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Toray develops film enabling faster charging of electric vehicles

Capacitor material resists over 800 volts, can cut waiting time to 20-30 minutes

Toray develops film enabling faster charging of electric vehicles

Toray Industries has developed a plastic film for capacitors that withstands high voltages, enabling electric vehicles to be charged in 20 to 30 minutes, about half the time currently needed, company officials said. It is expected to accelerate the spread of electric vehicles.

Toray has begun proposing the film, which is designed for vehicles’ power control units and can resist 800 volts, to client manufacturers. At present, 400-volt batteries and charging facilities are standard for electric vehicles, and charging takes about 40 to 50 minutes.

Higher-voltage vehicles and charging stations have been planned around the world because rapid charging is considered necessary for electric vehicles to come into wide use. Rapid-charging stations for 800-volt batteries are being installed in Europe, and upscale EVs in Europe are leading the way in raising battery voltages. Porsche plans to mass-produce 800-volt-plus vehicles, and South Korea and China also have production plans for 800-volt and higher EVs.

Rapid charging at over 800 volts requires making electric circuit components other than the capacitor also resistant to high voltage, according to Toray, but this can be met by basically extending existing technologies.

Toray developed the thinner, stronger film by utilizing its technologies for blending raw materials and controlling the height of microscopic high-density protrusions on the surface. The company thinks the film can let capacitors be 40% smaller, making cars lighter and with longer ranges per charge.

Toray boasts a 60% share of the global market for automotive capacitor film. With EV voltages rising in various countries, it intends to stay at the top by taking the lead in developing more advanced films. As environmental regulations help expand the EV market, the market for automotive capacitor film will grow by nearly three times from 2022 to 2028, Toray predicts.

The company produces automotive capacitor film at its Tsuchiura plant in Japan’s Ibaraki Prefecture. To meet growing demand, Toray plans to increase the plant’s production capacity by 60% in 2022. Toray is also considering adding production locations in the future to increase output and strengthen its supply chain.

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