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by Brett Davis

That’s the problem with electric vehicles, when the batteries go flat, they take too long to recharge. Not any more though. A Japanese company known as JFE Engineering have made strong development progress which could see battery charge times slashed from hours to just a few minutes.

Outlined in a recent JapanToday report, JFE Engineering claimed to have produced a quick charger which can replenish 50 percent of an EV’s battery level in just three minutes. The company also claims the system could recharge up to 70 percent in just five minutes.

JFE Engineering says it is pursuing EV charge times that would be on par with equivalent refueling times typically undertaken at the fuel station. “We have shortened the charging time to three minutes, the same amount of time for refueling petrol or making a simple purchase,’’ an official of the company said in the report.

This could be a huge step forward towards smooth integration of the EV into our current infrastructure and way of living. Compared to the latest EV recharge offerings, some of which require an over-night charge, this new quick charge system would allow us to ‘refuel’ at the station on the go.

The company hopes their new product will be available to the public at petrol stations and other roadside vendors by the end of March, 2011.