and “charged” faster when they were in the same quantum state (the same microcavity).

“But here again, we are still a long way from an application for electric car batteries. In this lab experiment, the researchers stored light energy, not electricity. Imagine, all gas stations should be equipped with lasers and we should invent a light energy engine! I think it is more likely, given the deadline of 2035, to bet on the development of more conventional systems. R&D is especially turning to innovative and safe electrical energy storage systems, such as fully solid-state batteries, using quantum modeling of these materials”, concludes the physicist.

In-race batteries overview

Drums lithium ion

  • It is widely used for electric cars.
  • Sound +: the best performance in autonomy, long life, higher power density than other technologies
  • Sound –: explosion problems, lithium is rare, expensive, mined in China sometimes by children and toxic. Nickel and cobalt are also expensive and toxic.
  • Ongoing research: energy density optimization, intercalation electrode exchange

The sodium ion battery

  • Point +: Sodium is plentiful (in the sea)
  • Point –: lower power density, does not support repeated loads
  • In the development stage.

the solid battery

  • The liquid electrolyte is replaced by a solid inorganic compound that allows the diffusion of lithium ions.
  • Your +: better security, denser and lighter, longer lifespan
  • Sound –: Researchers are working on technological barriers at interfaces. It is only in the laboratory prototype stage.

solid state batteries

  • The anode is a metal like lithium.
  • Your +: safer, 2x more battery life than lithium-ion, reduced size and weight
  • Sound –: use of rare and expensive metal, insufficient for electric car production
  • The technology is almost ready, but the production requires different machines and techniques that delay its arrival on the market (after 2025). Also, there is not enough raw lithium in the world.

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